He pulls out of his dad’s old garage in his dad’s old car, whose sweet engine purr is comparable to a dragon's roar. Its sleek jet-black surface glimmers in the golden hour sun. It is so bright, in fact. As soon as he pulls out, he pulls down the sunglasses holder and puts on his dad’s old shades.
It was a moment one could never forget. Little did he know it would be his last…
Never mind that now, because all that is on his mind is the last job and how his big brother always put him in headlocks and might be the reason a cop does the same. The thought is nauseating, but so is the thought of his dream he pushed into the back of his mind.
His brother looks over at him as he pulls off the lot so fast He leaves skid marks on the asphalt. He glances over at him with a look he did not mean to be so intimating but it was so he turns the other way.
His dad always called it resting bitch face. He couldn’t help it. He was like his dad in every way possible. He loved speeding, sharing an ice-cold beer on the porch. But most of all, he loved his family.
A family he was jeopardizing with this job, but if it could pay off my old car, it was all worth it in the end. Hell, he might even take this car home. He got a feeling Dad would have wanted that. Even if his brother disagreed.
It takes almost an hour before he gets into town and when he does; it stopped us at a stoplight at an intersection. He is distracted from the light that has just turned green by what looks to be undercover cops to his left, right, and just ahead of him.
The driver behind him presses down so hard on his horn it makes his ears bleed. He looks to the road ahead of him and speeds off.
As he passes by the cop beside him, He glances to his side to see he is staring right at him with a dismal frown. Cops always hated his family. They knew they were troublemakers and always ended their patrols by paying a visit to his dad’s gas station.
He looks back to the road ahead of him and can see the bank’s neon sign in the distance. The weather took a turn for the worst and clouds came in faster than he or his brother could imagine.
A gentle sprinkling begins, but he only knows it will get worse and most likely morph into a storm flooding the city. Being in a valley it was not well suited for storms of the such. It would likely force his brother and him to sleep in the shop for the night.
Luckily, his dad kept a cot in the back for late nights when he had one too many beers and could not drive home.
He thought about that cot now and now amazing it would feel like resting in it after the job. His father always believed beds after a long day of work felt like heaven. A cloud from which you could never escape even if you wanted to. He sure as Hell never wanted to.
As he pulled into the bank, his heartbeat out of my chest. He could feel it in his gut, too. It wrenched as he passed by the lanes for deposits.
He looked into the window at one teller, who stared right back at me. It gave me a weird feeling like he knew what he was up to something. However, he had so much acne on his face there was no way he was more than an intern or recruit.
He turns from him and makes a turn into the loading dock. A truck is there with its engine humming and headlights piercing the now thick rain as workers from the back unload it.
Mike put on my turn signal as he approached the back exit, but looks into my rearview mirror to see nothing but the truck behind him.
He continues on and parks behind the trash bins, which are surrounded by a brick wall. The perfect hiding place, as his brother put it. But it left them exposed on the opposite side of oncoming traffic. So he turned off the car and the headlights so they blended into the wall.
Thankfully, the rain was thick enough it was hard to see anything. So what if one tourist saw me? They wouldn’t think anything of it…
My brother pulls down his ski mask, but he is hesitant to do the same. If they saw that, they definitely would think something of it.
He turns to me, nods, and gets out of the car with his grocery bag and piece. He looks away at the concrete pad ahead of him, getting drenched in bullets of rain. Then into the rearview mirror to see his dumbass brother make his way over to the bank.
Out of morbid curiosity, He turns on the car and pulls up a few feet. Just enough so that he can see when he gets back so he can leave as soon as possible.
He sees him run up to the backdoor and knock on the garage. It slowly opens up, revealing a bright light coming from within. Inside, a worker pulls down on the chain, then pulls up the garage.
Once it is at the top, they both nod, and his brother steps inside. The worker quickly lowers the garage door, making the loading dock almost pitch black minus the few service lights and street lamps.
He rests his head on his hand, which is posed against the window. He sees the same cop from earlier turn onto the street next to the loading dock.
He lowers his hand and panic until He puts the car into reverse and back until He is concealed by the brick encasement.
He turns off the headlights and takes off his seatbelt. He lowers himself below the dash as he slowly creeps up. He turns on his spotlight and continues his approach.
His heart stops when the spotlight comes to life and shines right on him.
” Hey! “
He sits up and frantically turns on the engine and headlights. The engine roars to life, and he presses on the gas like my life depends on it.
The car moves from side to side in place as it leaves dark skid marks on the concrete pad. He comes out of my trance as he shifts it into drive.
The tail end of the car rocks back and forth as he pulls out of the lot. Instead of taking the primary exit, He, as his dad said, “ man of mysteries it “ and pull out on the curb.
It dents the front end and back end of the car. Jolting him up in his seat.
