HeavyLight

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HeavyLight: Chapter 16

Awhile ago, a couple of buddies and I decided we were going to get together and rob a bank. We needed the cash and the publicity was pretty good so we figured “why not?” But things didn’t go too well the first time, and we ended up having to bail with no success. That’s why we took a step back and reconsidered our approach. It took some time but we got all the necessary supplies together and after another week of planning and preparing all the small things, we were ready once again. So this is how it happened. The right way.


So I was riding down the road with Roger, going to meet up with the other 5 waiting in the alley across the street from the bank. It was Friday, and this time there was a Puerto-Rican Pride Parade happened a few blocks down so most of the town’s people were down at that because everybody knows that attending one is really good luck. At least that’s what I was told. But anyway, that means most people won’t be at the bank.


“Dude, I am so hyped for this. Can you believe it? We are finally ready to do this thing again! We so got it this time.” I said to Roger.


He shrugged. “Naw...I’m sure something will go horribly and inexplicably wrong.” He said.


“Wow...I can always count on you to attempt to kill my fresh hype, bro. Just...just drive. By the way, you’re not going to bail on us this time, right?” I asked.


“If I recall, I was pretty sure you guys bailed on me. But I’ll make sure to be there on time. Remember the burner phones you guys got? Well you know my phone number; give me a call when you need a ride out.” He said. Actually, Marcy gave Dougman a headset to give to me so I could communicate with her during the Heist. So as usual, I have to be the voice of the Team and the one to talk to Marcy at the same time. Though it felt good to have some control over the situation at least. As we rounded the corner, I could see Dougman’s Mom’s car parked right across the street from the bank which was good because that meant we didn’t have to walk three blocks to get our weapons again.


“Alright, I know you can’t park discreetly so I just want you to park somewhere. Can you do that at least?” I asked. Roger nodded and immediately he slowly rode into a parking meter. I’m not sure what the price of the fine for knocking one over is but I’m pretty sure it’s higher than the fine for parking and not putting any money in it, which is alot. I wasn’t worried about that though; we were about to deliver a massive “cluck you” to the police anyway so I wasn’t worried about getting fined.


So I opened up the car door and stepped out into the fresh open air. Standing there in front of me was the team; Dougman, Jumbo Jim, Angry Steve, Kevin Strokehard and No-Face Lacey. They had David Pincher’s weapons crates stacked up by the wall of the alley and on a folding table lay several different items; some 90s cell phones, a more modern looking headset, and the Angry Baby Bomb. Under the folding table was a pile of duffle bags for the cash of course; can’t forget those.“Well look who it is; if it isn’t Red Letters. Are you ready for this, brother?” Steve asked.


I smiled and nodded. “Yep. This is the day man; a Heist 3 weeks in the making. Or was it 4? I lost track of the time. But I do know that it took 2 to 3 weeks longer to prepare for then the first heist.” I said.


Kevin gave his armpit a quick sniff and then addressed me. “Hey...uh...Red I think you said your name was...you got the masks, man?” He asked.


“Yep, got them right here.” I said, pulling out the wad of latex presidents masks. I tossed Jumbo Jim the Barack Obama mask, to Dougman went the George bush one, Steve got the Bill Clinton Mask, Lacey obtained the JFK mask, Kevin caught the Ronald Reagan mask and I kept the Richard Nixon mask just like last time. So we got to fitting them over our faces. Dougman had trouble at first because it was a new mask and I didn’t think to check the size to make sure it matched his old one. But he managed to get it on. Jim and Lacey both put theirs on and glanced over at each other.


“...You look nice.” Jim said.


“Thanks...” Lacey replied.


Steve pulled the mask over his face and cracked his knuckles. “Alright, the masks are on. Now what?” he asked.


“Alright, does everybody have body armor on under their suits?” I asked. Everybody was wearing black business suits, even Steve who managed to do it right this time. They all said they did, and I could tell by the weight of the straps digging into my shoulders under my shirt that I was wearing a vest too.


“Great. What about David Pincher? Is he in the building yet?” I asked.


