Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Anyone still reading...

Anyone still reading either one of my blogs?

This is the question that has been burning in my mind for quite some time. I would totally understand if I had lost all my readers. I am beginning a new short story that I plan on publishing the first post for today or tomorrow. I need to update everyone on our family blog too, things have been a whirlwind for the past three months. If you are still reading please come back later today or tomorrow and see what you think of my new story.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Muse

After about an hour the boys finally showed up at Cecilia's door. There were three of them and they were big boys. Just right for moving Wendell. She was so grateful to them for their help that she offered to send them home with the cake that she had made that morning. They told her they were headed into town so they would stop by later and pick it up.

After the boys left Cecelia tried to make Wendell comfortable. She took off his shoes and tried to decide if she should undress him. She had never seen Wendell without his clothes. He always bathed while she was in her room sleeping or doing something in the kitchen. She found herself feeling very self-conscious.

She decided that he was not going to be out much longer so she did not need to undress him. He would wake up in time to play the piano for her while she read. She was going to miss his help with the laundry though.

Cecelia decided to get started on rewashing the sheets that she had washed earlier that morning. The dust had settled and the sun was blazing so hopefully they would dry quickly.

As she worked she tried to occupy her mind with the mundane chores of the day. After she finished the laundry she really needed to make lunch for her and Wendell. Oh Wendell, surely he would be up by lunch time right?

She hung the clothes on the line for the second time that day and decided to go and check on Wendell. She had decided to make his favorite lunch instead of sandwiches. She felt so bad about him falling. It was her fault after all. She should have picked up those pieces of glass. She looked down at her hand as she thought of picking up the glass. Picking up small things was just so hard with only four fingers. She tried not to dwell on her problems. No reason to dwell, right?

She opened the front door and started to walk back to Wendell's room and heard his heavy footfall. Thank goodness, he was alive, and awake.

"Wendell, where are you?" Cecilia called.

"Cece, I am in the back of the house. I will be up there in a minute."

Cecilia walked into the kitchen and began cutting up the chicken she had been saving for the dinner on Sunday. She decided to fry it up for lunch. Wendell loved fried chicken. She also found a few potatoes and decided to make a potato salad instead of mashed because Wendell loved her potato salad so much. She had some beans left over from the night before and put those on the stove to heat them up as well. Wendell would be so pleased.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Muse

The storm began to pick up and Cecilia watched the funnel cloud swirl around the yard. Luckily, it did not come close to the house. As she continued to watch she saw that it was headed for the neighbors to the south. They had been hit more than three times. Hopefully, this one wouldn't do too much damage.

As the storm began to settle she began to worry about Wendell. He still had not stirred since she had pulled him across the threshold. Cecilia allowed herself to begin to dwell in the what ifs that she could feel at the back of her consciousness. They had just been a wisp of a thought five minutes ago when she was caught up in watching the storm, but now they were getting bigger and moving with more force through her mind.

What if Wendell didn't wake up? What would she do? She could not work this land by herself. She was lost without Wendell in more ways than one. She had never spent a day apart from him. He had always been there. Cecilia never knew where he had come from. He was not her brother, but he had always lived with her and she had never asked her mother about where he came from. Cecelia wasn't even sure that Wendell knew. She made a mental note to ask him when he woke up. She also made a note to tell him how much she appreciated him and loved him when he woke up, if he woke up.

Just then, her swirling thoughts were interrupted by the phone ringing. She moved as quickly as she could into the kitchen where the phone was.

"Hello," Cecelia answered. It was her neighbor to the South, Ann.

"Cece..I am just calling to make sure you and Wendell are okay. We watched the tornado swirl around the property. Luckily, it missed your house and ours." Ann said.

"Well, as far as damage I think we are okay. But, Wendell fell on the porch right before the storm and still has not woken up. I barely got him moved in before the storm started. Can you send the boys over here to help get him to the bed."

"I will send the right over, but Cece you need to call the doc to come out." Ann implored.

"I am going to wait. I think he will just wake up and when he does he will be embarrassed. I don't want him to be embarrassed in front of doc."

"Okay, the boys will be there soon." Ann hung up.

Cecelia poured herself a glass of tea and sat down in the living room to wait for the boys. Hopefully, they would be able to get Wendell into his bedroom and in bed. That should help.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Muse

Wendell bounded up the stairs carrying the basket of clothes. It was so full with the sheets that he wasn't looking down. His boot heel hit the shards of glass that had fallen from the table when Cecilia had stood up to get the wash off the line in the yard. The big man went down with a loud crash. Cecilia did not see him slip, but heard him hit the porch. 

