Crook Takes Pawn Part 12

Greg traversed around with only one crutch now. He found that if he was able to ease up some of the weight of his stride, the pain in his ass was quite manageable.
Greg had just finished gassing up his car, and was sipping on a coffee, using the crutch sparingly. Greg rounded the side towards the front, and caught site of the news crew.
It was obvious who they were. There was a big number 9 label on the side of the shoulder camera, and the reporter was holding a microphone. The tiny lady was dressed in a swanky winter coat and black dress pants. She was wearing an oversized winter hat, with a fuzzy ball on top. Upon seeing Greg, she hurried over to him with tiny steps of her petite feet. The fuzzy ball bounced in time with her black loafers.
"Are you Greg Jefferson?" the reporter asks, jamming a microphone into his face. Greg feels his personal space being invaded, and takes a step back, leaning on the crutch for support.
"Yeah." Greg replies, "what's this all about???"
Without answering, the spunky reporter twirls around towards the camera man, a gruff looking guy who looks more suited to work on Harley's than recording equipment. Her black hair twirls with her frantic movements.
"This is Stacy Gibson, live on the scene, with local hero Greg Jefferson" Stacy says pluckily to the blank eye of the camera,"We have a channel 9 exclusive interview with the man some call the Pawn, with Brawn."
"Pawn with Brawn?" the cameraman asks with a groan.
"Be quiet Rick, unless you can come up with something better," Stacy snaps back.
"How about, "the pawn shop, with the Glock" Rick says sarcastically.
"Don't be stupid, Rick" Stacy counters, "It doesn't have to rhyme"
"Excuse me" Greg asks sheepishly,"butthis is private property. You need my permission to film here, right?"
"There's no need for unpleasantness" Stacy says, "we're just here to help out your situation. This story could be mutually beneficial for both of usBesides, no we don't' need your permission, this is public property here on the corner, at least."
Greg sighs. He hardly considers himself the master of repartee, and this lady looks like she could talk circles around him. He gestures to his front door, and navigates inside with the one crutch in his arm.
"what do you want to know?" Greg asks, after they have set up their lights, and lavalier mics.
With great gusto, Greg went over the ordeal bit by bit. To his surprise, he could still vividly recall everything that transpired, with great detail. It was hard to forget the event that ruined you.
Greg found himself getting excited, as they relived the crimescene. He found himself pantomiming gunshots, and shouting, and countless other things. At one point, he stood up and reenacted the last exchange of fire between him and Jessie.
Greg went even so far as to lie on his back, pointing his index finger and thumb like a gun. He regretted it later, when he had to ask Rick for assistance in getting his fat ass back up.
    The reporter was nice, and accommodating. Her questions helped to flesh out certain parts of the narrative, or things that didn't make sense. Greg was caught up in the spectacle of it all, even if it was some measly local channel. Stacey keenly observed the security cameras posted above the entrance of the shop, and along the length of the show room floor.
Stacey snatched upon the opportunity to ask for copies of the tapes from the survelence footage. Greg had already made copies on VHS for the police to sort over, which they had just returned to him. He scooped up the tapes and handed them over.
    The young girl was cute, and had a mischievous energy about her that Greg hoped would shine his store in a good light. Stacey certainly seemed excited enough as she and Rick left several hours later. Greg watched them walk to their news van. The two were having a lively conversation as they unlocked the van and piled their equipment inside.
But still, Greg did have some doubts as to their motives. Skepticism was a part of his business, and right then he couldn't be too sure what she planned to do with his story. He had heard of "hatchet jobs" where people set up interviews posing as a friendly fan, then tearing that individual apart on the program when it aired.
Oh well, not much he could do nowHe'd never been on TV before

