01 February 2011

Twelve, Part 1

Twelve little pills. They didn’t budge in their tiny plastic bag as the town car went over a speed bump. I pushed them around, organizing their round brown bodies into four neat rows. They were big enough that the rows stayed put, and I smiled to myself. Another speed bump. We were hitting them pretty fast, definitely too fast for them to be any use. I guess when we got in and my colleague put his gun to the driver’s head, he believed us when we told him to leave as quickly as possible.

This would usually be the part where I revealed what we were doing, or what the little pills were. But the thing is, I had no idea. None of us did. It was one of those jobs that had you playing so far out of your normal playing field that it didn’t seem shocking when someone showed up with a bazooka made out of candy mints. That was just part of the job. The weirder thing was when that stuff worked. One of our group members was still in the hospital thanks to that bazooka. I’ll tell you this: getting a hole blown in your stomach is not more pleasant when it’s done with red-and-white striped sugary bits.

Tiberon, my colleague with the gun, turned and grinned at me as we hit yet another speed bump at 53 miles an hour. I glanced up and saw the driver’s face reflected in the rearview mirror. He wasn’t enjoying this as much as we were; yet again, who would? It’s not every day that you and your boss’s car get jacked in the middle of downtown and you have to drive your guests to the airport. I imagine I wouldn’t have been too ecstatic, either. It’s why I refuse to drive town cars.

I grinned at Tiberon and turned my attention back to the twelve little inanimate bodies in my hands. I assumed they were meant to be swallowed. I mean, what else would you do with capsules like this? Throw them? They couldn’t possibly manage to be airborne for longer than a couple of seconds, more if you threw them out a window. My instructions were to get them through security, then onto the plane. Easy cheesy. No one could see these things in their rectangular plastic bag and think, “Those are worth $6 billion. I’m going to confiscate them.” Nah. They were more of a “You’re one of those vegan thingies, aren’t you?” sort of pill. Thank goodness for that.

We hit the last bump at nearly 60 an hour and I narrowly missed getting my skull slammed into the ceiling. Glaring, I yelled, “Watch it! You don’t have to kill us!” Tiberon laughed and patted the driver on the top of his head.

I hated not knowing what I was doing, or why. But I wasn’t the brains this time. Maybe that was what really bothered me. I was supposed to be the brains. I always did the planning, the team gathering. Tiberon I knew ‘cause we’d worked together before. The other guys, who were following us in the Camry, they were complete strangers. But I trusted them because I trusted Avel. And Avel was the brains.

Debatedly, I thought to myself, smiling as Tiberon and I got out of the car, yanked our fake weighted baggage out of the trunk, and sprinted inside.

If Avel said that these twelve little pills would mean no more cons, and no more annoying police chases, then OK. I could do that.

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