At first it was quite comical. She had to suppress her laughter. Wendell was so clumsy for someone who could play the piano with such a fluid grace that she had never witnessed. But, then as she started to walk toward him she noticed that he wasn't getting up. The wind was picking up behind her and she knew they had to get inside or they would be caught in the storm. 

"Wendell, get up! We have to get in the house. I know you hurt your pride, but we have to move fast."

Cecilia continued walking toward the porch and when she finally reached the steps she noticed that Wendell was very still. Too still. She felt a panic rising up through her entire body that just seemed to burst open when it reached her chest.

She put down the basket she had been carrying in from the yard. Time seemed to stop. Everything began to swirl around her. The dust had finally made it in from the prairie. As she bent down to look at Wendell, so many thoughts began to hit her all at once. What was she going to do? How was she going to get Wendell inside? What would she do without Wendell?

Cecilia reached out to touch his throat just to check and see if he had a pulse. A wave of relief swept over her like a hot shower. She could feel the strong pulse that she had felt so many times when he bent down to kiss her on the forehead. He was alive, but why wasn't he moving?

She realized that Wendell had probably hit his head on the corner of the steps. She gingerly lifted his head to see if he had hurt himself, and then she saw it. The glass that had fallen when she had stood up earlier. Why hadn't she stopped to pick that up? This was all her fault, but there was not time to dwell in that self-pity. There would plenty of time later to think about all the things she should have done. 

She didn't see any blood and she decided that was a good sign. The dust was starting to cover everything around her including her face. Pretty soon she was not going to be able to see. She needed to get Wendell inside.

She walked around to his feet and began to pull. He was big and Cecilia was not. Wendell had grown to be about six foot five inches tall. This was almost two whole feet taller than Cecilia and he out weighed her about 100 hundred pounds. After what seemed like hours, Cecilia finally got him across the threshold of the house. She still needed to get him the rest of the way in so she could shut the door to the dust outside. She continued pulling him into the house and finally got him in far enough to shut the door. She ran outside to get the wash, and the tea pitcher she had been using. Luckily, it had not fallen and broken as well. That would have been a mess she did not want to clean up.

Just as she walked into the house with the last basket and shut the door to the storm she walked over to the window and noticed the funnel cloud off in the distance.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Muse

Cecilia sat on the porch drinking iced tea and watching the wash that she had hung on the line blowing in the wind. She noticed that wind had picked up in the last few minutes. This concerned her only because she also knew that her wash was not dry yet. She would have to get it off or wash it all again because of the dust. There would be a dust storm this afternoon. She would not have to wait much longer.

She stood up quickly and grabbed her basket. In her haste she had knocked her glass down and it shattered across the porch. She had to move fast to get the wash, the glass would have to wait. She looked out into the field and saw Wendell stand up. He began to walk toward the house. Cecilia hoped that he would remember that she had put the wash out this morning because it would take her a long time to get it all in the basket.

She had been in the mood to wash their clothes, the sheets, and the kitchen curtains. She had planned to wash the sitting room curtains this afternoon, but if the storm was long that would not happen. She began to pull the clothes off the line quickly hoping to beat the storm, but could feel the wind picking up faster now. The storm was coming and quickly. That usually meant that it would be followed by a thunderstorm and possible a tornado. They had never had a tornado touchdown on their property, but the people down the road had. So she and Wendell had been able to watch the funnel cloud close-up.

Just as she started on the sheets, Wendell came running up. "Cec, I think this is going to be a big one. I could see it off in the distance when I got up to come in. We better hurry and get in the house."

Cecilia and Wendell began pulling the sheets and curtains off the line. Cecilia was cursing the dirt. Now she would have to rewash everything. All her morning work was spoiled. She would have to do it all over again. She had been hoping to get finished early today and sit down and read while Wendell played the piano in the sitting room. Now her work would go on into the night and she would not have time to read before dark.

While Cecilia was lost in angry thoughts Wendell got everything else off the line. As if he had been reading her mind he turned to her and said, "Cec, I will help you with the wash so you can read this afternoon."

"Thanks, Wendell. I really wanted to read that new book you brought me from town the other day."

" I know, let's hurry and get inside." Wendell said quickly.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Muse

Cecilia had always wondered why it was necessary for human beings to have five fingers on each hand when they could so easily survive with only four. She picked up her iced tea and wiped the sweat off the glass with her good hand. Cecilia knew that when she went into town everyone was staring at her “bad” hand. She was born with only four fingers on her right hand. This never really bothered her because she didn’t see the need for five fingers, unless she happened to be around people who did not understand. Everyone always looked at her with such pity in their eyes. But, Cecilia didn’t need their pity. You never use all of them anyway, she thought.

