I worked at Benny's Gas Up for three years before the night this all happened. The store was small and not in the best of neighborhoods. I've been robbed twice since I was there and both times were by people who seemed crazy. They were more about violence than getting the money and leaving. As such I was afraid of the next time something like it would happen again.
The man appeared to be in his fifties, about five feet nine inches and maybe about 165 pounds. From the moment he ran in he was crying horrified words in another language at us, it seemed to be Spanish he was speaking. After a few incomprehensible words he turned toward the front glass windows and then ducked down and ran behind an aisle. I was immediately filled with the same feeling I had had when I was robbed. Without thinking I hit the panic button under the counter. I knew the police would be coming soon and I hoped they would be here soon before the man decided to jump over the counter and attack.
"We can't understand you. Can you speak English?" Erin said. For a brief moment I had actually forgotten she was there beside me, I thought I was alone again just like when I was robbed. The man looked at her with watery horrified eyes open-mouthed but said nothing, just kneeled in the aisle trying to hide from the sight of the windows covering most of the front of the store. "I'm going to call an ambulance" Said Erin as she reached for the phone.
"I already hit the panic button, they should be here soon." I said.
"That will bring the police, this man needs medical help. Plus when was the last time that button was used? It might not even work anymore. I'm just going to call to make sure." Erin said.
"Okay, call Sheryl as well." I said. Sheryl was the manager; it was procedure to call the manager when anything happened that required emergency help. I tried a few more attempts to talk to the man while Erin called 911.
After a few seconds Erin said "They put me on hold... Figures, the one time we need help here and they put us on hold." Erin hung up and tried again. "What the hell... We need an ambulance!" A few minutes later a minivan pulled up to a pump and a woman came inside.
"Ma'am do you speak Spanish?" I said as she entered.
"Huh? Yeah..." said the woman.
"Can you please ask this man what happened to him?" I said as I came around the counter beside the aisle the man was cowering in.
"Oh my god..." the woman said cupping her hand over her mouth and starring at the man. She looked up at me then back at the man and then nodded. After some exchanged words with the man the woman said "I can't really make out what he's saying. It's mostly gibberish but he does keep saying something about how everyone is dead..." I turned to Erin who still had the phone glued to her ear.
"You're still on hold?" I said. Erin looked up at me and nodded in response. I turned to the customer and asked "Do you have a phone I could use please?"
"Yeah." She said reaching into her pocket pulling out a cell phone. I decided to call my house to make sure everything was okay. After a couple of rings Xandy answered.
"Hello?" Xandy said.
"Hey is everything okay at home?" I said.
"Yeah, why wouldn't it be?"
"No reason. Hey, could you call 911 and have them send an ambulance over here? They keep putting us on hold."
"Yeah. Is everything okay there?"
"Yeah no big deal, but we do need one." I said. I didn't want to worry her; if nothing was wrong at home then chances were this incident was isolated here at work.
"Okay, be safe." Xandy said hanging up the phone. I ended the call and gave the phone back to the woman when the sound of a very loud explosion from outside behind the store made everyone in the store jump and cover their ears. The man on the floor began crying out even more so than before and ran to the back of the store into the cooler.
"What the fuck was that!?" I said.
"Are we being bombed!?" Erin said. She had apparently dropped the phone as she was now picking it up and holding to her ear again.
"Are we still on hold?" I said. Erin nodded once again. "Why haven't the police or anyone got here?" The woman had backed away from the front doors and got closer to the counter.
"It's terrorists isn't it!? I don't want to die!" said the woman.
"Calm down! We're not going to die!" I said trying to calm myself at the same time. I walked over to the counter. "Give me the bat." Erin handed me the metal bat tucked under the counter. "Erin I need you to lock the store up and keep trying 911."
"Where are you going!?" Erin said in protest.
"I'm just going to check outside for a quick second. I will be right back I swear. Just lock up the door and try to stay in the center of the store okay?" I said. Without giving much time for a response I walked outside. I looked around and squinted to look into the distance, very little could be seen. I could see a few patches of red light in the distance but not much else could be made out. A lightning flash lit up some of the horizon but provided almost no detail. I decided to walk around the north side of the store where the explosion seemed to have come from. As I neared the edge of the light given by the canopy I slowed and stepped as lightly as I could, should someone be around the side I did not want them to be aware of my presence. The hard falling rain made being quiet easy, I had to stomp on the concrete just to hear myself, but just to be sure I made as little sound as possible.
I rounded the corner of the store slowly, ready with the bat in both hands. I looked around and saw the security light for the side of the building and the lights in the property behind us were out. Normally this would have made it nearly pitch black and almost impossible to see without a flashlight. However it was rather easy to see, for a red light was glowing from over the wall that separated our property and that of the one behind our store. I decided to get closer to the wall as a high pitched laugh came from the direction of the red light.
Hopefully this is somewhat better. kt, if possible, would you please point out any punctuation errors? You say I make them every time but I don't spot them, so if you tell me where they are I can better improve thanks.