I was running out of time.
With only fifty feet to go before I was safely out of the building, my legs and lungs were already past the point of exhaustion. I made it out of the bank pushing forward with a huge canvas duffel bag slung over my back. Believe me, 1.5 million in cash is no easy load.
Thankfully, just outside those double doors, was Mac, my get-away driver. If he’d followed my instructions, the engine would be running and he’d be ready and waiting.
After years of meticulous preparation, my plan had gone off without a hitch. It had to work. I had no other choice, no backup plans for my life. This was it. The last crime I would ever commit. One final score…
As I exited those doors into the sweltering Houston heat, my heart almost stopped. My get-away car was nowhere in sight. Please, God, no!
It was happening to me all over again. Just like before, fifteen years ago. But when I heard a horn honk, I turned to see Mac, waving at me with a goofy grin on his face. The son of a bitch had changed parking places on me, nearly giving me a heart attack.
Of course, I couldn’t get mad at him. There wasn’t time. Already sirens and helicopters announced their advancement in the distance.
Besides, how could I possibly blame Mac? The guy was clueless. He hadn’t the slightest idea he was driving the get-away car in a million-dollar bank heist. He was just an Uber driver. Some schmuck I’d duped into the job. A patsy.
I had him park a block away from the bank, so he’d have no idea what I was up to. Then I lied and told him I was picking up a shipment of “mass-marketing flyers” from my employer’s office building.
Up until now, Mac had fully cooperated, in a manner of speaking. Everything had worked out spectacularly. With sweat pouring down my face and my bag now stuffed with 1.5 million marketing mailers, I limped the final few yards to Mac’s car.
But, as I passed the driver’s side, he rolled down the window. “All cargo goes in the trunk,” he yelled.
What the fuck was this? When I’d mentioned picking up my mailers earlier, he hadn’t said a fucking word about it going in the trunk.
“But Mac, I already told you…”
“All cargo goes in the trunk! That’s my policy. I Scotchguard my seats, and I plan on keeping them like new,” exclaimed Mac.
Scotchguard? Was this guy serious? It simply wasn’t going to work. I had to be able to access the money as we drove away in order to check it for any GPS tracking devices the bank teller may have stashed along with the money when filling my bag. If it was locked in the trunk, I’d be unable to take that crucial precaution. So, I ignored him.
But, as I walked around to my side of the car, I heard a click. The son of a bitch had locked the doors from the inside.
“Mac!!!” I screamed, “My bag’s not dirty! Now open the damn door!”
I could have easily settled the matter since I had a loaded ‘45 strapped to my ankle, but that would’ve involved setting the bag down and taking my pistol out. Like I said, there wasn’t time for that. The sirens grew louder by the second. I also wanted to avoid, if possible, brandishing a weapon. The last thing I wanted was a panicked get-away driver on my hands. I caved in to this sissy with his Scotchguarded seats.
“All right, all right!” I yelled. “Pop the damn trunk, asshole!”
When the lid popped open, I dropped the money in the trunk, then slammed it shut. It was probably the dumbest thing I’d ever done. But hey, panic can make you do stupid things. Not to mention I was physically and emotionally exhausted from the morning’s events. If you’ve ever won a big jackpot playing cards, or hit it big at the racetrack, you know what I mean. There’s no bigger adrenaline rush than scoring a million and a half dollars in a half-hour’s work.
The second I slammed the trunk closed Mac put the car in gear and drove away. My brain refused to process what my eyes were seeing. When the initial realization hit, I exploded. I ran alongside his car yelling and banging my fist on the roof. But it was too late. As he drove off, I stood there in tears, watching, as fifteen years of meticulous planning turned to ashes before my eyes. In a matter of seconds all my hopes, dreams, and plans had blown away in the wind.
I had no backup plans for my life. For years, everything hinged on this. I’d soon be forty-five, and needless to say, too damn old for this shit.
This was to be my last job.
After all those years in prison, I wasn’t really good for much of anything anymore. I had a job, sure. But I’d have to work at it until I was eighty-five just to make the amount of money I’d lost in the last five minutes.
This was all I had.
My last chance.
Just one final score.
And wouldn’t you know it?
I’d blown it.
But how was I to know?
My driver had given me no indication he was on to me.
Or had he?
Looking back on the hour that had passed since first meeting Mac, I realized something. Maybe I had missed a red flag.