She took a long drink of her tea. The sweetness of the liquid filled her mouth and she held it there for just a moment to savor it. There really was nothing like iced tea. Her mama used to make the best sun tea in the summertime. She would fill up a pickle jar with water and place her homemade tea bags in the top of the jar with the pieces of thread hanging out of the lip and place the lid on the top. She said that the secret to good sun tea was to leave the lid unscrewed so that the air could get into the jar. Cecilia didn’t know if she quite believed this because she always closed the lid. Always. If she didn’t close the lid she was afraid that the gnats would fly in and she would accidentally swallow one.

Swallowing a gnat had to be Cecilia’s greatest fear. Along with stepping on the cracks in the porch, going up into the attic at night, down in the basement any time of the day or night, and losing Wendell. She sat and thought for a moment, no losing Wendell had to be her greatest fear. Gnats, cracks, basements, and attics aside it had to be Wendell. He had always been there. Ever since she could remember he had held her hand as she fell asleep at night, and greeted her every morning in his special way. He loved to sing her songs when there was a thunderstorm, and when the wind picked up and started blowing across the plain he would always sweep her up in his arms and carry her to the sitting room so she could watch the dust cloud come in from the south.

Why did it always come in from the south, she wondered? Even now she could feel the air getting dryer and dryer. They hadn’t had any rain in months. If it didn’t rain soon they would surely have a dust storm. Oh how she loved to watch the power in those things. The cloud would build and build until it seemed it would burst with pure dust. One time she was making sun tea out on the porch and saw the cloud coming in from the south like it always did and made it out to the porch just in time to rescue her favorite pickle jar. She knew that she wouldn’t have any tea that night, but being able to watch the storm from beginning to end was reward enough for her.

Wendell had come running in from the fields. He was so worried that she would walk out and try to get in the middle of the cloud. Cecilia had always wanted to be swept up. She remembered the look on Wendell’s face when she had told him. They were just kids sitting at mama’s feet in the sitting room and they heard the rumble that always comes before the dust and knew it was coming. Wendell was worried that she was afraid of the storm, but she had told him no, she was not afraid. She loved the dust storms. She imagined that her house would be swallowed up in the dust cloud and she would drift on the prairies forever with her mama and Wendell there by her side. No more bad hand, no more work for mama, and Wendell would be with her forever.

That's the end...

That is as far as I can go with The Heist right now. I will try to write more later, but the ending is just not working for me. I have started a couple of other stories. I have the first part for a new one to publish. This is really my problem. Things seem to go and on for me and I can't wrap them up and bring good closure. UGH! Probably because I don't make an outline and I don't know how the story is going to develop until I actually write that part. I hope you enjoy this next story.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Heist

Frank started walking toward the group. He has known that Smalls would be here since he sent him an anonymous tip about Les walking. Smalls didn't care if Les walked, but he did care if he walked with his share of the money. When Frank mentioned that, Smalls had almost choked on the food he was eating while they were on the phone. Frank thought he was going to have to call 911 for the big man.

He had also known that this would be the best way to get Les out of the tunnels. To make sure he knew where he would be. Frank still needed to go down into the tunnels and figure out the next move. He wasn't ready to totally walk away yet, he just wanted everyone to think that he was.

"Les, Indigo, what is Smalls doing here? I thought that you were out of the country until the job was over?" Frank said.

Les dropped the cigarette butt on the ground and stepped on it to ground it into the pavement. He waited to answer Frank. He knew that waiting would cause Frank to grow impatient. Impatience and anger were the only things Les had on his side right now.

Les took a deep breath and looked from Indigo to Smalls and then to Frank. He paused again and began to speak. "Frank, I think it is time to walk away. I called Smalls and got him on a plane early this morning. We always said that we would know when to walk away. I think that this is the job we need to pass on to someone else."

"I think that would be a mistake..." Indigo interrupted.

"A big mistake. Especially since we have others waiting to be paid," Smalls said.

"The other guys will be fine with walking away. They trust me and won't..."Les said.

Frank cleared his throat to interrupt. "We are not walking away. We are going to do this job and follow it through, but we are going to do it my way. I am in charge of this crew and the jobs that we take. Les you need to take a walk. We all appreciate everything that you have done, but I will take it from here. You will get your share, just after the job is over. We will meet at our usual place to do the split."

"How can I trust you? If we go through with this job I will be a part of it from beginning to end. I will not walk away without everyone."

"Then you will let me take the lead and take a step down. I am in charge now, and the two of you are just along for the ride. I make all the decisions, or I walk away with my crew."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Heist

"Where is he?" demanded Les as he got out of his car.

"I don't know. He said he was on his way!" Indigo yelled over the noise in the warehouse parking lot.

"Damn it. I have wasted a whole day waiting on people. He better show up. He didn't tell you what he wanted to talk about on the phone?" Les demanded again.

Indigo was more than irritated. People just didn't demand things from her, and especially not Les. She was in charge of this job. She had brought him in on it.

