The ‘900 Series’


“One quarter the take,” Rocky answered.

“What’s that going to be?” I asked; a seemingly endless supplier of questions.

“No less than 50 million.” He set the semiautomatic .45 ACP on the counter and turned it so that the grip was facing me. It was a beautiful pistol with a matte black finish and polished rosewood grips.

“So that would be 12 point 5 for me?” I was still asking questions.

“No, that would be 50 for you. The total will be four times that.”

“And what is it exactly that you want me to do for this 50 million?” I was trying to conceal my interest so I reached over and picked up the piece that he had set down.

“Crack the safe. That’s what you do innit?” Rocky squinted his left eye and peered at me from the other?

“Yeah… yeah it is, for the most part. What kind is it?”

“It’s an ole Diebold, closet safe with a 900 series lock.”

“Nobody’s going to keep that kind of money in an antique,” I said, “What’s the catch?”

Rocky started asking questions, “Are you in, or what?”

“Yeah, I’m in, Rocky. Just ’cause it’s you – and ’cause we go way back.” I racked the slide on the 45. It was smooth.

“There’s a newer safe awright,” Rocky said. “A Hamilton. It’s harder to break, but still doable. The new safe is a decoy though. Ya spend yer time breaking that, all fer nothin’ – while the money sits in a closet, the next room over, in the ole Diebold. It’s only gonna be in there for one night though so our timetable is set. Come on, I’ll show you the layout. We got less than a month.”

I walked around the counter and we went through the curtain to the back room. A workbench and some tools lined one wall. A small round table occupied the other end of the narrow space.

Seated at the table was a tall thin man with close cropped dark hair and a handlebar mustache, I pegged him at about 40 years old. Next to him sat an older woman. She was wedged into a pastel colored summer dress that fit her like a sausage case, her hair washed a light blue. Based on the resemblance and the age difference, I figured they were mother and son. I knew who they must be.

“He’s in,” Rocky told them and you could see them relax as the tension fled out the high transom windows into the alleyway.

“You must be the McCoy’s.” I said and stuck out my hand. “I can’t tell you what an honor it is to meet you both.”

“Join us?” said Martha McCoy indicating the two empty chairs.


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Winter


It’s cold
Huddle with your loved ones when you can.
Share warmth but take care not to stifle

Watch through the kitchen window
as the snow falls gently, silently in the garden –
Breathe deep over your cup and remember Lorraine.

She loved the snow.
Fill your days with purpose:
in the same way that the hourglass fills your life with sand.

Sleep deeply at night with
Woolen blankets pulled up to your chin.
Know that you will wake in the morning to do it again.