Flash Friday 05/06/2015: Crime Doesn’t Pay
The van, speeding down the country road with music blaring out of the open windows, was the only thing for miles around making noise at three in the morning.
The rotund, moustached man driving the van cackled to himself as he bobbed to the beat of the Spanish music blasting from the sound system. He slapped the arm of the man in the passenger seat; a slender, angular man dressed in a suit, his hat covering his eyes. “Oh, stop moping around, you fool! We just committed what can only be defined as the perfect crime! Lighten up for once, won’t you?”
The thinner man smiled, speaking in a high, nasal tone. “Sorry, Pablo. Just tired from the heist we just pulled.”
“Tired?” Pablo cackled heartily. “How can a man be tired when he’s in a van with an entire jewellery store in the back? Why, if I were in the front seat alongside a man as wholesome and fun-loving as I am, there would be no time for rest!”
Pablo’s warm smile shattered into rage as he slammed on the breaks, the wheels screaming. “Hey!” Pablo yelled, leaning out of the window. “Get your sorry ass off of the road, you drive like my blind mother!”
The car that Pablo almost collided with slid past sheepishly.
“Anyway.” Pablo picked up the pace once again, his smile returning. “Tonight is a good night, my friend. Why, once we have these diamonds sold off, we’ll be living like kings. Kings! Speaking of which…” Pablo looked over his shoulder through the metal grill into the back of the van. “How is the count coming along, my friend? A thousand? Ten thousand?”
The sheepish, 19-year-old boy inside was sat on a chair on the side. He dug a hand into a bag of tiny diamonds, letting them slip through his fingers. “I-…yeah, something like that, I guess.”
“Oh, what’s the matter with you, now? Aren’t you happy that we managed to pull off the one heist we’ve planned for months? And it was all thanks to your supreme planning skills, too! A favour I will not soon forget.”
“Well…” the boy sighed. “It’s just that…we’re not going to be doing any more heists, are we?”
“More heists?” Pablo laughed a single laugh. “Of course we’re not doing any more heists! Once you win the jackpot on a slot machine, you don’t feed the damn coins back in! You, me, and David — we’re all going to die with bellies full of foie gras, smiles on our faces, and teeth made out of solid gold! What’s not to like?”
The boy casually flicked through the notes beside him. Blueprints, floor plans, security camera specifications, and how to navigate every single one. “Planning heists is what I got up in the morning for. You know? You’d always have somewhere else to rob, some other target that needed its assets relieved. Petrol stations, convenience stores, electronics stores…didn’t we hit a dog shelter at one point?”
Pablo huffed. “‘Rejected application’, my backside.”
“I’ve been planning break-ins for years. I still remember the high grade I got in English class, because I could spell ‘security’, ‘surveillance’, and ‘heavy industrial drill’. And now I’ll never have to plan a heist again.”
“And that’s a good thing!”
“You’d think so, but…it’s how I expressed myself. Creatively, in a way. The planning, the countermeasures, the prize at the end. I really put myself into those plans.”
“Well, I’ll tell you what you can plan now; the floorplans for the gigantic mansion in Hawaii we can now afford. You can also plan on food, women and fast cars. You hear that, David?” Pablo slapped a dozing David on the arm, startling him. “Your three favourite things!”
David snorted awake. “Yes, sir, sound good.”
“The point is, kid…you can leave all that stupid creative stuff behind you now. You don’t need it. Rich people don’t need creative stuff. All that garbage is for people who think that money can’t buy happiness, but they’re not driving a van filled with more money than most people will see in their lifetime, will they? Just let it go! Embrace your new luxury life in the sun and enjoy it!”
Silence filled the van.
“Actually,” David said, “I have this real good idea for a novel I want to write someday, boss.”
Pablo shook his head in exasperation. “Great. I’m stuck in a van with Da Vinci and Stephen King.”
“What I’m saying,” the boy continued, “is that riches and luxury won’t fill the hole that planning and performing will leave behind. I want to nurture my creativity more, even if that creativity is all about stealing other people’s property from under their noses. You can enjoy the spoils all you like, but just let me have a chance to make something of myself.”
The van came to a slow stop on the side of the road.
Pablo looked over his shoulder. “You mean it?”
“I mean it.”
Pablo chewed over the prospect in his mind. “Alright. But! I’ll always have a third laid aside for my bright little tunnel-digger when you decide that a hot woman on your lap beats creative endeavours. So, where do you want me to drop you off?”
The boy opened the back van door and stepped out. “Here is fine.”
The boy shrugged. “It’s not like I can’t afford transport, right?”
A coy smile creeped across Pablo’s face. “I have no idea what you’re up to, Alastair, but you sound confident enough. Just remember; you’ve got a home with me! In Hawaii. With hula girls. Also, a yacht.”
Alastair nodded, closing the van door as it sped off into the night. It was freedom, but it was the same way that a man stuck in crocodile country without a tour guide had freedom.
Alastair was ready to rock the world. He just had to figure out how.
This is the beginning of a fun little idea that I will return to time and time again! Long-time readers will probably remember the adventures of ‘Overlord and Imp’ a while ago, a recurring theme I liked to come back to sporadically. This will be similar in vein; any future flashes that use the basis of this story will be a standalone story in its own right. It won’t be a serial, as the stories will pop in and out of my schedule as they come, and there won’t be a definitive ‘THE END’ moment. It’ll just keep going until I run out of steam. Until then; enjoy!