"You bitch!" Mickey Burger yelled, once he'd regained his ability to speak.
"Yeah? You got something to say about it?" Daisy asked, still holding the nail gun. "Get up and take that stupid mask off. I want to see the man who killed my bird!"
Burger stood on shaky legs, clutching his bloody neck. In retrospect, the thug gave the performance of a lifetime, gagging and shuddering, for as he stood to his full, yet minimal height, he suddenly regained full composure and control, and pulled a revolver from his ankle holster. He pointed it at Daisy, who didn't flinch.
"Shit," she whispered.
"Gotcha," Burger said.
Mitchell raised his gun and pointed it at Burger.
"You'll never do it, bro," Burger hissed.
"Damn straight I will," Mitchell said.
"You couldn't hit a paper plate at fifty yards on a cloudless day," Burger said sarcastically.
"How do you know that?" Mitchell asked, feeling less confident.
''Think about it,'' Burger said, as he took half a step closer to Daisy.
"Go ahead, asshole," Daisy roared, startling everyone. "Let's face it, the best years are probably behind me. My best friend is a goat, and my favorite conversationalist just got shot. In what are supposed to be my golden years, I'm slaving away in retail hell, working a schedule that's a bit like working on one continent one week, and working on one halfway around the world the next. I got a bunion. That damn thing hurts like a mother bugger. The other day I put scotch on my Wheaties. It was the only way I could cope. So, you want to shoot me? As Nike would say, 'just do it'."
"Aww, don't say Nike. Don't say that," Kitty whined, and everyone turned.
"What's wrong with Nike?" Grandma Wonder Woman asked.
"They endorse that Michael Vick dude," Kitty explained, as all other activity ceased.
"Oh, the guy who hurt all those dogs?" Grandma asked.
"Yes. He barely got a slap on the wrist," Kitty said.
"I don't like Nike's," Daisy said. "They pinch my bunion."
"He's a douche bag," Grandma complained. "They should use him on some agility course."
"What?" Kitty and Daisy said simultaneously.
"That Dick person," Grandma began.
"Vick," Kitty clarified.
"Same thing," Grandma said, and a few of the associates clapped.
"What agility course?" Kitty asked.
"If they put him on some agility course, let him exercise dogs. Put him out there stark-ass naked, hands tied behind his back, maybe with some peanut butter on his ding dong, or bacon taped to his butt. Teach him a little bit about vulnerability," Grandma said.
"She is vicious," Daisy said. Her tone suggested some level of concern, but she wore an enormous grin.
"PETA power!" Grandma exclaimed.
"Dear God, her, too," Stockwell moaned from his prone position on the ground.
"Hey! Shitheads! Remember me? The guy who's gonna pop a cap in the Tool Queen?" Burger said, waving the gun around like a cheerleader with a pompom.
Everyone went silent.
All eyes were on Burger, who still wore the mask.
Suddenly a roar broke the silence, and Mags, who'd seemingly recovered nicely, drove an enormous forklift around the corner and into the receiving area. The room went dark and the safety lights came on, dimly lighting the space.
"Drop it, jerk face," Mags said, and Burger laughed.
"What are you gonna do? Put me in top stock? Oooo, I'm scared. I'm shaking," Burger said, chuckling an evil chuckle.
Stockwell began crawling out of the line of fire, as Burger took another step toward Daisy, gun still raised.
Mags moved the forklift forward, at an agonizingly slow speed.
Burger shot at the ceiling. The bullet ricocheted and hit Mitchell in the thigh. He dropped.
"I'm gonna shoot this crazy bat on the count of three," Burger said, as Daisy pulled a flask from her Tommy apron.
"Last meal," she mumbled, amazing calm. Kitty began to cry, as did Bernice. Grandma Wonder Woman began to pray softly.
"One," Burger hissed.
"I think I'll miss the scotch most of all," Daisy said.
"Shut up," Burger demanded. "Two."
"THREE!" Stockwell yelled, as he raised Mitchell's pistol and dropped the bad guy in one shot."