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by Deb L.
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Crime/Gangster · #2117869
Don't judge a book by it's cover.
When my Dad was a teenager in the early 1950's he worked at the local A&P grocery store stocking shelves. One evening he and the manager were getting ready to close the store. The manager was sweeping the floors and my Dad was putting things back on the shelves and corralling the carts. Just then a teenager came in. He was younger and smaller than my Dad, who even at 16 stood at 6'1". My Dad saw him, but because of the angle, he could not see my Dad. The teen walked over towards the manager. Now, what you have to understand is that the manager was a woman in her late 60's. But she was no frail senior citizen. She had worked on her family's farm from the time she was old enough. When she got married to a farmer, she and her husband worked their farm. She sold the land when he passed away several years earlier. Not only was she as strong as an ox, she was 6'1" and close to 200 pounds of muscle. She was a very sweet woman, but if you crossed her, watch out! She was a force to be reckoned with and she did not take any lip from anybody. This teen was about to cross her!

As he walked over to her, he must have thought that she was old, so she wouldn't put up a fight. He approached her, pulled out a pocket knife and told her to give him all the money. From his position, my Dad could see what was going on. He crouched down and snuck over to the office to the only phone in the store. As this was the early 1950's, there was no direct dialing a phone number. When you picked up the phone there was no dial tone. An operator would come on and ask how she could help you. You would either give her the number or the name of the party you wanted and she would dial it for you. So my Dad picked up the phone and told the operator he needed the police. He was in the A&P and it was being robbed. The operator told him to hold as she connected with the police. The office door had a window and my Dad peeked through it see what was going on. Finally the operator came back on and said that the police were on the way.

Meanwhile, the manager silently leaned the broom bristles down against the counter. In one swift movement, she grabbed the boy's arm with both hands - one hand at his wrist and the other just below his elbow. Then she brought up her knee and slammed the boy's arm across her knee just like a tree limb. My Dad was just coming out of the office when he said he heard a loud snap! She had broken both his forearm bones!

The boy started screaming that she had broken his arm and that he wasn't really going to hurt her, he just wanted money. She didn't want to hear it. She grabbed the broom, this time with the bristles up, held it like a baseball bat and she started swinging for the bleachers! She was hitting the kid in the legs, the back, the arms...anywhere she would get him. The entire time screaming at him, "You think you can come in and rob MY store?! You better think again! What is the matter with you? Didn't your parents teach you any better than that? You don't steal from people! And if you didn't want to hurt me, why did you put out that pathetic little toy knife?" On and on she went. He was backing away trying to get to the door. But my Dad saw him and ran to the door and locked it. Then he stood in front of the door holding a push broom out in front of him so the boy couldn't get away.

Just then my Dad heard the police siren. When the police got to the door, my Dad unlocked it and let them in. The manager was still swinging the broom. One of the officers knew her and called her by name. She turned around, said "Oh, hi Johnny. This kid thought he could rob my store." The officer said that he probably wouldn't try that again any time soon. The boy ran over to the police crying and begged them to take him away...just get him away from that crazy old lady! As they tried to put handcuffs on his, he screamed in pain and said that the old lady had broken his arm. The officer told him that he was lucky that's all she did. If she had been in the office, she would have pulled out her shotgun!

I would have loved to have seen his friends' reactions when he told them that he got beat up by a lady old enough to be his grandmother!
© Copyright 2017 Deb L. (loyerd6 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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