Preston, aka Horseshit, stared at me with venom in his eyes when he located me across the parking lot. I needed some new targets and more ammunition, so I’d stopped by the gun supply store on the way home from work. Imagine my surprise when I glanced at the car that had pulled in behind me and saw an all-too-familiar face in my rearview mirror. Part of Preston’s parole was the mandate he stay 500 feet away from me – ALWAYS. Well, apparently, he’d stopped caring about that small detail.
“Aw, hell,” I thought. “This can’t be good.” I pulled into my usual space in front and turned off the car. Preston had to park a few rows back, which gave me time to check my weapon to make sure it was ready to use if necessary. I stepped down from the Jeep Wrangler I’d managed to keep running for almost 300.000 miles, and Pissant (Did I say Pissant? I meant Preston. Ok, maybe I DID mean Pissant.) was bounding around the corner and heading straight toward me with long, purposeful strides.
“You!” he shouted, from ten yards away. “BITCH!” Oh, boy. As he closed the last few feet between us, I reached casually into my shoulder holster and pulled out my handgun. I proceeded to raise the weapon to eye level at about the time he was about two feet away. As he skidded to a halt and windmilled his arms to keep his balance, I asked, “You were saying, Mr. I’m-Violating-My-Parole-By-Even-Being-Here?”
Hell hath no fury like a man scorned…arrested, convicted, and beaten by a woman. While he sputtered out something that started with, “SON of,” I cocked the hammer and lowered my aim to a location that made Pissant pay attention. After our last encounter, he knew damned well I wasn’t the beaten-down punching bag I used to be.
“Why the hell do you always have to threaten a man’s dick??”
“Because it works, especially when said man knows said dick-threat is not hollow. Now, what is so important that you would risk your freedom and, well, ‘ability’ to come here and bring to my attention?”
“Phee, please! I need your help!”
Something had really spooked this guy. Not only did Pissant despise me more than death itself, he had sworn a vendetta against me and everyone I loved the day I stood up to his abusive, alcoholic ways. The terms of his parole were very strict about him staying away from me, and for him to risk going back to prison in order to find me was a decision he had likely not taken lightly. I would have loved nothing more than to send him back to the dark box where he belonged. I reached for my cell phone but stopped in mid-reach. For Pissant to risk that very thing to corner me in a parking lot meant one of two things: either he was about to skip town and run forever; or something had scared him even more than solitary confinement. Because he came to me, that meant he thought nobody else could help, and there weren’t too many abilities I had which were exclusive to me and me alone. Which meant…