Two prisoners laughing (a short story)

This story was inspired by my phone’s autocorrect and the Daily Post prompt.  Instead of merely using today’s word, I incorporated all of the prompts for the week into one story.  I used to do similar stories for my students using their vocabulary words, so I thought what the heck.

The two prisoners sat in the holding cell laughing. What else could they do but laugh? For two rather intelligent guys, sometimes they were just plain dumb. You see, not two weeks ago, they were just two ordinary guys. Neither of them had a criminal record, at least not then. They were actually college graduates with fairly high GPAs and the loans to prove it, but neither had found full-time employment in the six months since they had earned their degrees. Neither could make the loan payments and they were starting to get stressed. Their lives appeared to be static, going absolutely nowhere. They needed to find a loophole, some way to make a quick buck so they could buy some time, time to find better jobs and pay their debts in the meantime.

Jimmy was the one to first entertain the idea of a bank robbery. It started as a joke, but Billy took him seriously, and Billy always could egg him on. Every crazy thing he had ever done was a result of Billy either daring him to try it or convincing him that it was a great opportunity. This was no different. Still, Jimmy didn’t hold Billy responsible for the trouble he was now in; he could have said no. If he had truly given adequate thought to what they were doing, he could have anticipated this exact scenario. It wasn’t that they hadn’t come up with a great plan, more that they were the ones putting it into action. To be honest, they just didn’t have the skills needed to pull it off. In retrospect, the fact that they had been caught really wasn’t a shock to either of them.

Yes, they had done their homework. They considered a number of banks before they made their choice. Not only did they study blueprints, they watched the routines of the security guard, determined what time there would be fewer customers, and tested how easy or difficult it was to get in and out of the parking lot. They hacked into the security cameras to turn off the live feed, so that the cops couldn’t use video to hunt them down. They even created disguises. Surely they had thought of everything, everything needed to succeed in this crazy scheme and make a clean getaway. Really, it was a beautiful plan.

That morning, they approached the bank with confidence. A lady with a baby unwittingly aided their endeavor when the baby momentarily distracted the security guard. Jimmy was able to disarm the guard and handcuff him before anyone was the wiser. Billy approached the counter and made his demands to the tellers while Jimmy kept his eyes on the manager and the customers. Everything seemed to be going so smoothly, all according to plan, but that all changed in the blink of an eye. Just as they were turning to leave, adrenaline coursing through their veins, a cop car coincidentally pulled into the parking lot. In disbelief, Billy spun around so fast that he lost his balance causing Jimmy to trip and collide with a table. They fell in a heap on the floor just as the cops came in to make a withdrawal. The tellers immediately screamed, “Robbers!” alerting the officers who were quick to draw their weapons and make the arrests.

Now sitting in their cell, all Jimmy and Billy could do was laugh. They had thought of everything except the obvious. Though extremely intelligent, neither was athletic or quick on his feet. They had always thought that having brains was superior to having athleticism, and yet it turned out that their lack of agility had been their downfall. When they thought of how they must have looked as they went tumbling down, they almost wished there had been video footage. Just imagining such video sent them into hysterics. What a hoot!

Daily Post Prompt: blink

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