Steve nodded. “Dude, he’s been in there all day. He told me he had to get a feel for the place since it’s supposed to be the scene where his acting career takes off. I’m not sure what that means though...” He explained.


Dougman pulled the headset off the folding table and handed it to me. “Here’s your headset, man. You’ll need it to talk to Marcy, which will also make you the guy who speaks for her to the rest of us since we could only afford this one headset.” He said.


I snatched it out of his grubby little hands and placed it on my head. “Hey...uh...Marcy? can you hear me?” I asked awkwardly into the microphone that stuck out beside my jaw. I’ve never really used one of these so I wasn’t sure if I would do it right. But then I heard the slightly distorted by still just as soft sounding voice of everybody’s favorite hacker.


“R....Red? Are you there?” I heard her say.


“Yeah, the whole gang's here. What’s the news? Have you managed to hack into the security of the bank yet?” I asked.


“Yep, already way ahead of you. I have full access and the second you guys get in, I’ll disable the silent alarm. The vault in the back can’t be hacked so you’ll need the bomb for that.” She explained.


“Good, because we actually have it. Now from here on out we will refer to each other based on the names of the people who owned the faces our masks are based off of. Do you understand that?” I asked.


Lacey and Kevin kinda stared at me. Then Kevin stuck his finger up under his mask and began to pick his nose while still wearing it.


“Okay...I’ll explain. Lacey, you’re now known as John. Kevin, you’re Ronald now. I’m Richard, that’s George, the big guy is Barrack and that guy over there...also picking his nose... Bill. Understand now?” I asked.


They both went “Ooh...” and gave me a thumbs up.


“Don’t worry Richard, I won’t forget this time.” Steve said, placing a hand on my shoulder.


I glanced back at him and smiled warmly, even though he couldn’t see my smile due to the mask. “Thanks Bill. You’ve got this, man.” I said.


“Hey, doesn’t Marcy need an alias too? I mean you’ll have to tell us what she says.” Jumbo Jim pointed out.


“Oh yeah...uh...how about Chanty? That’s what we called her on her profile for the dating site.” I said.


“What dating site?” Marcy’s voice asked in my ear.


“Don’t worry about it, I’ll tell you later. Anyway, so we have the names figured out along with the masks. Now we need the guns. Let’s pop open the crates and get ourselves some fire arms.” I said. At the mention of the weapons, it was like I was a Kindergarten teacher and I said “okay, I stashed some muffins in the back, everybody go grab one,” because they all immediately went to go grab a gun, giggly gleefully and playfully pushing each other around as they did it. Jim got a shotgun, which was a nice touch. Steve and I both got pistols, and plenty of ammo to go with them. Dougman got a carbine which was pretty typical of him. Kevin picked up a light machine gun, but after he realized he wouldn’t be able to walk a few feet without falling down holding the thing, he dropped it and picked up an SMG. Lacey settled for a revolver, which I was surprised a little by because I thought she would go for the light machine gun. But that didn’t matter; what did matter was that we were all geared up. We all picked up an empty duffle bag off the ground under the table and slung it over our shoulders.


“Okay everybody, time to synchronize our watches. The time is 4:30.” I said, checking my own watch. Miraculously, everybody had their watches this time, and they each held up their arms to check their wrists.


“Wait...how do you synchronize a watch again? I don’t normally wear these...” Steve said.


Lacey was courteous enough to help him figure it out. Meanwhile Kevin still wasn’t sure if he got it. “Why do we have to syn...si...do whatever it is that you just said to our watches?” he asked.


“Because that’s what they do in all the movies.” I said. And that seemed logical enough to him. “Okay...mark.” I said.


“Check.” everybody said simultaneously.


“Great. I think we’re just about ready. Everybody grab a burner phone off the table, Jim you can go ahead and pick up the bomb, and let’s start making our way over to the bank.” I said, turning around and walking towards the van where Roger was still parked. I opened the door and looked in. He was sitting in the Driver’s seat playing his flute. “Roger!” I shouted.


He sighed angrily and glanced over at me. “What? Can’t you see that I’m killing it with this flute, man?” He said.