"Look, you need to get yourself under control. It is not doing anyone any good for you to lose your temper. If he doesn't show I will send someone to track him down and eliminate him. We don't need him anymore and you were planning on doing at the end of the job anyway. This will just expedite the process," Indigo said.

"No, you look. You will not eliminate him. That would only bring suspicion from everyone else working the job. He has got to show back up or the plan is ruined," said Les, a little calmer than before.

The longer Les stood there, the more he thought that it was time to walk away. There were too many things going wrong and he still couldn't shake that uncomfortable feeling. Now they were waiting on Smalls to show up and he had some kind of problem with what was going on.

Just then Smalls' car pulled into the warehouse parking lot. He skidded to a stop right in front of them. He got out and and slammed the door.

"I demand to know what is going on," Smalls said.

"I don't know what you are talking about! We are getting ready to pull the job. Either you are in or you are out. If you're in then you need to go along with the plan that we all agreed to."

Just then Les looked up and could see Frank turning down the road leading to the warehouse. What the hell was going on? Frank was supposed to be down in the tunnels today. The last thing that he needed was to deal with Frank and Smalls. How was he going to explain why Smalls was there at the warehouse.

"You have to get out of here. Right now." Les said as he started shoving Smalls back into his car.

"I am not going anywhere. I brought this job to you and I want my share, and I want to know what is going on." Smalls insisted.

"What do you mean?" Indigo asked.

"I got a call this morning saying the job was off. The guy was "anonymous" party with some kind of stake in the job." Smalls said.

Just then, Frank pulled into the parking lot of the warehouse. All three looked up and saw Frank get out of his car and start walking toward them. Len knew it was time to walk away.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Heist

Les walked all the tunnels in about an hour and twenty minutes. He was able to find where the bank was located. He also found a good hiding place to wait for Frank. He had been waiting now for about an hour. He was starting to wonder if Frank was actually going to come down today. He had managed to keep his anxiety under control, but if he didn't get out of here he was going to lose it.

Just then his phone lit up the tunnel he had been waiting in. He looked to see who it was. Damn, Indigo. He was hoping to avoid her until the meeting tonight. She was always able to mess with his head.

"Yeah," he answered.

"Where are you?" she asked insistently.


"We have a problem here at the warehouse," she answered.

"What...a problem?" He asked

"Yes, Smalls is on his way here."

"He is supposed to be on a vacation." Les said.

"I know...that's the problem. What do you want me to do?" she asked.

"Who is there with you?"

"Carlos is the only one. He came by this morning to do some work." Indigo answered.

"Okay, I will be there shortly. If he shows up before I get there stall him outside. The last thing I want is for Carlos to know he is there. Keep him outside, do you hear me, outside," Les yelled into the phone.

"Calm down...I will keep him outside. I had already planned to do that anyway. Get here as soon as you can."

Why was Smalls changing the plan. They had made this plan months ago. That feeling of dread was coming back. He was starting wonder if they should walk away from this job altogether.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Heist

Parker looked down and saw that Frank was calling back. He sat and thought about what he was getting ready to do. He wasn't sure this was the right thing to do or not. He knew he was going to have to decide quick. His phone got to the fourth ring and he picked it up.

"Parker here."

"Parker, Frank. What's going on? I got your message...is there something wrong that we need to discuss? I have a very busy day ahead of me."

"Frank, I don't want to talk about this over the phone. I need to meet with you now, before you go down into the tunnels," Parker explained.

"OK, where are you right now?" Frank asked.

"I am at my apartment downtown. Can you come here?" Parker asked.

"Yes, I am only a few blocks away. I will be there in about ten minutes."

Frank hung up and his mind started to run wild. Why did Parker need to meet with him? And why must it be before he went down in the tunnels? He walked the five blocks to Parker's apartment building in record time.

He stood across the street at the coffee shop an watched for a few minutes. He wanted to make sure that this was not a trap. He didn't see any sign of anyone else at Parker's or staking out his apartment. He also had not caught a glimpse of his tail all morning.

He climbed the 16 flights of stairs just in case he had missed his tail. He glanced down at his watch and realized that it had taken him 15 minutes to get to Parker's apartment. He was still wondering what this was all about when he tapped on the door. He was anxious and wanted to get out of the hallway. Parker answered the door and ushered him inside quickly.

"Hey, Frank. What some coffee?" Parker asked as he stepped in the door.

"Nah, I'm good. What's up? I need to get to the tunnels. I have a lot to do today before we meet this evening."

"Sit down. This will take a few minutes," Parker said as he gestured toward the nearest chair.

