Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Heist

Indigo stepped out into the bright light of the sun for the first time since early that morning. She had been up since sunrise preparing for the meeting. She drove over to the warehouse early to meet Les and Smalls. Both could be infuriating. Smalls had presented them with the job a few weeks ago. They had waited until today to present it to the group. Les thought it best to wait until all the leg work was done.

He had had Indigo researching everything from the history of the bank itself to Smalls. He wanted all the dirt. After everything had checked out Les had met with Indigo alone and they had planned the whole job down to the meeting this morning.

She had been unable to sleep for several days now. She knew how the job was going to end, but refused to accept that this was the end for all of them. Six of them would enter the bank, but only two would walk away. She wasn't even sure that Les really expected two of them to walk away, but she had some tricks up her sleeve.

She and Smalls had known each other for many years. They had pulled some small jobs together back in the day. She didn't trust Smalls anymore than she trusted any of the others, she just knew him better. He wasn't capable of too much deception. He was about as transparent as a piece of dirty glass. Before they had talked to Les the first time they had met and made their plan. Smalls thought he was walking away with his fortune as well. Everyone was blinded by greed. Everyone but Indigo.

Indigo was lost in thought when her cell phone started buzzing. "What?"

"Warehouse, 11:00pm, everyone else 2:00am." The gruff voice ordered.
"Fine," she said as she rang off.

Les was too arrogant. He thought he could control her and her every movement. Well, he was sorely mistaken, she thought as she began making the calls.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Heist

Frank saw Carlos move to the other side of the fountain. Why was he hiding from him? Then Frank saw him, Les. Les was still following him. He thought that he had lost him when they turned off of the freeway. Oh well, this wasn't the first time Les had followed him, just the first time he had followed him to a meeting with Carlos.

Frank was going to have to make this short and sweet with Carlos. He waited until exactly twelve and Carlos walked over to the bench.

"Hey, Frankie boy! What's with the secret meeting? You have me a little worried." Carlos asked when he walked up.

"Hey, man. I know you saw Les following me. Don't worry about it. He does it quite often. He wants to make sure I am doing what I said I would. I am going to make this quick. That way we can get out of here. I want you to go in and find out everything you can about this Kenneth Smalls. I feel like Les was able to do the homework on him, and there is something he isn't telling us. When can you have it done?" Frank asked in a hushed voice.

"I can have that for you tonight. Where do you want to meet?" Carlos asked.

"I don't want to take a chance of Les following me again. He has you on his radar as well now. Put it in a large brown envelope and take it to the P.O. box, you know the one."

"Yeah, I know which one. I will have there by midnight."

"Great. I am sure we will get a call from Les about a progress meeting. Act normal. Go to the meeting."

Frank shook hands with Carlos and they both went their separate ways.

Les watched them talk for five minutes then shake hands and head out of the park. He was going to have to move the plan along a lot faster than he had originally thought.

The Heist

Carlos arrived at the park about thirty minutes before Frank was supposed to meet him. He wanted to see what direction Frank was coming from. The entire day had just been weird and he wanted to be sure that Frank wasn't trying to double cross him.

Carlos remembered when Frank had asked him to join the group. Carlos has been working a hit and run scam in Reseda and Frank had crashed the job. What most people didn't know was that Frank was actually a claims adjuster for an insurance company. Everyone knew he had a job, but not what he did. The only reason Carlos knew is because Frank had busted him. Frank told him that he saw his potential so took him under his wing and asked him to join the group. That was about ten years ago now. Time really flies.

Carlos was also looking to make this his last job. He had met a girl last year during the jewelry heist and they fell in love. He had kept her from asking too many questions about what he did for a living, but he would not be able to put her off too much longer. He had bought her a ring and he planned to ask her to marry him. Now he could do it after this job and neither of them would ever have to work again.

Carlos looked up at ten minutes to twelve and saw Frank walking toward the park. He knew Frank would be early, he was always early. He watched Frank walk over to their meeting place and open the paper. A couple minutes later, Carlos got up to walk over to Frank and caught a glimpse of Les entering the park. What was Les doing here? The code that Frank had given Carlos meant that the meeting was just between the two of them.

Carlos wondered if Frank knew that Les was following him. He also wondered if he should say something to Frank or just wait and see what happened during the meeting. He decided to wait until exactly noon to meet Frank. He started to walking over to the bench and hid behind the fountain to watch.

