It was a rainy Tuesday morning just after opening and I was in the lobby of the First National Bank shooting the breeze with Bill, the bank security guard. Bill’s a retired mail carrier doing the rent-a-cop shtick to keep busy and to supplement his retirement income. A rather scruffy looking character came in and took a quick panoramic look-see of the bank’s lobby. Spotting the two of us, he walked over and just like that, handed me a small pistol.
“If this old fuck moves, shoot him,” he said to me quietly, motioning with his head toward Bill. With that brief one-liner delivered, Mr. Scruffy then walked up to an open teller window. Bill cut his eyes toward the gun and then toward me. He pressed the silent alarm button on the shelf of the pulpit he was standing behind.
“Who’s he think he’s callin’ an old fuck?” groused Bill.
“I’m supposed to shoot you if you move,” I said out of the side of my mouth to Bill.
“So, shoot me, already,” Bill stage whispered impatiently out of the side of his mouth back at me.
After making his “withdrawal,” the robber walked quickly back to us, collected his gun, and headed for the front door.
“Now that was odd, wasn’t it?” said Bill.
“Sure was,” I said.
“Do ya think the gun was loaded?” asked Bill with a nervous grin.
“Nope, I don’t think so.”
“Do ya suppose maybe he’s new at it?”
“Yeah, that’s probably it,” I replied.
“I hear sirens; the cops are comin’. Let’s get over to Helen before they get here and see what he told her,” Bill said, chuckling. “Should be interesting.”
Bill and I walked quick-step up to Helen’s window. “So what did he say?” asked Bill.
“What did who say?” answered Helen, continuing some sort of bank business on an ancient adding machine.
“That guy that just robbed the bank,” said Bill. “Did he have a note?”
“Whatta ya mean ‘that guy that just robbed the bank’; that guy lives in my building,” said Helen. “He didn’t rob the bank. He did seem surprised to see me and asked how things were going. He took a twenty out of his wallet and said he wanted to open a savings account. I told him there was a hundred dollar minimum and he said he’d stop in again. Must not have had that much with him. What’s this ‘robbed the bank’ business?”
Bill and I looked at each other and broke out laughing. “At least he was smart enough to be able to go with Plan B. The security camera tapes will show why I pushed the alarm button, but I don’t think they’ll be able to get ‘em for bank robbery.”
“I’m anxious to hear what he and his lawyer come up with to explain him handing me that gun and then coming back to get it before leaving,” I said. “That should be a fine piece of fiction.”
Walking back to his post, Bill shyly asked me, “So, whatta ya think, Andy? Do I look like an old fuck to you?”
I stopped, looked him up and down, and then after taking my time a bit, said smiling, “Yeah, ya do, Bill. I’m afraid ya do.”
“Damn,” he said with a chuckle. “Wonder when the heck that happened.”
Story © 2014 Roy Dorman
Roy Dorman is retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Benefits Office and has been a voracious reader for over 60 years. At the prompting of an old high school friend, himself a retired English teacher, Roy is now a voracious writer. He has had poetry and flash fiction published recently in Camel Saloon, Drunk Monkeys, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Yellow Mama, Black Petals, Near To The Knuckle, Flash Fiction Magazine, Shotgun Honey, and Lake City Lights, an online literary site at which he is the submissions editor.