Bulletproof birthday cak.., p.1
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       Bulletproof Birthday Cake, p.1

          
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Bulletproof Birthday Cake
Bulletproof Birthday Cake

  By Nicholas Blakeman

  Bulletproof Birthday Cake

  Copyright © 2013 Nicholas Blakeman

  Cover Design, Justin Garrison

  (with textual contributes from Fontspace.com (Smokey))

  *****

  Bulletproof Birthday Cake

  The apple in Martin’s gut sat there like a lump of iron. It really didn’t bother him, it was free of course. Not like the fruit vendor was ever going to miss a random apple stolen by a random person. Feeling the sun on his chest and stomach assured him of his good decision making skills, well, only relating to the decision on the removal of his shirt. It was late February but the state sat south in the US and the weather was fair. Martin’s eyes drifted from vision to darkness and back as he let them flow shut and open. The irony washed the disgust from his face and stuck a smile on it instead. The one day he had millions of dollars to buy an apple was the same day he stole his first apple. His first fruit for that matter.

  Martin’s eyes fluttered shut again, in his mind he went over what had happened, slowly piecing together the miserable tale of misfortune and success. He considered it misfortunate success because the price other’s paid for it. A terribly easy price to them, just a terrible one to him. But in his mind, Martin now forgot these curses and followed the color images playing in his brain.

  “And what about the cameras?”

  “Taken care of.” Raptor answered the blonde beauty. “Raptor” of course was a nick name and a rather accurate one as well. Even after prying a great deal, the shaggy headed crook still never told his newly assembled crew the origin of the name’s meaning or the actual name on his birth certificate.

  “I’m sick of this!” She glared at the man sitting at a small bar gutting from the wall behind Raptor. “Martin, all he says is ‘taken care of,’ he doesn’t even give proof it’s actually taken care of. You chose him, remember? I didn’t split the bond money with you for damaged goods!”

  “Whoa bitch! I ain't damaged!” he stood abruptly, even causing his chair to fall down behind him, “take a look if you want!” He started undoing his wore and tethered belt.

  “Enough!” Martin stirred from his spot in the “hide out,” so properly named—it was a rented motel room with a terrific view of the coming up Friday’s working place—, “Rap, keep it in your pants or I’ll cut it off and have my buddy over there lock you up again. I picked Rap because, although extremely low class,” Rap sat, right after flipping Eris the middle finger, Martin continued, “he always came through. The only reason we caught’em was because his partner in the kidnapping, Jack of Clubs I believe he called himself,” Rap nodding absently, “blabbered off in a bar to an undercover, and after being jailed, tattle telled on Rap.”

  “Yup,” came a grumbling made in a mouth full of doughnuts from the corner of the small living room and dining room combo.

  “How are you not a lard-ass by now? Eating like that?” Rap pointed a finger, attached to an unwashed hand, to the mostly empty plate of “doughnuts for the group,” which had been originally placed in front of their devourer, and had oddly enough never moved.

  Fredrick paused his mashing of sugar bread long enough to spit out the words, “like to run too.”

  “You know we moved the day up to Friday right?” Eris said to the disheveled doughnut muncher.

  At this he finally paused fully and running his fingers through his greasy black, thinning hair said in his smoker’s weary voice, “I’ll have to skip my boy’s party… but business is business.” He promptly resumed his vacuum intake of cholesterol.

  “Wonderful. Now moving on,” Martin tried to refocus the group, “the cameras?”

  “Like I said before,” Rap eyed the lanky but well curved blonde woman leaning against the wall arms crossed, who was Eris, “it’s taken care of.”

  Martin’s mind flew past memories, sputtering forward to the first few minutes in the bank as a concerned jogger went by, speeding up after seeing the rifle.

  The group had used a smoke grenade, after the suggestions of the two veteran officers, and it had been, somewhat, effective. The canister rolled in puffing and spewing the colorless vapor into the air. The naïve bank tellers and the impatiently waiting bank members began coughing and shouting. But before a scene of dismay could completely unravel, the group burst through the two front glass doors.

  Martin quickly surveyed the high end of the walls, searching for the ever telling little green blinking light the bank’s cameras emitted while recording. He found no such little winking signs, he relaxed—well, as relaxed as one can be during the heist of treasures from vaults.

  Martin clutched his rifle in an iron grip and held it steady while screaming orders, “Get down! If no one moves, no one dies! It’s just like in the movies people, lie on the ground!” He plunked off a few shots over head, surprising Eris next to him. Rap bolted for the tellers, waving his pistol frantically, cursing at them, nearly daring them to press their panic buttons. “Give me a good damn reason to split your eyes further apart!” spittle dripping from the mouth hole of his ski mask. Martin advanced into the main foyer of the bank, smiling and reveling in his selection of Rap.

  The foyer was a grand circle style room with elegant depictions of clouds and a massive sunset. “They should really have more guards on duty,” Martin’s words were muffled slightly by his skeleton mask—a matching set Eris had found for him and her—but the guard reclining at the encircling security desk still heard him. “At least one that is better at his job,” Martin added, smirk hidden behind plastic bones.

  The security guard set down his carton of chocolate milk, removed his boots from the top of the desk and leaned forward, propped up on his elbows, “or at least one that doesn’t love making money.” Fredrick Glass stood up from behind his workspace and lofted his badged hat to the ground in the enclosed circle of marble counter tops.

  “The jail bird came through with the cameras if you’re wondering,” Glass tossed out as he causally put his back to the edge of the marble top. He finished the movement by popping a stick of gum into his mouth.

