Author Note: This story contains graphic content.
“Don’t fall asleep, Sarah!”, Brenda yelled.
She pressed her hands down harder against the bloody shirt as she kneeled on the ground beside Sarah.
“Sarah! Talk to me honey, say something!” she yelled louder.
Brenda looked up from Sarah’s face as it continued to grow more pale. Her eyes scanned the interior of the fast food restaurant Sarah’s body lay in the center of.
Lifting one arm up, she reached to the tabletop next to her, grabbing the napkin dispenser off of it. The blood on her hands caused her grip to slip, a loud hollow bang sounding as the empty container hit the ground next to her.
“Shit.”, she muttered, as she looked back to Sarah, whose eyes were fluttering closed.
“Sarah, keep your eyes open honey!”, she continued to yell, shaking Sarah’s body as she pressed down with both hands again.
“Unnngh… what the… hell…”, Sarah groaned as her eyes fluttered open. She looked up at Brenda, a confused look on her face, her brow furrowing.
“Wh-what happened, B?”, she whispered.
Brenda let out a sigh of relief.
“Oh god, oh thank god, you’re awake. Sarah, honey, you just got shot, but you’re gonna be okay baby girl, just hang on, Bobby is getting help right now. Just stay calm–”
“What the fuck, I’m shot? What the fuck B?”, Sarah exclaimed, her eyes shooting wide open as she lifted her head to see Brenda’s hands pressing down on her stomach.
“It’s okay, it’s gonna be alright, you’re gonna be fine Sarah, just lay still, try and keep calm, for fuck’s sake”, Brenda whimpered. She looked up again, searching the restaurant again for something to help stop the bleeding, looking for anyone that might be able to help.
“Wh-where is Bobby, where’s Bobby, wh-where is Bobby?”, Sarah’s voice hoarse, breaking as she began to panic. The pace of her breathing began to intensify, beads of sweat shining on her forehead.
“He’s coming right back, it’s going to be okay baby, we’re going to get you out of here, I promise. Calm down baby girl, just stay with me for a little longer, okay, can you do that for me baby?”, Brenda asked, forcing a smile as she begged her friend.
“Motherfuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK!” Bobby yelled as he ran to the back of the building, already feeling winded. He dug in his pocket for the keys to his car with one hand, the other trying to press the buttons on his phone, the presses not registering, the screen smeared with blood.
Seeing the screen, he wiped the phone off on his pant leg, reaching awkwardly around the steering column as he blindly fought to get his key in the ignition. He wasn’t familiar with this the cheap phone’s screen layout, cursing as he fought to navigate the dialpad.
The car roared to life just as he hit the send button on the screen. Putting the phone to his ear, he slammed the car door shut, and reached across his body to put the car into gear. The line began to ring.
“Operator.”, said a calm female voice in a mute tone.
“My friend’s been shot!”, Bobby shouted into the phone as his foot pressed down on the gas pedal.
Stephen Belowski had been working at Fingers Meat Mouth for four years.
Working at the fast food joint was a terrible step down in the eye of his ego, after having been fired from his former bank daytime manager position for an interoffice affair with the loan accountant, but he was just happy to have a shift manager position again after two years of unemployment.
“It’s all going to be worth it”, he told himself as he got ready in the mirror every morning.
In just one more year, he would be approved to open his own Fingers Meat Mouth franchise. He had painstakingly saved up every dollar he could over the last four years, and his best friend Chad was willing to loan him the remaining five thousand dollars.
Stephen had taken great pride in his role after being in the position for six months. He knew every employee’s name, and had always made sure to learn something personal of each one, so that he wouldn’t have to be just another fake smiling corporate face – every day, he would ask his employees how their favorite subject in school was going, or how their families were.
He knew this restaurant inside and out, as he always made a point to never ask something of his employees that he hadn’t already learned how to do himself.
Now, Stephen Belowski sat on the ground with his back to the counter, his arms wrapped around his knees, beads of sweat rolling down his head from high up on his bald head ringed with hair.
His glasses were steaming up, and his tie felt much too tight.
He tried to control his breathing, as he wiped his forehead with the back of his hand.
Stephen looked up at the CCTV monitor on the wall near the menu, it’s screen divided into four squares, each showing different camera angles from in and around the building. He saw the girl who had started screaming as her friend was shot beside her in the bottom left corner screen, doing what appeared to be CPR on the girl laying on the ground.
