Monday September 15th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the robbery.

After getting the first coat of paint on the door I went to our favourite local coffee shop while Kat hosted playtime for Max and his friend. I managed to get all caught up on comments, yet again. I won't bother making any promises as to how long that will last.

This afternoon I got started on this week's box harvest, collecting melons, squash, and potatoes. That leaves us mostly tomatoes to pick tomorrow morning, so that shouldn't be too bad.

I also got the second coat of paint on, but the full drying time is eight hours for that stuff so it won't be going back to the front of the house until tomorrow. Ah well, at least the nights haven't been getting too cold yet.


Sitting in the van two blocks from the bank, gripping the wheel so hard I was sure I'd leave permanent grooves behind when I eventually (if I) let go, I had never felt so alone and vulnerable in my life. I'd much rather have been inside with Tammy and Crystal but someone had to drive the getaway vehicle.

And that someone, thanks to my pulling the low card out of the deck Crystal had splayed across the coffee table two nights previous, was me.

Stupid bloody three of clubs.

I couldn't even see the front of the building from there. That was part of the deal, to keep suspicious activity (outside of the bank, anyway) to a minimum. Once I got the signal from Tammy I'd drive up, nice and slow and casual, they'd stroll out the doors and into the van, and away we'd go.

They had gone inside carrying enough rope and duct tape to hogtie a dozen football teams, so no alarm would be raised until the next customer arrived. Hopefully, if Crystal's homemade gadget worked like she claimed it would, to find the door locked. The girls had guns too, obviously, but they were more for show than anything.

We had no intention of getting caught but if we did none of us wanted to face a murder charge on top of all the stuff we'd already agreed to do.

That didn't mean they weren't loaded though.

I checked my phone again. Still no text. Tammy had it loaded and ready to go, her phone concealed in her coat pocket where nobody would see it. As long as none of the victims suspected that was how we were communicating the police would have no reason to check with the phone companies to see their logs. One less piece of evidence for the cops to go on.

That was the plan, anyway.

*Beep* *Beep*

I looked down and my heart jumped up. I blinked once, then again. Read the words at least three times before starting the engine and tried to remember how to breathe. One last look down, just to make sure.

Time to go

I shifted the van into drive and hit the gas.


Greg said...

I did notice that you'd caught up all the comments! Well done :) And also good work on getting the door finished, though I'm sure the plastic is classier and more stylish.
Ah, another prequel for the girls (I did spot that you were enjoying telling their back story when I browsed the comments). I like their preparations, they were clearly taking this seriously and intending to get away with it. Even down to the mobile phones for communication and keeping them hidden from witnesses in case they mention it to the police. Lovely details in this piece that really reward the reader.

The robbery
The first drops of rain fell from the sky like blood-filled ticks, exploding on contact with the concrete of the yard. The man holding the shovel, stood up to his waist in a hole that was roughly the length and width of a grave ducked as the rain struck him, and then realised the futility of his actions and laughed. The man stood above him, pointing a gun at his head, didn't seem so amused.
"Keep digging," he said.
The shovel struck the earth again with a metallic grating sound, but it was just an old tray. He pulled it out and discarded it with the other rubbish at the side of the hole and the rain, falling more heavily now, drummed on it like a voodoo percussionist.
"Mayhap we'll all drown before I'm a-done diggin'" said the man in the hole.
"You'll drown, old man," said the man with the gun, ignoring the fact that he was probably ten years older than the digger. "Saves me worrying about you going to the police afterwards."
"Hah, an' what're that work-shy bunch of skedaddies goin' to go fer me? Who'd believe what'n you wanted me to dig up?"
There was a pause while this was considered, and then the unmistakable click of the hammer being drawn back.
"So... who are you going to tell?"
The shovel struck metal again and the digger bent down, this time freeing a cash-box locked with a rusty padlock. He hefted it up on to the side of the hole as though it was filled with lead, and the earth it landed on sagged slightly as it did so.
"Mayhap as they already knows," he said, green eyes twinkling with no fear of the weapon pointed at him. "Sees as how they'n wanted it all buried in the first place."
The man with the gun spat, missing the cash-box by an inch, and then dropped to his knees, trying to pick the box up with one hand. When that proved insufficient he looked at the gun as though wondering about it, and then he tossed it into the hole and picked the box up with both hands.
"Fine," he said. "Then all y'all won't be minding be so much that I'm borrowing it a little while. T'ain't a robbery, it's just a friendly loan like, between friends."
"Y'all call it what you want," said the digger, wiping rain from his face. "And they'n call it as they sees it."

ivybennet said...

Pillows on desk. Pull up top sheet. Fold over blanket. Pull up comforter.
Every morning was the same for Cenith. She knew she could just let one of the androids make her bed every morning, but no. Making your own bed proved you could still do things yourself. The issue with the youth of today was that no one wanted to do anything for themselves; they just let their androids do it.
She reached for her pillows and started placing them at the head of the bed. She turned to grab the throw pillows when a small spot of red caught her eye. There, between her pillow and pillow case, was a little red sticker. With shaking hands, she reached inside to retrieve it.
It felt like a black hold had formed within her, swallowing her stomach, heart, liver, anything in its wake. In white print, the sticker read:
She could feel faint traces of nausea streaming back from the black hole. The Recovery Team had been investigating her? How? Why? What’s worse, they found something they didn’t like. Some bit of knowledge, a memory or two; it could have been anything, really. She tried to wrack her brain for what from her quiet, backwards life could have interested the Empire.
But she knew she wouldn’t find any trace in her brain. Now, the Recovery Team had stolen whatever it was in the middle of the night, like the common dirty thieves they all were.

morganna said...

Guess who's back??
The sun slanted through the narrow cottage window onto Chris's face. He rolled over and groaned. What was he doing here on Jersey, milking cows? Why had he ever thought this was a good idea?

As he pulled on his pants and staggered out to the barn, he remembered Emily and the fun they had had together, robbing banks. But the fun had quickly leached out when they went on the lam and she got pregnant.

He had ended up here when some very scary people had come looking for them and tried to kill him. They had been very angry when Emily wasn't home. He chuckled, causing the cow he was milking to turn her head inquisitively, remembering slipping out the bathroom window as they yelled in the front room. Belatedly, he wondered why they had wanted Emily. Was she alright? Was their baby alright? He didn't think it was time for the baby yet, but perhaps it had come early.

By the time the milking was done, the milk truck had come and gone, and he had cleaned everything up in readiness for the evening, he had just about decided to catch the afternoon ferry and go look for Emily in England.

Harry down the road could do the milking awhile, and what if his life was at risk? He should be a man and go find Emily. He would go after lunch. But as he slid a pan onto the stove to heat up some lunch, there was a knock on the door. He answered it nervously. There stood a very pregnant Emily and a woman he didn't recognize, though she looked awfully like an older version of Emily.

"Hello, Chris," Emily said with a slow smile. "I found you."

Marc said...

Greg - thank you!

Fascinating scene with lots of great details. Really enjoyed the dialogue as well. Wouldn't mind seeing where this one goes from here, should you have the time and inspiration :)

Ivybennet - what a horrifying thing to discover! Really nicely handled, and I liked that the opening paragraph set the scene so nicely without tipping your hand at all as to what was coming.

Morganna - hurray! It's been much too long :)

Good to catch up with Chris, and I like that he was on his way to find Emily (perhaps, anyway) and not just hiding out or waiting around when she showed up.