-˜That’s it mate. Loop it through the arms, figure-eight n’ back again. Tie it off in a reef knot, yeah?’
-˜A fucking reef knot mate.’
Tom just stared at him through the holes in his balaclava.
Jimmy shook his own covered head. -˜Never mind mate, I’ll sort it m’self. Jesus.’
He nudged him out of the way and took control of the ropes. The security guard was sweating bullets and his right eye was already swelling. They’d come at him hard. Robbie had clobbered him over the head with a steel briefcase, almost knocking him out as he hit the floor. They’d been quick to pin him down, to strip him of his gun and phone. They’d gagged and bound him to a chair in a corner of the room. His eyes had followed them as they prepped for the vault before Robbie dropped a black calico bag over his head.Â
The lights in the hall leading to the vault were bright. Set patterns of LEDs were dotted in the ceiling at regular intervals to ensure that no shadows existed. Tom made his way down the hall, his rubber soles quiet on the marbled floors as he strode towards the thick double doors and the giant wheel that locked them. Robbie had sprayed each camera with hairspray, covering the lens with a thick coat to render anything seen through them, blurry. They’d be monitored externally. Jimmy had checked the scheduling and was confident they had at least twenty-five minutes before any alarms would sound. Robbie was on his knees in front of the vault. He used a combination of ghost cards he’d been given to scramble, then open the keypad. He attached electrodes to the top and bottom of the panel along with a digital reader that allowed him to confuse then reset the pin for entry. He punched in a security code that he’d gotten from a money counter who he had befriended, then betrayed for this job. Two minutes later they were in.Â
-˜Fuck me, you’ve nailed it, son,’ said Jimmy clapping Robbie on the back. -˜Well come on Tommy,’ he hissed under his breath, -˜get a leg on. We haven’t got all day have we?’
-˜It’s Tom, and we’re hours away from daylight, right?’
Jimmy laughed at him. -˜Can you believe this shit? Your man here is surrounded by all this green an all he can do is ask me to shorten his name. Fuckin’ hell. He licked his gloved-fingers out of habit, peeled the plastic edges apart and opened a black bag. Let’s get on with it then, eh?’
They started shovelling bundles of notes into the bags by sliding them across the metal counter. They cleared them in less than ten minutes. Everything was tied and placed by the vault door.Â
-˜Time check,’ said Jimmy.Â
-˜We’re at fifteen,’ said Robbie.
-˜Great, let’s hit the boxes.’
-˜Why?’ said Tom. -˜How much have we cleared with the cash? Two mill? What did we come here to get?-˜
-˜Why do you think the boxes are locked, Tommy?’
-˜To get dickheads like you to consider opening them. Anything to slow us down. Am I right?’
Jimmy stared at his running mate, masked with his balaclava. He inhaled, forced himself to pause before he responded. By punching him hard in the face.Â
Tom slammed into one of the steel walls. He regathered his feet with a handheld to his face. He could smell blood running from it, felt the crunch of sinew beneath his hand.
-˜What the fuck was that?’ he said through a pool of blood cupped in his hand.
Jimmy stretched his hands out wide, palms up like he’d done nothing wrong. -˜It’s all pretty simple don’t ya think mate? You opened your mouth and I closed it.’
Robbie was quick to intercede.
-˜Come on fellas, time is against us.’
Jimmy held a bloody gloved hand in the air. -˜I need you to tell me that it’s more than the time that stops me from knocking his fucking block off, yeah?’
Tom straightened himself. -˜C’mon Robbie, you can see where this is going. We need to take what we’ve got, clean the blood off this floor and leave.’
-˜Anyone would think this was your job, Tommy. You’re here by invitation only. I’d suggest you listen, follow orders and shut up. We clear?’
Tom said nothing.Â
-˜Good. Robbie, get your tools. We’ll drill the boxes.’
-˜Forget it, man. I’ll take a bag and I’m out’ said Tom
-˜Nah. Sorry, Tommy, that’s the thing, you’re not leaving mate.’
Jimmy held out an extended arm, his gun attached to the end of it.Â
Tom raised his hands, subjective, cupped above his head.Â
-˜Good. Grab the drill Robbie and let’s get it done. We’ve got less than eight minutes.’
Robbie took his drill from out of his briefcase. He replaced the drill bit with something more substantial. He made his way to a box Jimmy was close to and placed it hard up against the lock. He pulled the trigger on a slow rotation and ground his way through the lock. In seconds he had it open. Inside was a diamond necklace and emerald earrings.Â
Jimmy approached, his free hand holding the jewels in front of Tom’s face. -˜See. What did I tell ya?’
He dropped them into the plastic bag he held. -˜Next.’
They’d opened three more with spectacular results until the drill died.Â
-˜Four minutes Jimmy,’ said Robbie.
-˜Then keep going son,’ he said eyeballing Tom.
Though the drill died.Â
-˜So plug the fucking thing in. Here’s a lead.’
-˜Don’t Jimmy. Please. This place is monitored, something might trip. Anything could happen. Let’s go!’
-˜Fuck off,’ said Jimmy, his gun still pointed at Tom. Plug it in Robbie. You’ve got two minutes. Three more boxes and we’re out. Keep going, son.’
Tom turned as Robbie plugged a lead into a wall. He grabbed the closest bag and ran for the vaults’ door. The gun sounded. He felt pain in his leg before he heard the sound of the drill. He dove for the entrance as the drill spun to life. He heard the doors chime and watched as they closed and bars dropped from the ceiling. Jimmy ran for the entrance, a bag in his hand, they shut before he could get there. Tom clutched his leg, listened as they screamed and hammered the door from inside.Â
Their driver was waiting quietly in a van out front.
-˜Where are the others?’
Tom held his gun to his head as he worked his way into the passengers’ seat.
-˜Right then,’ said the driver starting the engine.
Red and blue lights flooded the night sky as they pulled away from the curb and drove in the opposite direction.