Patrick B. Simpson, author of “Animal”, graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with an M.A. in English and Creative Writing. He has previously published short fiction in Mystery Tribune and The Penmen Review, among others.
Mystery Tribune has previously the thriller flash story “Getaway” by Mr. Simpson.
The three jumped out of my Audi Sedan as soon as I pulled up to the bank. Two of them carried Remington shotguns, and the third, the leader, carried a .45 Glock. They wore ski masks and trench coats, disappearing through the front door before anyone outside could spot them. I shifted out of fourth gear and put the car in neutral. I adjusted my aviators in the mirror and kept my focus straight to not draw any attention to the running car in front of the bank.
Ninety seconds. That was how much time they needed before coming back out.
This was my second time doing a job like this. Scott, the leader, was impressed the first time by my coolness. It was an easy four-hundred thousand, and he promised this score would be bigger.
They weren’t in the bank more than thirty seconds when I saw a brown-fur bloodhound walking around the corner across the street. The overweight man following had a tank top on and was sweating more than a pig in the middle of summer. Irritated, the fat man pulled on the leash harder than one should. The bloodhound whipped its head back and forth from the constant yanks. An elderly man walking by the man pointed to the dog and tried to give him a piece of his mind, and the ogre just gave him the finger.
I looked back at the front of the bank. A woman rushing with a check in one hand and a deposit slip in the other entered the bank. There weren’t any shots fired, nor other distractions that brought attention to the area. Part of my job wasn’t to close the front entrance but to honk the horn when the cops showed up early.
Even with me going over the plan again and again, I couldn’t wipe away what that fat bastard was doing to the dog. Once again, I looked over to see what was happening. The slob yanked the leash several times because the animal sniffed the garbage can longer than what his master wanted. What finally got me out of the car was when I saw the man kick the dog. I left the driver’s side door open and car running.
My tunnel vision was the sharpest it had ever been as I walked across the street. Two cars braked, missing me by inches, but I didn’t turn to either. The man didn’t see me until I stepped onto the curve. Both my fists balled up as he started to open his mouth.
He said, “Yeah, what do—”
I gave him a right hook across the face, sending the bag of meat to the ground. I snatched the leash off the ground as he used both his hands to cover his face. He whimpered as I kicked him in the chest.
I knelt, letting the dog lick my face. I took the leash off him and looked at the collar. The name the slob gave him was Sparky. Figures.
“No,” I said as I caressed the dog’s ears, “you look like an Otto.”
As I caressed the dog’s ear, I heard the commotion back at the bank. I turned to see Scott and the other two looking puzzled as they got to the car and didn’t see me. Scott wasted no time jumping into the driver’s seat. The problem was none of them knew how to drive stick, so the car stalled when Scott couldn’t get it into gear.
Two cop cars made the wide turn onto the street. Another patrol car came onto the other end of the street a few seconds later, blocking the three of them in. The cops had their guns drawn after getting out, screaming for the three to get out of the car. I stood up and looked down at Otto as Scott and the other two got out of the car with their hands up.
I said, “Come on, Otto. That’s enough for either of us today.”
Otto followed me as I walked around the corner and out of sight.
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