The Fourth of July Caper

Written by: Ray Stone
Maximum number of words per chapter: 500
Minimum number of words per chapter: 450

A broken neon tube swung in the breeze, still attached to a wire secured to a smashed neon advert display. High above the stores and fast food outlets, along the length of the block, a tangled mess of other neon boards flickered and lit up the empty sidewalk. Apart from the usual Friday night trash that littered the area, a lone dog sniffed around bins. Drink cartons were swept by the breeze first in one direction and then the other, finally rolling noisily into the gutter. In the distance, the urgent wail of a police siren accompanied by a barking dog.

Dave Denny flicked the Stuyvesant, blew the smoke from his lungs, and, shrugging the chill, lent against the wall of Burger King and raised his wrist to note the time. Boggiano had told him one am. It was now one-thirty. There was very little time to get in and start work. The timing was everything.

A Lincoln pulled up. Dave nodded and climbed in and shook hands with Boggiano. With him were three men.

“Okay, so let’s introduce you to each other,” said Boggiano. He pointed at each man as he spoke. Francies is cutters and drills, Marino the lance and Ant, who will lead the digging. Recap the job – The reason you never met is that the job is straight forward and not knowing your workmates until tonight means good security—no loose lips. Dave here is the leader of the team who hand-picked you. His word is law. Listen to him.” He patted Dave on the shoulder. “All yours, Dave.”

Dave looked at the expectant faces. “We are going to rob First National – the branch on the corner of fifty-fifth and Dawson Street in downtown Gig Harbor.”

“What the hell,” uttered Ant.

Dave held a hand up. “Okay, so it’s the weekend, and July fourth is on Monday. The bank is opposite a bakery owned by a friend who’s gone on holiday. He won’t be back until after the police find the tunnel from his store. We make it look like a break-in, and he’s clear. We can go down twenty feet from the sewer access, knock out some bricks, and travel ninety feet through soft clay to the bank. That’s the first hurdle. Reinforced concrete and beyond that a straight line of fifteen feet, and we are under the vault. The trouble is the fifteen feet is hard clay. Once there, we can cut up into the vault. We have all the necessary equipment, and we have three nights and two days to do the job.”

“What about alarms?” Ant lit a cigarette.

“Nothing inside the vault. It’s old. And a warning. Forget putting notes in your pockets. You lose some on the way out, and the police will find them together with DNA.

The Lincoln pulled into an alley at the back of the bakery.

“Best of luck, boys. One of my guys will be right behind with all your gear. Happy Fourth.”


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