Prompt: “‘Let's go, sugarbeet,' he said and snapped on the light. He was holding two duffle bags, one very light, the other very heavy. It was her car, and she had slept with the keys."
“Listen,” she started, nervousness igniting her blood. “I don’t know about this.”
He stared at her incredulously, “You can’t back out now, my love. This is the time to get serious. Besides, it won’t be hard and as long as you follow my instructions, it will go off without a hitch.”
She took a deep breath, and watched as he balanced the two duffle bags. She juggled the keys in her hand, grabbing a notebook and her laptop. She took one last look at the hotel room, her last look at safety and certainty, and finally spoke, “Okay. Let’s go.”
An hour later they crossed the Georgia border. He glanced at her from the passenger’s seat of the car and began explaining the plan, “It’ll be a routine con. Nothing crazy, other than the amount of money we’ll have at the end. All you have to do is distract them. I have total faith in you. We go in, you distract, I get the codes, we get out of there and then cash out.”
She hesitated before asking, “Why do we need the bags?” He laughed, “We need somewhere to put the thousands of dollars in cash, of course.” She shook her head. “No,” she started. “I meant, why do we need the other bag?”
He sighed. “We have to have a Plan B, in case things get out of hand.” At the sound of her panic, he quickly added, “But it won’t. I know it won’t, I promise it will go off without a hitch, babydoll.”
The rest of the drive was spent in silence, and soon they arrived at one of the biggest buildings in Atlanta: The Gaiman Company. She parked the car and took in a shaky breath. She knew the plan, but for the life of her she couldn’t remember why she had let him talk her into this. Then she remembered her brother, and with a steely determination, she shut off the engine. They shared a look, and before leaving the vehicle, he grabbed her arm. “Listen,” he started, a dark look in his eye. “You can’t chicken out here. You have to do this. You screw up, and we both go down.”
She shook her head quickly in understanding, panic spiking through her heart. She didn’t have a choice; her brother needed the money and she was the only one left to provide it.
They made their way into the building quietly, and he pulled her to the front desk. He gave her a look, a sign that it was her time to shine, and stood back and smiled. She put on her a fake smile and turned to the man at the desk. “Hello, sir. I was wondering if you could help me out. You see my boyfriend and I just broke down across the road and both of our cells are out. Do you think you could call a tow truck for us?”
The man at the desk fell for her charming act and looked down to dial a phone number. At the same time, her boyfriend had snuck into the back of the building where he knew there would be a computer with four top secret bank codes, and her heart pounded harder than she had ever felt.
“They should be on their way-” the man behind the desk started, but was interrupted by loud sirens. Her boyfriend came running out of the back, writing across his forearm, making a beeline for the exit. The man behind the desk called for security as she stood there, rooted to the spot in fear. Before she knew it her partner had pulled out Plan B, and she saw red. He threw her a gun as one of the security men came towards her. She stood there, holding the weapon, confused as to what was happening.
“Shoot!” he yelled in panic as he came behind her and guided her hand. She collapsed to the floor, her heart beating out of her chest, as the security guard hit the ground, rendered lifeless by her own hands.
Three days later she was sitting in the stiff, white hospital room, at her brother’s bedside, after the surgery. He was awake, and asking her how she was able to fund the procedure on such short notice. She just smiled and rubbed her thumb, the ache a constant reminder of how far she had gone.