I throw on my hoodie, pull it low to conceal my face, and slide on a pair of gloves. The clerk is all alone. Adrenaline surges through my veins as I draw a 9mm from its’ holster. Approaching the counter, I stick the piece inches from his chest. Shock and fear spread across his face like wildfire. He empties the register into a black bag. I snatch it from his trembling hands and sneak out the same way I snuck in.
I drive over to the big house I once shared with my family. I park on the street and make my way through the dead grass. It’s dark now; close to midnight. After scribbling, “For Christmas” across a manila envelope, I slide it through the mail slot in the door.
Inside the car, I put two heavy lines of blow up my nose. It rushes into my bloodstream, and I feel alive again! Heading to the bar I’ve been a regular at for twenty years I drive by the store I’d just robbed. Two cruisers are parked outside. Their blue lights are on; flashing like a disco on the dark city street.
Cops pour in as I sip from my third glass of whiskey. They’re talking about a robbery from earlier tonight at a liquor store down the street. One slides out the stool next to me and plops his fat ass down into it. He looks at the bartender, nodding towards me and says, “I’ll have whatever he’s having.”
I let out a short, uncomfortable laugh then stand up to pay my tab. The middle-aged bartender, with a head and beard chock-full of gray, waves me off, “How many times have I told you you’re money’s no good here?”
I toss a twenty onto the bar.
“And how many times have I told you I always pay my debts?”
“How’s about I buy you a drink?” A familiar voice calls out as I move towards the door. I stop briefly and say in my deep voice that draws everyone’s attention, “No thanks, I’d rather drink alone! Besides, I have a busy workday tomorrow.”
No one replies as I open the door and step out into the street. I slide a cigarette from its case and spark my lighter. Taking a long pull, I exhale into the cold night’s air. My hands shoot deep into my coat pockets. One hand wraps around a roll of stolen cash, the other around my gold detective's badge.