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The Caper

Robert Van DusenApr 19, 2022, 3:59:00 AM

I thought I'd take a shot at writing an entry in talexratcliffe's monthly contest. 
It's a little short story that's not really connected to anything I've written. In fact, it's a little different than anything else I'd written. I hope you all like it. I had to try really, really hard to keep it 'YouTube Friendly' though I'm not entirely certain what that means as it's sort of a moving target. There's no cursing and the violence is kept to a minimum, so there's that. shrugs 
Either way, if you're interested, you can pick up my books here. Or maybe you're feeling generous, and you'd like to drop a buck in the till via PayPal right here
Now that the boring admin stuff's out of the way, enjoy!

Vinnie wiped his hands on his jeans when he saw Nicky's car pulled up to the curb.

“Hey.” he said tersely as he slid into the passenger's seat of his friend's beat up Oldsmobile and dug a pack of Lucky Strikes out of his jacket pocket. Nicky shot the skinny man a disapproving look when he sparked a shiny silver Zippo and lit up, blowing a cloud of blue-white smoke out of the window. Ordinarily Nicky would have cussed the guy out for smoking in his car, but he decided to let it slide this once. The guy was jumpin' and jivin' like he was about to go busting right out the roof of the car, not that Nicky really blamed him. They had been planning this caper for about a week, and tonight was the night. When they pulled up to a stoplight, Nicky pulled a little plastic envelope out of the car's center console, dumped a little of the white powder inside onto the side of his index finger and snorted the line. “WOOO!” Nicky crowed as he handed the envelope to Vinnie then punched the roof of the car. “You ready? YOU READY, VINNIE BOY!?

Vinnie snorted what was left and grinned broadly as the drug rocketed through his system. “Ready to rock an' roll, buddy!” he roared, drumming his hands on the dashboard. “Alright! ALRIGHT! ALRIGHT!” He reached over and cranked the radio up full blast, making the night vibrate with the sounds of Mick Jagger, assuring all and sundry that he just couldn't get no satisfaction.

Vinnie pulled up to the curb outside The Alamo, this dingy hole in the wall nightclub across town, and all of a sudden Vinnie felt cold as he stared across the street at the darkened building. Something felt off about the whole thing, though he couldn't figure out what it was. Even though the club was closed since it was a Wednesday night, there were a half dozen or so Caddies parked in the lot next to the building. The false bravado was starting to wear off, so he started going through the console. “Whoa, whoa.” Nicky said, putting a hand on his friend's arm. “C'mon. Let's do this!”

The trunk latch let go with a loud pop that Vinnie was sure they heard across the street. The two young hoods scrambled out of the car and rounded to the back of the car. Nicky reached in and handed Vinnie a shotgun. It felt like it weighed a ton, and he nearly dropped it. Nicky picked up some kind of Uzi or something, pulled the handle on the top back and tucked it under his windbreaker. “Alright. C'mon. Let's go.” Nicky clapped his friend on the back, closed the trunk and trotted across the street.

Vinnie climbed up and peeked through the small window at the back of the club, which let him peer into the back room of the club. “He there?” Nicky hissed nervously as he glanced up and down the alley. He sniffed and wiped at his nose, already thinking of the gram he'd stopped Vinnie from finding in the car. “He there?”

“Yeah, the guy's there. C'mon.”

Nicky crossed to the door and yanked it open, catching the guy sitting at the table inside off guard. In a flash, Vinnie was in the small room and whacked the old dude in the teeth with the butt of the shotgun, knocking him sprawling against the wall. Snickering, Nicky walked over and kicked the guy in the head a couple of times. The pair of them crossed quickly to the door at the other side of the room. They charged down the stairs into the basement, brandishing their guns.

“THIS IS A ROBBERY!” Vinnie announced, leveling the shotgun at the men sitting around the handful of card tables spaced around the basement, “KEEP YOUR HANDS WHERE WE CAN SEE 'EM!” Once the initial surprise wore off, the twenty or so guys all stared coldly at the two men like they couldn't quite believe what they were seeing. Nicky raised the Uzi and snapped open a plastic shopping bag, holding it out to the men. “WATCHES, WALLETS AND JEWELRY IN THE BAG!”

“You mutts have any idea who this game belongs to?” an older guy with a face like a bulldog growled under his breath as he regretfully dropped his wallet and a diamond pinkie ring into the shopping bag. Nicky chuckled like a hyena and clipped the guy a good one across the back of his head with the barrel of the machine gun. A ripple of angry murmuring went through the gamblers as Nicky moved on to relieve the people at the next table of their valuables. Vinnie kept them covered with the shotgun, just in case anyone got any bright ideas.

Nicky grinned as he tied the bag shut and slipped his hand through the handle. There had to be at least a hundred grand just in jewelry, never mind the cash in the wallets and taken off the tables. “Pleasure doing business with you!” he laughed, then raised the machine gun. The gunfire was deafening as the pair of robbers emptied their weapons into the men.

“Jesus, let's get the hell outta here!” Vinnie shouted over the ringing in his ears. The smell of gun smoke and blood was going to make him sick.

The color drained from the two hoods' faces when one of the men on the floor groaned and sat up. The man Nicky had clocked grinned, then hawked and spat a clot of blood onto the floor as he climbed to his feet. The stocky middle-aged man straightened his gore stained suit jacket. He pulled the biggest knife Vinnie had ever seen out from under his jacket.

“You really didn't know, did you? You mutts. Well, you're gonna find out.”