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Short Story

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Short Story
Post By Rowan. 11/05/09, 02:34 am

Just the first draft of a story I wrote for my Creative Writing paper. Sorry for the American-ness of it Razz

Time and Place


“Everyone get down on the floor! Now!” The masked gunman gestured to his three companions, and they began to smash the glass cases that filled the room, gloved hands grabbing jewellery. Chains of gold, silver, and pearl alike soon filled black bags, glittering amongst the dull yet coveted paper money emptied from the cash register and safe. The thieves cleaned out all the jewellery cases, the atmosphere tense as if the store itself was holding its breath. Patrons and staff cowered on the floor, flinching each time the boots of the thieves came too close. All eyes were squeezed shut; no one dared, or even wanted to peer out of the corner of their eyes at the men, lest they attract negative attention. The security guard was already bleeding out by the doors, and everyone had heard the shot. The finality of it still echoed in their ears.

Time both inched along and sped past, the curious effect of the adrenalin fuelled state. But quick or slow, the masked men finished their job and, again following the gestures of the leader, moved efficiently towards the exit. They didn’t notice the eyes following them as they left; someone had been watching them after all. A teenage boy crouched underneath the counter by the doors, pain filled gaze fixed on the ID tag lying in the pool of blood spreading from underneath the crumpled body of the guard. A heavy black boot encrusted with broken glass landed on the tag, smearing blood over the kind, smiling face with brown eyes. Similar eyes jerked up in frustrated rage as the men pushed open the doors and exited, leaving the jewellery store several hundreds of thousands of dollars and one life poorer.

~

“Son of a beautiful and wonderful person!” Detective Ray Simons slammed his phone down. His curses were drowned out by the noise in the bull pen, officers all over the room taking phone calls, booking unruly criminals, and attempting to do paperwork. Yet Lieutenant Wilson still stuck his head out of his office door and bellowed for Simons.

“That bad news better have some good with it, Detective,” he warned.

Simons grabbed one of the files off of the top of the stack on his desk and, along with the note pad with the scrawled details of the phone call, pushed through the chaotic room. He entered the Lieutenant’s office without knocking, earning a scowl from across the room’s large wooden desk.

“Please tell me we’ve got the physics, and he’s right on his way here to enjoy the hospitality of our cells,” Lieutenant Wilson growled.

“We’ve got the physics,” Simons said easily.

Wilson raised an eyebrow.

Simons sighed. “Okay, no we don’t. The son of a beautiful and wonderful person managed to get away.” Again remained unspoken.

“Christ, ten years and we still haven’t caught him. This guy is really starting to piss me off.” Wilson slammed his hand down on the table. “So what have we got?”

Simons’ expression clearly showed that he thought Wilson had raced right past ‘pissed off’ years ago, but all he said was, “We may not have him, but we’ve got his buddies. And they’re the originals, been on almost every heist he’s pulled. That’s got to hurt him.”

“Now that’s more like it!” Wilson’s face broke out into a tight grin. “Not only do we have his accomplices to squeeze for information; he’ll be out of commission ‘til he gets replacements. And we’ll be ready for him, Detective. He won’t know what hit him.” Wilson stepped out from behind his desk and opened the door. “Let’s go see how our little friends are holding up”.

With a shared smirk, Wilson and Simons left the office, heading down to the interrogation rooms as the door swung shut behind them.

~

Stanley Harding was not in the best mood. However he was a professional, not an untried amateur, so his face was smooth and unconcerned. His old team would have known to back off no matter how calm he looked at that moment. He’d have to apologise for treating them as though they were as moronic as these guys if he ever saw them again, once he’d killed them for getting caught and letting the cops get so close in the first place. But no matter what he really thought of the new men he’d found, he needed them. And damn them if they didn’t know it.

“A jewellery store? That’s physics small fry. Benny, Benny, Benny, you’re thinking too small. I want you to know that I am not physics small fry.” What he really wanted was to break Benny’s jaw, but he settled for slamming his fist down onto the table before reining his temper in.

“Yeah, but we haven’t exactly worked together before,” Benny said, “So it’ll start us out. I know you haven’t done a jewellery store in nearly ten years, but we go into anything bigger right now and it’ll be too risky.”

The other two men agreed. Stanley gritted his teeth, but reluctantly listened. A good leader could take a dumb plan and make it work.

“Besides,” Benny said, “This is a sure thing, no problem. Caters to a lot of high class people, but while I imagine the owner is good with jewellery and sales, he’s pretty physics useless at planning security. No back up security guards in case his ‘high tech’ electronic security system fails.”

John, one of the other men, grinned. “And me and Carl here are going to make sure it fails. Look at these schematics.” He rolled a large piece of paper out on the table, smoothing it flat. “Piece of physics cake.”

Stanley narrowed his eyes. “If it’s such a ‘sure thing’, how come no one else has been on to it?”

Benny rubbed the back of his neck. “Well, ah, the shop’s still relatively new. It’s doing really well though!” He hastened to add, seeing Stanley’s darkening expression. “The guy, the owner, he’s young, but he’s some kind of hot shot or whatever. And,” he said in a tone of voice that said he knew this would be the deciding point, “the way the shop’s set up, you can get in the back and the front discretely. Hell, the whole physics place is discrete. No one will even know we’re there. Well aside from the customers,” he chuckled.

Stanley sighed and jerked his head in a sharp nod. He left the men to take that as permission to continue preparing, and took a step outside. He frowned, annoyed at the way things had turned out. But he wasn’t just going to drop out of the game now that his boys were in custody and soon prison. And perhaps robbing a jewellery store again wouldn’t be a bad change. After all, that last jewellery store job ten years ago had been fun.

