Finally! He sees the fat old gal waddle out of the mall doors. He shakes a hair from his eyes and smiles. He should get paid just for the setup. Maybe he can start a maser class: how to set up the perfect crime. He stretched out his legs and pushed against the car frame, pulling off his gloves to reach into his pocket to get the knife.
“This should be easy,” he thinks, pulling his gloves back on.
It’s the perfect spot, and she drives the perfect car: another crappy SUV stuck between two others that will shield him like road signs from snoopers. He relaxes as she comes to the car door, fumbling with keys.
She opens the door, banging it against the car next to her, and throws her bags in. Jeff looks furtively from his vantage to see if anyone is looking. He has no more that a second to act. She swivels and slips her right leg into the car, and he feels her body drop onto the seat.
He grabs her left ankle and plays the knife against her flesh.
“Here’s how it works,” he says. “Toss your purse out of the car, just outside the door and below the seat, and I don’t slice your ankle open like a salmon. Honk the horn even once, and it’s bloody. Got it?”
He pressed the point of the knife into her flesh like he’s done a dozen other times…but this feels weirdly different. He hears her above him and feels the car frame shift under her weight.
She’s grabbing her purse.
“Let me get my purse, he hears. “I threw it in the back seat.”
“Hurry up, lady. Let’s make this easy.”
But she isn’t reaching for her purse. Instead, she scans what she can of the parking lot for other shoppers. It’s mostly empty, so she reaches between her legs and unbuckles the prosthetic from her knee. It will be harder to drive without the leg, but she can manage.
She jerks on the left leg to get a reaction and to keep him under the car.
“Slow down, lady. No one is going anywhere. You got your purse?”
“Not yet,” she says, feigning a whimper. “I was just reaching for it. Let me try again.”
Unbuckled now, she holds the top of her prosthetic with her left hand, afraid that it might slip and give her away. She’s happy now that her husband harped about an electronic push-button start. Her purse rests on the passenger seat, and she inches for the start button. She presses it hard, and the engine growls. In one motion, she reaches for the shifter and lets go of her leg. Grabbing the armrest, she jams the car into reverse, and throws weight on the gas, pulling the door shut.
Beneath the car, the high-jacker is shocked and scared. He knows what happened in an instant. Dropping the leg, he pulls his hand back, and all at once, he feels the oil pan scrape over his head. It pulls hair and flesh as the car backs over him. Instinctively now, he tries to avoid the tire’s path to miss being crushed, but he’s too slow, and there’s no room to move under the SUV.
“Damn it! You’re going to kill me,” he shouts to the metal car frame, trying to move. No one hears.
The fat old SUV driven by the fat old biddy is too fast, and he feels a crushing in his wrist. Moving backward, the SUV collects hair and scalp and a piece of cheek. Out of the parking spot now, the thief sees the old biddy and raises a hand to flip her off, as if this were her mistake, but his hand hangs like a red flag on lumber, snapped from his forearm.
Seeing him lying in the empty spot, bloodied, the old biddy backs up and straightens out, leaving in a slow crawl. She waves and smiles and drives off, unconcerned that it was, in fact, bloody, and that he did kind of look like a salmon, laying on his side with a bloodied head.
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