Les entered the park about two minutes after Frank. He had been following him since he left the warehouse. He was either so angry that he had not seen the tail or he was letting Les follow him for a trap. Les was fairly sure it was not the latter. Frank was not very observant when he was angry. Les knew that when he left he had been very angry and just trying to keep it under control. He had followed him to the gym, and then to the entrance to the tunnels under the bank.

He couldn't go down there without being seen or heard so he got a cup of coffee at the shop across the street and waited. He watched as Bones came out of the bank with the job. He was acting like a kid in a candy store. Les made a mental note to call them together later tonight to find out every one's progress.

When Frank had come out of the tunnels he followed him here to the park. This was a strange place for Frank to go. Frank was not really an outdoorsy kind of guy. Every time the weather changed Frank got a cold. He was also so pale that ten minutes in direct sunlight would make him look like a lobster. No, Frank spent his leisure time indoors. This was not a relaxing lunch in the park.

As Les rounded the corner he spotted Carlos. Ah, Carlos. That was why Frank had come to the park. Les wondered if Carlos saw him. Now, Carlos, he was observant. He kept a level head, and was sensitive to his surroundings. Les was going to have to get out of sight and quick. Not only was he level headed and quick, but he was also as loyal as a puppy to Frank.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Heist

Frank walked out of the warehouse and over to his car. He decided to drive to the gym to hit a few bags before going over to the tunnels. Over the last three months he had spent almost two hours every day at the gym. The boxing had really helped him keep his anger under control. During the computer job he had realized how much anger clouded his judgement and had vowed to work on getting it under control. Part of him felt responsible for Gary's death and part of him suspected that Indigo was involved.

Frank had also vowed to find out exactly what happened that day. He had not turned up any new information in quite awhile. Everything looked cut and dry. A storefront scam gone bad. The inside man, dead, the rest of the group never found. At least that was what all the papers had said. Frank knew there was more to it than that, but had not been able to find out what.

As Frank drove in the direction of the gym he wondered why Les had wanted him to lose his temper. He also wondered why Les had lied to him, and what he had lied about.

Before he left the warehouse he had stopped to talk to Carlos. He and Carlos had decided on a code word to let the other one know where to meet later. Frank had asked him to meet him at the park at noon. Frank glanced down at his watch and noticed that it was already 10:00. He would have to hurry and hit the bags then rush to meet Carlos.

There was something deep inside that was bothering Frank. Hopefully his workout would give him the time he needed to think about it and figure it out.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Heist

Les walked over to the table where the schematics had been laid out. Frank followed, but at a distance. Les could feel his eyes boring into him again. He knew that he was going to have to confront Frank and it was not going to be pretty. Frank had a temper and when it got out of control no one was safe from his wrath.

"Frank, could you help me take a look at these schematics? We need to start deciding our best route in and out. I also want to make sure none of the tunnels have been blocked off. We haven't looked at these for at least a year now," Les said as he continued to walk toward the table.

"Sure." Frank said coldly.

Les knew this was going to be a problem. But he hadn't realized how much of a problem it was. Frank was clearly skeptical of the whole job. He had to put his mind at ease and quick.

As they both got to the table Les shot Frank a knowing glance. "Hey, Frank, what if Gary could see us now? I really wish he was here to help us with this job. Indigo called me this morning and I demanded to know the specifics. We really need to talk about her motives, I am a little skeptical of all this."

Frank looked at Les and took in everything about his face. He could tell Les was lying, but about what he was not entirely certain. Frank was pretty sure that Les wouldn't know the truth if it came up and bit him in the ass, but he could usually tell what he was lying about, and he didn't often lie to Frank.

Frank forced his voice to soften. "Yeah me too. Gary would have loved this. You know this was what he really wanted us to do when we took on that computer scam. I wonder if things would have been different if we could have figured out a way to get inside then."

"Man, I know. I think about it everyday. What do you think our first move is on this job?"

"I think that I need to go down and walk the tunnels. The only way we are going to know if everything is still open is to actually walk them. I can also track the traffic patterns down there. I am pretty sure that no one uses them anymore, but you never know. There could be some kids down there squatting or something," Frank said.

"Yeah, I think that is a good idea, why don't you head out now. I can handle everything here. We only have about ten minutes left before the bank opens and it will be quiet until this evening anyway," Les replied.