~

“Lieutenant!” Detective Ray Simons burst through the door into Lieutenant Wilson’s office. He had his phone jammed between his ear and his shoulder, the other holding the phone cradle and cord out of the way. He’d dragged the thing right across the bull pen, Wilson noted with slight disbelief. He raised an eyebrow, but the Detective just dumped the cradle on the desk, grabbing a pen and note pad the moment his hand was free.

“Uh-huh, uh-huh,” he said, rapidly scribbling information down. “We’ll be there in fifteen minutes. Have a SWAT team on stand-by; if this is real we don’t want to physics it up.” He hung up the phone, and Wilson didn’t have to wait long for an explanation.

“It’s him, it’s Harding, it has to be. Got a tip that he started working with some of the local boys, and was probably planning a jewellery heist or similar, something to ease the new team together.” Both Simons and Wilson smiled shark grins at that. “And just now the silent alarm has gone off in a downtown jewellery store, a really expensive one.”

Wilson leapt up and grabbed his coat. “Well, what the hell are you waiting for?”

~

Stanley pulled on his mask, and gestured for the other men to do the same. Another gesture and they were splitting up and heading quietly towards the two entrances of the target. John and Carl went around back; they would disable the silent alarm and deal with the other security measures before entering. Stanley and Benny entered the front, which, as Stanley had found out when they cased the place earlier, was just as discrete as Benny had promised. The moment Stanley stepped inside, he raised his gun and shouted “Everyone get down on the floor! Now!” Just as he had ten years ago.

But something was wrong.

~

Lieutenant Wilson and Detective Simons got out of the car. Simons studied the shop, with a look of disgust on his face. “It’s like the place is just asking to be robbed. Look at the entrances; it’s a robber’s dream.”

Lieutenant Wilson just frowned. As the two men turned to survey the situation, a uniformed officer rushed up to them. “Lieutenant Wilson and Detective Simons? I’m Officer Casey. We’re trying to outline the chronology of events here before we proceed. A SWAT team is of course standing by. Now it you’ll come this way, we have some witnesses.”

Simons and Wilson exchanged looks, but followed the officer over to one of the patrol cars where a man was talking to another officer, with other civilians standing around.

“No, no one else is inside,” the man said. He received sceptical looks from the police around him. “No really,” he reiterated. “Jack just closed up shop about an hour ago, said that his father had died. It was weird because when he got off the phone call, he didn’t look like he was sad. That’s why we’re still hanging around,” he said, gesturing towards the other employees, “we were worried about him.”

“What did he look like then?” Simons asked, exchanging a look with Wilson.

“Like he was pleased. And I spoke to Cathy, one of the other employees, and here’s the real weird thing, she said that she heard Jack’s dad was already dead, and had been for ten years.

~

Stanley was still with shock and confusion. Sure heists didn’t always go to plan; he’d been in the business for years, so he knew all about how to react to make the best of a bad situation. But how was he supposed to react to this?

The door behind him clicked, and he spun around to find that Benny was gone, and that it was locked. He turned back, gaze slowly travelling over the jewellery cases, all of which were completely empty. He couldn’t understand. They’d cased the place earlier that day, and there’d been tonnes of stuff. There’d been people as well. Now there was only one. He walked towards Stanley with his arms extended out into the air, saying, “How can I help you, sir?”

“What the physics is going on? Wh–where is the physics jewellery?” Stanley demanded.

“Oh that? I’m afraid all that has gone to a Mr Benny and friends. In advance, of course, and in return he brought you here.”

~

Lieutenant Wilson started barking orders. “I want someone to find out who the hell the owner is, and what connection he has with Harding!”

“Sir?” Officer Casey asked. “There’s something else we noticed. Mr Randall saw one of the burglars enter, but he said that was only a couple of minutes before we came. The silent alarm must have been triggered before the burglars even arrived.”

~

“The police are already outside; there is nothing you can do. You’re trapped, Stanley.”

“How do you know my name? Who are you?

“My father was the security guard at that jewellery store robbery ten years ago. I don’t know, or really care, if you remember. But when you’re a kid the whole world is yours, and so many possibilities are open to you. Then you killed my father, right in front of me. I can see you think I swore vengeance and have been looking for you ever since? You’re wrong. But you slipped up, and your partners got caught. An opportunity, a possibility was afforded to me, so I took it. And here we are, my options wide open again, while yours, I’m afraid to say, are being cut off one by one.”

Stanley’s face twisted and he raised his gun. “What about this option, huh? I take you as a hostage, and I get out of here.”

“No, I’m afraid I won’t have that.”

Stanley was sick of this man, sick of being trapped and off balance. He pulled the hammer back on his gun, and pulled the trigger. In slow motion he saw the man jerk back with the force of the bullet, just as men dressed in black SWAT gear burst into the room and open fired. Just before everything went black, Stanley looked into cold brown eyes, and realised that this time it was him crumpled on the ground while those eyes watched him die.

By Rowan Gardiner
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Re: Short Story
Post By Kitten Slave. 11/05/09, 02:45 am

I actually read it all.
That it managed to hold my attention is a good sign.
Nicely done.

Like a Star @ heaven
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Re: Short Story
Post By Rowan. 11/05/09, 06:58 am

It is pretty long lol. I'm glad you took the time to read it! Very Happy
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Re: Short Story
Post By creature124. 11/05/09, 07:16 am

Kitten Slave wrote:
I actually read it all.
That it managed to hold my attention is a good sign.
Nicely done.

Like a Star @ heaven

^ This. Usually short stories lack the sort of detail that draws people into the time and place. This has it~ Very nice.
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Re: Short Story
Post By Rowan. 12/05/09, 09:49 am

I'm glad! Very Happy
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