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Backstabber (Short Story)

There we were, my best friend and I, running out of the back of a bank we’d just knocked over into a cold, dank, rain-soaked alleyway. The alarms were sounding behind us but we had a foolproof plan. By the time anyone responded, it would be far too late to catch us.

Our getaway driver, a mutual friend whom I’d long had suppressed affections for was parked nearby in a stolen Mercedes, the perfect getaway car. Clad in garnet red paint and sitting on 21-inch rims, it was ostentatious in design but that was just another part of its inherent genius. The police would never expect us to escape in something like this. Plus, we’d be long gone before they ever got here.

“Come on man, hurry up!” My friend yelled to me, re-adjusting the duffel bags on his shoulders without breaking stride.

“I’m right behind you bro, relax.” I said, reaching up and taking hold of one of the duffel bag straps with my free left hand while keeping my silver Berretta 92FS clutched tightly in my right.

The two of us sprinted at break-neck speed, despite the bags of money we carried on our backs. We’d trained incessantly for this. Cardio, agility training, speed, all while weighed down with duffel bags full of weights. We pushed each other to our individual limits and past them, in a way only the best friends could.

We were almost there, dodging bags of trash, jumping over cardboard boxes, spinning around larger trash bins and vaulting over small fences. We would be there any moment now. But, as close as we were, I knew I couldn’t lose focus. After all, it’s not over until we’re in the car and gone. Then again, is it ever truly over? We’d have to lay low for months after the robbery, taking time to launder the cash and making sure we don’t pop up on the police’s radar.

“We’re almost there man, just one more block!” My friend called out excitedly, glancing at his watch for a moment, still not breaking stride.

He was right, of course. One more block and we’d reach the secluded alleyway where our getaway driver was parked. I could practically taste the freedom we were about to have. It was so close. But again, I had to remind myself not to lose focus. I had to stick to the plan. My victory was so close but it could be snatched away from me in an instant and I wouldn’t let that happen. There’s not a chance in hell I would let that happen. I was too close. I’d worked too hard for this.

And then, we were there. Our driver was leaning out of the driver’s side window, looking in our direction expectantly.

“It’s about time you two got here. I thought I was gonna have to run back there and get you myself.” The driver said, her voice dripping with sarcasm.

“Yeah, whatever.” I replied tersely, with a sly smirk in her direction which I hid from my friend.  “Come on man, help me with this.”

I opened the trunk of the car, loading the two duffel bags on my shoulders into the car and taking the two bags my friend was holding and loading them in as well. All that cash. I couldn’t wait to start spending it. Only one thing left to do before we left.

“Thanks man,” I said, holding up my pistol and pointing it at my best friend. “couldn’t have done it without you.”

I fired two shots before he could react with more than a shocked expression. One hit him in near the heart and the other his left shoulder. He spun around and fell to the ground from the force of the two 9mm bullets hitting him in the chest. I had betrayed and possibly mortally wounded my best friend and I didn’t feel anything for him. He was weighing me down anyhow.

As they say, there’s no honor among thieves.

The driver looked on with a fiendish grin. She was in on the plan to betray my former friend and leave him for dead and at the mercy of the police while we escaped with the cash and split it in half instead of in thirds. My baby and I would escape to a life of peace and solitude after this was done.

“Nicely done. Half of a payoff this big is much better than a third any day of the week, isn’t that right, baby?” The driver said, looking down at my former friend with an evil look in her eyes.

“That’s right.” I said to her. “Now come on, we gotta get outta here.”

“Right, but first…”

I looked back at her.

Was I so blinded by the feelings I had from her that I couldn’t have seen this coming or was she so skilled at the art of deception that she was able to easily slip under the radar. Maybe it was a bit of both. She played me…and what’s worse was that I allowed it to happen.

There she was, devilish grin stretched across her face, holding a silenced pistol, identical to mine, in her hand and aiming directly for me. I didn’t have time to even think about moving before three shots were fired into my chest, sending intense, searing pain shooting through my body. For a moment, I couldn’t move.

“Of course, the full payoff is better than half no matter how you look at it.” The woman said, lowering the pistol to her side and sitting down into the car, closing the door swiftly behind her.

I sank to my knees and grabbed at my chest, trying to ease the pain I felt. I caught her eye as she checked her side mirror. She merely smiled at me once more before she took off. My Beretta was still in my hand. There was no hope for me, but I wouldn’t make her escape any easier. I raised my pistol with a shaky hand and fired. I struck the trunk of the car. I fired again, sending a bullet through the back window, shattering it. Once more, I fired, and hit the rear bumper. By now, I could no longer hold my arm up and collapsed, face first, onto the concrete.

We’ll see how far the backstabbing bitch gets now, were the last words I spoke before the creeping darkness overcame me.