Charlie Bleek stood on the street corner and tried to convince himself that what he was about to do was right. He had been out of work for over a year. Ginger was on the verge of leaving him, and might be sleeping with his brother. The third notice about the mortgage had come this morning. He was out of luck and out of money.
He purchased the cheap pistol in his jacket pocket from a pawn shop last week. The man who sold it to him had shown him how to load it and take the safety off. Charlie had left the safety on since he brought it home.
But maybe his luck was changing. Across the street was a Cadillac Escalade SUV. It was one of the five cars on the list Charlie's mechanic friend Boris had given him.
Bring me one of these in good condition and I'll give you three thousand dollars, Boris said.
How do I get one? Charlie asked.
Boris shrugged, That's your problem.
And now there it was, right in front of him, double parked like a jerk outside the First National Bank, the motor running, wasting gas and destroying the environment. The driver's oily hair was slicked back and he wore dark sunglasses even though the day was overcast. He kept looking expectantly at the bank.
Charlie took a deep breath. "Here we go."
He walked across the street and tapped on the glass with the butt of his revolver. "Get out of the car!" he shouted.
The greasy man stared at him uncomprehendingly through the window. "What?"
Charlie waved the gun. "I said get out. This is a car jacking."
There was the electric whine of the window being lowered. "Are you kidding?" the man looked up and down the street as if expecting some sort of Candid Camera type camera crew to jump out at any moment.
"I'm not joking," Charlie replied defensively. This scenario was not playing out the way he imagined it.
Suddenly the bank doors opened and two men came running out wearing ski masks and carrying duffel bags. They tore open the passenger door and dove into the seats.
"Who the hell is that?" asked the one in the passenger seat as he yanked off his ski mask to reveal a scarred, menacing visage.
"Nobody," replied the driver. He grabbed the ski mask and shoved it into Charlie's hands. "Hold this."
Confused, Charlie took the mask. The driver tromped on the gas and the Escalade shot away, nearly crushing Charlie's toes. "Hey!" he shouted after the disappearing SUV.
Charlie looked up into the leveled weapons of two police officers. Then he looked down at the revolver in his right hand and the ski mask in his left and he realized that now he was REALLY out of luck.
THE END copyright 2013 John Lance