Frank nodded and started to walk out the door. He stopped to talk to Carlos on his way out. Les watched him until the door swung closed. He wondered how he was going to handle all this. He had made a plan long ago, but things weren't going quite as he had expected. Les had been counting on Frank losing his temper. When anger was clouding his judgement it was much easier to control Frank.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Heist

Everyone started to get to work. Time was of the essence, and they all knew it. Les was aware of how Frank was staring at him. He wondered how much Frank had figured out by now. He and Frank had been in "business" together for about twenty years now. They could finish each other's sentences and as far as Frank knew they had never tried to con one another. Until now.

Les' motto had always been to keep his friends close and his enemies closer. He had never considered Frank a friend. He knew more about Frank than most people knew about the person they were married to. When he first met Frank they had been introduced by the head of another group of criminals that Frank had been a part of, Gary. Gary was a genius. He could smell a job, and knew when things had gone south. It took Les a long time to learn everything he needed to from Gary and then find a way to get rid of him. Gary hung around like a bad cough in January.

He had the opportunity to eliminate Gary as a threat about five years ago. Les had presented the group with a job that involved a computer scam. They had set up a store front operation, and things went south quickly. Les had been the real inside man for that job and walked away with seven figures in his pocket when it was all said and done, however everyone else just walked away, except Gary. Les had it set up that Gary would either take the fall for the job or lose his life. In the end Gary had done both. Frank of course was devastated. Les knew that he would be. Gary was their mentor after all.

The group was the same as it was during the computer job. He had pulled Indigo in on the scam at the last minute. She proved to be a real asset and able to keep her mouth shut. However, he knew that eventually he would have to eliminate her as well. The thing about his motto was that Les didn't have any friends, so all of his enemies felt like family. Each one with their own story, and their own role to play. Once that story was over, Les was free to move on.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Heist

Frank stood quietly and walked to the front of the room. He could feel Les' eyes boring into him. He knew the big man was wondering what Frank was going to say. Frank was wondering the same thing. On one hand, he was ready for this opportunity and ready to retire. On the other, he was more than a little skeptical of Mr. Smalls. What were his motives, where did he come from, how did he find their group? He knew that the preparations for this heist were going to take at least three months. Would Large be willing to wait that long? He seemed a bit antsy.

Then there was Indigo. She had never called them all together without first meeting with him and Les privately. Had she already met with Les? If that was the case why hadn't Les called him for the meeting. No, he was sure she made this decision by herself and Les was the first person she had called. Had he demanded to have the specifics before coming? Frank was very uneasy about the whole situation. No matter how enticing the situation may seem, he wanted to keep his wits about him.

As Frank cleared his throat, he looked around the room. "I can see you are all very interested in this opportunity. I have to say that I am also very interested. This is the job that we have all been working toward, but someone has to be the voice of reason in this room." As he paused he could feel the energy in the room plummet like a glass from the counter and shatter all over the floor.

Just then, Indigo started to cut Frank off, "Frank, we don't need you...we can do this by ourselves," she began.

"I did not say that I would not do it, but you need to remember who has the power here. I can see that you got to Les before the meeting, and I am not sure what you said to convince him, but I need to hear all the specifics before fully committing to this job. I am personally indebted to everyone here, including you. Unlike some people in this room, I am not only looking out for myself."

After his speech the atmosphere in the room got a little lighter. It was becoming clearer where Frank stood and that seemed to put everyone a little more at ease. Frank knew that he really did have the power to say no to the job and the rest would follow, even Les. He glanced over at the big man. He shifted in his seat.

"Mr. Smalls, when the bank opens in thirty minutes we will have someone there to interview for the position of head security officer. We need you to disappear for a little while. You can't be anywhere near the bank during this time. Once we get our inside man set we will be in touch."

"But, but, you need the pass code, the updated schematics..."

Frank put up a hand to silence the stout man. "We are the professionals here, not you. We will tell you what we need. Don't get me wrong, we are thankful for your coming here and presenting the opportunity, but from here on out it is our job, or we don't do it," Frank said.

Indigo rose from her seat and walked over to Mr. Smalls. "Ken, we will be in touch very soon. I told you that they would want to run the show. You will find a bag by the door. Inside the bag are a passport and tickets to a relaxing destination. Take a short trip, begin your retirement in style. When you return we will be ready for you."

Mr. Smalls looked from Indigo to Frank. Then he shot a sideways glance at Les. He did not make eye contact with anyone else in the room. Reluctantly, he turned and walked out of the room. Once he was gone everyone began to talk at once.