“First of all...you’re not. Secondly, you can take off now. Be back in the alley in 30 minutes. If anything goes wrong we’ll call you on our burner phones. Just make sure yours isn’t silenced or anything. Stay alert and be prepared for anything.” I said.


“...What if a dragon attacks?” he asked.


“...Okay, I think you took me too literally there. Just...stay alert. You got that?” I asked. He agreed and I closed the door. After that the van pulled out and took off, revealing to me the Harrison and Trust bank on the other side of the street. I had a sudden flashback to the last time I was standing here, staring at the same place with that feeling of burning anticipation. Then I had another flashback to the first time I had ever been to this bank. I actually went in there to open up a checking account. I remember thinking “man...I wonder how hard it would be to rob this place?” and looking back on it now, the irony is pretty intense.


Jim took a stand right next to me. “So...uh...want to make a speech or something?” he asked.


I thought about it. A speech would be appropriate, but the last time I tried it, it didn’t really have the intended effect I thought it would. “Naw, let’s just go do this thing.” I said.


“Party on man...party on...” Kevin said.


We started walking across the street towards the bank, and I was feeling so hyped right now. The adrenaline was pumping, my forehead was sweating, and I really wanted to shoot something in the clucking mouth. But I remembered that I had got to keep a cool head or else things might go sour very quickly. So just as we were about to open the door, I stopped and waited. For a few moments, none of us moved. Steve kinda leaned in and asked Dougman “why did we stop?”


“Hold on...” I said. After I was sure that the door wasn’t going to open in my face like it did last time, I breathed a sigh of controlled relief. “Okay, good. Just making sure. Chanty, have you shut off the security cameras yet?” I asked.


“Give me a second...and...green light. You are cleared to begin.” She said.


“Awesome. Time to break the line.” I said, kicking the door in. We all rushed in at once and pointed our weapons in the room. All the civilians turned and stared at us, wide-eyed which was an improvement over what happened last time. “Everybody down!” I shouted. Quickly, I scanned the room for a security guard just in case. There had to be a replacement, and when I saw who it was, standing over by the door to the back offices, well all I can say is that my heart turned to ice.


It was her; the old lady from before. But now she was wearing a security uniform. They must have hired her in the place of the last security guard after our last heist. Talk about irony. She pushed herself off the wall and went for her gun. But I was quicker, and I didn’t hesitate to pop a few off in her general direction. So like a discarded ragdoll she collapsed to the ground, but I was so pumped up that I didn’t let up. I kept shooting at her on the ground until I emptied my clip. Then I dropped the clip on the ground and reloaded. My first successful takedown of the mission and it felt good. I glanced around at all the civilians who were staring in terror at us.


Now that I had gotten their attention, I stepped forward and explained to them what was going on. “Alright, this is a hold up. As you can see we’re not afraid to shoot you if you fight back, so just keep on the floor and you’ll be fine.” I said. They seemed to get the idea and each of them went straight to the cold linoleum floor, covering up their heads like they were bracing for an earthquake. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted David Pincher laying in the back, looking up at me. He smiled and gave me a quick wink. I had to fight the urge to groan and roll my eyes. I also saw that in the back, one of the bank tellers was pressing the big red button for the silent alarm on the wall.


“Yeah...you might not want to do that. We’ve already got the alarm disabled.” I said to her from across the room.


“Actually...there’s been a bit of a problem. I managed to shut off the silent alarm but there’s a back up that goes off whenever someone...shuts off the silent alarm. Sorry about that.” Marcy said into my ear.


“...Dang it...okay, well shoot. At least we have guns. Guys, Chanty just informed me that the cops are still coming. That means we have a limited time to do this right. Barack, head into the back and start planting the bomb.” I said.


Jim nodded and carried the Angry Baby Bomb under his arm like a football as he stepped over the quivering bodies on the floor towards the back. I turned to Steve and said “Bill, head through that door and make sure that everybody in the Office Space knows that the bank is getting robbed.” I said.


“On it, Richard.” he said, going straight to the door next to dead old lady. He opened it up and fired a few shots into the ceiling. “Listen up mother cluckers! Ya gettin robbed up in this witch!” he shouted, and I could hear the audible gasp and shrieks from inside from the civies.


