Creative Writing: Ground Zero

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This time the store owner had called the police. Roxy had shoplifted from his establishment before but I had always been able to fix it; most times by paying double the price. Peering through the faceted glass of my front door, I could see Mr. Pachenko pacing the brick-edged sidewalk, his face pale with anger. With his blood pressure, the bright red spots on his cheeks would be with him for the rest of the night. Our residential neighborhood held a collection of gentrified townhouses with their window boxes a riot of summer blooms, and fragrant grassy parks sitting quietly behind wrought iron fences. Crime was rare here. Mr. Pachenko owned the corner food mart one block down. For a moment I foolishly thought about pressing myself against…show more content…
Pachenko couldn’t hold it in a moment longer. He burst up the small set of porch stairs, his portly body pushing between the officers. “I tole you I wasna gonna put up wit dis,” he said, poking his finger at my chest although he was still two feet from me. “Dis last time. Something be done now.” The older officer gently maneuvered the shop keeper back down the steps. “Sir,” he admonished, “let us handle this. Let us do our job.” Mr. Pachenko held his ground on the first stair. “Yes, yes. Do job. Yes. Is good.” He shook a fist in the air aimed at no one in particular. “Is two times already dis week. She need be punished.” His words fell like marbles in a jar, sharp and harsh. “Mr. Pachenko,” I pleaded, “it’s only a few Slim Jims. Let me pay for them.” “Dat is not issue,” he retorted. His accent became thicker as his irritation rose. “She have no respect, no manners. She come in store, look me straight in eye, grab bunch of Slim Jims and before I get around counter, she is running down street.” Embarrassment crept up my neck hot and red. “She just loves those things,” I said lamely. “Is that all she takes?” said the older cop. “That’s it.” I looked down at Mr. Pachenko. “Why don’t you put them behind the counter where she can’t reach
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