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I always do jobs on foot. Never screw around with a getaway car. Use a disguise and a bike maybe, get in, get the money get out. Just clean and quick. If it doesn’t work, or something goes wrong, take off fast. Don’t ever get greedy. I’ve been robbing banks for fifty-six years, and I’ve spent less than three of those in prison. Everyone I came up with is long dead or doing life. So it’s no screwing around for me. In and out fast and clean.
Alchemical Nanotube had a branch on Summer Street, down past the ramp to the bridge. I’d cased it for two months. The cash came in on Thursdays and it was Thursday and there was nothing left to do but walk in the front door and demand money. Once I’d done that, I’d have robbed the bank, so I’d be all done. Which is why I went inside.
The people finally got on the floor and I was counting to ten for the manager to put a hundred and twenty six thousand dollars in a bag I had. Something bit my ass and I heard a pop. This little fuck, couldn’t be more than 14, in a security uniform was pointing a gun at me. I looked around and saw blood on my pants. The fucking twerp shot me! Now normally I’d run out the door if something fucked up like this happened while I was on the job, but I was shot in the ass and couldn’t run, and in any case, the idea didn’t cross my mind. Just then, the manager, for some reason, started putting the money in the bag.
“Now you listen to me,” I told the little twerp with the gun. But nothing came to mind to say to him and my knees felt a little weak. And before I could hear it ring, a bell distended. What was that curve? In math class there was a name for a curve shaped like a bell; what was it called? By the time the money was in the bag, rotating eyeglasses interned shimmering eyeballs in foggy detention camps. I walked through the door and heard an alarm and sirens. I felt a sharp whack in the gut. I knew it was over but I didn’t understand why a dog’s head trembled above each sidewalk slab, or how aluminum cans recognized each other without being able to hear their own screams. But there was a ruddy joy in my heart and a calm awareness that despite all the machinations that the grand and evil Universe was powering toward my demise, I’d at least got the money because here it was, all over the sidewalk, shaded by the trembling dog heads.
Date Written: March 02, 2005Comments:
Author: Ewan Snow
Average Vote: 4.3571
03/9/2005 qualcomm (4): this is very "creative"
03/9/2005 Klause Muppet (4): But the curve was called a b- oh... i get it.
03/9/2005 Mr. Joshua (5): This is a nice little yarn....extra star for being different from the usual Acme fare.
03/9/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum (5): Wow, what a great day.
03/9/2005 Benny Maniacs (4): It got a little Twin Peaks second season toward the end but I liked it up until then just fine.
03/9/2005 Mr. Pony (4):
03/9/2005 Phony Millions (5): I'd almost say this is poignant, with those last two paragraphs. And sharp to the boot. Motherfucker.
03/9/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs (4): Indeed, this was good. The perp should have taken some PCP before robbing that last bank, I heard it gives you +7 armor class.
03/9/2005 Litcube (4): In 2nd Edition, maybe, Streif! In 2nd Edition, maybe! In - [cough].
03/10/2005 The Rid (5): I'd say maybe he should've done this job with a car, but the story might not have been as good.
03/10/2005 Jon Matza: Can someone help me evaluate "By the time the money was in the bag, rotating eyeglasses interned shimmering eyeballs in foggy detention camps"? I can't decide. (Seriously.)
03/10/2005 anonymous: +7 is a terrible Armor Class. The lower the number, the better. Try -7. What level are you anyway, loser?
03/10/2005 qualcomm: i think his glasses are fogging up
03/10/2005 Dylan Danko: That's what I thought but why are they rotating?
03/10/2005 Blister Buddy (4): This is a good, standalone short. The line "rotating eyeglasses interned shimmering eyeballs in foggy detention camps" doesn't match the rest of the narrative voice. On the other hand, I found the line "or how aluminum cans recognized each other..." sickeningly satisfying.
03/10/2005 Mr. Pony: anon_a, your comment made me laugh out loud. I wish you hadn't made yourself anonymous, otherwise I would know who to like just a little more.
03/10/2005 qualcomm: some of it is senseless, as the narrator is delirious from blood loss
03/10/2005 Shomer Shabbas (4): I think I'm going to go sniff some glue and then read it again. Bravo.
03/10/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: The narrator is starting to slide into dimentia because of his bullet wound. All the language starts becoming more fantastic because he conveying it through the haze of his altered state (he's slipped off into some nether region of his own completely unfounded and idiosyncratic invention). The fog is not what's happening to his glasses, but what's happening to his perception as his life is slowly being drained away. Right? I mean, what the hell is a distended bell?
03/10/2005 Blister Buddy: The haze-induced language change is clear and well done. For me, the first item I quoted was much less effective than the second. This could be my personal preference for aluminum, though.
03/10/2005 Jon Matza: Thank you. I grasped that the glasses'd steamed up & he had gone delirio cause he's dying--just couldn't decide whether the line was ef-/de-fective. Still can't, but appreciate ("appree-see-ate") the feedback.
03/10/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: I definitely stopped on that line, too, 'za. I had to read it a few times. Good luck, whatever you decide. We're here for you.
03/10/2005 Ewan Snow: Matza, the ideas that led me to write this short were a) to write a heist gone wrong short, first person b) to not have poop or sex in it c) to zoom from first grafs of general observation and background to third graf of the robbery in progress d) to do so in an evenhanded, workmanlike fashion and then, once he's shot, cut abruptly to hallucinogenic / absurd images from his point of view, perhaps due to shock or dementia or loss of blood but not explained at all.
The eyeglasses orbiting the eyeballs was just an odd image that came to me and I thought (correctly it turned out) that some people might take it to mean that his glasses had fogged up. It then goes back and forth between simple sentences like "I walked through the door and heard an alarm and sirens. I felt a sharp whack in the gut" and more absurd images. It concludes with his odd satisfaction that it was all worth it because he at least got the money, which he knows because there it is right in front of him shaded by a hovering dog head. This last verification is poignant because the narrator is proving to himself that something real (the money) exists by noticing the side effect (the shadow) a hallucination casts on it; he’s comforting himself with a reality he verifies with an illusion.
03/10/2005 TheBuyer: Oh.
03/10/2005 TheBuyer (5): Sorry, I meant - "Oh!"
03/10/2005 Jon Matza: Yeah, I liked how satisfied he felt about the money as he died/slid into unconsciousness. That last line reminded me of the ending of "The Stranger", kind of.
03/10/2005 qualcomm: "This last verification is poignant because"
03/11/2005 John Slocum (4):
03/12/2005 Ewan Snow: Mulp. So maybe poignant was pushing it, but Brad said it was almost poignant. I do admit I was only aiming for bittersweet irony, not poignancy. But poignancy, once won, can be forever claimed. I write poignant prose, Qualcomm. Deal. Seriously, just deal, okay?