This girl who was laying down nearby had a similar idea, and she opened up and proceeded to scream. I pointed my gun at her and calmly said “hey, remember when I said that we shoot anybody who fight back? That includes unnecessary screaming.” I said. She gulped once and nodded, and I could tell that I wouldn’t be hearing another pointless shriek from her again.


So far things were going pretty well; Jim was in the back setting up the bomb, Steve and Dougman were walking around, pointing their weapons at each individual person just to keep them submissive, and at this point Kevin decided that he wanted to say something to everybody. “Alright, people, listen up. We’re like totally going to take all the money from the back, but first I want all the hot girls here to hand over your phone numbers.” He said.


“Hey Kev...urr...I mean Ronald. Now’s now a good time to try and pick up chicks.” Lacey said.


“Alright...my bad.” Kevin admitted.


Jumbo Jim appeared from the back room and pushed himself through the space cut through the front desk. “Alright, bomb’s counting down. Give it 10 minutes, it needs to heat up or something...I dunno, it didn’t come with an instruction manual.” He said.


“Great work Barack. Did everybody hear that? The bomb is set: that means we are in it to win it. We didn’t choose to lose here. When we get out of here, we will swing a stick of hickory to symbolize victory.” I said.


“I think they get your point, Richard.” Dougman pointed out.


Just then I noticed flashing red and blue lights coming from the big windows and I spotted cop cars parked outside. “Attention, this is the Cincinnati PD. Drop your weapons and come out with your hands up.” Some guy said over a megaphone outside.


“Hey, Police are here.” Marcy said into my ear.


“Yeah, I kinda figured that. Okay, we need a hostage. How about...that guy back there?” I said, pointing at David Pincher. He was to be the hostage from the beginning of course, but none of the civies knew that so they all thought it was totally real.


But I will say that David didn’t help us that much because he began to over-act. He began shivering violently and got up. “No...please...not me. Why me of all people?” He asked, tears streaming down his cheek. Then he began walking around, wildly flinging his arms around while he delivered a probably pre-rehearsed monologue. “Oh no, how has my life come to this? Where did it all go wrong? Is this just the price we pay for living in society, subjected to the crimes of men we cannot begin to understand? How could I ever-” He was saying, and right about that time Dougman had enough of it and struck him in the side of the head with the stock of his carbine.


David hit the ground, instantly unconscious, and I released another sigh of relief. “...Thank you, George. Uh, Barack, you got the cable ties, right?” I asked.


Jim patted his suit down. “Oh...uh...wait...I must have left them back in George’s Mom’s car.” He said.


Lacey saved the day by reaching into her pocket and pulling out the ties. “Well then I guess I was right to bring spares then, huh?” she asked.


“Way to go, John! Alright, so you can tie up that weirdo then.” I said.


So Lacey got to tying up the snoozing David Pincher and all I could think was thank the big dude upstairs that his girlfriend wasn’t here. Because she knew what was going on anyway, but if she saw the way Dougman just one-upped him with the butt of his weapon, she would have sent him flying across the room with one kick from her prosthetic legs. So Lacey got to tying up the prick, and Dougman leaned over and whispered to me. “Okay, so what do we do about the cops? I mean, how do we let them know that we’ve got a hostage and we’re not afraid to shoot him if they come in?” He asked.


“Don’t worry about it, I’m on it.” I said, walking towards David and Lacey. she had already finished tying his wrists behind his back and had also administered the white cloth tied around the mouth. I grabbed him by the back of his shirt and the dragged him out. Then I roped an arm around his stomach, pushed him up so that he looked like he was standing, and kicked open the door so that the police could see me.


Outside there were several men in blue and white uniforms, pointing pistols at me. They would have shot me too, but as I put my pistol against David Pincher’s temple, they got the idea. They lowered their weapons and stared at me. “Hey, we’ve got a hostage and we’re not afraid to shoot him if you come in.” I shouted to them. Then I withdrew back inside and pushed David back down onto the floor. As I walked by Dougman, I glanced over at him and said “problem solved.”


