Austyn Kirkland
I’m a 23 year old guy and just recently started my first job. You may be wondering why this is my first job if I’m 23. That is because since I was 16 years old I took care of my grandmother who had COPD, so I had no time to really commit to a job as if I ever left her alone she’d be forced into a nursing home and I never could let that happen. So I made the choice to put my life on hold until the time came where I’d be able to commit to a job. My grandmother recently passed away, so I was now able to get a steady job to get some money to pay bills and such. I applied for a job at my local video rental store and I got the job pretty quick as the manager really took to me. I was trained within a week and put onto the night shift.

Now our night shifts aren’t anything crazy. They’re pretty dead as a matter of fact. You’ll get the occasional customer who will walk in, get a movie and be on their way. You’ll sometimes get those creeps who come in for the adult movies at 9 PM and such, but nothing too crazy. That is until 2 weeks into my working at this store that the most scariest thing happened to me.

I came into work around 7 PM which was my usual time to work. I’d work until 10 PM or 11 PM given which day it would be. Once I got there I did my usual routine with my coworker who worked the shift before me of counting the drawers, getting any info they needed me to have and then they’d leave. I had got probably about 1 hour into my shift which made it 8 PM when a man walked through the door with his hood over his head. Anytime someone came in I’d always say hello and most would reply back with the same response or some kind of gesture. But this guy... didn’t. In fact, it was as if he completely ignored me and just walked off into the store to a corner where I could barely see him.

Now a little back story for the setting of when this happened. It was January and it was cold out, so the man had a heavy jacket on which covered him up pretty well. His hood covered his face enough to where I could barely make it out at first. Eventually he made his way to where I could see him fully as he had taken his hood down from his head. Now I’m not a guy who gets creeped out often but when I seen this guy I immediately felt uneasy. He was a black man, mid 30’s, short cropped hair. He had what looked to be a scar on his cheek along with tattoos all over his neck. He glanced at me as I was looking at him and his eyes met mine. I can’t explain how creeped out I was by this. It was as if the man was lookig deep into my soul and it sent shivers up my spine. I immediately looked down at my computer and pretended nothing had just happened.

Eventually I glanced back up to see the man was now approaching me at the front counter. In my head I just wanted to check this guy out and get him out of here as I was getting more uncomfortable the longer he was in there as it was only himself and I left in the store. I had never been more creeped out by someone in my life. As he approached I could see his face much clearer. He had no expression on his face, but his eyes looked at me as if he had hate towards me. He slammed his movie on the counter with a gesture of intimidation. I was thrown off as I did not know this guy or why he was acting this way towards myself. I slowly leaned up from my computer and stumbled out the words “Is there something wrong, sir?” I was so creeped out I didn’t even realize how shaky and uneasy my voice was. It sounded as if I was so scared by him I could barely even get a word to come out.

The man just looked at me for what felt like forever before replying, “I want to rent this movie, but I need you to do one thing for me.” At this point I just wanted the guy out of my store so I replied back with, “What would that be, sir?” Now my store has very specific rules about what to do when a person seems hostile towards you, so I was already putting the plan I would put into motion in my head if it got to that point. The man looked me over a couple times making me feeling very uneasy before he leaned forward slowly. As he spoke his breath hit my face. It smelled of weed, alcohol and like he hadn’t brushed his teeth in forever. “I want you to give me all the money you have there in that register.”

I immediately froze where I stood as the man slammed a gun down onto the counter and pointed it at me. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest and ears. I began to shake and I could feel sweat rolling down my forehead. I didn’t dare move, not even to raise my hands as I didn’t want him to think I was trying anything. I felt myself struggle to get any words out before I finally did. “Take all that you want. It’s in the drawer in front of me. You can get it so you know I won’t do anything.” He grinned a yellow smile at me before slowly making his way around the counter to the register. I stepped back as he pulled it open and began filling his pockets with the money. Now I’m not stupid. I know working a night shift always leaves the chance of something like this happening and I had heard plenty of horror stories about this type of stuff happening to others, which is why I carry my large pocket knife on me at all times.

I slowly slid my hand down into my left pocket and grabbed my knife tightly in my hand. So tight my hand went numb. As the man turned around he looked at me before pointing the gun back at me. I knew he wasn’t going to let me go. I’d seen his face and this seemed like the type of guy who didn’t want anything left behind that could tie back to him. All I could think was this was how I was going to die. Right here on this floor of my first job I’d ever had. My life was flashing before me eyes and I felt myself lift from my body as if I was in a trance watching this all unfold. He inched closer to me and began to speak slowly. “Now you know you’re not going out from this place tonight. This is where you’re gonna die.” Hearing those words made my heart stop and what felt like ice go through my body. I knew I had one chance to make it out and I was waiting for that moment. Here it was. I flicked the knife out and jumped toward the man. I stabbed him in his side beneath his ribs as hard as I could. He fell back and screamed in pain as I twisted it before kicking the man in his leg. He fell to the floor and I ran from the store to my car as fast as I could without falling on the ice that covered our parking lot. I got into my car and started it as fast as I could. I glanced back and saw the man trying to get up from the floor and out of the store to catch me. I slammed on my gas and got the hell out of there. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the man, standing there, watching as I sped away.

Once I was far enough away I called the police. Of course once they got there the man was gone. Blood was all over the floor behind the counter where he fell after being stabbed. My knife was laying on the floor next to the blood. The police asked me questions, took what they needed and then had me go to their station to do a sketch of the man. I gave the best description I could and they thanked me and sent me home. About a week later I got a call from the police who told me they found the man after a person who lived near our store said they’d seen him a few nights later creeping around the back section outside of our store. They had him in custody and that I no longer needed to worry about him.

I still work at the store to this day. My coworkers hail me as a hero and brave, but I don’t feel that way. I’d never been more scared in my life. I always kept thinking to myself what reasons could he have to want to come back. I don’t know. All I can say is maybe he was coming back to finish the job. Maybe he was coming back....for me.
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