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 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.