Okay, so every month Writer’s Digest does a writing competition and sometimes it requires writing a short story (750 words or less) based of a prompt that they provide. The prompt for last month’s competition was, “Mommy, I don’t like this.” That’s it. Below is what spewed forth from my brain. I hope you enjoy it. If you don’t… well.. you’re not alone because it didn’t make the top five for the competition. I’ll assume it took sixth place….
The Hoxeyville Bank Heist
In and out. The job was supposed to be in and out. What the heck happened?
My feet paced the marble floor trying to keep up with my mind. It all happened too fast; everything was a blur. It’s been hours now and all I can figure is the teller hit a silent alarm. My heart’s still racing. I’m suddenly aware of how ungodly hot my ski mask feels.
“Mommy, I don’t like this,” comes a small voice from the group of five, kneeling on the floor.
I lose it.
“SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” Before I know it I’m rushing toward the group, thrusting my gun in their faces.
“Marcus Scott! Don’t you point that gun at my son!” yelled the boy’s mother.
I stopped cold; surprised by my own outburst.
“I’m sorry Mrs. Daniels. I overreacted.” I begged sheepishly. The words further dampening the wool covering my sweating face.
“You’re darn right you did. And let me tell you…”
Her words were cut off by a sharp knock on the front door glass. It was about time they sent the negotiator. I’d seen enough movies to know not to go near the windows or the front door, so I surveyed the hostages.
“You. Kid. Since you can’t keep your mouth shut, why don’t you go answer the door.” I gave a sweeping motion with my gun toward the door, being careful not to aim it at him. The boy looked at his mother who nodded reassuringly. He walked cautiously to the door and pushed it open. In a flash, all I could see was his back as he sprinted through the parking lot toward the parked police cars.
“Dang it!” My look of disapproval toward Mrs. Daniels was met with a shrug and a smug smile.
Before the front door could fully close, it landed in the paw of a large man in an even larger police uniform. Chief Hardy was the size of a bear and I chuckled to myself as I pictured a bear in cop’s clothing.
“Focus!” I muttered to myself. “Stay back!” I yelled to the Chief. “You’re not the negotiator. Why didn’t they send a negotiator?” I sputtered a little as the wool from the mask got stuck to my lips.
Chief Hardy gave a half smile under his bushy black mustache.
“Who’s ‘they’, Marcus?” He didn’t wait for a response. “What are you doing here?” He motioned to the four remaining hostages, his powerful fist still clutching a half eaten bearclaw; the irony of which was lost on me at the time.
“What does it look like I’m doing? I’m robbing the bank!”
The Chief took a nonchalant bite of his donut before responding.
“What exactly are you going to take, Marcus? There’s no money here.”
“Of course there’s money here, its a bank.” I spat.
“You think anyone in this town has enough money to keep in a fancy bank? Everybody ‘round here is just as broke as you are, son. Even if they did, you think they’d just hand over their hard earned cash to somebody they don’t know?”
“Well how’s the bank stay in business, if nobody’s using it?”
“Loans, obviously. Ain’t nobody got any money, so they have to take out loans to buy stuff. The bank makes money off the interest.”
“The interest from the loans.”
“I’m not interested in loans, I came for cash.” I barked in frustration.
The Chief sighed and motioned to the hostages.
“You’re all here for loans, right?”
Everyone nodded, including the teller and the bank manager.
“See,” he nodded to the vault as he continued. “Look for yourself. Vault is wide open.”
I sidestepped quickly to the vault, keeping my eye on the bear. I was beyond panic now and was glad the mask was hiding my agony. The Chief isn’t right though. There has to be money here.
I turned into the vault and the wet wool muffled the whimper that escaped my lips. The piles of cash I expected were none existent. The room was empty.
I turned to face humility just in time to see the bank door swinging shut and the backs of my four hostages as they ran to safety. The Chief, his bearclaw gone, checked his wristwatch impatiently. I put my plastic gun on the counter next to the silent alarm and removed my sweaty mask.
“Have you gotten new handcuffs yet? Those old one’s pinched real bad.”