A week ago, on my way home from school I asked my mother to stop at a local department store. I needed a few things for an art project that was due soon. I wandered off along one aisle searching for glue and glazed paper while mum decided to finish her list of grocery shopping. Ten minutes later both of us were in the long queue at the cash register. When it was finally our time, a man behind us rudely cut in front of us.
A look of indignation formed on my mother’s face but before she could say a word the man did something unexpected. He pulled out a gun and pointed it at the cashier. To make a point the gunman then proceeded to fire in the air once.
“Everybody on the floor…now! Don’t move!”
People dropped to the floor in a matter of seconds. My mother held my hand tightly to silently reassure me but I could see that the colour had drained from her face. Meanwhile, the gunman had ordered the cashier to fill a plastic bag with cash. The fear of a threat to his life must have been too much for the cashier because a few seconds later he fainted. The next moment the gunman nudged me with his foot and told me to fill the bag with money. With trembling hands and a racing heart, I managed to place the remaining notes of money into the plastic bag. With a menacing look around the store to make sure no one moved, the gunman growled:
“Show me the money!”
Satisfied with the amount that was in the plastic bag; the gunman snatched it and headed towards the door. Before leaving he threatened us with dire consequences if we tried to follow him. A few seconds after he left, everybody heaved a sigh of relief. The cashier had recovered from his fainting episode but still looked as though the colour had drained from his face. He then proceeded to call the police so that an investigation of the robbery could be carried out. I headed home with my mother, greatly thankful for having escaped such an ordeal unharmed.
The next day, there appeared a detailed account of the robbery and how he was finally caught within an hour after the event. The robber had been an employee at the local post office from where he had been fired recently for missing work frequently. After leaving the department store he had crashed his motorbike into the rear end of a car. The police had caught him at the scene of the accident with ease because he had broken his right leg as a result of the accident. Thus he was unable to escape. Even though he deserved the misfortune that had befallen him, I could not help feeling a little sorry for him. Unemployment, being apprehended for a robbery and a broken leg would make anyone miserable.