Submitted into Contest #14 in response to: It's about a photographer, who is a rookie.... view prompt

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It was a death sentence, an act that would surely get him killed if he was caught . The reward would be well-worth his rookie career, he would be able to remove the rookie title from his professional title as a photographer. 

In the middle of a hostage situation and determined to get an exclusive photograph of the bank robbers, Malcolm had already made up his mind, and with one quick motion he reached forward to get his camera from his backpack on the ground in front of him.


The information he had on hand was that the robbers might strike on four different banks at any time in the coming week. He was at the Citibank in 120W Broadway New York, trying to get photographs for the AM New York. It was for a piece on the robbers who had gotten away clean so far. 

He had found the story interesting considering the cat and mouse game the robbers seemed to be playing with law enforcement, especially the FBI. They would enter a major city in a state, carry out four jobs, and then move on to the next one. This was the last chance for the FBI to catch them before they moved on to another state since they had already hit Capital One, PNC, and M&T.

This explained the high tensions he had encountered a the previous robbery scene. Extra cameras were being set up and the NYPD must be having a field day having to send police officers to shadow banks, or they will in the coming week. The pattern so far had been one bank per week which would force the police to try and guess the target. They couldn't cover all the banks in New York, they were simply too many.

He entered the bank and was about to explain his motives to the guard when he received an urgent call from his boss- it seemed all of his calls were urgent these days.

There was a way-too-normal urgency in his tone as he asked, "Have you completed your work?"

"I'm on my second location now, and..." he hoped his boss would just lay off for an hour or two, but he was cut off before he could finish.

"The day is dying down and we need those photographs ASAP. Don't make me regret taking on a rookie photographer, especially for this kind of hot story."

Aahh...there it was again. Bringing up how "saintly" he must be for taking on a rookie photographer. It was becoming annoying having to be reminded who he had to thank for his job on a daily basis, but until he could prove himself and get the rookie scrubbed from his title, he would have to play by his bosses rules.

"I'll get the photos to you as fast as I can," promised Malcolm.

"You'd better." The warning was followed by the call being ended, a sign of his mood.

With a final sigh condemning his boss, he matched into the bank and flashed his credentials to the guard and received the okay to proceed. Clearly, his idea to call ahead had paid some dividends. The short and stout manager with a beaked nose and a dark Italian suite waved for him to come over and talk. He had a bald head, half-moon spectacles, and way-too-much cologne- Axe if he had to guess. This ticked him off considering the deadline he had just acquired through his boss' call, but he had to come off as agreeable so he walked over to the counter.

"I hope you're going to highlight the best of my bank in this article," he sounded eager and hopeful at the chance to advertise his institution further.

"Hopefully," acquiesced Malcolm. "I really have to get to..."

He would never finish the sentence because gun shots rang in the bank. He flinched in fright and dropped down on his knees before looking behind him at the commotion. 

The security guard by the door was groaning on the ground with a nasty bleeding wound on his temple. The bank doors were chained shut, and they were being directed to lie down facing the ground. Everyone complied, having seen the news lately and realizing just how dangerous these men were. They had not killed a single person yet, but they had shot one of the guards in the other banks. Despite the guard only being shot in the leg, they had wanted to send a message to the public and had decidedly left the guard bleeding while they had continued with their activities.

Malcolm peeked at the robbers spread around the bank; with the two behind the counter, they were four in total, and wore masks to conceal their identities. Of note was the lack of any other measure to conceal their identities. He could see a tattoo on one of their necks and a burn mark on one of their wrists.

"You're coming with me," a gravelly voice sounded next to him which was answered by a familiar pleading squeak.

The bank manager had been collected by one of the robbers who had been behind the counter. They were clearly efficient since ten minutes had yet to pass and they were already collecting the manager and directing him to the volt, he guessed.

He could see the various marks on the robbers' bodies from tattoos to scars to beauty spots. If he could only get a quick picture of these features with his camera...but it was in his back pack which he had removed and dropped in front of him-as he had been directed.

They were clearly not looking at him or the other hostages. With the security guard downed, the next logical threat was the police - police who had expected this robbery to happen in the coming week and not on a Saturday. They would not think of checking this out unless a pedestrian or someone else noticed the bank closed before noon and decided to take a peek through the windows.

He decided the risk would be minimal and the payout too large to pass by. He rose a little on his elbows and contemplated the risk of reaching for his bag. Taking a deep breath and counting down the seconds before success, he started reaching forward.


His right hand drifted forward slowly and was nearly on his bag.


His hands were on the bag and he unzipped it despite his incessant sweating.


He pulled out his camera, disabled the flash, and raised it to take his first photograph.


The 'click' of the first photo directed him through to his second.


On his second 'click' he hears another distinct 'click' behind him...just behind his head.

November 08, 2019 14:24

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Unknown User
09:47 Nov 17, 2019

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