"Quiet, everyone!" Les finally stood and spoke. "We must move quickly now. Bones, you will be the inside man on this one. Indigo, you need to make up some credentials for him from the agency that the bank uses. Parker you need to hack into the agency's computer system and remove all the other candidates that they have identified for the position. People, we have twenty minutes before the bank opens let's move."

Frank stood in shock. So Les had known about this job before the meeting.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Heist

Just as Indigo finished her sentence a stout-built man entered the room. As he walked to the front of the room Frank noticed that his shabby trousers did not fit him well, and he looked more than a bit uncomfortable. “I understand that you have all decided to lay low for six months, but I think you will see this opportunity comes but once in a lifetime. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kenneth Smalls, and up until this morning, I was the head security officer at the bank for fifteen years.”

As Frank listened he became keenly aware of the contemplation in the room. Mr. Smalls went on to describe the job. As they all knew, beneath the bank were a series of tunnels that led from one building to another. In years past they had discussed the possibility of pulling off the bank job. Our last hurdle was the presence of an inside man. The labyrinth of tunnels beneath the bank made a perfect entry point; however they were guarded by the head security officer of the bank.

After Mr. Smalls had laid out the specifics of the job everyone grew silent. Frank knew they were all waiting to hear what he had to say. He knew the decision rest squarely on his shoulders. He and Les had hand picked this group throughout the years specifically for this job. Just Les’ presence in the room let everyone know his decision. If Les and Frank were on board the job was a go.

Everyone seemed to be nervously awaiting Frank. They took his silence to mean that he did not want to take on the job. It was quite the opposite. For Frank this was not merely another job, but he had decided long ago that the bank job would be his last job. Frank thought it better to let them all sweat a little.

Indigo stood and Frank watched as she exchanged an odd glance with Mr. Smalls as he took her seat. Then her face became more animated than Frank had ever seen as she began to speak. “Frank, I know that you wanted us to wait six months before pulling another job just to be safe, but I beg you to consider this opportunity seriously. We have all been lying low for three months and Carlos wasn’t even questioned seriously after the last job. It’s nothing like the computer scam.”

The stagnant air inside the warehouse was making everyone uncomfortable as Frank continued to sit in silence. They were all aware of the grave situation that had occurred during the computer scam two years ago. But this was different, and Frank was ready to live the good life.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Heist

“So, what’s the bright idea calling this meeting first thing in the morning?” Frank asked as he stormed through the door of the warehouse. “I would never presume to think you could get everyone here on such short notice and this early to boot. I hope you aren’t wasting my time.”

Frank was very angry because he had to forfeit a whole day’s pay at his regular job to come to this meeting. The group had not been called together since before they pulled the job over at the jewelry store. They had all agreed to keep their distance for at least six months. Frank had taken a job years ago that paid a nominal salary in order to appear straight to anyone who might look into his finances. Thankfully, he had received many raises and promotions that covered how successful his career in fraud has been. This meeting was not good. Had everyone become greedy after the last job? It had only been three months and they were all taking a big chance coming here.

“Frank, calm down, the others are in the back room. You are the last to arrive. I have been presented with an opportunity that I wanted to discuss with everyone. We have to make a decision in an hour. That was the reason for my urgency,” Indigo said in her smooth, sleek voice that always put Frank even more on edge. She had deceived him more than once. He had never perceived her as a true threat, just someone to watch closely.

Indigo led Frank by the arm into the back room where the others had gathered. As Frank looked around the room he could see that Les had made it after all. He was wedged into a seat next to Carlos. His big frame made the chair look like dollhouse furniture. It was an almost comical sight. Frank shot him a sideways glance to see if he could tell what the big man was thinking, but his face was a blank slate. Frank could never read Les. That’s why they were so close. Les had taught him to keep his friends close and his enemies closer. Frank had never been able to decide which they were, friends or enemies.

Once Frank was seated on the other side of Carlos, Indigo called everyone to order. Above the din of voices she said, “Gentlemen, I have called you here today because we have had an opportunity fall into our laps this morning. As you all know, the Los Angeles Bank and Trust has always been on our list of jobs. This morning they posted a vacancy in their security department. The past security officer paid me a visit this morning with a proposition. He is looking for a candidate to fill the position. He felt like we might know someone.”


I am beginning this blog in order to further my discipline in writing. My other blog is more purely the story of my life with my kids. This one will be a place for me to post what I am currently working on in my writing. I hope you follow me here as well. Please give constructive comments. This is hold me accountable and give me a creative outlet. I would also love to start a writing group that would like to post here as well. If you are interested please let me know. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.