The 5 Bullet Holes

It was the time of the great depression in 1920s. Most people in the world had lost their jobs and some rich went bankrupt. For years, people stayed alive on very little food. It felt like darkness and sadness everywhere
It was a dark night in New York city, USA. All shops were closed and people barely came out of their houses. In the city center, there was a café that was lit up and bright. It was called “Phillies”. An eccentric millionaire named George had some money with him and was using it to have a shot of espresso coffee. Suddenly, he started hearing sounds like ‘Boom”, ‘BANG’ and ‘whiss’. A shooting seems to have taken place right outside the café. George got worried and rushed to the kitchen and closed the lights.
Soon, the main door of the café crashed open and George heard some footsteps. Suddenly, he started hearing loud gunshots. He got scared and was also worried about the other customers in the café. And then the shooting stopped. He heard steps again – slowly getting louder and louder. He was frightened and frightened enough to look for a better hiding spot. He found a spot big enough for him – right behind the shelf of cutlery and spices. He then grabbed a jar of red chili powder and a knife from the cutlery stand. Then he sat still and silent. “BOOM!”, the door opened and someone turned the lights on and started looking around for something. The man opened the kitchen fridge nearby and took some brownies, cakes and cookies out. He stuffed some into his mouth and then tried carrying the rest of the food in his hands but could not. Quickly, he found an empty jar and filled it up. He grabbed the full jar and rushed out of the kitchen and the café – into the night.
 George had observed the man closely – thankful for the near escape. He was still scared and decided to stay hidden for another half an hour. He then came out into the café but kept the knife with him for safety. When he opened the door fearfully, he was expecting to see dead people. Surprise!! Everything was normal and all the customers were peacefully sitting. Big surprise!! He quickly finished his coffee and paid for it. As he was leaving the café he looked at the wall and was again surprised to see five bullet holes dug into it. So the man had a gun and he had shot at the wall. But why? Why did he shoot? What was he trying to do? Did he want revenge for something? Or was he just poor and hungry?
 George dropped the thought and started walking towards his home. A few minutes later he saw a poor and homeless man hungrily eating from a jar. He went upto the man and kindly offered to buy him more food but the man said no. He then wanted to give him some money for food but the man again declined. George gave up and started to walk away when he saw a gun lying next to the man. It hit him like a flash!! This was the gunman from the café. George thought of running away before he was recognized. But he suddenly remembered that the gunman could not have seen him hiding in the kitchen. He gathered some courage and asked the gunman about the café shooting.
 The gunman stopped eating and tears filled his eyes. He told George that his name was Phill and he owed the café. The depression had made him bankrupt and his brother had bought it from him. He had gone to the café to get some food and he had not eaten for many days. When George asked him about the shooting outside and inside the café – the man replied there was no shooting. Just when the man was coming into the café, someone was burning some old fireworks for the kids around. What about the shooting inside that left bullet marks on the wall - was George’s next question. The man laughed heartily and said that the holes were from an old mafia fight long back and were just left there to interest and attract customers. The sound that George had heard was just the boom of an old coffee machine they were using there. But you have a gun!! George said loudly. The man again smiled and lifted the gun – it was nothing but a long stick which looked like a gun in the dark.
George was stunned! All the sense of danger and fear vanished. He walked away shaking his head not sure if he was feeling relieved or stupid. In his mind, he had imagined a shooting and a dangerous gunman killing people. When he got to the facts, he was amazed at the tricks the mind can play and how wild our imagination can be.
Yes!! He did feel quite stupid. Still, it was an eventful and interesting evening.

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