The Last Job

Edited by Brian J. White

September 2013

Three minutes into the heist, Louie was dead.

I don’t know what the fuck happened. I was ordering the rat-faced teller with dead decal eyes to leave the dye packets out of the cash when there was this noise, a deep, almost inaudible hum I could feel in my fillings, and then Louie just keeled over, collapsing like a rag doll on top of his shotgun.

“Who the fuck did that?” Mickey shouted, waving his Glock around in a way that made a woman squeal in fear.

I went over to check, as Josh took my place at the counter. I kicked Louie over onto his back, and couldn’t see any obvious wounds. I ripped off his ski mask — it didn’t matter now — and saw he was bleeding from his nose, eyes, and ears. Still no obvious wound. I tucked my sawed-off under my arm and opened his jacket and bulletproof vest. Not a speck of blood. What the fuck was this?

“Cal, what is it?” Mickey asked.

“Dunno man, nothin’ seems wrong with him. ‘Cept he’s dead,” I admitted, turning him over again in case he had something in his back. But nope, looked fine there too. What the fuck?

It was then I really clued in to the fact that there was screaming outside.

I guess I tuned it out, you know? I was pumped up on Adderall and Red Bull, uppers to take the edge off my nerves, and my blood was a constant roaring river in my ears. I expected to hear sirens even though supposedly we’d kept anyone from hitting a panic button. Mickey and Josh had done bank jobs before, but I hadn’t done anything ever, unless you count shoplifting, which Mickey told me didn’t amount to shit. The Adderall helped hone my focus to a pinpoint, set on this bank and only this bank. But the sounds outside were getting too noisy to ignore.

Josh finally got curious and walked toward the window, peeking out around the corner of the shut blinds. “Dude, don’t,” Mickey said. “Unless you want your head blown off.”

I didn’t hear a gunshot, but the gun tumbled from Josh’s hand, a second before a big BOOM made the ground shake beneath us, sending all of us crashing to the floor as glass shattered and anything remotely fragile fell apart.

“What the fuck …” Mickey shouted, scrambling towards the window. “Is it those fucking terrorists again?”

Josh ripped off his mask, not caring that he could be identified. “No man, it’s worse,” He said, looking paler than I’ve ever seen him. And he was so white he was nearly translucent.

Now the hostages were crowding the windows, no longer concerned about the robbery either, and we didn’t much care. Whatever was going on outside seemed a lot more urgent.

The blinds were pulled aside too violently and crashed to the floor, and that’s when we all saw it.

I was glad I was on drugs, cause I could accept it as just a hallucination, even though it wasn’t. There was this large ship in the sky, blotting out the sun, grey as the hull of a battleship. Every now and then these beams of light would shoot out of portals, and while they didn’t seem to touch anything, there was that hum again, the one that made my teeth hurt, and people would keel over dead where they stood. Not everybody, but enough to know there must be a connection. “So that’s what killed Louie,” I said, as this metal ball the size of a Buick dropped into the middle of the street, landing with an asphalt-cracking thud. Seconds later, little metal legs sprung out of it, and it stood up like a robotic daddy longlegs. I guessed that couldn’t be anything good. It started spidering its way towards our side of the street.

“Whatta we do,” Mickey asked, fear making his voice go up an octave.

“We run, or we die fighting,” Josh said, picking up his gun.

I pulled my shotgun from underneath my arm, and took aim. As it was, I was a shitty bank robber anyway.

© 2013 A. A. McNamara

About the author

A. A. McNamara

A. A. McNamara is a writer and librarian living in central Massachusetts. Their fiction has appeared in venues such as Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet and Crossed Genres Magazine. You can find them on Twitter as @aamcnamara.