When Ray said it was going to be one hell of a ride. Yeah, he wasn kidding. Except, it was two hells of a ride after Ray stopped to buy them ice cream before revving up the engine smoking-hot again.
Das found himself in a Ford Thunderbird 1971—a custom edition; black, some silver but mostly a deep shiny matte black that looked as though it would make the car invisible by dusk. The latter was good—a good thing, that is, to pull off some nasty get-aways on the cops, who, fortunately, Das hadn yet encountered. But Das was fully aware and well versed when it came to many things law and politics, including law enforcers: so much so that he could be one himself.
The Thunderbirds name was self-explanatory through and through. And as much as Das didn like dishing out compliments, this thing flew and pretty fast at that. Perfect for a getaway.
Das thought as his hair rippled in the wind, Perfect for a getaway but …
… compromising. Where flashy cars lay, eyes made you pay. Das sighed as he began to mull at how vindictive it was of them, these eyes. But had it been an average vehicle, these eyes—inclusive of those in the eye-sockets of pilots shining lights down at him on the chase—would have a hard time differentiating.
Simply put, the Thunderbird was overkill. An undue piece of apparatus. Whereas the average cars, like the SUVs with which mommies picked up their kids from school, made a getaway much more feasible.
Hair still rippling as a result of his window wound down by Ray, Das tasted the wind in his mouth as they sped past the speed limit.
Das turned to look at Ray as he drove. ”Don you think its a bit much? ”
Ray, cigar in his mouth, turned the music off and took his eyes off the road to look at Das. ”What do you mean, partner? ”
”Im talking about … this, ” Das eyes swept about the interior, ”and I haven granted you consent to call me your partner. ”
”Aww, Das, ” Ray choked on the smoke from his cigar, ”you make me so sad sometimes. Here, ” he climbed over to Das passenger seat, ”take the wheel. ”
Das was huddled up in the seat next to Ray. He gaped his eyes. ”No ones got the wheel! ”
”I got it, ” Ray said, clutching his hands to the wheel and steering left just as the car veered right. ”Now, go on, I needa get somethin from your doors storage compartment. ”
”You should have asked me to get it for you! ” Das snapped, climbing over to the drivers seat.
”Drove before? ” Ray asked.
”What do you **ing think! ” Das snapped.
”You have? ”
”Christ, no, Ray! ”
”Well, theres a first time for everything, amirite? ” Ray released the steering wheel.
Das clutched both his hands to the wheel and leaned forward. They were going forty km/h in a Thunderbird and Das had only read books about driving, skipping the experience deal of the learning curve.
”Okay, so we
e gettin real close to the jewelry store, ” Ray said, ”we gotta be prepared. ”
Das gently pressed the brakes, slowing the vehicle. He was calm again. ”Im turning around, Ray. We don have a plan. ”
”Turn around? Man, ** the plan! We ain goin nowhere! ” Ray snapped.
”Only foolish fools fail to use their brains to plan, ” Das said, ”planning is pivotal for success. A writer who plans is better off than the prancer, aren they? ”
”Yeah-yeah-yeah, ” Ray said, taking items from the storage compartments in the vehicles, ”so you wanna plan. How about we walk in there, point a gun, and walk out with the big bags, huh? Sounds like a plan to me. ”
Ray had two masks, duck tape, a frequency-jammer, theft bags, and gloves. The two masks—suspicious: it was almost as though Ray planned this event ahead; perhaps he did. Das couldn see himself using the duck tape. The theft bags were special bags meant to stretch to great lengths and curb bursting at the same time. The gloves were a must. But Ray had forgotten to pack Das one thing.
”Fuck! ” Ray snapped.
”What? ” Das asked, steering the car.
”I forgot the guns, ” Ray said, ”I must have left them with the kid! Dammit! ”
If the location hed left the guns concerned Das, he could only imagine how crazy this Ray truly was.
Das recognized the Jewelry store in the distance and parked next to it. After which, hed taken up a mask and a banana from Rays dashboard.
”What are we gonna do? ” Ray asked.
”Just watch, ” Das smirked as he put on the black mask.
e right, maybe we should turn back and— ”
”No, ” Das said, opening his door and getting out of the vehicle. ”Watch me. ”
”Im coming with— ”
”Watch me, Ray, ” Das said one more time, picking up a theft bag from inside the car.
Das slammed the door shut as Ray put on his mask. He then started toward Kens Jewelry Store in front of him, the masks cut-out allowing his smirk to be seen.
Kens Jewelry store was well known: well known but new to the business. Ken Khal, the owner of the business, had leased a place in the city; set up shop, and prepared to sell the jewelry hed stolen from The Underground. Every day he hoped he could hide from such a daunting place but he knew that one day, it would catch up to him and, for his surreptitious larceny, hed be done for good.
Ken loved jewelry and selling it too. He came up from a family who had some notoriety relating to the crime of fraud in the business. But his family was now nothing short of history. His jewelry came from the deepest depths of his genuine heart and, with them, he wanted to make his own history in the city.
