Monday, July 30, 2007

Powder Burn Flash # 38 - Christopher Grant


It was as blue a sky as I had ever seen, no clouds, no worries.

The bank stood before the four of us as if it were our salvation. In a way, it was. Business had been slow. Gary was on hard times. Marie wasn't making much driving in races. And Tyler, who knows?

I dropped the cigarette and stepped on it. I turned and reached back into the car and pulled out my bag, guns and a mask inside. Enough room to stash cash. Gary and Tyler followed suit.

I turned to Marie. "If something happens, don't come in. Don't get yourself in any deeper than this. Just go."

She smiled and got back into the car.

"Okay, boys. Let's go get our money."

Through the doors, masks on, guns out. Gary had a shotgun. Tyler, a sawed-off, I had a handgun in either hand. And I had the attention of everyone in the bank.

"No one gets hurt!" I was making it clear I didn't want anything funny from the people inside or either of my two men.

I heard the sawed-off and everything went sideways. One of the guards was on the floor, bleeding from the round he took to the gut. There was a scream from somewhere behind me.

I was in Tyler's face and had the gun in my right hand pressed against it.

"What are you doing?" I hissed, just itching to squeeze the trigger.

"He was reaching," Tyler said, his face obscured by the mask. I could tell that he was sneering, defiant behind the cloth.

Gary, meanwhile, was getting nervous and had forgotten about the second guard, who wasn't bothering with his partner, looking to become a hero while we argued.

My left hand came up and cocked the gun, pointing at him. I hadn't taken my attention off Tyler.

"Heroes get dead quick," I said, watching him out of the corner of my eye. He lowered his hand from the holstered gun.

"Slide it over to my friend," I told him.

He did. Gary picked it up, hands shaking slightly as he put the gun in his waistband.

The alarm was going off. The cops were on their way. The heist was a bust, the guards from the vault were no doubt on their way up.

"We're leaving," I said, lowering the gun from Tyler's face and motioning Gary to go out the door.

The three of us took off down the steps towards the car. I felt the first raindrop hit the back of my hand. Marie had a look of excitement on her face. I shook my head and, as soon as we were all in, the shower became a deluge. Marie floored it.

Inside the garage and out of the car, I nailed Tyler with a right to the nose, hoping to hell that I had broken it.

He'd cost us millions of dollars. I'd spend time scouting the location, getting the plan together, sitting up nights trying to make it make sense in my head, getting the crew together.

"Get down on your knees," I said, pulling one of the handguns out. "Now!"

Tyler did as he was told. His nose was broken, I was happy. I wanted more.

"Beg me not to blow your pathetic brains all over this goddamn garage." I was enjoying the moment.

He wouldn't beg so I kicked him forward and put my foot on the back of his neck. I was trying to put as much weight as I could on my foot, hoping I'd break his neck. I thought I had showed remarkable restraint. He was still breathing.

Marie finally snapped back to reality and told me that maybe I'd gone a little too far. I looked at her, watched her flinch back, like I was going to hit her. I would never hit her. I just didn't want to stop torturing the son of a bitch that had burned us.

Taking my foot off his neck, I told him to get up. He raised up slightly and I brought my boot across his face, knocking him backward.

Right into the sawed-off he'd dropped when I'd sucker-punched him. He had it on Marie and me and a sick grin on his face, as if to say, "What now, motherfucker?"

A clap of thunder and the gunshot merged as I answered him, pulling my own trigger.

Bio: Christopher Grant is a writer in such diverse areas as crime fiction, science fiction, comics and political commentary. He has stories on his own site and can be reached there or at<

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