Frank sat and began to listen to the story that Parker was telling. Most of it he already knew. Parker told him about how Indigo, Smalls, and Les had been meeting before the job. Then he told him about their plan to eliminate everyone but him before the job was over. This only confirmed what Frank had feared. Then Parker told him that Les was down in the tunnels right now waiting for him. He was going to hide out and confront him down there today.

That last piece of information took Frank by surprise. He knew the big man was irrationally afraid of closed in spaces. He found it difficult that he would be able to wait for him to show up down there. However, he also knew that if Les wanted him gone bad enough he would do anything.

When Parker finished speaking he waited for Frank to speak. He could tell he was taking it all in and deciding on his course of action. He was afraid that maybe Frank did not believe him.

"Well, that is an interesting story," Frank finally said. "I am especially entertained by the part that Les is down there in those tunnels right now waiting for me. I think I will make the big man wait."

Parker looked at Frank and tried to figure out what he thought about his involvement. He had once been very close with Frank, but it had been a long time since they had really spoken about anything but the weather.

"Parker, why are you telling me all this?" Frank asked.

"Well...I started thinking about what was going on and I had a crisis of conscience."

"I don't believe that is it. I think you know that they are not going to let you walk away from this job either. In fact, I think you know that Les is planning to be the only one to walk away from this job. Where do you think Bones stands on all this? Do you think they have spoken to him as well?"

"I am not sure, but I don't really think so. The only reason they pulled me in was because they all needed clean papers to leave the country. What are you planning to do?"

"Well, I need to talk to Carlos and Bones. I am also not going back down into the tunnels today. I walked all of them yesterday anyway so I know the ins and outs. I am not going to give Les his shot today. He is going to have to be a little more creative. We have a meeting with everyone tonight at 7:00pm. I will contact you later about a meeting later tonight. I will caution you that I have had a tail since the job started. Be aware that you probably have one too. Stay here as much as you can. I will see you at seven." Frank said and turned and walked out the door.

Frank descended the stairs at a good clip. He needed to get somewhere that he could think. Parker hadn't ask him about the manila envelope he was carrying. Maybe he was not going to need its contents after all.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Heist

Les got a haircut and headed over to the tunnels. As he descended the stairs to the underground labyrinth his heart began to beat faster and faster as though it was going to burst out of his chest. He could feel the walls closing in on him already. He had not even made it all the way down to the tunnels yet. His claustrophobia was getting ridiculous. When this job was over he was going to have to see a hypnotist or an acupuncturist or someone to help him get rid of this problem.

Les set the timer on his cell phone for two hours. He figured that Frank would be here by noon, and it was already ten. He needed to cover a lot of ground in the next two hours. He tried to concentrate on the job and how he was going to pull it off in the next week.

While Les was walking around in the tunnels trying to feel his way through in the darkness, Bones was upstairs in the lobby of the bank getting ready to unlock the doors for the morning. Feeling slightly edgy he decided to make his coffee a little Irish that morning. He had been up way too late last night. He could feel the last 48 hours in his entire body. He wondered what the next 48 had in store for him.

Parker had stayed up all night making papers for Indigo, Les, and Smalls. He had decided that he would just lay low after the job. The others were going to get out of the country, but since he wouldn't be on the front lines no one would be looking for him. About 4am he started to feel a little guilty about agreeing to keep secrets from Frank. Frank had always taken care of him. He was the one that recommended him for the group. He stood up for him with Les and Indigo at different times. He had decided about 6am that he was not going to be able to go through with what they had asked him to do, even if it did mean he would get Frank's share.

He picked up the phone and dialed Frank's number. It went to voicemail. He didn't know what to say so he didn't leave a message, the first time. The second time he called he left a message for Frank to call him. He hoped that he would hear back from him before his 2:00pm meeting with Les and Indigo. They were supposed to discuss their plan of action for the rest of the job. He needed Frank on his side.

As Frank left the cafe he felt his phone buzz with a voicemail. He looked down and saw that it was Parker who had called. He wondered what Parker had to talk to him about. He dialed his voicemail and waited to hear the message. Parker wanted to meet with him right now. He dialed his number and waited while it rang. Once, twice, three times.

The Heist

Frank went into the office for about an hour that morning. He needed to pass off the things in his inbox so that he could concentrate on the job, and what he was going to do. He had been up all night thinking about his plan. He had a very good idea of what had happened to Gary all those years ago, and realized that he very well could have ended up in the same situation. Thankfully, he had gotten his emotions under control this past year and was able to seek out the help from Carlos.

He had put a tail on Les after seeing the pictures last night. He also knew that Les would head down to the tunnels this morning. After Frank finished up wrapping up the loose ends at the office he was going to meet an old friend for breakfast. After breakfast he planned to head down to the tunnels. He wanted to give Les some time. He had no desire to run into him down there. If Les said the wrong thing to Frank it would be all over with. Frank knew he had to play it cool. He had to lay low and keep himself under control.

