On the run

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: January 21, 2018

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Submitted: January 21, 2018

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ON THE RUN

 

“You’ve been in there quite some time” the voice was soft. Are you looking for anything in particular? I realised it was just on the other side of the door. A sudden chill came over me; I hadn’t heard anyone approaching.  I began to feel the old church crowding in on me; it had always been a place of sanctuary; but suddenly I sensed danger. Who was on the other side of the door; I could almost feel the hand on my shoulder. Instinct was telling me to run and hide but experience said that whatever I did they’d find me. I stood, shivering with apprehension. I thought I’d covered my tracks but maybe I’d made a mistake. Like a drowning man I suddenly saw the last two weeks of my life flash before my eyes.

Ever since the robbery I’d managed to stay one step ahead of the police; but could this new voice be the second sign that the forces of law and order were closing in. I held my breath and listened. For a full five minutes the church was silent save for the faint echo of long dead saints whispering among the empty pews. Suddenly, the voice spoke again; you’re up to no good; I saw you come in! Perhaps it was a guilty conscience or maybe just paranoia that made me jump. I tried to think. What had I missed?

My mind shot back eight months to the time when the job was still only a good idea. I’d been a career criminal since I left the orphanage. In and out of prison for the best part of my adult life but here was a chance to make a real killing. I remembered telling myself that if the job went to plan I could retire; settle down and lead a normal life; perhaps go into the pub trade or maybe a night club. When “Brendan the mechanic” first came up with the idea I thought he was mad; safety deposit boxes in a foreign bank; no chance! But as I listened the job seemed more possible. Brendan had an inside man who’d given him the bank lay out and security codes. Brendan’s good with safes and security systems but he lacks imagination. He’d brought the job to me cos he knew I could put a team together; according to Brendan’s inside man the job was worth twenty or thirty million, a lot of it in cash. Apparently most of the safety deposit boxes were owned by overseas nationals; one of whom was an African President. Sounded good! It had taken three months to set things up and the job went sweet as a nut. We got into the building over the roof; there were a few problems getting cutting equipment through the skylight but apart from that there were no snags. It took us most of Saturday to break into the vault and open 400 boxes and by Sunday lunchtime we had ten large bin bags stuffed with cash and jewellery; it was difficult to tell exactly how much we’d liberated because a lot of it was in dollars and more in Euros. But as far as we could tell there was at least twenty million in cash and perhaps a lot more in diamonds and gold coins. We were out of the building by four o’clock Sunday and by six the loot was on board a Cessna aircraft bound for a small airfield just outside Zandvoort on the Dutch coast. I’d rented a villa close by and the idea was that we could take our time counting and divi-ing up the cash. It was a good plan and it worked. We’d met up three days later in Holland and divided up the cash; my share was £4.2 million which I passed to a dodgy solicitor I knew in Amsterdam. He’d agreed, for a large fee to “launder” the money and put half into my Dutch bank account and half in Guernsey; it was a sweet plan. We’d all agreed that it would take at least a month to fence the gold and jewellery; so there’d be another pay day later on. I arrived back in the UK like a cat who’d got the cream; I was now a rich man. 

 Meanwhile whilst we’d been out of the country the press had been having a field day with details of the robbery and the unknown number of men who had carried it out. It gave me a warm feeling reading all the coverage; because it was obvious the police had no idea who they were looking for. That day I’d met up with Brendan for a drink at my local and we’d congratulated ourselves on a job well done. Following day the same Brendan phoned me at six in the morning telling me we’d been “grassed up”. He didn’t know who by; but two of our team had been put in the frame! He was expecting a call from the “old bill” any minute; and it was only a matter of time before they got round to me. I quietened him down and told him not to panic; the police have no evidence and nothing to go on. If we all keep quiet they can’t touch us. Of course a day later I got the knock and spent twenty-four hours at the local nick. I said nothing so in the end they had to let me go. When I got home and thought about it; it seemed like good idea to take a long holiday. I wasn’t really worried by the police interest but you can’t be too careful; so I chartered an executive jet out of Luton to take Lisa my girlfriend and Kate our daughter to the South of France. I didn’t want the neighbours seeing us leaving the flat together so I suggested Lisa and Kate meet me at St Saviours the church next to the orphanage where I’d spent so much of my childhood. I remembered the church as a kid, Sunday was the only time I felt safe. Didn’t believe in God but Sunday was the only day our house master and the rest of the staff left us alone. I told Lisa not to bring a suitcase that we’d buy what we needed when we arrived in France. I’d arranged for a taxi to pick us up.

When I arrived at the church I couldn’t resist going inside so I slipped through the door and slid the bolt across. Now here I am. Thought I’d got away with it but someone must have followed me. I didn’t know who was on the other side of the door but my years dealing with the old bill told me not to panic. I’m just waiting for someone I said; there was no immediate reply. Then the voice said again; I need to get into the church. It suddenly struck me that the voice was a woman’s; it wasn’t the old bill at all. I opened the door slowly and standing there was a little old lady clutching a large basket of flowers; I need to get into the church to decorate it she said. The sight of her made me smile at my own paranoia; no problem I said; but as she looked at me, she tilted her head and smiled. I know you she said; you were one of those orphanage kids; I remember you on a Sunday morning all scrubbed; singing in the choir. That was a long time ago I said! Sorry if I interrupted your prayers dear; little did she know! As I looked over her shoulder I could see Lisa and Kate standing by the lych gate and the taxi was waiting; maybe I will get a few more years of freedom!

 

 


© Copyright 2018 Peter Piper. All rights reserved.

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