  “I noticed. Let’s hope he didn’t lie about knowing how to find the money trackers too.”

  “Yea…” Glass really wasn’t paying too much attention, “my cameras’ feeds gave out about ten minutes—“ his sentence ended prematurely, his eyes fixated on the classic WW2 rifle Martin was carrying. The body was entirely built from wood—still polished in fact. “Is that the same one the captain presented you after you saved those two girls from that boat fire?”

  Martin looked down at the weapon, not admiring the true workmanship that went into such a rifle, just considering it. His taste for things like this was now long gone. “Yea. The department retracted all of our service gear, rifles included. Remember?”

  “Yea…” the grabbing attention the classic rifle had given Glass was wearing off, “what’s taking so long? Weren’t we supposed to be in here for like two minutes? Even if none of those slutty pant suits jabbed their buttons, the floor above us probably didn’t like the present you gave them.”

  “That’s true,” Martin now regretted his impromptu firing, “I’ll go check it out. Make sure Eris continues to watch the captors.”

  “Eiy eiy sir,” the guard gave a purposely false salute and turned at the waist, grabbing his chocolate milk. Martin hurried off on the dark tile; his body finding its way through the clearing smoke easily.

  In the vault Rap had already filled two green duffle bags he had brought with him, and about half the third; his black body armor visibly dripping with sweat. He paused when Martin entered and their eyes locked.

  “If you came in here to tell me to hurry, just screw off ok,” he pushed out between labor caused huffs and puffs.

  Martin grinned, then frowned deeply, “where is the teller that opened this for you?”

  “She… got a call and had to take it outside,” the convict tapped the hilt of a blade sheathed on his belt.

  “Rap that wasn’t in the plan!”

  “Plan, plan, plan Marty! She was crying too loud. Slaps didn’t calm her for some reason,” he shrugged his perspired shoulders, “so I had to up the ante. Ha. And if I’m not mistaken, your ceiling target practice in there wasn’t planned either.”

  Martin was enraged, but there was no point in it. He couldn’t reprimand Raptor in anyway and although clearly outlined in the oaths he had taken, “To protect the innocent at all times” blah blah blah, he wasn’t a cop anymore. The bank was his job, and he needed it finished.

  “Hey Rap.”

  Rap paused the work he had resumed and looked up from a hunched over position, his bony body craning its spine.

  “Hurry up,” Martin turned and left the vault.

  Back in the main room all was still quiet, aside from the occasional shriek of fear and Eris’s accompanying hushed and forceful “Shut the hell up.” Martin returned to the side of his old partner.

  “Everything is fine.”

  “Good. He almost done in there?”

  “Probably finishing now. Eris!” He hallowed, the sound reverberating and echoing loudly.

  “Jeeze! What Martin?!” Eris said stepping away from the huddled mass of frightened women, men and children.

  “Back it up.”

  “Didn’t need to shout hun,” her words were filled with un-kindled sarcasm.

  Maybe she didn’t want to say yes, Martin thought of the night and the ring. Had it been too soon? She left out of the front doors quickly, letting her pawn shop shotgun’s barrel slap the metal frame of the clear doors. After a few moments those same doors shattered inwards, exploding and sending spear like tips raining down onto the nice and awaiting audience of hostages. A few more shrieks stifled the air—this time no endearing feminine voice offering ever so encouraging reassurances—and then the large circle of a room was empty of noise, only the growling of the diesel van’s rear end soiled it.

  Eris’s blonde mop bounced and landed, resting on the attachment strap of the mask and the mask itself as she hopped from the van’s driver door. Martin kept watching the vault’s entrance. And, with no further waiting surprisingly, Rap popped his head out of it. He exited the metal room and rejoined the small group at the van’s tail, carrying the bags and dropping them there. Rap opened the back joint doors and Martin and Glass hurled the bags in while Eris found her scampering friends in the corner again and gave them the “if you run or scream, while come back here and shove a barrel in your mouth” spiel.

  “Okay, looks like we’re all set,” Martin announced and sat on the bumper of the diesel hunk of junk, waiting for his fiancé to return.

  “Let’s go priss!” Rap yelled and rounded the side of the van, climbing in to drive.

  “You remember the time we were getting lunch at that taco truck?” Fredrick blurted out, startling the other former police officer.

  “Uh… the time with the gang bangers?” he hesitantly said.

  “Yea, yea. You wanted to leave, ignore the bastards, and I really wanted those tacos… so we stayed.”

  “Yes. I remember. We ate like nine tacos each before they came over spitting out their gang reps.”

  And then together, as if rehearsed or from time and time again retold, “the taco truck owner said, ‘don’t worry guys, they’re eating rat turds.” There was a stupendous laughter between the two of them, although it held in its midst the feeling of the rushedness bank robbers carry in their jokes.

  “Why are you bringing that up now Glass?” Martin managed in the cracks of his fit of laughing, still watching Eris finish up with the hushed crowd.

  “Just wanted to laugh one more time with you,” the bank-betrayer reached down at speed and gripped the long black flash light from his security belt, a belt that held mace, a pistol among other things, but oddly enough he grabbed the torch. He brought it down across Martin’s face, igniting sparks in his eyes—stars draped over every sighted thing Martin saw. Martin slipped off the bumper and collapsed on the ground—amassing to a still warm lump on the tile.

  In the park, in his semi-meditation sitting position, Martin’s face curled into a sneer and his thoughts back peddled for an instant—rabbling-ons in the meeting came apparent to him.

 
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