Steve walked in front the Office Space and gave me a thumbs up. “Everybody in the building’s got the idea, man. I even checked the bathroom. There’s some guy in the 3rd stall over in the Men’s bathroom, but I made sure to be like ‘yo homie, this place is getting robbed so just stay where you are.’” He explained.


“Okay, so that covers the control factor. We still need to worry about the Police. They’ll have to come in eventually; they’re not just going to wait out there until we come out, will they?” Dougman asked.


“Don’t worry about it man, as long as they think that we aren’t causing any harm to the civilians, they won’t start shooting at us.” I said.


“That’s good then. Because...well...I’ve never been shot at by a cop. I mean, I was tased by one one time but like I was really drunk at the time, and plus he had already pepper sprayed me so I was kinda focused on that at the time and not the whole...being tased thing.” Kevin said.


Just then the entire building shook as a sudden boom sounded from the back room. Civilians all around us screamed and the lights went dim for a second. They flipped back on just as dust was raining down from the ceiling overhead. “What the cluck was that?!” I shouted.


“That was the Angry Baby Bomb. I can see the back room on my monitor; it just went off.” Marcy said into my ear.


“Alright guys, Chanty told me that the bomb just went off, that means the vault must be open.” I called out.


“Okay, let’s head into the back, George, you and Richard-” Dougman started to say before the windows all shattered. We hit the ground in an attempt to avoid getting caught up in the sudden volley of bullets come our way from outside. Gunfire cracked outside as the cops began shooting at the building wildly.


“What the Bell!? Why are they shooting at us!?” I shouted.


“They must have heard the bomb go off and the screams. They think you guys are hurting the civilians.” Marcy said through the headset.


“Shaving cream! We need to get into that back room now!” I shouted.


Lacey crawled over to the busted out window, pointed her revolver out and returned fire. “Eat hot lead, you hungry, hungry hippos!” She called out.


Steve decided that he too wanted to help suppress the cops so he crawled over to the other glassless window and pointed his pistol out, shooting at the coppers. “Yeah, what she said!” He called out.


“Richard, you and me, let’s head into the back. Start filling up the bags while George and the others stay and handle the cops.” Jim said.


“Hold on, I’m not sure if I agree with that plan.” Dougman called out.


“Two to one! Majority rules! Right behind you, big guy.” I said to Jim as he began crawling towards the desks. Puffs of white dust were exploding from the sides of the pillars as they are struck with bullets. The people we were are having to crawl around were weeping and shaking in fear. I kinda wanted to just smack them in the back of the head and say “get over it, ya babies” but I figured that it wouldn’t help matters. So Jim and I made it too the desk without being shot. Meanwhile, Dougman had his carbine pointed out a window and was shooting at the cops. Kevin seemed to have the intention to do the same, but he still couldn’t figure out how to switch the safety off on his gun, so he was just sitting there with the gun between his legs, batting at the device like a monkey with a keyboard.


So Jim pushed through the space in the desk and I followed behind. We entered the backroom where things weren’t exactly quiet, but they were quieter. This was the first time I’ve seen the vault at all, even back during the first heist. But I could tell it had seen better days. The big metal door with the massive gold handwheel was now covered in black soot and lying on the silver floor inside the vault. The doorway that used to hold the vault door was crunched up, beat up, and broken beyond repair. I could tell by the busted frame and the black soot covering it as well. There was also black soot covering the floor, fanning out from the base of the doorway. The Angry Baby Bomb was no where to be found.


“Yes! It worked! With a name as stupid as ‘the Angry Baby’ I was worried that it wouldn’t do the trick. Let’s hurry up and get in there, man.” I said, stepping into the vault room. It was everything I had hoped it would be; shiny metal shelves holding nice evenly placed blocks of pure cold cash just waiting to be taken. In the back was the wall of safety deposit boxes where everybody’s stuff was stored, but it made me wonder; if they put all of the civilian’s money on the computer and all their valuables in these boxes, then why did they have cash just sitting around on the shelves like this? Do they just keep the government’s money out in the open for the Mayor to come in periodically and stare at for fun?


