It was a quiet Tuesday, and I was about ready to go to lunch when two bank robbers burst into my bank with guns a blazing. To make sure they had everybody's attention, one shot a round into the ceiling and the florescent light tubes crackled, popped and smashed to the floor in a million tiny shards.
"Everybody on the floor" was the command. The bank was virtually empty; one merchant was making a deposit, and the robber grabbed his moneybag. A lady from the market was on the floor in a split second, and two guys from the bagel joint were down like bowling pins. The robbery proceeded with one thief jumping the counter and emptying the cash drawers into a sack as the tellers moved aside, eyes like saucers.
I tried to breathe normally as one pointed a gun directly at me and barked for me to put down the phone. I had already pushed the alarm at my desk. The commotion was like a big dark blur, and then just when I thought they were going to run out, a black and white cruised the parking lot, and I could hear a sputtering helicopter landing on the roof. One of the bandits grabbed me by the arm; my feet didn't touch the floor as he jerked me toward the waiting getaway car.
The chase was on. They sped toward the freeway as I contemplated my next move. I knew they would kill me; I had to escape. The onramp was backed up so the driver slowed down and tried to drive the narrow side curb; I opened the door and literally sprung into the ice plant and rolled down the embankment in my pink boucle suit! When I got to the bottom the sprinklers came on.
As I watched from my ground position with my broken heels, torn nylons and ripped clothes, my mind's eye could see my hair in wet tendrils and my mascara-blackened cheeks. I truly resembled the last rose of summer! I didn't hurt even though my knees were bloody and my back had hit a couple of sprinklers on my descent. I was too excited to cry.
Like a well-trained warrior I assessed my position: all my parts worked, I hadn't broken anything and I was alive! I smiled and thanked God for that!
Author of "The Accidental Bank Heist"
Having worked for thirty years for Bank of America in Southern, California --the bank robbery capital of the world -- Judith Slaughter has been through her share of bank robberies.
Slaughter's debut novel "The Accidental Bank Heist" follows a bank manager through the moral crisis of whether to keep the million dollars of stolen money that falls into her lap and through the repercussions of her decision. For more information, visit http://www.judithslaughterbooks.com
"The Accidental Bank Heist"
By Judith Slaughter
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