BY J. BRADLEY
“How are you holding up, Maya?”
I can barely see Stephen sitting against the inner wall of the van from the corner of my eye putting his sawed off shotgun down to adjust his tortoise shell horn-rimmed glasses.
“Stephen, why can’t you just wear them under the mask?” The bulletproof vest beneath Toni’s floral blouse makes him look flatly barrel chested, like a thirteen year old girl with a blossoming tumor.
“Because then it shatters the illusion of looking studious, thoughtful as I contemplate what kind of mayhem to weave next, what nightmare to summon.”
“Hey, shit weasel,” Jewel yells from the driver’s seat. “Just because you’re dressed like him, doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be him.” I don’t know how the getaway driver made himself to look like a passable female impersonator version of Jewel and I won’t ask. “Toni, let’s go over the plan again, shall we?”
“Of course. I’ll go in first, cracking the door man of Moby Dick’s on the jaw with the butt of my shotgun. Stephen takes control of the room. Maya has 90 seconds to break into the manager’s safe. There should be quite a bit of money since Insexxxition was released and its critically acclaimed dream within a dream within a dream blowbang scene is causing it to fly off the shelves. At the two-minute mark, we should be getting back into the van, speeding away with our hard-earned tuition.”
“What happens if one of the customers gets brave,” Stephen asks.
“Just crack them in the skull with your gun and shove it in their mouth. They don’t have to know we don’t have any bullets.”
“One minute,” Jewel yells.
“Get ready,” Toni says. Jewel reverses the van so the doors face the front door, puts it in neutral. “Go, go, go.” The van spits out Toni and Stephen. I check the weight of my shotgun, make sure the shells are still there; I didn’t call our crew “The Authors We Want Dead Gang” just because.
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J. Bradley is the author of Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009) and the author of the flash fiction chapbook The Serial Rapist Sitting Behind You Is A Robot (Safety Third Enterprises, 2010). He is the Interview Editor of PANK Magazine and lives at iheartfailure.net.