His heart stops as a car speeds towards me, blaring its horn. Maybe this really is the last job… maybe this is what his premonition was referring to.
No… he pulls hard on my e-brake and makes a screeching skid onto the opposite end of the street. He falls into the side of the door until all four tires are in the opposing lane.
An SUV's horn shrills as it speeds past me. HE tries to catch his breath but as soon as he does; he looks into the rearview mirror to see the cop chasing him with its lights and siren on.
He pushes the gas peddle into the ground as He swerves about the lanes. The tail end of his car swerved out of control until he turns the steering wheel so hard back and forth until it is back in place.
He sees his life flash before me as he changes lane after lane. Bumper to bumper with each car that he passes.
It is not until he reaches the mountain pass he feels even the slightest bit of relief.
Meanwhile, back at the bank, his brother is screaming at a teller to load his grocery bag with money. It is a young man who cries as he loads the bag and throws it over the glass barrier after tying it up.
His brother slams on the marble counter and points his gun all around. Making every teller and customer fall to their knees.
“ That's what I thought, motherfuckers! “
He sprints out of the main lobby into the back and runs face-first into one worker. They both fall to the tiled floor and rub their head in pain.
As the worker stands up, his brother jumps to his feet and runs past. Pistol whipping him as he passes, giving him a bloody nose and likely a concussion as he passes out once more.
His brother speeds into the backroom. Lifts the garage door himself and slides underneath it. Soaking all of his clothes.
The garage door slams behind him, and he rises to his feet. Sploshing around in the pools of water, looking all around. He screams out.
“ What the fuck Mike! “
He looks down at his bag and is reminded of the plan.
“Oh wait, shit.”
He sprints off into the distance. Each step produces a splash of water.
Mike is speeding away, with a cop hot on his trail. By now, he is only minutes away from his father's garage and his sweet cot.
As he sped away in his car, he takes a draw from one of his father’s last cigarettes he lit shortly before. He removes it from his lips, making a popping sound as the smoke arises from them.
His brow perspires as he speeds down the open road. His leather jacket felt more like a furnace to his boiling chest.
He looks into the rearview mirror to see nothing coming his way
You're paranoid. There is no way they caught up with you by now. You're too fast... Just like dad.
He looks into the rearview mirror as he takes another draw. Once more, nothing is following him but the curving road behind him. He lets out the smoke, and it covers the mirror momentarily as he envisions the past.
He imagines himself running up to his father with his long-sleeved leather jacket and a toy car, as he worked on a life-sized one. Then he imagines a body bag, his own. Being zipped up in some mortuary.
He presented the toy car for his father's approval. He ignores him momentarily as he wrenches away at some part.
Seconds after, he turns and smiles so brightly it blinds Mike, who turns from the glaring sun that reveals itself as his father turns his head. Maybe that is what he looked like now... Or at least so had he hoped.
He always wanted to be his father. He turned up too much like him and was about to suffer the same fate.
After the cloud dissipates, he looks into the mirror once more to see a quite unfamiliar sight.
Unlike before, a multitude of squad cars follow him down the winding road. He panics and wheezes. He whips his head back but turns as soon as he hears a blaring shrill.
He turns to gawk at a car approaching him.
What the hell is he doing on the wrong side of the road?
He blinks once, then sees it is in fact himself that is on the wrong side. He swerves to the ride as hard as he can, pulling the e-brake at his side.
Clouds similar to the ones that encompassed him as a kid arise and before he knows it, it is all over...
Mike’s brother burst into the door of the local gas station he made many memories of. Some of them are good, some of them are bad. Like the one where he puked his guts out into the toilet after getting alcohol poisoning at a party.
This moment would definitely fall into the latter category. He bursts into the bathroom, locking the door behind him.
Seconds after, a loud knocking can be heard at the door.
“ Just a second... “
Mike's brother wipes the sweat off his brow in the mirror and rips open the grocery bag with his teeth.
However, as soon as the bag is opened, it triggers a die shooter that sprays him in red paint.
“ Ahhhh. “
“ What the fuck are you doing in there? “
Mike’s brother coughs and wheezes.
“ You know... Taco Bell man. “
“ Take all the time you need. “
Footfalls can be heard leaving the doorway.
Mike’s brother quickly strips down and puts his clothes in the grocery bag, which he throws in the trash. He shoves all the money into his underwear and washes the red stain on his face.
Minutes after, he waits at the doorway, trying to catch his breath with his hair on his face in his underwear.
He pivots the bolt and sprints out of the bathroom half-naked, pushing past the trucker who was waiting.
“ Wait... Hey! “
He sprints out of the gas station, but the trucker follows him. His feet and body tremble as he steps into the pools of rain in the parking lot.
A car waits for him at the pump he sprints towards, kicking up water as he approaches. He gets in and speeds off before the man can do any more but slam on the hood of the car...