Short Story Sunday #22

Story Challenge from Misha Burnett
The Heist (Part III)
(Read Part I and Part II)

Clay cowered in the corner of the vault while Theresa packed up some of the jewels into her brown satchel. She ignored her boss when he kept murmuring things such as, “I thought you were a faithful employee” and “I’m still not really sure what’s going on here.”

“What’s going on here is that I was hired to help rob this place. I got a job here to know the ins and outs of the store.” Theresa explained as calmly as she could still stuffing jewels into her bag. “I want to know how the police knew to come here.”

“Beats me,” Clay shrugged his shoulders.

“Don’t lie to me.” Theresa grumbled. “You were probably pretending to sleep and pushed that button under the counter. Don’t deny it.”

“If I pushed that button the entire store would go into lockdown.” Clay stated.

Theresa stopped what she was doing and stared at Clay. She didn’t want to believe him, but it made sense.

The vault door swung open. Instinctively, Theresa grabbed a hold of Clay and held him out in front of her assuming it was the police.

“It’s just me.” Sally whispered. “Don’t ask me how I managed to get here without the police seeing, but we need to get out of here as soon as possible.”

“I got some of the jewels, but I can’t carry all of them.” Theresa took a step forward, stilling holding onto Clay who didn’t bother fighting back.

“We’ll take whatever you’ve got. I think we should just focus on getting out of here at this point.” Sally suggested.

She stepped aside to allow Theresa through the door. Together they walked through the store using Clay as their shield. They made it outside after a few minutes.

“We won’t harm him if you guys don’t harm us.” Theresa warned the police as soon as they were spotted.

Once they made it on the other side of the street, Sally darted into a nearby alley. Once she was in the clear, Theresa pushed Clay away causing him to stumble into the middle of the street. She too then dashed into the alley with a few police officers following.

When the cops turned into the alley they were stunned to see that Theresa and Sally were gone. They had climbed up a fire escape and disappeared into one of the apartments. This apartment was their meeting spot and it was also Margaret’s home.

The window was open a small crack as they were all supposed to meet in the apartment after the heist. Sally opened the window all the way and allowed Theresa to step through first since she was the one with the jewels. She then followed closing the window behind her.

“We only made it out with some jewels, but at least we still have our lives.” Theresa cracked a smile standing by the window.

“That’s better than nothing.” Sally grinned standing next to Theresa.

“Margaret?” Theresa frowned seeing the planner of the heist lying on the ground.

Sally inched closer and examined the body. She pressed her lips together and stood up straighter again.

“She’s been shot.”

“Brendon!” Theresa shouted.

Brendon came out from Margaret’s bedroom with his gun in his hand. He was pointing it right at Theresa. Sally was still on the other side of the room and he didn’t seem to notice her standing by Margaret’s body.

“I don’t know how, but Margaret found out I was the one who called the police. So I had to shoot her.” Brendon sighed. “Theresa, hand over the bag with the jewels and I’ll leave peacefully. I don’t want to have to shoot you as well.”

Theresa hugged her satchel and stared at Brendon as though she were a child who just came face to face with the monster under her bed.

“I’m going to count to three.” Brendon rolled his eyes once Theresa hesitated. “If you don’t give me the bag, I’m going to shoot you and take it. One…”

Theresa still stared horrified at Brendon.

“Two…”

She took a step back as he took a step forward.

“Three.”

BANG!

Theresa jumped at the sudden sound and watched with wide eyes as Brendon fell face down onto the ground, a small hold in his back. She looked up and noticed Sally standing at Brendon’s feet with a gun in her hands. Sally placed it back onto her belt and smiled at Theresa.

“Margaret said I wasn’t allowed to bring explosives, so a gun was the next best thing.”

Theresa chuckled.

“And,” Sally was still grinning, “now we each get half and not a quarter.”

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Short Story Sunday #21

Story Challenge from Misha Burnett
The Heist (Part II)
(Read Part I)

“I didn’t blow anything up, I swear.” Sally threw her arms up in surrender as soon as Margaret, Brendon, and Theresa came out from the back room.

Margaret and Theresa dropped their jaws seeing the multiple police cruisers pull up to the front of the store. Brendon shifted his eyes between the three girls before finally fixing his gaze on Clay. Following his gaze, everyone watched Clay stir with a groan blinking his eyes open. He sat up stretching his arms high in the air before freezing as soon as he noticed he wasn’t alone.

“Theresa…?” Clay asked in a slow tone staring at the rest of her team.

Before anyone could do anything, Brendon placed his hand on his belt and grabbed hold onto something.

“Does he have a…” Clay’s voiced trailed off as he scooted backwards on the floor away from Brendon.

The police burst through the front doors and before they could even tell the gang to “get down on the ground,” Brendon whipped out his gun and a few shots rang out from it directed at the police. In turn, the police took hold of their own guns.

Brendon blocked Sally and Margaret with one arm outstretched in front of them with his other arm pointing his gun at the police. The police began to shout at Brendon, but he kept backing up into Margaret and Sally until they finally got the hint and ran.

“Let’s go, Clay!” Theresa grabbed her boss by the arm and scooted out of the room using him as a human shield. She dragged him into the opposite room from where Margaret, Sally, and Brendon ran off to.