"Betty, I am going to be out of the office for at least a week. Could you please make sure that Tim gets these papers?" Frank said to his secretary.

"Sure, Frank. Is everything all right? Is it your mom again? Please give her my best. I have really missed talking to her these past few months," Betty said.

"Yes, she has missed talking to you. The home just doesn't give her the privileges that the apartment did. It is really a shame. No she is fine. I really just need a vacation," Frank replied.

"Good for you! You haven't had one of those in two years! See you when you get back. I will hold down the fort here. If anything urgent comes up I will let you know, otherwise you won't hear a thing from me!" Betty said genuinely smiling.

"Thanks, Betty! I will see you soon." Frank said and really meant it. Betty was one of his favorite people. She really cared about Frank and so many other people. If he could he would take her away from all of this and show her what it was like to really live.

They had spent so much time together at work that Frank felt like her knew better than anyone else. He had never let anyone get too close. Gary was the closest, and then Les, but both of them were kept at arm's length. Betty knew almost everything there was to know about Frank. This was his one little secret that he kept from her. After this job he planned to quit this job and ask Betty out to dinner. Once this was over maybe he could finally start living as well.

Frank walked out of the office building into the blinding California sunlight. He could smell the honeysuckle that was growing in a pot by the front lobby doors. Honeysuckle always reminded him of his childhood. Every spring and summer the honeysuckle would grow wild on his parents' farm in Kentucky. Oh how he missed Kentucky in the summer time. Blackberries, fresh tomatoes, running around barefoot, and the smell of sweet honeysuckle permeating everything. Those days were long gone though and it didn't do him any good to focus on the past. He had to stay in the moment and get this job done.

He walked north to meet his friend at the cafe down the street from his office. This was where they always meant, but today was a little different. He had known Mike for too many years. Mike had introduced him to a life of crime back in the day. They had stolen their first pack of cigarettes together. Now they meant every week just to keep in touch. Usually, they did not talk business because they ran in different circles, but today was definitely going to be different.

Frank saw Mike as soon as he opened the door to the cafe. He was drinking his third cup of coffee and smoking his third cigarette. Frank knew this because Mike was always thirty minutes early. He liked his cigarettes and coffee.

"Hey, Frank," Mike said as Frank slid into the booth across from him. He extended his hand and Mike took it and shook it like the old friends that they were.

"Were you able to get them?" Frank asked.

"Yes, I got all the papers you will need once the job is done. And they are clean. I had Karen run them through just to make sure. No one else knows about this. Just the three of us, and you know we can trust Karen." Mike answered.

"Great! I really owe you one, man." Frank said solemnly.

"Nah, you don't owe me man. I have owed you for years for saving Karen's life. I don't know what I would do without her. Are you going to tell me what's going on, or are you going to make me guess?" Mike asked.

"Mike, I would tell you, but I think that you guys will be better off not knowing. In this case ignorance really is bliss. I will get in touch with you when I am out clean. I will be back in a matter of months. I just want you to have deniabilty in this situation." Frank explained.

"I trust you man. I just wish I could do more to help, " Mike said.

They spent the rest of the time they had together eating and reminiscing. Frank was going to miss Mike. They had never gone more than two weeks without seeing each other since they were sixteen. Frank really hoped he had made the right decision.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Okay....let's take a step back a moment

Okay...so I am trying to figure out how to wrap this up. I feel like I could keep going and going and going without and end in sight, but...frankly...I am getting a little bit bored with these characters. I am trying to get inside their heads and figure out what they would do, but I am afraid that I am failing miserably.

So...if you are reading this...please help! Do the characters seem real to you? Do you want me finish this? What do YOU think should happen?

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Heist

Les woke early the next day. He was agitated and more than a little on edge. He knew that something bad was coming, but he just chalked up to his plan. He had not shared that part of the plan with Indigo. She was confident that she would live through the job to see all the money they would split two ways. He could see her calculating it when they were meeting last night, but he knew differently. Most people were so easy to deceive. He had lived with his deception most of his life. He was glad to be considering retirement. He was tired.

As the sun came up over the hills he could see all the dirty spots on his window. When the sun came in at just the right angle he was able to see all the dirty spots on all the windows and mirrors in the room. Most mornings this did not bother him, but this morning it caused him to be a bit more agitated. He had to get out of the room or he would have to spend the morning cleaning. He just didn't have the time for that.

