Excerpt from “Four Twenty”, the 19th story in EOoN, Volume One:
”It was 11:05 when I brought everything down. I had one of the longest lines of the day, 19 people. None of them appeared to be using a phone at the moment, which, of course, was key. I had planned to do it at about 10:30, but also wanted as many people involved as possible, so had waited.
The line wound around the store like a snake. Every person was in it to buy lottery tickets. People stopping only to grab a pop or a coffee would never wait this long.
Throughout the morning people had come in to get lottery tickets, but by the time they got to the counter their arms were full of other crap. All along the slow, winding journey to the counter they had snatched things up: pop, gum, chips, crackers, cookies, candy bars. They were all good Americans, buying on impulse like they had been conditioned to do since birth. Some got to the counter with so much junk food they had to pay for it using a card. In South Dakota, lottery tickets could only be purchased with cash and, god knows, they wouldn’t want to cut into that.
They were no longer peasants in my eyes. They were cattle.
“Excuse me for one second,” I said to the lady in front of me. I went around the counter and locked the door. I walked matter-of-factly and the long line politely parted to allow me through. No one looked at me like anything special or unusual was going on. It’s amazing what a name tag will do for you. With a name tag situated squarely above your tit, you become Official. Whatever you do is supposed to be done. It’s just part of the policy, you see. Policy is one of mankind’s most underrated inventions. It allows you to do dick things to other people without being accountable for it. You simply shrug your shoulders and say, “I’m sorry. That’s the policy.” It worked swimmingly for the Nazis: “I’m sorry, Mr. Goldstein. I have to poison you with gas and burn your corpse in an oven. That’s the policy.”
A key was now required, whether inside or out, to open the door. All these people were trapped and they didn’t even know it. They were at my mercy. Back behind the counter, I grabbed a blank piece of paper from the printer and wrote quickly in Sharpie: FAMILY EMERGENCY. WILL REOPEN SOON. SORRY. Then I reached into the cigarettes and pulled out the shotgun.”
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