The upper right corner of the monitor showed a dark colored car – he couldn’t tell the color as the CCTV only displayed in black and white – quickly pulling out of a spot by the garbage compactor behind the building.
Stephen lowered his gaze from the monitor to the ground beside him.
Billy Johnson’s lifeless eyes stared up at the ceiling, his mouth hanging open at an unnatural angle. The blood pool around his body had seemed to stop growing, and it made it seem like Billy was floating on the surface of a black pond. The two dark holes in his blue polo shirt only had small rings of blood around them.
Stephen thought it looked strange to have such small holes and such little blood on the front of Billy’s shirt, when there was so much blood on the ground.
He looked at the small revolver laying beside Billy’s hand, it’s silver metal shining a bright contrast against it’s dark liquid backdrop. Billy had taken it out of the holster he carried on his ankle when the robber had turned to look at the patrons of the restaurant.
Billy had done it so quickly that Stephen never had the opportunity to tell him otherwise, to just stay calm, that it would all be over in a moment.
Stephen grimaced with a mixture of horror and sorrow.
He looked down to his right foot, and saw the pool of crimson almost touching the non-slip rubber sole of his shoes, and slowly pulled his leg closer to his chest, wiping away a tear rolling down his face.
“B, it’s g-getting fu-fucking cold in here,” whimpered Sarah, “Can you turn the heater up?”
“Yeah baby girl, it’s turned up, it’ll get warmer in just a minute, okay? Can you do me a favor and sing me a song, your favorite song?”, Brenda asked, her hands growing numb from the pressure she was applying.
“B-b-bitch, y-you know I can’t fu-fucking s-s-sing”, Sarah’s teeth chattered as she snapped at Brenda, almost laughing, until she grimaced in pain.
“I know baby girl, I know, just keep talking to me, okay? Bobby will be back here in a–” Brenda was cut off as the front door to the restaurant slammed open, Bobby almost falling into the room.
Bobby caught his balance, and looked around the restaurant, his outstretched arm holding the black pistol as it sweeped the room.
“B, come on girl, let’s get her up.” Bobby hissed, not making eye contact with either of the girls.
“Bobby, she got shot in the stomach, I don’t think we’re supposed to move her,” Brenda whispered loudly, looking up at Bobby. Her body felt so tired from kneeling in the position as she continued to press down.
“Well shit, it’s either get her the fuck out of here right fucking now, or she’s gonna bleed out waiting for the fucking cops to get here!”, Bobby yelled as he ran around the perimeter of the restaurant, looking out of the windows, expecting lights to start flashing at any moment.
Brenda looked back to Sarah, her eyelids barely hanging open.
“Hey honey, hey, listen to me. We’re going to get you out of here right now, okay? It’s gonna hurt like a motherfucker, but I promise you we’re going to get you taken care of right now, alright?”
Sarah’s eyelids softly fluttered open.
“Y-y-yeah b-bitch, I’m ready whenever y-you are.”, she said quietly as she gave a small smirk.
Brenda looked up to Bobby, holding his gun pointed down as he leaned out towards the window by the front door.
“Bobby, help me get her to the car,” she pleaded.
Bobby ran over to Sarah’s body, knelt down and slid his arm under her shoulders.
“Okay B, get her legs, put your arms under her knees, yeah, like that. Okay, on three, ready?”, Bobby instructed, sliding the pistol in his hand into his jeans near the small of his back.
Stephen Belowski stared at the monitor above him, seeing the young man who had come into his restaurant and demanded everyone’s money and wallets. The black duffel bags the girls had carried with them laid on the ground beside the wounded girl’s body, wallets and personal items sliding out to the floor. The CPR girl shoved the items back into one, picking it up as she grabbed her friends legs and lifted.
Stephen glanced over at Billy’s revolver, and reached out to grab it, his eyes glued to the monitor.
“Eighteen years at a bank,” he whispered to himself, “and not one fucking robbery.”
He clicked open the revolver’s cylinder, checked the rounds, and quietly closed it. Looking over at Billy, he reached over and gently ran his hand down his lifeless face, shutting his eyelids.
“I’m sorry, kid.”, he whispered as he placed his other hand down to brace himself as he got up to one knee.