"What is it?" the boy asked. She had gone deathly pale, and she gulped.
"Um, well, here it says . . ." The woman moved her hand that was already under the desk lower, groping for the handgun that was always kept there.
"It says what?" he questioned. Her fingers found the gun and she flipped off the safety.
"Well, it says I can let you know who it is now." She saw the flashing red words out of the corner of her eye. Information not to be disclosed . . .
The woman who worked the front desk, the one who had never seen any excitement there for eleven years, pulled out a handgun and pointed it at this teenage boy, the murderer.
The boy gasped and stepped back. "What . . . Why . . . "
"Did you expect I wouldn't notice, little," she glanced at her computer, "Edmon? Or Pierre, I don't know . . . "
"What do you mean? Did I- "
"Put your hands behind your head," she said, and he reluctantly obeyed. Deputy Roberson burst through the double doors at the back of the room.
"Martha?" he asked, "What's going on?" He pulled out his gun, too, and the woman, Martha, gratefully put hers back under the desk. Right then a middle-aged woman entered the sheriff's department.
The boy glanced at her as she froze, confused at the scene. She was close enough. He grabbed her and held her in front if him, instantly holding her head so that he could snap her neck if he wanted to. The woman screamed, but the boy dug his fingernails into her jaw.
"I'll do it!" he shouted. The deputy held his gun level with the boy's face. "Put down the gun!" The cop shook his head.
"No. I know you aren't stupid enough to kill your only hostage already."
"But I will if you shoot. I'm backing out now; let me leave or she dies." He slowly stepped back towards the door. Back again. The officer didn't shoot, and when he opened the door and it closed again he ran, abandoning his hostage.
The deputy chased after him, but when he got to the door the boy was gone.