Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Fast Action

By C. LaRene Hall

I already had a blog written, but after a frightening Friday afternoon, I changed my mind. Three hours after the incident, my writing head kicked in. I was too terrified to think of the incident until then.

During the last half hour of work, I went to the bank to deposit a check. I pulled to the drive-up window, because I’m too lazy to go inside the building, so I opted to stay in my car. I opened my window and put the deposit into the tray. Then the action started. A police officer pulled his car at an angle on the road in front of the drive-up lane, so nobody could get out. He jumped from the car, drew a gun, aimed down the street, and yelled, “Hold it right there.”

A black cloud settled over my entire being. Finally, I heard the sirens screaming all around me. Another police car pulled behind the first. I sat there wondering, “Is the bank being robbed?”

People lined the sidewalks, and I thought, “You are sure dumb.”

I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to watch activity that involved guns. Then I watched as other people took pictures, while I just wanted to be as far away from here as I could get.

Everything inside the bank seemed normal, except the teller helping me, was extra slow, and didn’t come back to the window for a long time. When she returned I asked, “Do you have your doors locked?”

“No, we don’t. We’re okay. A high speed chase ended in front of our bank.”

That was a relief, but I still wanted to leave. No cars were behind me so I backed out, and exited to the rear. What a chicken I was. I didn’t want to know what was going on, I just wanted to be gone.

Now, as I sit here hours later I’m angry that my curiosity didn’t get the best of me. I could have written a good story, but I was too scared to watch the action.


Dan Olsen said...

I think that you did the right thing. Sure, sometimes journalists that stick around where they shouldn't be, longer than they should, win pulitzer and the sort, but sometimes they're awarded posthumously.

This way, I get to read your next post.

Honestly, there was no way to know how the perpetrator was going to respond. The police took it seriously enough though to draw their weapons. You followed suit, by taking it seriously enough to get out of the fray. Wise choice.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I don't blame you, Connie! Safety is better than story ideas!

But instead, you can say, "What if?" and write a scene that way.