Day 135: The Last Heist of Johnathan Prince

John lit a cigarette and took a drag. His eyes darted from end to end of the thoroughfare. Lawmen patrolled this area regularly–he would have to be fast.

The bank stood across the road, just waiting to be emptied. A lawman glanced his way as he walked past. John tipped his hat. The lawman nodded and continued. John turned and watched him walk away, blowing a puff of smoke in the man’s direction. It was time to move.

He stepped off the boardwalk, hands in his coat pocket, not daring to look around to see if he was being watched. He kept a steady pace, not too quick and not too slow. The pace of an ordinary man taking a stroll to the bank for some common business. He pushed open the doors of the old building and scanned the room. Two–no, three customers at the counters. Five men behind. They had yet to install protective, prison-bar-like barriers to match the newer banks in the big cities.

John produced a revolver and marched to the front counter, creeping behind the customer situated there. He pressed the barrel of his revolver to the woman’s neck and whispered for her to be quiet or this would get very, very loud. She whimpered and sobbed–but quietly. The other two customers caught wind of the scene and gasped. John whirled his pistol to point at them, back and forth, and put a finger to his lips. He tipped the revolver, motioning them to get on the floor. They crouched, then lay flat. John could swear he felt their heartbeats against the floorboards. Or maybe it was his own.

He tipped his hat to the cashier. The portly man quivered as John rose his revolver. John gave the man a reassuring smile and dropped a sack onto the counter. “You know what to do,” he said. And the man did. He filled the sack right quick with stacks of green paper from the safe behind him. John puffed at his cigarette, moving his aim from cashier to cashier, flicking his eyes occasionally to the customers flattened on the floor. In a moment, the sack was filled and handed back to him over the counter by a shaking cashier, who backed away immediately after releasing the bag. Using the barrel of his gun, John lifted open the sack, took a brief look at the cash, then grinned at the cashier, cigarette between his teeth. He secreted the sack away inside his heavy rifle frock coat, spun on his heel and sauntered out of the bank.

Facing him upon opening the door was the lawman from before, flanked by six more of his ilk. John tipped his hat to them.



Today’s three random prompt categories were, “Western,” “Heist gone wrong,” and, “You know what to do.”

Continuing the tradition of my protagonists having rotten luck.

Crime doesn’t pay, kids.

– H.

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