Early in the Morning, Late in the Day

7 Oct

The sound of an electronic –Chirp!– woke Dwight up.  He opened his eyes, slapped at the clock. Four. By tonight he’d be a rich man if all went accord- –Chirp!– -according to plan.  He slapped the clock again.

Up and out of bed. His legs were stiff, his back was stiff, his shoulders ached and he took  extra time washing his face because the water was so soothing on his fingers.

When he’d hit 50 he joked that crime paid, but not enough. Half a dozen years later he was acutely aware how much he’d slowed down. But today was the creme de la creme, a bank job, and if it went as planned he could retire. –Chirp!–  That wasn’t the clock.  What was that chirp?

He grabbed the black daypack with his gun, hacksaw, gloves, drill and was out of the house by 4:15.

He picked up his favorite protege, Milky, who got in the car and pulled a package of women’s pantyhose out of his shirt: “Got your knife?”

“‘Course I got my knife,” Dwight snatched a switchblade from the cup-holder, flicked it open and handed it to Milky.

“Robbers’ masks, two for one!”  Though he meant to cut the legs from the underwear part in a swift slice instead Milky initiated a fight with them. The harder he pulled on the nylon the more viciously he had to saw and it was just not cutting. -Chirp!– “What’s that chirp?” he said.

“I don’t know and it’s bugging the hell outa me,” Dwight said.

They parked around the corner from the bank so the cameras couldn’t see them. –Chirp!–

Milky was still hacking at the nylons, “Well that chirp needs to stop!”

Dwight took the knife and stockings away from Milky, loosened the slack and cut them easily. “Ignore it. After this job we’ll be able to pay a team of specialists to find it and kill it!”  He handed Milky his stocking and they each put one over over their heads.

“I can totally recognize you,” Milky said.

“Milky, what size did you get…?”

“They’re Millie’s.”

“Millie’s big.”

“She’s awesome!”

“Yeah, she’s awesome but she’s big.  The whole point of the stocking is it’s gotta be tight. Mash up your face.”

“Well we need a Plan ‘B’ then I guess,” Milky said.

“It’s a disguise not a veil of mystique!”

“I’m sorry then!” Milky said, –Chirp!– “What is that chirp!?”

“Maybe we can fix it,” Dwight twisted around fast, rooting through the junk in the back seat. Then he froze. “Ah! My back – it’s spazzin’!”

“Ease out of it!” Milky said, “Don’t tense up, you’ll make it worse!”

“Find that damn chirp and kill it now!” Dwight groaned, turning slowly forward, relaxing into the backrest and taking a deep breath. “Gimmie a minute,” he exhaled slowly – -Chirp!– “What is that?” and closed his eyes.

Dawn was breaking. Dwight and Milky, nonchalant,  strolled up the alley to the back entrance of the bank.  Each had a black stocking over his head stuffed with rumpled white fast-food bags, a little knot tied at the bottom to keep the contents from falling out. Commuters were driving out of their garages now, down the alley. If the effort was to be unrecognizable they’d met the mark but, not by a mile if the desire was to be inconspicuous. –Chirp!–

“It’s like it’s following us!” Dwight whispered hard, “What is that chirp!?”

At the back door of the bank, Dwight squatted, set the daypack down, unzipped it, slipped on his gloves then took out the drill to remove the lock. He squeezed the trigger but the bit didn’t spin, just a weak hum and a whimpering, –chwrrrp– then nothing.

Milky looked at him, worry behind black nylon, the bulges of paper in his stockinged face making crinkling noises as he winced, “…low battery…”

Dwight spoke low, “…Chirp,” he said as the pink light of daybreak hushed through the crack of dawn.

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One Response to “Early in the Morning, Late in the Day”

  1. ingridf October 16, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    This is *brilliant*… Laughed my way through it. 🙂 🙂 Love the line:

    “They’re Millie’s.”

    “Millie’s big.”

    “She’s awesome!”

    “Yeah, she’s awesome but she’s big. The whole point of the stocking is it’s gotta be tight. Mash up your face.”

    “Well we need a Plan ‘B’ then I guess,” Milky said.

    “It’s a disguise not a veil of mystique!””

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