A secret Grave 116: Poker Face

 

They didn’t exactly have a plan about what they would do in Walmart. First they just sat in the parking lot watching people go in and out, normal enough looking people in jeans and sweatshirts, moms with toddlers, weary housewives, teenagers congregating after school, businessmen, construction workers, and the odd cop. All white and all, as far as Alicia was concerned, indistinguishable from one another, except for a few skinny meth addicts hanging out in front, ostensibly looking for deals.

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Harrison walmart

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“Let’s go in,” Emil said.

Walking across the parking lot, Alicia felt horribly conspicuous. She wished for a minute her hair wasn’t such a noticeable shade of red and that she’d worn camouflage clothes – jeans, sweatshirt, sneakers like everyone else. The best she could do was leave her Prada handbag in the car, wipe off her lipstick, and tie her hair back in a ponytail.

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Incognito

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Inside the store they wandered up and down the aisles for a long time. Neither of them were frequenters of Walmart, and so the vast interior space coupled with the enormous amount of goods – everything from produce to electronics – was fascinating, particularly to Alicia who found herself stopping in front of displays of exercise equipment, beauty supplies, household gadgets. She had done her best to mentally prepare herself for this experience. Her attacker would never recognize her – how could he? She’d been a young girl, just out of college, with short brown hair and a pretty, but unremarkable face. A far cry from the stylish, middle-aged woman she was today. For her part, she had no idea what the guy himself looked like – the whole thing had happened in a dark bedroom. But still, walking through this immense place she felt she was in serious danger. Irrational, she knew, but she couldn’t shake the sense that some crazed lunatic with a knife would at any moment jump out from behind an array of cereal boxes or towels or Easter goodies and attack them.

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knife attack

knife, Dani Nofal,https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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And so she clung to Emil’s arm. When he stopped a Walmart employee to ask if he might know if there was a guy of about fifty-five named Richard David working there, she thought she would totally panic. Her heart beat loud as a drum in her ears. “Dunno,” the employee said. “Sounds familiar. Your best bet is to go ask at customer service.”

“Thanks so much,” Emil said. “That’s exactly what we’ll do.”

And he took Alicia by the hand and began to lead her to the front of the store. From his tightly focused expression she knew he was in gambling mode, and this was the way he looked when he sat down to a game of poker. Perhaps, for more reasons than one, it hadn’t been such a good idea to come here.

 

To be continued…

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Cover photo ~ https://www.royalvegascasino.com/blog/12-situations-when-you-need-a-great-poker-face/

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