The Outlaw

By Joseph Logsdon

Kim Leigh had been a criminal for many years. When Kim was a young girl, she feared that society was going to put her in a foster home. Kim's mother was abusive, neglectful, and heartless. Despite her misery, Kim still loved her mother. She wanted to stay with her mother forever, but that wish could never be realized. Eventually, Kim's mother committed suicide. After her mother's death, Kim became lonesome and hateful. Kim wanted to have a family, but her hatred prevented her from finding the right man. Despite her suicidal state of mind, Kim Leigh became a thief. She wanted money, fame, and glory.

Throughout young adulthood, Kim made it her business to rob every drugstore in the United States. However, Kim's luck eventually came to a swift end. One afternoon, Kim decided to rob a small and modest drugstore. The sun was going down as Kim entered the drugstore. At first, the man at the counter didn't even notice that Kim had entered the store. After several seconds, Kim slowly approached the small and simple counter. In Kim's delicate mind, robbing people of their wealth was a moral obligation. She hated greed, lust, and gluttony. In the end, Kim wanted to show people that life could go on without money.

"Sir, stay where you are," Kim hissed as she pointed the gun at the innocent man.

Charles Price had been working in the drugstore for many years, and he had never been robbed before in his life. In that moment, Charles looked Kim straight in the eye. Charles was not afraid. As a young man, Charles had been in the army. He had witnessed horrible things, including death. Charles saw that Kim was hurting inside.

"Miss, Can I help you?" Charles asked.

"Sir, this is no time to be brave," Kim replied.

"Who's trying to be brave? Miss, I know you're not going to shoot me, at least not any time soon."

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"I've seen war, death, and evil. I know you think you have what it takes to kill a man, but you don't."

"Are you willing to bet your life on that?" Kim hissed.

"Miss, I'm not betting on anything. Why don't you go home?"

"I don't think you're hearing me!" Kim shouted.

"I hear you, but I don't believe you. Miss, I can see the sadness in your eyes. At the same time, I see that you are lonely, so very lonely. You want to make up for something tragic that has happened in your life, but that will never happen. Miss, you need to repent."

"Sir, I didn't come here for a Bible lesson. I know you think you know something about my life, but you don't. I want you to give me your money, understand?"

"I understand, but I'm not complying."

"Do you want to die?" Kim asked in a frustrated voice.

"I'm not going to die."

"Sir, I'm getting impatient with you. I have robbed many people throughout my career, but I have never killed anyone. However, I won't hesitate to take your life. I've been patient, honest, and direct with you. I have tried to save you from my gun, but it's obvious to me that you don't want to be saved."

"I think you should drop the tough girl act," Charles replied.

"Sir, you don't seem to understand me! I'm a desperate woman, a tired woman. I need money, especially quick and easy money. You have been twisting my words without sweating, without blinking. You're so calm, but why is that? Have you been robbed before?"

"I have never been robbed, but I have seen lonely and desperate people. When I was in Vietnam, I saw death and destruction everywhere I went. Everyone wanted me dead, including some of my own men. I was tough on all of them, especially a man named Jimmy Rains. Jimmy was a good and noble man. However, he came from a poor and terrible background. One day, he tried to shoot me. He didn't want to kill me, but he did want to take out his anger on someone. I managed to calm him down. At first, I thought my treatment had worked. However, he eventually ran from camp and was killed by the Vietnamese."

"What's your point?" Kim asked.

"Jimmy died because of his pain, not because of a gun. Like Jimmy, you are in pain," Charles stated.

"You don't know anything about me," she hissed.

"I didn't know anything about Jimmy, but I did know that he was suffering."

Tears started to pour down Kim's face. In that moment, her heart broke into a thousand pieces.

"I'm in pain, so much pain. Despite my pain, I must take your money."

"Haven't you been listening to me?" Charles asked.

"Give me the fucking money!"

Suddenly and without warning, Kim fired her gun. She didn't intend to shoot, but her emotions got the better of her. To Kim's surprise, Charles had been shot in the chest.

"I didn't think you had it in you," Charles stated as he fell against the wall.

"Sir, I don't have it in me."

Without further hesitation, Kim dropped her weapon.

"That's a good girl," Charles said.

"I'm so sorry," she replied.

"Everyone has their dark moments, including people like me," he gasped.

Within seconds, Charles Price was dead. Kim felt guilt, shame, and anguish as she left the drugstore. She had killed not only a good man, but a great man. Kim wanted to be forgiven, but she knew that God would never forgive her senseless action against a harmless man. The night was dark and terrible as she walked on an empty road. Suddenly and without warning, a police car tracked Kim down and parked beside her. The police officer rolled down his window and stared at the tragic woman.

"Miss, can I give you a lift?" he asked.

In that moment, Kim realized that she would never be free until she confessed her crimes. Without further hesitation, she looked at the police officer.

"Officer, I've been a very bad woman."