fiction / photography / Sam Turner / Stephen Paul Stocker

Woman Shoots Man in Stomach

Another scintillating story by Sam Turner. Feel free to leave your impressions/conclusions/qualms in the comments section below; this one might itch your soulbrains a bit.
(Photo courtesy of Stephen Paul Stocker)
I was actually standing beside your mother when we saw a woman shoot a man in the stomach. He bent over, obviously in pain or shock from the gunshot, and your mother and I ran. Later we heard the woman had turned the gun on herself. She had shot herself in the stomach. The next day the story ran in the news. We bought several of the dailies only to find a small article entitled: “Woman Shoots Man In Stomach.” Your mother was upset. It seems the man had survived. He had been abusing her for weeks, the woman, and he was not a boyfriend or a husband, simply a neighbor who lent the woman what was, in my opinion, a very small amount of money. She bled to death before the paramedics arrived but after the police arrived to draw guns on her. It seemed as thought it should have been a more popular news story. I imagine she shot some vital body part, I don’t really know the differences in the bodies of men and women. I’ve always assumed they’re basically the same.I walk by the spot where the woman shot the man. I walked by it today, my bank is right over there. I went to deposit a check from your mother. I’m able to see the situation clearer, more so now than when it was actually taking place.A woman, in a white shirt and what looked like pink or red pajama bottoms, moving forward. A man, in a large black jacket, bent over and falling backward. I’m not sure the man was even in pain as he bent over. The impact of a bullet must be enough to make anyone collapse or move along the bullet’s path.Neither one of us owned a cellphone then and I insisted your mother and I not stop for a payphone. We weren’t all too far from home and didn’t hear the second shot, whenever it was made. The paper didn’t state how long it was before the woman shot herself.I wasn’t thinking about you. I wasn’t thinking about your mother. I was thinking about how she looked, what the woman’s body looked like and how I would have felt about it had I been shot that night too. I couldn’t see her face but I remember thinking the pajama bottoms were extremely tight and that I despised the woman very much.

Your mother and I– I never abused you or her and there’s no doubt that I’m your father. We’re nothing alike, that man and myself, aside from us both still being alive. We were together a long time. I’ve seen you look at me in the very way your mother looks at me now and I know what you’re thinking. Let me tell you that we were deeply in love and the time we spent after that shooting was difficult for me. I’d done nothing with the woman. I’d seen a body moving forward. But men shoot men, women shoot women, men shoot women, and people shoot themselves. That’s the point.

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