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Short Tuesday: A Ham Sandwich

This is another response to L.S. Engler’s Closing Line Challenge. The prompt for this week was “All I wanted was a ham sandwich.” This is kind of a spin off from the piece I wrote last week. Same situation, but from the first person point of view.


All I wanted was a ham sandwich. That’s why I had walked down here on my break. I knew I didn’t have much more time than it would take to walk to this corner store and back. I had gotten my sandwich and headed to the counter to pay for it when I heard the commotion. Two men stood at the front of the store. With guns pointed at the cashier. I dropped back behind a shelf, but they had already seen me.

I heard one of the men coming for me. My heart raced, and I wished I had listened to my wife. Wish I would have just made my lunch at home and brought it to work with me. Now, would I ever even see her again? Would my little girl ever reach her arms for me to pick her up again?

“Get down on the floor.”

I didn’t even look at the man who had given the order, just did as I was told. Then, I felt my face slammed into the floor. “Keep your eyes on the floor.”

I could feel the blood draining out of my nose and onto the floor. I felt something sticky by my hand, and hoped it was just a spilled drink. I didn’t even want to think about what else I might be laying in. I heard the same order repeated as the man moved around the store, subduing the other customers. I heard one man resisting the order. And flinched at the sound of the gunshot. From the cashier’s hysterical screams, I was sure they had not shot up into the ceiling.

I knew I couldn’t fight back against these men. Not if I ever wanted to see my wife and daughter again. The one person who had stood up to them now lay dying, if he wasn’t already dead. I said a quick prayer for him and that help would come for us before it was too late. Maybe I would make it out of here.

But, damn it. All I wanted was a ham sandwich.

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