“After the Robbery” by Aaron Fox-Lerner
Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays.
This week, Aaron Fox-Lerner takes us to the aftermath of a robbery in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.
Robbing the liquor store went well. Took less than a minute. Alex didn’t even need to shoot his gun at all. He and Yuri ran back out and around the corner into Mikey’s car, where he was waiting with the engine running.
“Yeah, motherfuckers!” Mikey said as he peeled out, the radio that should have been bumping jams in the background instead featuring some deejays blabbering on. “Told you it wouldn’t be no problem.”
“Shit,” Alex answered, peeling off the scarf and beanie that he’d used to hide his face. “Who said it was gonna be a problem? First thing I did when I got in the door was pistol-whip that Indian motherfucker behind the counter. And he handed over all the cash like that ’cause he knows he’s my bitch now.”
Alex pulled out the revolver and opened it up before quickly letting out an “Ugh!” and tossing it onto the backseat. The bullets spilled out with a light clatter.
“It’s got his blood on it. Clean that shit up,” he told Yuri, who was still taking off his own muffler. He was always telling Yuri what to do, how to be more of an American. Far as Yuri could tell, that just meant going by Alex instead of Alexei and trying to act black instead of white.
“Pick them bullets up too,” Mikey added. “Shit’s dangerous. Remember last time? Got fired behind the counter and bounced around half the fucking store.”
Alex and Mikey laughed. Yuri didn’t say anything. This was his first time. Alex had asked Yuri if he wanted to make some bank in less than five minutes—make some cash the American way. He needed backup. All Yuri had to do was run into the store with him and look tough. Yuri was a big guy, tall and broad. Alex was five-foot-four with his back straight and his Yankees cap angled up.
Yuri felt bad about the Indian guy. The man hadn’t even done anything wrong. Yuri had busted in first, and even though his face was covered up, the guy had smiled at him nicer than anyone at his local bodega. Then Alex got him right in the nose with the butt of the gun, and Yuri felt like he couldn’t look in his direction at all anymore.
“You got a light?” Alex asked, rolling down the passenger window and letting light snowflakes drift in with the cold.
Yuri pulled out his lighter and lit a smoke for Alex.
“For real though, careful ’round those bullets. And stop letting in the cold!” Mikey said.
“Pussy,” Alex said to Mikey.
The radio station had finally started playing music— some more lame pop-rap.
“Mikhail, can’t you put something better on?” Yuri asked.
“It’s Michael, not Mikhail. You been here since you were eight, why do you still sound like you’re in Novosibirsk? Jesus,” Mikey said, turning up the radio.
Yuri stayed quiet again. He didn’t know why he should feel like this. He didn’t pistol-whip the Indian guy. He didn’t even touch him. Didn’t do anything. Just ran in and out.
Yuri picked up a couple of bullets from the floor and remembered what Mikey had said about them ricocheting. It wouldn’t be like he shot at anyone—just put some fire under them and see what happens. He angled the bullets up and slightly forward toward the ceiling, flicked the lighter on under them, held it, and waited for them to land wherever they were meant to.
AARON FOX-LERNER was born in Los Angeles and currently lives in Beijing. His fiction has appeared in Thuglit, Crime Factory, Grimdark Magazine, The Puritan, Bound Off, and other publications.
Would you like to submit a story to the Mondays Are Murder series? Here are the guidelines:
—Your story should be set in a distinct location of any neighborhood in any city, anywhere in the world, but it should be a story that could only be set in the neighborhood you chose.
—Include the neighborhood, city, state, and country next to your byline.
—Your story should be Noir. What is Noir? We’ll know it when we see it.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—E-mail your submission [email protected] paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
Posted: Aug 17, 2015
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