Honestly, I didn’t care; all I cared about was getting all that stuff bagged up and ready to go. So Jim and I got to it; we tossed the two duffle bags on the floor, grabbed the wads of cash that were each evenly banded together by a roll of blue tape, and began stuffing the bags. After my bag was half filled, Steve ran in with his bag. “Well I’ll be two cats in one bag; the vault’s really open! Look at all this loot! I bet if we took all this stuff home, I could fill up my bathtub and have a money bath!” Steve said.


“Bill, what are you doing back here? Aren’t you supposed to be helping keep the police suppressed?” I asked.

“We got it handled man; all the cops outside are dead.” He said.


“No way, I gotta see this.” I said, leaving my bag to go check outside. I ran out into the lobby and saw that nobody was shooting anymore. Kevin was still on the ground fiddling with his gun and Dougman as well as Lacey were just walking around, keeping an eye on the civilians. I went to one of the windows and checked the grounds outside the building. The lights of the cop cars were still flashing, but none of the cops were alive; they were lying around on the ground beside their cars. “No clucking way...how did we managed to take them all down?” I muttered to myself.


“Well it’s entirely possible that you guys got lucky. Also, at the angle that the police were facing, the sun was probably in their eyes as well. Anyway, this means SWAT troopers will be showing up pretty soon. Get loaded up with as much money as you can and get out of there quickly.” Marcy said to me.


I heeded her words and turned to my comrades. “Alright guys, heavier cops will be here in no time. In the meantime, the vault is wide open. Get in the back, grab as much cash as you can, and we’ll be ready to peel out after that.” I said.


Kevin glanced up at me with big, bright eyes. “Really? It’s open? Slam jam!” He shouted as he got up and ran to the back room.


Lacey got the idea too, and chased after him from behind. Dougman stayed behind though. “I’ve gotta make sure none of the Civies chose this time to escape. I’ve also got to call Roger and tell him to get over here now. Here; take my bag for me.” he said, tossing him is dufflebag. I thought this was a reasonable idea so I reached out to grab it but I missed and it hit the floor anyway. It was going pretty well but I was bound to mess up sometime around. So after I awkwardly picked it back up off the ground, I ran to the vault. Lacey, Kevin, and Steve all had their bags on the ground and were stuffing them with as much money as they could.


“Oh yeah! I’ve never seen so much green paper in my life! I think I’ll buy a boat...and a manservant...and a llama. Well, maybe not a manservant. But definitely a llama.” Lacey said as she stuffed whatever she couldn’t fit into the back right into her pockets.


“I can now afford to buy that new robot vacuum cleaner that my Wife’s always asking about. I should get her it for our Anniversary. But wait...it’s in like 8 months. Is it ever too early to get someone a gift for your anniversary?” Steve asked.


I got on my knees and set Dougman’s bag down next to mine. After that I began to take big wads of cash and toss them into the bag. There was a furious flurry of bag-stuffing going on; like Christmas Eve where all the little elves are trying to get all the presents into Santa’s big red bag except there was more than one bag and we were all vicious man-killers with a lust for money so that childish analogy doesn’t really work as well as I thought it would.


Pretty soon, we cleaned that place out. There wasn’t a single spot of green anywhere in the room. All the shelves were emptied out and the only thing that probably had stuff in them were the safety deposit boxes but come on; we’re not going to spend all day trying to pick those locks. So I hoisted the bag over my shoulder and stood up. That’s when I noticed that a few dollars doesn’t weigh that much, but 15 to 30 thousand dollars kinda stacks up in pounds. The other guys noticed it too when they picked the bags off the ground. Jumbo Jim didn’t seem to have a problem with it though, so I gave him Dougman’s bag to carry out of the room so that my spine didn’t snap in half trying to get it out of the vault along with my own bag.


“Okay, in the words of Vladimir Lenin, crime is the product of social excess. I just wanted to say that. It’s my one intellectual inquiry for the day. Now let’s get the cluck out of this place.” I said. Everybody cheered and followed me out. We re-entered the room where Dougman was kinda standing around, staring down at everybody who was lying down.


He looked up and said “I called Roger a few minutes ago. He should be waiting for us in the back alley. Is the vault empty now?”


