My response to a writing prompt on "something in a pocket":
It was that time of year, the time I hate the most, time to get the coat out of the closet and bundle up against the North wind. I wrapped my scarf around my neck and pulled my wool cap over my ears. Walter, the door attendant, opened the door to my building and with a nod, I was headed down the sidewalk.
I looked at the woman walking in front of me and laughed. Her coat had a crease that ran across her back, clearly she did as I did, hang the coat up last spring and forget about it until today when it was again needed. It was the pocket that caught my attention, it bulged out as if her gloves were stuffed inside, but she was wearing gloves, scarf and beret. I started fantasizing about what was in it.
I grinned when I thought about it being a handkerchief and it bulged so because she just emptied her sinus cavities. No, that’s too gross, it has to be her sandwich for lunch, a cucumber sandwich. Yeah, that has to be it, she’s trying to lose a couple of pounds before the office Christmas party. I dunno, she looks pretty good from my angle so it must not be a sandwich. Maybe it’s a wad of cash and she’s on her way to buy something like a Christmas gift for her dear mother or maybe a dime bag or two. This girl of my fantasy couldn’t be a druggie so it must be something else. What could it be?
She suddenly stops and thrusts her hand in her pocket. We’re standing in the middle of a sidewalk filled with people rushing to wherever all these people go at this time every day. She withdraws her hand and in it is a 9mm pistol, she points it at a middle aged woman walking by her and yells something about Allah and the movement. The next thing I see is blood sprayed over Macy’s window. Everything went into slow motion as she pulled the trigger time after time. As she pointed at me the clip ran dry and a hollow click, click, click echoed through my mind. Everything starts to speed back up to normal living speed, I duck my shoulder and do my best imitation of a middle linebacker and tackled her to the ground, my shoulder driving her stomach into the sidewalk. I take the gun from her hand and stand, watching her as she laid there gasping for breath. She made a move to get up and I pointed to her and said, “Stay down, you’d better stay down.” From my right I see a blur go past me, before I could react a lady with blood splattered on her kicked the shooter in the head. Then the stomach. Then the ribs.
I look around me, no one tries to stop the kicker until the police roll up. The shooter’s face had boot tread marks all over it. I walk over and looked down at her, the one eye not swollen shut looks up at me, radiating hate even now. I look her straight in the eye and said, “Merry Christmas” and slapped her across the face with her pistol.
That dear children is how your father spent his first Christmas in New York City, and is why we now live in Oklahoma where I thought we’d be safe until one day in April at 9:01 a.m. when hell decended on Oklahoma City, but that is another story for another day.