He got up and walked slowly over to the bathroom. He was able to brush his disheveled hair and decided to get a haircut before he went to the tunnel. He needed something that he didn't have to worry about. He dressed for the day in jeans and an old shirt. He had planned out his day and knew that he was probably going to get dirty today climbing around in all those tunnels. He didn't want to ruin any of his nice clothes. For a large man he really did like his clothes. This thought brought a smile to his face. He remembered his father telling him as he dressed to go out to hustle pool that the clothes made the man. He was more than a little sad to leave behind all these clothes, but he knew that if he took anything it would make it look like he had been involved and planned to leave.

Breakfast was a cup of coffee and a cigarette. He didn't have time for much more. He had to get down to those tunnels before Frank. He was able to find a couple of hiding places if they happened to run into each other, but Les thought this was unlikely since Frank would be headed down there this afternoon instead of this morning.

As he walked down the stairs to his car he felt a little uneasy. This uneasiness had become his friend in the last few days. He was usually a very peaceful, centered guy. But not this week. He kept trying to chalk it up to the importance of this job, but he just couldn't shake it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Heist

When Frank arrived at the warehouse everyone was already there. He was running a little late so he wasn't surprised to see everyone sitting around when he entered the room. Les looked agitated. Not necessarily with Frank, but just in general. Frank could hardly wait to hear the lies that were going to spew forth from his mouth during this meeting.

Les and Indigo had met and discussed moving the job along quickly. They had decided to tell everyone that they had gotten some inside intel that the bank was going to change out their vault next week so they were going to have move much quicker than anticipated. They called Bones and told him they would cut him in on a larger share if he went along with the new story. He didn't ask too many questions. Money was money to him. He didn't really care who he had to lie to in order to get it.

Les was finding it difficult to calm down after the day. He had spent a long time down in the tunnels and he did not like enclosed spaces. He couldn't seem to shake the feeling that something was going terribly wrong, but he just couldn't put his finger on what it was. Usually when he got this feeling this early in a job they just backed out, but they had come too far now to turn back.

After everyone gave their reports on the day, Les spent about an hour outlining the new plan for them. He explained that they would move in two days. This meant that Bones was going to have to get in there and gather a lot of information very quickly, and that Parker was going to have to map out the cyber part of the heist even quicker.

The energy in the room was electric. Les felt like if he moved he would be shocked. This worried him a little. Agitation was never good when you were getting ready to pull off a job as big as this. He was going to have to find a way to calm down, even though he would have to go back into the tunnels tomorrow after Frank finished his tour of them.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Heist

Frank got to the post office box about an hour before he was supposed to be at the meeting. He knew that Carlos would have the information that he needed. Before he went in he decided to walk around the block. He hadn't seen anyone following him, but he wanted to make sure.

He turned the corner down a blind alley. This time of night there were bums sleeping off their nightly binge and the garbage had been taken out at the clubs nearby so the stench was horrible. No one would think to come down alley looking for him.

He knew that Les was meeting with Indigo before the meeting with all of them at 2:00. He would still be at the warehouse so that he would the first one there. That was his special brand of control. He was so predictable. That was why Frank thought someone would be following him. Les usually had someone follow him all the time. Even when they weren't working a job. It didn't bother Frank because he knew to expect it. But he had always been able to shake the tail when headed to this P.O. box. This was he and Carlos' little secret.

He peered around the corner and sure enough about two minutes behind him was the tail. Frank was glad to see that it was not anyone from the group. He watched as the tail kept walking down the street looking for him. He saw him turn into a strip club that was at the end of the street.

Frank entered the mailbox store with his personal key. He went over to the box and opened it. The dossier on Smalls was there. He moved over to the desk and opened up the thick folder. The first pictures he saw were of Smalls and Indigo with a time and date stamp on them from two years ago. So she did know him, and well. When he looked a little further he found pictures of Smalls, Indigo, and Les stamped as early as two months ago. So, Les had been in on this from the beginning. Frank's mind started to race. Gary's last job came to his mind immediately. He remembered that Les had made it a point to meet with him before involving Gary and the others. He had said it was to get all the details in order before they involved the whole group. At the time this had seemed reasonable to Frank, but now it seemed odd. Why had Les met with Indigo and Smalls before he met with Frank? What other meetings had he held that Frank was not aware of?

Frank was so deep in thought that when the alarm on his phone went off he jumped. He knew he needed to get to his car and drive over to the warehouse, but his feet were cemented to the floor of the mailbox store. He was going to have to be very careful and do some more investigating of his own.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Heist

Les took the time to get acquainted with his surroundings before he went to meet Indigo. The underground tunnels seemed to go on forever. He needed to know them like the back of his hand, and fast. Originally he had decided that the job would take about two, maybe three months, but now it was going to have to take about two to three weeks, tops. It would be great if they could get it done in a week, but Les knew this would be almost impossible.

