Contemporary Crime

"Listen Einstein, you just gotta keep the engine running and keep an eye to for the cops okay?" Casanova said. He had pulled a balaclava over his face and was checking that his shotgun was loaded. 

Shelly nodded and checked that the engine was running. It was.

She had a gun too, but hers wasn't loaded, when they had given it to her first with a full clip Ceaser had snatched it from her hands and asked if the others were fucking retarded. 

"She can barely string a sentence together, don't give her a loaded piece you fucking ingrate." Ceaser had said. 

It hurt Shelly's feelings, she could string a sentence together. That sentence didn't make any sense at all, sentences weren't on strings they were on letters. 

Shelly checked the car was still running and nodded to herself. 

Blackbeard grinned at her and pulled a mask over his face. He didn't have a beard and she wasn't really Einstein. It was part of Ceaser's plan, he was the smart one. The Brains of the operation, it didn't make any sense that he wasn't Einstein.

Blackbeard was the nicest one, he was kind and patient. 

Shelly wondered if he'd done something bad to end up in Ceaser's gang. Shelly was here because her uncle Joey was sick and she needed money to pay for his medicine. 

The doctors had said a lot of confusing things that she didn't understand and that Uncle Joey was too sick to explain to her. 

Ceaser had gone with her to the hospital after she spoke to him about it. He'd talked to the doctors and then to Uncle Joey. He always knew what to do. 

Ceaser was sat next to her in the passenger seat of the van. He didn't have a shotgun, he had a big revolver like from a Clint Eastwood movie.

"No one gets hurt??" Shelly said. Casanova laughed at her, he did that a lot. 

"No one gets hurt Einstein, unless there's trouble." Ceaser said. 

"It's time." Blackbeard said. Him and Casanova jumped out of the back of the van and Ceaser opened the passenger door. Shelly gripped the steering wheel hard and made sure the engine was running. 

"Be back in five, Einstein." Ceaser said. 

"Five what?" she asked, but he was already gone. Shelly looked around and checked for cops. There weren't any, but she kept checking just in case. 

She counted five seconds and then decided they would be a little longer then that. She swallowed and tried not to think about the knot in her stomach. 

She felt nervous and like she needed to poop or be sick. Her palms were usually sweaty but now they were wet enough that she had to wipe them on her overalls. 

Casanova had gotten them from somewhere, they were a dull grey and meant to be used by painters. It was too hot with it on and Shelly didn't understand how any one managed to actually work wearing them. The van was from a painting company too. Blackbeard had gotten that. He said that he'd give it back when they were done. Blackbeard was nice. 

Shelly took a deep breath and glanced up and down the street, still no cops. There was a loud bang from inside the building. Then all part of the plan, it was like a play or a TV show. Just for show they weren't really going to hurt anyone. 

An alarm started ringing inside the building, that was part of the plan too Shelly was pretty sure. The alarm went off when the cash registers were opened and the tellers were emptying them for Blackbeard and Casanova. They had bags and shotguns. No one was getting hurt though because the bank was insured.

There was another a bang, then two more. More shouting. Shelly checked the car was running. All going according to plan.

There was another bang and the alarm stopped. Still no cops either but people on the street were looking at the building with concern. A man, holding hands with a little girl, was looking right at Shelly and frowning. Shelly waved at the little girl who waved back. The man picked her up and rushed away. 

Shelly realised she was still holding the gun. 

"It's okay its not loaded." She said. But the man didn't listen, or didn't care, and carried the little girl away. 

The shouting was louder now. The doors to the van slid open and Casanova and Ceaser dropped Blackbeard inside. There was blood on all of them and on the bags. Blackbeard was screaming.

"What are you waiting for Einstein! Fucking drive!" Casanova shouted. 

"You said no one was going to be hurt." Shelly said. 

"Shit happens, now drive the fucking car." Ceaser said. 

"It's actually a van." Shelly said, but did as she was told and pulled out of the alleyway. As they drove away Shelly could hear the sounds of sirens getting closer. Shelly put her foot to the gas and sped up, running a red light and swerving past an oncoming car.

"Jesus what the fuck Einstein!?" Casanova shouted. Blackbeard wasn't screaming anymore, he was just breathing and coughing sometimes.

"Just let her work." Ceaser said.

A car with lights flashing above it pulled out behind them. It raced towards them, accelerating much faster than the painters van. Shelly pulled up the handbrake and spun the wheel. Two of the tyres lifted from the ground but the car didn't roll. The pursuing car slammed the brakes and turned after them. Ceaser opened the door again and fired his gun at the police car.

"Don't hurt anyone!" Shelly shouted, taking her eyes of the road.

"Relax I'm shooting the tyres." Ceaser said. Shelly looked back, there was a sixteen wheeler truck crossing an intersection ahead of them. She didn't have time to do anything, not even take her foot of the accelerator. They hit the side of the truck going just over 50 miles per hour.

March 17, 2022 13:06

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Sharon Hancock
01:13 Mar 21, 2022

Action packed and good characterization. After hearing about the mc’s uncle, I wanted them to pull off the heist. Plus, it made me mad the doctors didn’t explain things well and of course it’s always good to have a kind and patient criminal named Blackbeard on your side. Great story!


Jordan Williams
10:06 Mar 21, 2022

Glad you enjoyed it Sharon, I like to think that the doctors tried hard to explain but Shelly isn't the easiest person to speak with. We all need some Blackbeard in our lives, just cause he is 'bad guy' doesn't mean he his bad guy.


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Jeannette Miller
16:42 Mar 20, 2022

I like the contrast of Shelly's character to the others as well as how you used the prompt with her character's mental ability. She isn't dumb, she's literal. The story leading up to the crime and the crime itself was well written from her perspective and I could see it clearly as I read. The end is a bit abrupt; however, it works within the context. A line of her thinking "not according to plan" would've been cool just before they hit since the opposite is a common thread in the story :) Well done :)


Jordan Williams
10:04 Mar 21, 2022

Thanks Jeannette, glad you enjoyed it! I think you're right a line at the end of Shelly thinking that wasn't part of the plan would have given it a more personal impact. I was aiming for it being a sudden ending so we could feel what it would be like to be Shelly in the actual crash. Thanks for the feedback!


Jeannette Miller
01:08 Mar 24, 2022

It was definitely sudden! I felt bad for Shelly. Looking forward to more of your stories!


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04:07 Mar 24, 2022

Did they die at the end??


Jordan Williams
12:04 Mar 24, 2022

I left it open ended, maybe they miraculously got away with the van just being suddenly being made into a convertible, maybe they crashed and all went to prison.


01:46 Apr 01, 2022

Woah, damn, or maybe they all died


Jordan Williams
15:40 Apr 01, 2022

Yep, maybe they all died.


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