Greg and Donny watched the TVs in Greg's store. The black and white image of Greg running through that corridor was on every TV in the place. In the lower right corner, superimposed on the screen was the number 9 news logo.
"A local business owner got more than he bargained for last month when he exchanged fire with a known criminal, in a daring daylight gun battle."
The angle switches to the video camera on the opposite side of the store.
"We warn you, the images you are about to see are violent, and should not be viewed by children. Parents, we ask you to take your kids away from the TV set if they are easily upset."
Greg watches the events unfold, this time from a third person perspective. He can actually see Jessie's arm point into the frame, towards Greg's turned back. The gun goes off, destroying the TV once more, making Greg cringe. It all plays out again, with Greg landing on his back, and emptying his Beretta into Jessie. They do indeed show more than Greg had anticipated. The camera cuts back to the doorway view, and one can actually see the bullets ripping into Jessie's body, through the blurry footage. although it is not colorized, you can still see the pool of blood form under Jessie's corpse.
the next image is a blown up mugshot of Jessie. the picture is blurry, but shows very clearly the hatred within the eyes of the young man. A spiderweb tattoo can be seen stretching across a portion of his neck.
"the perpetrator was multiple convicted felon Jessie Baxter. Mr. Baxter had reportedly stolen a mother's mini van while her daughter was still inside."
the camera cuts to Stacey, who revels in her role of dramatic news reporter. Stacey's facial features are on turbo. Her eyebrows shift in various poses of what she thinks is sympathy, fear, and anger. Greg just thinks she's over doing it.
"the van was equipped with a security lockout that disabled the engine. The young mother, whose name is being withheld by request, ran bloodied and screaming into the shop of 37 year old Greg Jefferson."
Cue Greg's picture on the screen. It is an old Chamber of Commerce picture, with Greg holding the symbolic first dollar, framed and mounted on a plaque. The picture is actually quite flattering, because it shows a Greg that is 3 years younger, and about 15 pounds thinner.
"Mr. Jefferson instructed the woman to stay in his shop while he attempted to rescue her daughter."
A crude computer map shows an outline of where the events took place on the TV.
"Mr. Jefferson followed jessie Baxter to where the van was immobilized, and managed to free the child being held hostage."
Greg hums to himself doubtfully. they sure like to jazz up these stories, don't they? But then again, the news was usually so boring around Iowa, a little spice doesn't hurt the flavor, does it? It just struck Greg that Stacey was looking to make a career for herself, and he couldn't say that he blamed her. Although some facts were distorted, it was still quite the compelling story. It had all the angles: robbery, violence, hostages, and real life danger, complete with authentic security footage.
"Jessie Baxter apparently looked to settle the score with Greg Jefferson, and the two men began firing at each other outside, which quickly led to more shots fired within the building."
the camera shows the mother running for her life across the store. they have blanked out her face with a black square.
"Here you can see the mother and child running away from the gunshots."
Shivers race up Gregs back as he sees the young mother once again fleeing for her safety.
Stacey takes advantage of the opportunity to show the violent conflict once more.
"Mr. Jefferson was taken to the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds, but it wasn't just his health that suffered harm. His store now has little hope of remaining open due to the extensive damages incurred during the firefight."
The final image the cut to is the only one they used from Greg's hour long interview.
It shows a weak-looking Greg sitting in a timid pose, cradling his crutch loosely with one hand. The clip was obviously chosen because it invokes a strong sense of sympathy for Greg. It's not exactly the portrayal he was looking for. He never wanted to be a charity case, but who knows? Maybe his pawn shop could benefit from pity dollars.
"It's gonna be hard to get up and going again" Greg hears himself say on a dozen TV speakers, "I don't know if I'll make it through this time."
"hey" Greg says angrily, "they didn't say anything about Robert!! the guy got shot on account of me, and they don't even so much as mention his name!!"
"I did not know that" Donny says blankly, taking another puff from their shared joint.
Greg scoffs and flips the TVs off one by one.
"It's not right. Robert helped save the kid too." Greg says in frustration,"We should go visit him. I've been putting it off for too long, worrying about my own bullshit."
"where's he at?" Donny asks, genuinely interested, "I'd be willing to go with you."
"I think he's in Intensive Care." Greg says glumly, "I heard through the grapevine he had a lung removed, cuz of the gunshot."

Uploaded 01/06/2012
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