West and Seventeenth. Each corner has a Brown brick building. The decay of them spirals into a faint mist in the August night. A lone figure watches over the intersection. It’s flashing yellow light cries to be seen. Above the street, few of the uppers have light in them. Not even the ghosts are seen here.
Connor leans on a metal fence covering what was a grocery. It’s worn metal curves into a bed for those who can’t lay down. His fingers cradle a cigarette. It’s being nursed along. The pack is empty. The cigarette butts recycled twice already. A cell phone and a cd. His possessions are few. His place is important to the job.
Down the block, across to the right. A small shop, Pawn R Us, window promises the commodity no-one here has, cash. The little sign in corner says protected by DNG Security. Not tonite. Opportunity is meeting preparedness, what you call luck.
Darkness at nine calls for the gang to meet. They hold up in a small flat. Ten blocks relieved of the neighborhood where they will travel. It’s five guys, six never comes in contact with them. Safety in numbers only when no-one is caught.
Danny has the plan. Computer open. He’s working a video. Editing it down. Fifteen minutes. No-one looks at him. No-one talks to him. Invisibility is his thing. They all respect it. For without him, it’s no job, no pay, and if it goes bad no future. He is without risk. It’s good to be king.
Nigel puts the three others together. His game is simple. Deception. He barks ideas.
Precision strike is the order of the day. They have a twelve minute time frame. The security cameras come back live quickly. No escape. No door movement. No shadows. Nothing shows when it’s live.
Driver sits a block off. Eighteenth and west, old tire and jack sitting by. Looks are important. He’s thrown out of circle. Then there are two with jobs.
Pawn shops exist in two worlds. One above boards where they make money. And one below boards, where money goes to be cleaned. These gentleman are carpenters by trade. Accomplices by circumstances. The need to eat motives the right people. There spoils are drug money. The risk is worth more than living out means.
Nigel covers their work. The back office and store front are covered in cameras. Only two places that are off camera. Their search pattern is reduced to small area. The safe is watched by two cameras. That’s the legitimate business. Valuables known, easy to report. Harder to get rid of. This is easy. Find hollow space, take cash. Twelve minutes two men, two four by five foot squares. Nigel runs the point at the side door.
In the heat of the city, a truck rolls down a hill. The only thing in its way a transformer. West and fifteen. The pole pushes against a building, a spark and darkness. Backup systems click on. Computers restart. The clock has started. A dark figure opens a door. Two rats scurry after bits of sustenance.
A man far away looks at monitors showing and recording nothing. The loop is in. Left behind as a memory while the system resets. An automatic log in follows. Absolute perfection as machine provides everything a man needs to know. There is no trail of bread crumbs. Just a video showing nothing.
The men find two holes. Fifteen hundred dollars. It’s not the score they were told. Nigel is eight minutes in. Two dumbfounded cohorts are sent back in. There a bathroom. Damn it. The plan was simple, they gave up.
Across the street, a dark figure kicks a can. A cell phone flashes light against a cd. It shines down an alleyway. It falls on two eyes. A couple quick shots. Two careless bodies found in a bad place with no real reason. A solitary figure turns a corner. Two blocks away a truck waits. Two people nervously watch the digital clock change numbers.
Two streets away. A police car comes to a stop at the top of an alley. The lights flash back on. The curtain falls on the last act to two career losers.