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Grey Sparrow Journal and Press, as of January 31, 2018 will move to

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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by Samantha Memi



So you're walking down the street and there's three girls walking towards you, laughing and joking. As they get closer you notice one of them has a knife. You think they're going to rob you. Do you:


a) pull out a gun and shoot all three dead.

b) run

c) carry on walking because you are too scared to do anything else


I chose ‘c.’ Unfortunately, the wrong one. I got robbed. The girl with the knife put it to my throat and said, “We want your money.”


I answered, “I… I… I… I…,” and gave her everything I had.


They ran off. I had no money, no phone. If I’d had a gun I could have shot them. If I was Wonder Woman I could have caught them with my lasso and dragged them to the nearest police station. If? My life was full of ifs.


I went to the police. I waited. Once this was over I’d join a martial arts class. I'd find the three girls and throw them off a bridge, or a cliff, or a tall building. If you were me wouldn't you do the same. Probably you’d never get into this mess in the first place. You’d have shot the muggers, or run away. I should have done that, but I don't have a gun, and I can't run, or I can, but not in heels, or at least, not very fast. Anyway, I was too scared.




I explained to the duty officer what had happened. He took down the details and said they'd look into it. It was the way he said, ‘We'll do what we can,’ that made me certain they’d do nothing.


So there you are in the street in the center of town, no money, no cards, no phone. Do you:


a) mug someone

b) convince your bank to give you money

c) walk miles to a shop where a friend works


I did ‘c.’ It must be my letter. I could never mug anyone, I'd be scared they’d hit me back, and I can't remember pin numbers or passwords, so ‘c’ was the only viable option. By the time I got to the shop my feet were twice their normal size, I could easily have been a two legged elephant plodding along. A wasted journey; it was her day off. I sat on a couch and cried. One of the assistants recognized me and came over. I told her what happened. She lent me enough for a taxi home.


“What do you mean, you’ve been robbed?”


You tell your husband you've been mugged. Do you:


a) cry and put on the shakes to gain sympathy

b) pretend to be brave and say you wished you'd shot them

c) there is no c


I chose ‘b’ mainly because there's no ‘c,’ my favored choice. ‘b’ was obviously wrong because when I told him the only emotion I got was anger.


“How can you say you’d have shot them if you don't have a gun?”


“It's hypothetical. If I'd had a gun I would have shot them.”


“Do you want a gun?”




“Then what are you talking about?”


I changed my mind and went with ‘a’. I started crying and shaking; I fell on the couch and mumbled, “It was traumatic, I was so frightened, I thought I'd be killed. You weren't there, you didn't see them. They were like evil triplets. They would have slit my throat and left me lying in the street to bleed to death. Is that all I'm worth; a measly few pounds and a…”


“Did you cancel the cards?”




That, at least, made him feel less anxious. He sat on the edge of the sofa as if I was a child and comforted me.


The next day the police called to say they'd caught the three girls. Apparently the evil delinquents had tried to rob a woman who put one of them in a neck lock and phoned the police. What's a neck lock? Maybe I could buy one.


At the juvenile court my husband asked me which one held the knife. He laughed when I told him.


“Her? She’s only 11. Was she standing on a box when she put the knife to your throat?”


I didn't think it was funny.


If you were a judge and you had three evil and dangerous juvenile thugs capable of scaring women half to death, would you sentence them to:


a) life imprisonment with hard labor

b) five years in a juvenile detention center

c) two years’ probation


This time I went with ‘a.’ The judge unfortunately went with ‘c.’ I couldn't believe it. How are honest citizens supposed to be safe on the streets? I'll have to find out what a neck lock is.


Outside the court I'm so angry. “They could have killed me,” I say to my husband, but he's busy talking on the phone.

              The three girls walk past laughing and jeering at me.


You want to kill three girls who robbed you in the street. Do you—


a) buy a gun and shoot them down in cold blood

b) hire a killer

c) stifle your murderous instincts


Unfortunately I chose ‘c,’ Three days later they robbed a woman and killed her.


To end this story, would you:


a) revive the woman miraculously by the power of the  Lord, then have the girls turn to religion and become model citizens

b) sentence the girls to execution by lethal injection

c) ensure the author is hauled in front of the Committee for Crimes against literature and banned from writing for 25 years.


I chose ‘a.’ I'm such a romantic.