Brendon closed the door to what seemed to be the manager’s office of the store. Together, Margaret and Sally pushed the L-shaped desk up against the door barricading them in. Brendon wandered aimlessly around the room looking for a way out, but there were no windows in the office.

“So, I’m not allowed to blow anything up, but Brendon is allowed to bring a gun?” Sally interrogated Margaret with an impatient foot tapping.

“I didn’t know he brought a gun… Do we really need to discuss this now?” Margaret scowled at Sally who rolled her eyes in reply.

“What is wrong with you?” Margaret asked looking Brendon up and down. He was pacing around the room, his hands on top of his head, his face stricken with panic.

“Don’t sweat, Brendon. We’ll get out of here. You do have a gun, after all.” Sally made a poor attempt at assuring him everything was going to be all right.

“The cops aren’t what I’m worried about!” Brendon snapped. “We’re inside the manager’s office. I thought this was the vault.”

“This is what you’re freaking out about? We have the cops surrounding us and the building and you still think we have a chance getting the jewels?” Sally asked appalled.

“Brendon, Sally’s right. I don’t think now is the time to be worried about us getting the job done. We need to worry about getting ourselves out of here.” Margaret turned her head back and forth between the two of them.

Both Sally and Margaret jumped when the police began to bang on the door. The knob twisted from side to side, but it wouldn’t open due to the desk.

“Fine,” Brendon growled, “there’s a vent up on the ceiling. I’m the tallest, so I can always just boost you two through. I’ll stand on the chair to get myself through after. From there, we can crawl into another room and make a break for it.”

“I’m sure the police are elsewhere rather than just outside the door.” Sally shook her head disapproving of the idea.

“Do you have anything better?” Brendon asked through gritted teeth.

“Don’t answer that,” Margaret warned Sally before turning back to Brendon. “Boost her up first; she’s the smallest.”

With yet another eye roll, Sally obeyed without complaining. Brendon placed his gun back into his holster and then linked his fingers together. He lowered his arms so that petite Sally could step into them on one foot. Holding onto Margaret’s shoulder, Sally was able to keep her balance as Brendon lifted her higher before her head practically kissed the ceiling.

Lucky for them, the vent was easy enough to open. Sally pushed her way through grunting due to her lack of upper body strength. It was easy for her to turn her body around in the vent (it was a lot more roomy than she expected it to be) and looked down back at her team.

“I’m going to boost Margaret up now. Help her get in.” Brendon said to Sally as Margaret pushed the desk back against the wall. Whatever the police were doing, it was moving the desk inch by inch. They would be able to break into the room soon.

“What about Theresa?” Sally asked stretching her arms out to grab Margaret’s hands.

“Who cares?” Brendon snapped. “We need to get ourselves out of here!”

“Yeah, every man for himself, Sally,” Margaret grunted stepping into Brendon’s hands.

She grabbed Sally’s hands, but Sally let go causing Margaret to fall.

“What are you doing?” Brendon glared at Sally as he helped Margaret get back on her feet.

“Not until you guys promise to go back for Theresa.” Sally negotiated.

“No!” both Margaret and Brendon shouted over the banging of the police outside the door.

“Then I can’t help you. Meet Theresa and me back at our spot. Good luck.” Sally turned around in the vent crawling away.

Short Story Sunday #20

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.

Note:

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. 😉

Tuesday News

Today I went to the pet store to get some more filter cartridges for Mikey’s tank. I was there for a long time because I was looking at the other fish and they have a few new turtles there as well. The betta fish looked lively (which isn’t usually the case) and I wanted to get one or two, but decided against it. I’m pretty sure my mother would kill me if I brought home another animal. They had new turtles there as well and I wanted to get them all.

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Speaking of turtles, I tried to find a log for Raph and they had one that would fit her shell, but it was really big. I didn’t buy it because I felt as though it would take up her entire tank and then I would never see her again. Plus, it was obnoxiously heavy. I did buy her some stepping stones to “naturally” file down her claws. They had a pack of large ones and a pack of small ones. The large bag was opened, so I decided to go with the small. I should have bought two because…well, they’re small. It doesn’t matter though, Raph hates them.

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On top of this, Chip was sad (yes, the black furry thing is her) because she thought the stones were hers and when I told her they weren’t, she kept barking and growling at me and threw a temper tantrum by snorting and rolling around all over the place. Meanwhile, here’s Hunter:

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Now that we’re all updated in what’s been going on in the lives of my animals, here’s what’s been going on in my life: I got a new job!

I’m sure some of you may remember that I lost my job last December because the preschool I worked at closed. Then I became a substitute teacher for another preschool starting last February. Well, they opened a new classroom and were in need of a few people. I got a call today saying I am officially the teacher’s aide for one of their nine classrooms. I am super excited!

So, starting in September I will be working full-time with five courses at school. For those of you who are (most likely not) asking this question: yes, I am all ready freaking out for what is going to happen to my mental state come November for NaNoWriMo. But, I guess we’ll worry about that at another time.

In other news, I came across a blog post last night from Creative Mysteries and from there was a link to Misha Burnett’s blog.

It’s a story challenge in which I urge all you other writers out there to check it out and give the challenge a go. I was going to write and post it today, but after reading the challenge I realized I wanted to give myself some time to think about it. It will most likely be posted for this week’s Short Story Sunday.

Well, that’s it for now. I don’t really anything too witty to say. 🙂