The longer the job drug out the longer he would have to deal with Frank. The others he could handle, but Frank was going to present some problems. He always knew that he would, but he hoped that his anger would kick in and cause him to lose sight of everything they had worked for all these years. He should have known that this one would be too hard for Frank to resist.

The main tunnel had many smaller secondary tunnels. Each was jutting off from the main tunnel on his right hand side. He knew by the schematics that the fifth one was the tunnel that led up to the bank. Some of the other tunnels led to other downtown merchants, and some were dead ends. The schematics had all the tunnels marked the same so he was going to have to walk each one to determine if they were dead ends or not. As he walked through the tunnel he could hear the tinny echo of his footsteps. He stopped for a moment to make sure that he did not hear any other footsteps down in the tunnels. All the merchants on the street above had access to their tunnel entrances, but not many used them. He wanted to make sure that no one was sharing the tunnels with him this evening. When he was sure that the only sounds were the water dripping in various parts of the tunnel he continued his walk.

He looked down each tunnel to see if there was a light source coming from the ends. Despite all his hopes there were none. All the tunnels were dark and most of them had at least one bend in them so it was impossible to see past to the end. He was just going to have to walk each one of them. He wondered how many Frank had gotten through earlier in the day. He would have to make a mental note to ask him tonight during the meeting. Let him know he was following up on him.

The luminescent glow of his phone lit up the entire tunnel as it began to ring. He looked at who was calling and saw that it was Indigo. He decided to let it go to voice mail. He was in no mood for her at the moment. He would be glad to get a fresh start when this job was over.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Heist

Parker lived in a cyber world all his own. He rarely ever ventured out except when had to, like today. Most of the time he spent his days and nights holed up in his little two room apartment that had all the latest computer equipment in it. He liked living as far off the grid as possible. As soon as he could he was going to move to Montana and live completely off the grid. He already powered his entire apartment with solar panels and didn't use any unnecessary electricity. Most people did not think this was possible in the city, but he knew it could be done.

He had started working with this group about three years ago. He had replaced some other cyber geek that had gone on to work in the straight world. He couldn't handle being a hacker. Especially not for a bunch of criminals. Parker had met him one time and he was actually indignant about the fact that they were criminals. He never even acknowledged the fact that hacking was a criminal act as well. Most hackers were like that though.

At least Parker was honest with himself. He lived off very few non-renewable resources, but he knew that what he did to afford his lifestyle was dishonest and down right illegal. He hadn't been caught yet, but he also knew that it was just a matter of time. That's why this job was so appealing to him. This would be it. He would have what he needed to move out to Montana and set up his "green" house. He had already designed the straw bale house he was going to build and put a down payment on the land. All he needed was the rest of the cash.

Parker knew there was some politics to this group, but he tried not to get involved with all of that. However, he was not stupid. He kept tabs on everyone between jobs just to be on the safe side. He had noticed contact between Indigo and Les about three weeks ago. He had also noticed that Indigo had started communicating with Smalls about two years ago. Parker was a little worried about their motives, but the money was too good to turn down. When his phone started buzzing he knew it would be Indigo with a time for the meeting. He would have to venture out once more today.

"All in a day's work," he thought to himself.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Heist

Interviewing for the position had been a cinch for Bones. He was just the right build, and had charisma. His charm had won him many positions in the past, including on this team of criminals. He had just walked into the bank and told them he was the guy they needed and they believed him. The mark always made it way too easy for Bones. That was why he could never resist a good con. It was a game to him, and he never lost.

He was sitting in a Starbucks when he got the call from Indigo. Now there was a sneaky one. She wanted everyone to think that she had just learned about the job this morning, but Bones knew better. She would never cross Les. Bones had always thought that the two of them had something going, but he could never prove it. When Gary died he became keenly aware of the lengths that Les would go to in order to get his way though. Bones had made the mistake of walking back down to the alley behind the store to see what was taking them so long and stumbled upon the two of them in a heated conversation.

Les was trying to convince Gary to do something with the muzzle of his gun shoved into his face, and Gary was resisting. Bones never got close enough to hear what was going on because before he knew it he heard sirens. He turned to walk away like they had decided when he heard a shot ring out from behind him. When he found out that Gary had died he could never decide whether it was the police who had shot Gary or Les. Bones did not want to personally find out. He just kept his mouth shut and his head down.

This job was his chance to move into the big time. He had always wanted to be a part of a bigger crime family. With this job on his resume he would easily be able to break into the big time! His only worry was Frank and Les. The two of them could be like flint and steel, igniting if you looked at them wrong. He was going to have to be careful and watch his back.

Now he was going to have to find some way to waste time until 2:00am. Sleep would be nice, but he was afraid that he might not be able to sleep since he was so keyed up. There was always the club. He was part owner of a strip club downtown and he usually frequented it when he was working a job. Tonight would be no different.