I guess this is how the world ends. It’s times like these it seems it pays to be an introvert. Stay inside. Don’t make noise. Hope no one breaks down your door and kills you for what meager possessions you might have that may do some good for them. But, common sense went out the window on Black Friday.
I was in line with my friends at Best Buy. We’d never gone shopping on Black Friday but there were a few computer components that were too good to pass up. Wade had kept saying “five more minutes”. 20 minutes later we dragged him out of bed, so naturally we got there late. But this time getting there late saved our lives. A few hours had passed and we were more than halfway back, Thad was playing on his Apple watch, Wade was geeking out about something, and the rest of us were either chatting or playing games against one another. All of a sudden we heard a commotion coming from the storefront, people were running out of the building in a frenzy. Screams erupted from the front of the line as people began falling over–none seemed to be moving.
We made like everyone else and got the hell out of there. Thankfully we’d stayed at Wades’ place since it was within walking distance and figured going back was our best bet. The trip back was more hectic and disorienting than the line at the store. People were running in every direction. Cars lined the streets in an effort to get away from something that no one knew about. That’s when things got real.
A group of men, armed with guns approached us, yelling muffled commands through respirators. We stood there, dumbfounded, still confused as to what was happening, panic finally taking hold. They began shouting at us again, their demands becoming slowly more clear as they drew nearer. “Get on the ground and put your hands behind your head!” Were these guys cops? They didn’t look like it. They were right in our faces now, barking the same command, “Get on the fucking ground!” I looked at my friends. All were being shoved to the ground by the butt of the guns these aggressors held.
Everything was in slow motion. I looked back at the one in front of me as he drew his fist back to swing at me. As soon as his fist almost made contact with my face, something clicked, instinct took over. I ducked out of the way and brought my knee up to his gut, laying him out in one hit. The guy next to him seemed as surprised as I did. He turned his gun on me, i grabbed it by the barrel and shoved it backwards, the stock connecting with his throat. I swung the gun around and put rounds in the other two who had just gotten into the fight. I looked back at the one who originally attacked me, and having seen his cohorts on the ground, he got up and ran away.
I looked at my friends on the ground, all of them stared back at me, bewildered and astounded at what just happened. I played it off as adrenaline, got them back on their feet, and made it back to Wades’. We all collapsed when we got inside, “dude…how…what,” was all that was said. Then I heard Thad ask, “what’s up with your watch?” I looked at my wrist to see a bright orange circle line the inside of it, I ran upstairs, grabbed my pack and the gun off the floor that I had taken from the assailants in the street. Just as I was almost out the door they stopped me.
“You’re going back out there?! After what just happened!?” I took a second, looked back, smirked and said, “wake me when you need me.”
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MHG Presents: Agent Ground Zero