I found a place to settle in. It was a little awkward at first. I felt too visible standing up an ended up kneeling next to a tree. This was much better. With the binoculars I could look over the shelter, the parking lot next to it, and some kind of strip shopping center down the road. Off to the left of it and down a bit was a Wells Fargo bank. It was quiet out there. Minimal movement and what was I didn't find appealing.
I checked every car in the lot to make sure there wasn't anyone in them. Then I looked for cameras on the outside of the shelter. The only one I saw was pointed at the main door. No uniformed security guard walking the perimeter either. This was looking to be easy peasy. Now to focus on the shelter. It was after lunch so eventually I should see some traffic. Plus the women in there, well the article I had found online, said they usually worked minimum wage jobs. The article was a couple years old so a conservative estimate would be a few would still be working. They would be coming back soon.
I was patient. I waited for movement and about 40 minutes later I got it. She came out the fire door, shaded her eyes and looked up and down the street. Then she fished a pack of Marlboro Lights out of her purse and lit up. "Nasty habit bitch" I thought. I could over look it in her case. She was a brunette, maybe 5' 6", big breasted and hipped. She turned to blow smoke my way and I zoomed in on her. A classical White Nordic face. "Excellent!" I told myself. She came out the fire door so she works there. If she works there than she probably has a car in the parking lot. Yes. She definitely had potential. I liked watching her without her knowing it. It was so exciting. I hoped she didn't pick her nose. That was always gross an a possible disqualifier. She didn't. She was perfect. I kept watching.
I was still watching when the pain exploded. The pain was so intense that only later did I compare it to what getting shot must feel like. I fell forward. The binoculars forgotten. Everything forgotten except trying to reach back and touch my lower back. I expected blood and wouldn't have been surprised to have found a spear embedded there. Instead I felt a boot driving me further into the dirt. A hand yanked the Glock from it's holster and then the weight behind the boot disappeared. The pain didn't. After a few minutes had passed a voice said "Keep your hands where I can see them. Don't move unless you ask permission. Nod if you understand."
I nodded. What registered with me was the cold impersonal tone he had used. No emotion what so ever. Not good. This wasn't Billy Bob the Woods Robber. This was someone like me. Except he was a hell of a lot better than anyone I knew when it come to sneaking up on people. The pain meanwhile went from all consuming red to a fading pink with spikes of orange after an eternity. Whoever it was behind me wasn't big into talking. When the pain began easing up I asked him, "Can I move my face out of the dirt?"
I asked him "Why? It's hard to breathe like this and an ant just crawled up my nose."
His reply wasn't what I hoped for. I felt him move behind me and felt the pressure of a knee in the middle of my back. Then a hand grabbed a fist full of hair, yanked my head up, and just as quickly slammed it back down into the dirt. I screamed into the leaves. When I was done he told me "That fix your ant problem?" I didn't answer. It was occurring to me that I was very familiar with this situation. The perspective had always been different for me though. This was not a good thing.