”I told you, ” Ken said, standing behind a counter, holding a gold watch under his AuRACLE Gold tester. ”My gold is legitimate. My other products? Same story. ”
A man scratched his greying beard in a fancy suit, starting to acknowledge that the jewelry was, in truth, legitimate. He was simply meddling with Ken; Ken was so easy to be meddlesome too, after all. And after all his meddling, maybe it was time to make his second purchase.
”Ill take everything I viewed today, ” the man said sonorously.
Ken stuttered. ”R-really? Are you shittin me or not? ”
”Make sure you package em properly, ” the man turned around with his hands in his pockets, ”Ive gotta do business with someone else and I don want the polices attention. ”
Ken smiled, excited. ”Alright, Ill hide em up real good. ” A familiar customer was about to buy half of his products. ”That would be six-hundred grand, thank you, ” he put out a hand, rubbing his fingers together.
The man stopped, looking over his shoulder at the hand with a sneer on his face. ”First of all, big bucks like this ain gonna fit where you want em. Secondly, who said I was payin you shit? ”
Ken grimaced. ”What do you mean! ”
”I mean you owed me big-time, ” the man said curtly.
”I paid you back a week agol! ” Ken snapped.
”Yeah but right now Im takin this for interest, ” the man said, ”now hurry up and pack those pieces if you only know whats good for you.
Ken Khal frowned. He frowned because that was all he could do. What about standing up for whats right? Standing up to Modd. No, that would make him insane and he was the sanest person in the business and the aforementioned action would no longer render him a pacifist on these streets. War was not something Ken dared to ask for.
He fished the jewelry out of their displaying tables and glasses and stands and he jammed them into the big bag that was provided to him upon Modds command. He was listening, acting as per the command and although he retained some reluctance, he still packed the bag full. Busy. But a bell at his door had snatched away his attention.
Das walked into the store, aiming his gun at the burly, wide Modd. The fact that it wasn a gun at all to him put another smirk on his face. ”Okay, gentlemen, you know the drill. ”
Ken quailed. That mask. Those eyes. The gun. You had to be bonkers if you couldn tell what this was. Ken sure knew what it was and it was not his first nor was it his last. What more could a hopeless man like himself do than shiver and frown and follow instructions?
Modd furrowed his brows, retreating backward with lowered hands. ”Im not the one in charge here. ”
Das scoffed. ”With your chin up, chest out and hands down like that? You act like you own the place. ”
Modd raised his hands.
Das pointed his gun at Ken, who jumped in fright, raising his hand.
”Okay, mister, we
e gonna do what I see say and not trigger any alarms. Kinda allergic to cops; you know how allergies can be. ”
”Im allergic to peanuts, ” Ken admitted.
”Im sorry, ” Das theatrically frowned, ”if I had my phone with me Id google who the ** asked. ”
”And sir, I don see you packing! ”
Ken shuddered. ”Ive already packed a bag full for Modd. ”
Modd looked over his shoulder at Ken with a storm in his eyes. Idiot, he thought, shaking his head as the man quailed.
”Aw, Modd, that yours? ” Das asked. ”Mine now. ” Das pointed the gun at Kens head.
The gun was close to Modds head but he dared not draw it too close. Too close and its a mistake but close enough, it becomes a warning. Hed learn it the hard. His siblings were some skilled punks, to say the least.
”Mr. Modd, take the money from your partner behind you and bring it to me, ” Das said. ”Any funny business, ” he thrust his gun forward, ”and you meet your maker. ”
Modd scowled as he turned around, mumbling angrily to himself and walking toward the bag. It was not what he was expecting today but he knew just how to deal with incidents just like these and the dealings involved pain. He sneered at Ken, heaved the bag from the tabletop, slung it across his shoulder and started toward the masked robber.
Das kept the gun as he took the bag with his free hand. Distraction was often a common seed of problem and that was why Das hadn taken his eyes off Modd for a second. He was particularly reluctant when it came to judging people too soon.
Modd wanted to attack but he saw no opening. This masked man was deft—there was no doubt in his mind. But he knew he was making a mistake: one that gave him validation to be killed.
”You mess with my money, ” Modd said, “you get pain. ”
Das simply smirked, slinging the bag across his shoulder. His siblings were wise and could easily memorize someones eye but this man was no sibling of his. He was normal: perhaps he was in a gang or even the boss of such. Whatever he was, Das didn care. He retreated, the gun still pointed at Modd as he backed out the door.
The bag of jewelry was heavy and slowed his pace but he made it to the car and he kept his gun pointed at Modd who stood behind the glass of the jewelry store, glaring like a bull in a field of roses.
He entered Rays Thunderbird, eyes still locked onto Modd. He jammed the bag into the backseat, buckled up and slammed his door shut.
”Go! ” He snapped.
Ray furrowed his brows and hit the gas. ”Going fast! ”
Moddo rushed out of the store, pulled out a gun and fired as he slowed his gait. The vehicle zoomed off, receiving his shots as he sauntered and fired. The ship has sailed but if he could just hit a tire … that would he …
The vehicle veered to the right side of the road, evaded an opposite vehicle and sped round a corner, disappearing from Moddos sight. Moddo stopped, lowered his gun and stared. Hed remember the look of that Thunderbird from the cradle to the grave.
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