As Pam cracks the door to the front office, her hand creeps to the gun strapped at her hip. She’s in her 40s, with dark-rimmed glasses and a ponytail poking through the back of a baseball cap. At five foot six, she is not an imposing presence, but then again, what kindergarten teacher is?
She peers inside and sees a parent—Mr. Brown, who she’d heard was locked in a custody dispute with his ex-wife—shouting at Betsy, the school secretary, something about how he wants to see his son. And then he takes out a pistol of his own and holds it right up to her head.
Pam is lucky; Mr. Brown doesn’t notice her. She draws, her elbows locking out as her eyes settle between the sights. But in the split second before her index finger depresses the trigger, she hesitates. I have to try, right?
“FREEZE!” she shouts.
Mr. Brown murders Betsy and swings the barrel toward Pam, cursing.
Pam sends a bullet into him, and he staggers back; a second round to his chest, and he crumples to the ground. She exhales, unsure what to do next, standing over two lifeless bodies when there could have been one.