McNerthney Was Known To Work Late

I loved Betty once. That was before I started making the big scores robbing banks. Now I’ve got a Duesenberg. It has shiny chrome running boards, bright white spare tires on both sides of the car and it cranks over real easy. That and a lot of other swag. But once Betty found out where my money came from, it was over. Well there’s plenty of fish in the sea, and for someone who can get a suit made by Mr Ralph J. Pecora on Seventeenth without waiting two weeks, all I have to do is choose blonde, brunette or redhead.

But I still carry a torch for that frail and she hasn’t cut me off completely. She introduces me to her friends as a financial wizard, which of course I am. I even like her husband, Dan. He’s a fiduciary of some kind. If she had to marry someone other than me, he’ll do.

So I was casing out this bank and everything looked hunky dory. I’m a safe man. I can crack ’em or I can blow ’em, it all depends on the works and how much time I have for the score.

I went back that night. I had already made a wax cast from the lock for the back door and got in easy.

I had my flashlight, a Yale brand three cell, heavy, but lasts a long time. I lurked about making sure there was no one around. These small banks usually can’t afford a night guard, but I don’t need no surprises.

Surprises are what gets you in the clink.

I’m was still sneaking around when my flashlight lit up a someone at a desk. I ducked around the corner, breathing hard. No surprises. I waited and waited. The room where the person was, was quiet as a tomb. I snuck a quick look and he hadn’t moved a sliver of an inch. He looked like he was asleep, but then I noticed the pool of some kind of liquid all around his head.

Then I saw the gun he clutched even in death.

So this surprise wasn’t going to interfere with my “Financial Wizardry” after all. Anyone has got to be curious about a stiff though, so I was going to waste a little time gawking.

Signs on it! I got my flask out ‘cuz I needed to steady my nerves. The dead man was Dan, Betty’s husband. Now this stiff was really interesting.

On his desk was a letter. I could read it by the light of my flashlight. “Embezzled…Couldn’t keep up the pretense…My honor besmirched…”. Well then I knew why he did a gun croak.

I considered my options, then thought about Betty and put on my gloves. I picked up the gun, rubbed Dan’s prints off and dropped it on the floor. I swiped the letter. After that, I walked to the vault and got out my dynamite. It blew the door. I didn’t touch a single dollar bill.

I walked out the way I came in.

The headline read:

“Bank Employee Killed in Daring Nighttime Raid”

Second lede:

“Dan McNerthney was found dead at his place of business. The robbers got away with a significant amount of money. McNerthney was known to work late. He paid the ultimate price.”

I still love Betty.

This entry was posted in flash fiction, prose.

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