Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Powder Burn Flash # 92 - Keith Rawson


“Ya know he’s gonna kill you, right?”

“Shut up! Let me think a couple of minute, would ya?”

“What were you thinking when you and your asshole buddies came in there with your funny little masks and waving your big bad guns around?”

We were thinking that robbing a mall jewelry store would be an easy score. Four guys in dead President’s masks packing shotguns; we thought everyone in a quarter mile radius would hit the tiles and squirt their panties and we’d walk away with fifty or sixty thousand dollars worth of swag. We thought it would be a lot easier than the Mexican drug dealers we’d been ripping off for the past couple of months; yeah it was a shit load of fun busting down the front door of some beaner crack dealer and watching the taco benders scurry around thinking our crew was Border patrol getting ready to haul their dirty asses back down south. That shit was hilarious, and the scores weren’t that bad either, but it attracted the wrong kind of attention. Dealers didn’t report you to the cops, they gave you up to their distributors; the distributors were harder than hardcore who had no problem torturing you 2 or 3 days before putting a bullet in your head and dumping your dead ass out in the middle of the desert. The Mexican suppliers didn’t even care if the head of your crew was the son of the craziest crime czar in Arizona.

“What did your Dad tell you? He said lay low! He said don’t make any moves!”

“What he meant was to stop hitting the Mexicans.”

“Bullshit! He meant everything, Roger!”

Roger Raines led the crew. He was the only son of Clyde Raines. The senior Raines has been a prominent villain in Arizona for the past 20 years. He made his bones back in the day when the Italians were still trying to run things and the Indians and the Mormons were chopping the Wops into little bitty pieces. The senior Raines was fortunate enough to be there and have enough muscle and brains to carve out his own little empire. Clyde Raines was the last great white man in Arizona, and his son, Roger, was the great big hope with a capital H to continue the empire. The problem is that I’m pretty sure that Roger is mildly retarded and 100% insane. The only reason I’ve stuck it out with his dumb ass so long was the drugs, and after today, I’m starting to think it was a pretty lame reason to hang around with the kid.

“And what the fuck were you doing holding up my job?”

“I forgot you worked there!”

“You forgot? I’ve worked there for 15 years, Roger! I used to take you there when you were in diapers!”

The woman lecturing Roger is his Aunt Sarah. Normally she’s sweet as pie. She helped raise Roger and was as close to a mother as he had. She’d been working in the same branch of London Gold, like, forever, even though she didn’t have to work because of her little brother’s illicit businesses. But ever since I’ve known Roger, she’s been lecturing him, me, and anyone else around to hear her that you need to create your own success, your own place in the world. Roger took her philosophy to heart and decided to make Aunt Sarah’s little place in the world his own—at least for 3 minutes of bloodshed and hostage taking.

Despite what the little retard is saying, I’m pretty sure the kid knew walking in that we were boosting Aunt Sarah’s store. He was probably thinking that Aunt Sarah would recognize him—despite the fact that he was wearing a Ronald Reagan mask--when the four of us walked in and she’d just start shoveling merchandise into our pockets with a big, proud shit eating grin on her face and the rest of the staff and security would take the hint and play along nice.


We came in hard and face-to-face with two security guards packing MAJOR firepower. Within a minute and a half of walking into the store front, two of our crew were sporting sucking chest wounds, one of the guards looked like Dick Chaney’s best friend after hunting quail, two clerks minus heads, and Roger had his Sig Saur pressed hard into Aunt Sarah’s temple giggling like a kiddy fiddler in a locked room full of toddlers.

We booked out of there dragging Aunt Sarah by the neck. I thought for sure the Mall parking lot would be the last sight of the living world I’d ever lay eyes on; at the very least I thought there’d be sirens and a couple of dozen cops ready to drop us.


Nothing but blue burning summer sky and row upon row of mini-vans; but you could hear them coming. The distant sirens, the whoop-whoop of low flying helicopter blades. We jacked a retired couple’s Oldsmobile and burned it out of the lot, Aunt Sarah begging for her life; that is until we ditched the masks and then she started beating the shit out us. We lost the stolen wheels a few miles away from my folk’s place and switched over to Roger’s Lexus and drove back to my place to get our shit together.

Roger’s been pacing the kitchen the past hour, his Sig pressed tight against his hip, listening to Aunt Sarah nag and bitch about what a fucking idiot he is. I can’t help but agree, but even she’s starting to get on my nerves.

I zone, smoke a joint, I let my ears and brain check out, eyes down and focused on the off-white kitchen tiles. I barely flinch with the roar of the Sig. I look up, suck in a big lung full of cordite, and I see Aunt Sarah standing in the middle of the kitchen with what’s left of her head looking like the messiest taco ever made. The body drops limp and soundless.

“What the fuck did you do?” I know I say it, but I can’t hear the words.

“I didn’t do shit,” the Sig is right in my face; right there, the barrel’s hot. “You did.”


The drugs definitely weren’t worth it.

BIO: Keith Rawson lives in the Phoenix, Az. suburb of Gilbert with his wife, daughter, and dog. He works as an Education counselor and has been writing off and on for the past fifteen years. He love crime fiction and other such degenerate literature.

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