He took a drive down to his local Pawn & Gun, a fine establishment. A veritable vanguard of the capitalist system, the Pawn & Gun would buy
practically anything from anyone. Johnny was counting on this. Trailing co-axial cables, carrying a bundle of electronics, he stumbled into the store
front. The cashier, a jowly rural looking sort, silently appraised him and his cargo.
“I’m looking to sell this VCR equipment. How much will you give me?” Johnny stood there, waiting. And wait, he did, as this gawking hick stared
him in the eye. Finally, he spoke.
“That there is one of them new fangled tape players? I’ll give yer a hundred bucks for it.” He scratched under his neck, a dried out, flaked
desert of skin. He ate what he could pick off himself, paying no mind to Johnny’s presence.
“I bought this brand new, for seven hundred and fifty dollars retail. And quit picking at yourself, that’s revolting!” He was beginning to get
mad. Here, this common rube was in charge.
“Yer free to leave, yankee, iff’n you don’t like my pricing.” He spat out a mouthful of black saliva into a soda can. His lip bulged with
chew, and as he spoke, if you timed it just right, you could see the blackened nubs that were once teeth.
“Yankee? This is Washington! This is the heart of the Union. You’re the outsider, here. You come up to my state to open up a rip off joint like
this? It’s like an act of war, all over again.” His eyes became dark. Something changed in Johnny’s posture. He seemed like a different person,
one capable of almost anything.
“Whoa, whoa, relax, boy. There ain’t no need to raise’n your voice. I can see yer need some money, a’hum. I’ll cut you a deal. I’ll pay
you two hunnert dollars and not a penny more.” The Hick always wondered what situation drove people to his establishment. To accept pennies on the
dollar for their possessions. Desperation, he figured. There were more of them every day.
“You’re not being fair to me. I paid seven hundred fifty bucks for the thing, you’re gonna try and gyp me like that? I know where you work. All
you know about me is that I own a VCR. I could make life difficult for you. Or you could treat me square, and pay me three hundred dollars. “
Johnny hinted, insinuated, wrapped threats in a thin veil, but the hick seemed oblivious.
“Three hunnert dollars? Fraid I can’t make up the profit on that one. Sorry, mister. Can’t see why I’d shell out so much cashola for yer
fancy player.” The Hick stared his slack jawed stare, and offered his putrescence filled soda can to Johnny. The Hick couldn’t see seething fury,
right in front of him. Johnny was at that moment, a man on the edge.
“Three hundred dollars! Or I come back, right around closing time with a can of gasoline and a baseball bat.” Johnny’s face was locked into a
grimace, his mind whirring out of control.
“Alright, mister. But you might as well rob me at that point. You’ve got you some real anger issues, you know?” The Hick spoke with
uncharacteristic intelligence. Still, Johnny had a mission, and a reason for the things he was doing. As the Hick counted off three hundred dollars,
he eyed Johnny with disbelief. This yankee was crazy, he thought.
“I’m not a crook, like you! I just want what’s owed to me. I don’t want to be ripped off by shysters, trying to exploit the common man. The
world’s full of people like you. Greedy, willing to cheat the less fortunate. I appreciate the transaction, you fat freak. Now, show me the reason
this place is called the Pawn & Gun, and not just the Pawn. ” Johnny spoke for a while, venting his frustration with cheats and swindlers as the
Hick led him to the partitioned area of the store that served as a gunshop.
“Alright. You’ve gotcher choice of shooting irons. Yer not gonna rob me, are you?” The Hick was unsettled by Johnny’s threats and demeanor.
He seemed to have principles, and that could make him dangerous.
“I’m not gonna rob you! Didn’t you listen to a word I just said?! Now… How much for that there rifle?” Johnny was sick of dealing with this
rube, but had no other choice.
“That’s a fine gun. Mini-14, costs three hunnerd and fifty dollars. You made a good choice. You got the cash?” The Hick grinned, having his fun
“Can’t you cut me a break? You know all I have is three hundred. Like I said, I could come back later, when you close. I could burn you and your
place to the ground, you pig.” Johnny ranted.
“Yep. You could shoot me, too! You know, if you had a gun. You could just take the gun, though. I mean, it would be theft, which you so
honorably stated as being incapable of. Morally speaking, you’re not too consistent, man. If you can’t afford the gun, and you’re threatening to
burn my place down, just take it!” The Hick was beginning to grow frustrated with Johnny, as well. The man’s yankee logic was flawed, but he
seemed perhaps just crazy enough to do what he said he was going to.
“I’m not a thief, you southern fried piece of trash. What can I get for three hundred?! Just tell me that!” Johnny insulted the southerner who
had irritated him so much. Johnny knew in his heart he wouldn’t burn down the Hick’s shop, but the Hick didn’t know that. Still, he was shrouded
in ignorance thick enough to smear on bread. The Hick pointed to a pistol, a revolver. It was cheap, nowhere near worth three hundred dollars. But the
Hick took Johnny as a mark, and in certain ways, he was.
“I’ll give you this one here and a box of ammo for yer three hunnert. It’s a good deal, man. Would I lie to you?” Yes. Johnny’s mind
finished the Hick’s sentence in his head. He was being ripped off, that was for sure. But he was also running out of time. The President’s public
appearance was at two, and it was already one. The Washington Hilton was a distance away, and he was cutting it close.
“Fine. You’ll get yours, one day. Maybe not from me, but from karma. You know what that is, you three toothed lump headed coot? You’re lucky
I’m in a hurry. I have to shoot the president
“Oh, sure, friend. Sic semper tyrannis! Long live the south! You didn’t strike me as a member of the confederacy, I’ll tell you that.”
“I am not part of the Confederacy! I’m doing this for my own reasons, you idiot! He’s a monster, he’s not human, you know!”
“Wow, mister. You’re crazier than I thought. I’m afraid iff’n you don’t want to shoot the president for the same reason as I do, I’ll
have to report you to the secret service. You ain’t stealin’ the glory of the hunt from the hounds of the Confederacy!”
“Relax. I’m just kidding. I need this gun for huntin’ poor people.” Johnny hoped that the man would just shut up, and let him leave.
Finally, he did.
“Well, that’s perfectly alright then. Come back any time, now, you hear?” The Hick had gotten one over on him. Johnny felt a twinge in his gut,
and a deep sense of pawner’s remorse. As he inspected his shoddy firearm, he felt a dark urge manifest inside him. He found he suddenly would like
to shoot the Hick. He loaded his pistol.
“You fixin’ to shoot me? Typical yankee act of aggression on an innocent southerner. You know what? I hope you screw it up! You look like a
yellow bellied city boy who ain’t never seen fresh blood in his life! You’ll just be perpetrating a cycle of union hostility against the South.
Go on, Doc Holiday, I bet you miss every shot!” The Hick’s speech effected Johnny, who didn’t want to perpetrate a cycle of union hostility
against the South.
edit on 4-11-2013 by Grifter42 because: Clarity