This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The words below are just practice. Practice makes perfect.
I’ll never forget where I was when it happened; when the clocks stopped, and everyone froze in place. I was in Saline County, driving west from Wilber, where I had just knocked over the Farmers & Merchants Bank on Main Street. I was heading home.
For the job, I had parked my car about a block south of the bank, at the Subway.
Before I entered the F&M I unzipped my black canvas gym bag and placed it behind a trash can in front of the bank then I pulled my ski mask down over my face. Only my eyes showed, and of course, my pistol. Everyone in that bank saw the piece, I made sure of it. I was carrying a newly purchased blued Cimarron .45 LC single action revolver with a 5.5” barrel and walnut grips, that I had bought on-line. It had room for six rounds, but I had only loaded five. I didn’t have to do much more than flash the Cimarron to get what I wanted. I made my way to the cutest teller and handed her a white canvas sack. She put in all the money from her drawer and, I motioned her to pass it on to the next teller. It took less than three minutes for six tellers to empty their cash drawers into my bag. I got it back full, backed to the front doors and ducked outside. Grabbing my gym bag, I headed west on Fourth Street and cut across the big yard surrounding a modest-sized house on the corner of Fourth and Wilson. Behind an outbuilding nestled in some trees, I put the canvas sack, with the cash, my .45, and my Army Field Jacket into my gym bag. Then I hopped the back fence to run diagonally across the yard of what might have been a farm equipment repair business. Back on S. Main, I slowed, took five steps along the sidewalk and was at the Subway lot where I’d parked.
Hitting the button on my key fob popped the boot of the car, and I tossed the gym bag in, shut the lid and meandered over to the shop. I ordered a foot long ‘Spicy Italian’ and was informed by the high school kid working the counter that there was a special, “buy one foot long and get a second one free.” The kid had an acne-scarred face, freckles, and red hair with a cowlick that stuck straight up in the back.
“OK, I’ll take two,” I told him. He and I discussed the weather and what kinds of condiments I wanted on my sandwiches. I took spinach, red onions, black olives, tomato and an oil and vinegar dressing. At the register, I got a large iced tea and a bag of Lays classic chips to go along with my sandwiches. I ate the first sandwich sitting in my car watching the police race by to the scene of the bank robbery about half a block up. Finishing my sandwich, I headed west on 41 and right before turning onto Hwy 15 it happened. Traffic was light, and I was waiting in the turn lane for an oncoming pickup when he seemed to lose control and run off the road. I decided not to draw attention to myself, and as there was no other traffic, I made the turn and continued south. I was heading to my Momma’s house in Western.
Western, is not a large town, maybe 250 residents, but it was clear that something weird had happened. There were a couple of cars crashed their drivers slumped over the wheels. Three or four people were lying on the sidewalks, and there was no activity on the streets at all. At Momma’s, the radio was on in the kitchen. It was playing some country song that I couldn’t recognize, playing over and over on a loop. Momma was sitting at the kitchen table. She had The Observer spread out on the table, open to the obits, and a ceramic mug of coffee cooled next to her hand. Momma looked peaceful, she wasn’t breathing and I couldn’t detect a pulse but she had a slight smile on her face.
I turned on the TV and it seemed that the networks were all broadcasting. Back outside I knocked at the Nogales’, next door, no answer. Same thing at the Whitakers, across the street. I glanced around, no traffic. I tried the Whitakers front door. Gina and her mom were watching TV in the den, surrounded by light wood panelling and bookshelves. I found Mr Whitaker in the back yard laying in the grass behind his lawnmower, which had shut down when he let go of the handle. Back inside I sat on the coffee table and studied Gina and her mother. Just like my own mother, neither of them appeared to be breathing and no pulse was detectable. Gina was only a couple of years younger than me. She still lived at home and made the 40-mile drive to Southeast Community College for classes. She had been studying to be a Radiography Technologist.
I thought about what she had been like as a kid, always pestering my friends and me, following us around. I remembered how excited she had been when she’d turned sixteen and gotten her driver’s license. How she grew aloof and unapproachable when she graduated from high school. I thought about unbuttoning her blouse and taking a peek but quickly discarded that idea.
I lifted myself from Mrs Whitaker’s stone-topped coffee table and made my way back to Momma’s house. I figured I oughta stay there until I figured out what had happened, what was going on.
This week’s prompts are:
- she just gets it
- she lies
- all done with mirrors