I nodded and Jumbo Jim tossed him his dufflebag full of loot. Dougman caught it, surprisingly enough, but it caused him to fall back down onto the ground. But we knew he’d be fine, so as he was trying to get up, we went straight towards the office space. I got up by the door and kicked it open. “Okay, everybody to the back alley. There’s a door somewhere in the back that you should probably open using the doorknob. Don’t try and kick it; trust me, the easier way is better.” I said.


I could feel the heat as my fellow accomplices rushed through the door besides me, starting with Lacey who was always the quickest on her feet and ending with Dougman who had managed to get to his feet and was kinda limping towards the door. “Dude...this thing is heavy man...” he said as he passed me.


“Come on, Richard! We gotta get out of here!” Steve shouted from inside the office space.


“Hold on, I want to say something I didn’t get a chance to say last time.” I said.


Now all the Civies on the ground were staring up at me, and I took the time to step forward and say the last thing they will hear from the men who held them hostage for probably half an hour. It had to be something for the books, something they’d remember. So with my best Richard Nixon impression, I cleared my throat and said “I...am not a crook.”


Then I freaking left.


I didn’t stay to see their reaction because I have no idea what they’d think. Would they laugh at the irony? Was the humor too dark for them? Would their heads just explode from overloading? I didn’t want to know so I followed the team as we ran to the door that someone had pushed open. “Let’s go! Let’s go! SWAT will be here any second!” I called out to the guys in front of me. We all ran out into the open air behind the bank, and I rejoiced to see that familiar blue van parked on the side of the road.


Dougman and Jim were already at the back, opening up the big doors, but I went straight to the window where I looked in and saw who I thought was Roger sitting at the driver’s seat. But if he was really here, then this couldn’t possibly be the same Roger. Did he do something right for once? I knocked on the glass and he glanced over, saw me, and took his sweet bass time pressing the button that lowers the glass. “Roger, you’re here man!” I said with a little too much surprise in my voice.


“Yep. Did you get the money?” He asked.


“Every penny of it. Maybe a Euro or too. We’re loading up the back now.” I said.


“Hey, Richard! The Fuzz just rolled in!” Steve shouted.


I looked down the road and saw this big black SWAT APC that was now sitting on the curb with men wearing some pretty heavy armor jumping out of the back. They began firing at us immediately and I jumped as sparks shot out of the side of the van. Lacey and Steve hit the ground with their weapons, firing wildly at them from a prone position. Kevin squealed in terror and jumped behind Jumbo Jim who didn’t do anything but stand there, staring at them with this hardcore expression on his face that read “you can shoot your guns, but you can’t kill the Champ.” None of them got hit. Dougman wasn’t so lucky.


Dougman had just tossed his bag in when I heard a sharp thump sound and he collapsed to the ground. “Dougman!” I shouted, forgetting the whole name thing and rushing over to see if he had been shot.


When I got closer though, I saw the bullet hole in the suit right above his heart. But there wasn’t any blood. He seemed dazed for a second, but then he glanced up at me and through squinted eyes, he smiled. “It’s alright brother; I’m okay. The wind got knocked out of me for a sec...” he said.


I couldn’t fight the urge to smile a bit myself. “I guess that body armor payed off after all. Now quick, into the back of the van before you get shot again.” I said. Jim was courteous enough to help Dougman up into the car and the other 3 guys jumped in the back too, closing the door behind them. I ran and jumped into the shotgun seat and slammed the door. “Time to float on! Let’s make like some basketballs and bounce!” I shouted.


Roger got the message and slammed on the gas. I could hear the sharp tings of the bullets that manage to strike our van and as we blazed down the street, this feeling came to all of a sudden. We were driving at a breakneck speed while being shot at by trained men in black armor. We had at least 200,000 dollars in the back and if we could just get home, nobody would ever know it was us. But what struck me was the sudden feeling of ataraxy that rushed over me. This was what it was all about; standing on the edge of the edge and leaning just a bit too far over it, but still managing to keep your footing. The hardships of the past three weeks, all the frustration and dedication and pain and mockery, I looked back on it and thought perhaps it was all worth it. And it was there that amidst all the chaos, I could find peace.



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