Story Challenge from Misha Burnett
The Heist (Part I)
The night started off with three when there were supposed to be four. A tall, stocky woman named Margaret leaned against a telephone booth eyeing the brick building across the street. Her arms were folded across her chest, her emerald eyes shifting down to sneak a glance at her wrist watch every now and then.
A chubby man who was called Brendon paced behind her staring down at the ground. He grunted like a pig rolling his eyes occasionally moving his lips; although, no one cared to ask what he was thinking about.
Another woman, Sally, the shortest in height of them all, sat on the curb with her legs stretched out into the street in front of her. She clicked her feet together while twisting her neck this way and that trying to get a good look at her surroundings.
“Can we go in now?” Sally asked with annoyance in her tone.
“No! We have ten minutes left. Besides, we need to wait for her to get here.” Margaret grunted in response. She still wouldn’t take her eyes off the building on the other side of the street.
Sally stood up from the ground glaring at Margaret. “Theresa is always late. I don’t think it’s fair for us to keep waiting like this.”
“She’s the only one who can get in and out undetected. We wouldn’t be able to get the job done if it weren’t for her.” Brendon stopped his pacing and had been staring and listening to Margaret and Sally the entire time.
“Five minutes to midnight.” Margaret observed on her watch. She then fixated her eyes back on the building across the street.
Sally rolled her eyes when she realized Margaret wasn’t paying any attention to her. She turned her attention to Brendon, who was staring at the back of Margaret’s head as though he wanted to just get on with the job, as well. Of course, he wasn’t willing to voice his opinion like Sally was.
“I brought it, you know.” Sally whispered to Margaret. “We don’t need Theresa. We can just get in, get what we need, and get back out. It won’t take longer than five minutes. We could be on the run by midnight.”
“If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times…we are not blowing anything up!” Margaret whipped her head around to scold Sally through gritted teeth. Aside from checking the time, this was the first time Margaret had taken her eye off their target in the past hour.
“If we do that,” Margaret continued, “the police are going to be on our tail in the blink of an eye and we’ll be running all night just to get away.”
“But the police station is two miles from here. It’ll take them a little while to arrive.” Sally protested.
“They speed to a crime scene and there is no traffic at this time of night. We are going to wait for Theresa and we are going to do it her way. If you don’t like that, you can leave.” Margaret peeled her fiery eyes away from Sally and kept watch on the building again without another word.
“Here she comes.” Brendon announced placing a calming hand on Sally’s shoulder as her scrunched up her face like she was going to punch Margaret.
Sally relaxed her face and looked over her shoulder to see Theresa strutting down the sidewalk. Theresa shook her head in disgust and threw her arms up in the air in surrender.
“The babysitter was late and my son was clinging to my leg.” Theresa stated defending herself before anyone could ask.
“You always have some sort of an excuse.” Sally snarled in frustration.
“It’s midnight. Let’s get this over with.” Margaret piped up before Theresa could say anything to offend Sally.
The four of them looked around before dashing across the street. Margaret, Sally, and Brendon stood at the edge of the curb as they watched Theresa take out a key and open the front door of the building.
Theresa, with this heist in mind, had taken a job as a manager at the jewelry store. For the past month she had familiarized herself with the ins and outs of the place. She had keys which allowed her access to every part of the building. All of them, Theresa included, were amazed at how well a jewelry store was secured. If they didn’t have someone on the inside, then the job would have seemed impossible.
“Let me go in first.” Theresa whispered to the others. “I know all the blind spots of the security cameras. Once I shut them off, I’ll signal you to come in.”
“Just hurry up.” Sally ordered.
Margaret looked down at her watch as soon as Theresa disappeared into the store, leaving the door propped open with a rock. It was already five past midnight. Margaret let out a deep sigh tapping her foot impatiently. Brendon turned around and scanned the area as though he were keeping watch for something.
After about two minutes—according to Margaret’s watch—Theresa appeared, still inside the store, and frantically waved to them.
Everyone filed into the store, Margaret first with Sally right behind and Brendon following her backwards through the doorway.
“You could be a bit more subtle, you know.” Margaret hissed in a whisper.
“I was telling you to go back.” Theresa groaned rolling her eyes. She nodded her head to the side and then the others noticed. A man was curled up behind the counter in a sleeping bag.
“His name is Clay. He’s my boss. I don’t know why he’s sleeping here. He and his wife must have gotten into a fight. He’s been venting off to me about how they’ve been having problems lately.” Theresa explained.
“He owns a jewelry store… why doesn’t he just get her something?” Sally snapped.
“Let’s just do this as quiet and quick as possible.” Margaret suggested. She tip toed around the sleeping owner going towards the back room. She turned around to face the others.
“Aren’t you coming? Theresa, you’re the only one who knows how to open the vault.” Margaret asked in a harsh tone.
“Sally,” Margaret continued as they all stepped closer to her, “you stay here and keep a look-out. We don’t want Clay waking up on us.”
Sally grunted, but didn’t argue. She stepped back grinding her teeth in annoyance. She glared at the store owner shaking her head. If he wasn’t there, then she would have been able to go back into the vault with the others.
Pacing by the counter, Sally gazed at the fine jewels behind the glass. If only she had the keys to get in, she would steal more than just what was in the vault. She thought about breaking the glass, but then Clay would wake up and the others would certainly hear her and be angry. Sally didn’t want to get cut from the loot.
Sally stiffened when she could hear sirens coming from the distance. She walked over to the window and peered outside. Red and blue flashing lights were coming into view. They weren’t coming to the jewelry store, were they?
She heard a groan.
Sally turned around and saw Clay sitting up. The sirens must have made him stir. If she shouted for the others, he would certainly wake up. She thought of running and leaving the others… but then she would never get what she went there for.
She whipped her head around to look out the window again. There were three police cars and they were coming straight for the jewelry store.
So this was from a story challenge on Misha Burnett‘s blog. It was longer than I intended it to be so I’m breaking it into three parts. I would post one part each day, but because I’m going to be on vacation for the next two Short Story Sundays, I decided to make you guys wait a week for each part since I’m not going to have time to write anything.
I will still be blogging while on vacation (maybe), but it will be a vacation blog instead of the a writing blog for that week. I’ll all ready have the next two parts as a draft so (hoping I have service on my phone) all I have to do it hit “publish” on WordPress and you guys will still have your Short Story Sunday. Sound good?
Since it you won’t read the next part for another week (provided you enjoyed the first part), here’s something to ponder… if you read Misha Burnett’s instructions on this challenge, you will know that one of the characters (Margaret, Sally, Brendon, Theresa, or Clay) is going to betray the others. Place your bets in the comments. I’m interested to see where you guys think the story will go. 😉