I just bought a box set of film noir DVDs and that coupled with reading that bank robbery book, made me think of an old short fiction piece I did a couple years ago. Enjoy.
By Jack Cameron
It’s not enough. One more job. That’s what the rookies say. The say it to make them feel like this isn’t a way of life. It’s not like the movies. You see Al Pacino or DeNiro saying how they’re gonna do one more job and that’s it and then that’s the job that nails them. It’s not like that. Because every job is the last job.
A guy I know tells me about a sweet deal. Low risk. Low security. High reward. Un-fucking-heard of money. We’re talking instant retirement. But I know better. Jobs like that are like great sex. Once just isn’t enough. And like great sex, it’s almost impossible to turn down.
Setting up the crew is cake. A job like this for a guy like that and things just fall together. Only one hitch; the boss wants his son on the crew. He’s young and cocky, but he’s turns out to be as quick as I’ve ever seen anyone. Two weeks of planning and we’re ready. It’s a smash and grab job. We hit the armored car outside a grocery store of all things. The kid fakes a fainting spell right in front of one of the guards. The guard is momentarily confused but a moment is all the kid needs. Before the guard knows what happened, the kid has his gun. He gives out a smile as the rest of us hit the truck. No one gets hurt and we’re done in under two minutes. It’s a professional job all the way.
We drive a stolen car three blocks into an alley and switch vehicles. That’s when it all goes wrong. I hear the shot before I feel it. And I get this ‘Oh Shit!’ feeling as I look for the cop cars. The feeling gets worse when I don’t see any. Then I see the blood. A lot of people think that you fall down when you’re shot, but that’s a psychological thing. People fall down because they think they are supposed to. Simple physics will tell you that something as small as a bullet can’t knock a man down. And so I’m standing there like an idiot with a gut wound in the middle of the alley.
The gunfire continues. I walk two steps before my body stops working. I lean against a telephone pole and I suddenly realize I can’t see. I hear the car start and I know my crew is dead and that fucking kid is driving off with our money. I hear him laugh. And I laugh too. He thinks this is it. He thinks he’s made the Mother Load. And I laugh harder because I know….it’s not enough.