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The Wrong Heist

by Russell Alexander 2 months ago in Challenges / fiction

$20k and a little black book

It was a lot of money. Like, bundles of it. Mainly fifties and hundreds, all neatly bound with paper wrappers, and I was pretty stunned.

I didn’t even hit him that hard, and he went down exactly like a brick floating in air. In other words, he hit the ground hard. I grabbed the bag as it fell to the dirty street and took off as fast as I could, not looking back to see if he was moving. When I was a safe distance away, I opened it up and I couldn’t believe my luck.

I guess it was nice to have that minute of happiness. Little did I know.

I dug through the bundles of bills and almost didn’t notice the little black book at the bottom. But notice it I did, and I pulled it out and opened it to see the neatly written lines:

Joe P. - $100

Jeff R. - $150

Peter Q - $50

Larry L - $200

It went on like that for a few pages. I get bored quickly, I can’t really concentrate on anything for too long. It’s always been like that. When I was in school, kids said I was stupid. At least, kids who weren’t that bright themselves said it. I may not have had much in the brains department, but I was big, strong, and I knew how to throw a punch.

Damn right I did.

Dad taught me that. He punched me enough times that I learned how to do it right, see it coming, and when I got strong enough, I blocked him and kicked his ass into the hospital.

But none of that mattered now. I counted up the bundles, and there was $20,000 all laid out like ducks in a row. I could pay off Paulie, get an eight ball, maybe some of that fancy scotch, and a nice lady for a couple of hours and still have enough to pay the back rent.

Who said losers never win?

Whoever they were, they were right. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and even a milksop like the guy I hit had somebody waiting for him.

The next morning, word on the street said a runner for Big Mack had got taken, and there was a thousand bucks for anyone who fingered the idiot who did it. That idiot being me. Seeing as how I had thrown around about 10 large last night, somebody was going to mention it for a payoff. It’s not like I had anything keeping me in town, other than a crap room at Cockroach Central and a few winos I kept company with. I went to the bus depot and stuck my finger at random into the map, and then I bought a ticket.

One way.

And there I was, waiting for the 9:15 to come in so I could get to someplace that wasn’t here, when I saw him. He didn’t see me, and I meant to keep it that way. I pulled my John Deere cap down low and snuck to the bathroom, making sure he was looking the other way. Except he was pro, and I guess he knew I was watching him. Sure enough, two minutes after I was cowering in a stall he came through the door and said “I know you’re in here. Let’s not make this more trouble than it needs to be.”

What was I gonna do? He had me dead to rights. I came out of the stall shaking like I had the Saint Vitus dance. I told him I still had half the money, and I would give it all to him if he would just let me get on that bus.

No dice. He had a job to do, nothing personal, but I screwed up and he was there to make sure nobody else did the same thing. He told me I could just turn around and I’d never even feel it. Or, he could kick my ass and I would go out in a red mist of pain.

But like I said, I’m big enough, and I know how to throw a punch. And punch I did, after cowering in front of him, begging for mercy just to throw him off guard, and his head hit the sink exactly the right way - for me. It didn’t work out that well for him.

And I got on that bus. But you know something? I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid. Big Mack isn’t going to forget about this. I’m heading for some no name town in the middle of a no name county that never gets on the news, and I’ll use the rest of the money to rent some trailer park dump. Maybe I’ll get a job. Maybe I’ll settle down. Maybe I’ll become a regular guy. Maybe a pig will grow wings and fly over the moon.

But I’ll tell you this much. As soon as I get off this bus, I’m mailing that book to the DA so he can do whatever he wants. If Big Mack gets nailed, I’m in the clear.

If I live that long.

Russell Alexander
Read next: Chad Alan Lee
Russell Alexander

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