“We’re leaving.”

Tony and Lucas found Jimmy preparing the gear for the night operation: ropes, black plastic bags, and a small bolt cutter which the two saw for the first time.

“I know,” the leader replied, unusually composed and calm. Whatever his plan was that afternoon, he did not show in his somewhat subdued behavior.

“I think it’s for the better,” Tony added. “We have outgrown our recklessness so maybe we should look for other interests away from taking too much risks.”

“One last time and it’s over,” Jimmy responded coolly. “We all need pocket money for our new lives.”

“We’re not doing it, Jimmy.” Lucas was blunt. All of Jimmy’s tactics had failed to convince them so the self-pity ploy would not work,too.

“I am coming,” he revealed. “Since this will be our last job, I want to show you why I am the leader of this group. I will prove to you why.”

Because of such bold admission, Tony looked at Lucas who shook his head.

“I think we should do one last heist,” Tony unexpectedly said, catching his friend off guard.

“I thought …,” Lucas was surprised to hear it.

“Jimmy is good. The five of us will get the job done quickly.”

“Tony is right,” Jimmy kept his jubilation to himself. He did a fast one on Lucas.

Before Lucas could thrash Jimmy’s guile, a loud shout was heard somewhere inside the lair. Their other two companions were still out so a stranger could have overheard everything they discussed.

“You’re surrounded so do not attempt to run,” the male voice sounded official. “Surrender peacefully!”

The trio looked around, checking the veracity of the claim. Their meaningful looks at one another meant only one thing: scamper out to safety.

“Tony The Climber, Lucas the Mask and Jimmy alias A-Hole, hands up!”

“Tony, you and me to that door,” Lucas whispered hoarsely. “Jimmy, you go that way.”

There were no arguments, only escape for everyone.

– o –

Lefty has made a quick decision. Upon hearing that it was the group’s last job, he felt an unorthodox risk has to be taken. If he could not get all three, he’d settle for Tony’s capture and picked the others one at a time later.

They’re good, Lefty admitted to himself. Running separately was the best option, especially if there was only one pursuer. They did not fall for the ‘you’re surrounded’ ruse so they got more chance of escape.

He saw Lucas coming his way, trailed by Tony who kept looking behind. Lefty could not apprehend both. Gun or no gun, they could overpower him if he tried.

Lucas passed him by, not knowing how close he could have been tripped. Tony was the target.


Lefty kicked the oncoming Tony in the abdomen, his prey surprised by the attack. Lefty quickly approached his victim who was writhing in pain. He could not afford him crying for help.

“You and I will have a talk,” he taped Tony’s mouth, dragged him across the lair toward the door where Jimmy exited. The midget could have been long gone, scared to the max.

– 0 –

Lucas kept running, knowing his friend was behind.

“We’re far away. I don’t think they’ll catch us now.”

When he turned around, no one was there. Lucas ran back to see if Tony stumbled somewhere. His friend was nowhere in sight.

He was of two minds to go back: he chose to wait in the shadows, hoping his friend made a detour to evade arrest.

– o –

“Where are you taking me?” Tony was tied and placed at the back seat. He nearly choked so Lefty had to remove the tape on the teenager’s mouth.

“You’ve been bad. You took something that does not belong to you,” Lefty preached.

He drove within the speed limit so as not to be flagged down for speeding. He could not risk it: the teen would surely choose going to jail than be stuck with him to an uncertain end.

“Please, I am going to change! Give me another chance!” he cried, louder to attract attention from outside.

“Too late for that now!” Lefty snickered. “I have prepared a special send off for you. I am sure you won’t like it!”

“God! I am too young to die! Please forgive me!” Tony feared Death himself drove the car.

“Tell him yourself if you ever meet him!”

Lefty laughed maniacally. The power to kill was in his hands. Absolutely.

(to be continued)



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