On the Run & in Hiding with Stepmom


"Oh, no. No way. They'll be no heroes today," said Ritchie putting a bullet in the chamber and taking his gun off safety.

They knew the one, biggest weakness of the armed, armored car security job, no man would risk his life to protect someone else's, insured money for a measly thirteen-dollars an hour. Yeah, sure, there was always the lone, gung-ho, ex-military Brink's guard who hoped to have his name splashed across the front page as a hero while hoping to receive a reward. Yet, easy to spot, and not putting up with any heroes today, they'd identify and take care of him first. He'd be first to go down, not in a blaze of glory or in a hail of bullets, but with a single bullet to the head.

"Stay low and be quiet. I'll keep watch. The rest of you stay hidden out of sight," said Billy.

Ritchie pulled his hat down over his ears, stuck his hands in his pockets, and shivered from sitting quietly still behind a huge mound of gravel that, at least, protected him from the wind.

"It's fucking cold out here and it's starting to snow. I can't see my hand in front of my face, it's so frigging dark," said Ritchie who sounded more like Bunchy Donovan in Ray Donovan played by Dash Mihok.

Billy, acting more like Ray Donovan in Ray Donovan played by Live Schreiber, glared back at his always complaining and never satisfied, younger brother.

"Quiet. We'll be plenty warm enough once we're in Cuba," he said looking from his brother to keep a lookout over the landscape. "I see headlights in the distance," said Billy. "Someone is coming."

Until the heat cooled, they already had a good hideout spot to lay low in the D Street housing projects on West Broadway in South Boston, another mostly Irish section of the city. Unless someone tipped off the cops that they were hiding there, or unless SWAT was mounting a drug sting, filled with hardened criminals, no one comes there, not even the police. From there, with them pretending to be fishermen, they had arranged for their cousin's fishing boat to take them to Cuba where they'd live like kings.

With their thoughts already filled with booze, sex, naked, Cuban women, and legalized prostitution, they couldn't wait for this to be over. Eventually, from there, after having new identities made, they'd make their way to Ireland. With plenty enough money to buy whatever they'd want, they'd buy a farm to live out the rest of their lives in obscurity while married with children.

* * * * *

Brian, Sean, and Micky were already practicing their Spanish.

"Micky," whispered Brian. "How do you say blowjob in Cuban?"

Micky, the multi-linguist of the bunch, stifled a laugh.

"You mean, Spanish. Much like saying that we speak American instead of English, they speak Spanish and not Cuban," said Micky laughing at his friend.

Ritchie looked at Micky embarrassed by his stupidity.

"Duh? You're right," said Ritchie. "I'm so dumb."

Micky explained how to say blowjob in Spanish.

"Blowjob is a worldwide language no matter where you're from, who you're with, or where you are. Much like the translation for wanting to fuck a woman, blowjob is a universal sign. You just stare at her while moving your hand to your mouth and moving your hand back and forth while pushing your cheek in an out with your tongue. Like this," said Micky demonstrating his universal hand and tongue blowjob sign. "If you wanna fuck, you just give the woman a sexy look while moving your hips back and forth as if you're already fucking her," whispered Micky. "It's that simple."

Distracted from his lookout post, Billy turned with impatient frustration to look at his stupid brother and their just as stupid friends.

"Shh! Quiet. Shut the fuck up. They're coming," said Billy.

A good plan, especially after a few beers, yet a plan that was seemingly perfect was sometimes no better than a pipedream. The five, lifelong friends and convicted criminals were experienced enough to know that no plan was foolproof. When it's least expected, with nothing easy, and with there always the unexpected, unforeseen, and unplanned complication, something always goes wrong.

All they wanted was the money and for no one to get hurt, especially during the Christmas holiday. All they wanted was to take the money and run. Yet, they never expected that one of the Brink's employees was a 35-year, retired veteran of the Boston Police Department. They had no way of knowing that he was a veteran of the Vietnam war, a war hero, and a decorated sharpshooter.

Yet, getting it from both sides, from the cops and from the Irish mob, they had planned robbing Brink's without paying Patrick O'Halloran his just due respect by giving him a cut of the money. Giving them a new chance for a better life, ready to leave the country, they just wanted to take the money and run. While hoping to clear a million-dollars each, being that it was monies collected from Christmas shoppers on the last day before the close of business, the vast amount of money they'd steal blinded them from thinking the worst.

They didn't think that they'd lose their lives during the robbery or later, after being hunted by the FBI, and/or the Irish mob. They never thought that they may have to spend the rest of their lives in prison for first degree murder during an armed robbery. They didn't even think that they'd have to kill anyone who got in their way. All they thought about was all of that money. They more thought of all the things they could buy and all the fun they could have than the price that they'd have to ultimately pay.

* * * * *

Tomorrow was Christmas and John, a 65-year-old, retired, 35-year veteran of the Boston Police Department was working his last week for Brink's Armored Car Services. Not officially leaving the employment of the company until January 2, 2018, he'd be paid not only for the Christmas holiday but also for New Year's Day. Moreover, by staying for just another week more, he'd earn his three-week vacation. He had already decided to take that money and run.

Even though they planned and saved, retirement wasn't easy for them. With his healthcare expenses for his wife, Mary, escalating out of reach of what he could afford, he took the Brink's job seven-years ago to bridge the gap between his 35-year pension and his wife's paltry, Social Security. As a retired police officer in Massachusetts, John was ineligible from receiving Social Security benefits but being that his wife worked and paid into the system, she was allowed to collect. Now, finally, with her cancer in remission and his mortgage and cars paid, he was safe, debt free, and to finally ready retire.

Finally, in the Spring, when the weather was warmer, he could hookup his trailer to his truck and travel. There was so much of the country that he always wanted to see but never had the time. His goal was to see all forty-eight, continental, United States. He already had a map of all the campsites where they could safely and comfortably stay. With Mary unwilling to rough it and sleep under the stars in a sleeping bag, with her running around the house screaming whenever she saw a spider, she had a deadly fear of spiders. He needed a campsite that had electricity for her hair dryer, to charge her cellphone, and running water with shower facilities.

The part-time job with Brink's didn't pay much but it included additional healthcare benefits that overlapped his healthcare benefits. Besides, the job kept him busy. Instead of falling into a deep depression and drinking, as many of the other, retired police officers have done, and instead of wanting to swallow his gun, the job kept him not only sane but also sharp. The job allowed him to continue to use his training, his experience, and all of his related skills that he had learned over his long, successful career as a Boston policeman.

The younger men looked up to him because he had been a real cop instead of a wannabe police officer. Many of the younger men at work, most of them veterans of Iraq and/or Afghanistan, already on the list, waited for their names to be called after having taken the police exam for different cities, towns, and counties. John considered himself lucky to have had such a long, law enforcement career without being shot or having to shoot anyone. Other than at the firing range, he never had to draw and fire his gun. Instead, with his inherent people skills, he could talk anyone down from a ledge.

"Hand me the gun and we'll talk about it over a cup of coffee," he had a way of people trusting him. "I know what you're going through. Been there and having come out on the other side, I've gone through that at your age."

Yet, as soon as the man surrendered his gun, he was arrested. Nonetheless, true to his word, John visited the man in jail to bring him a cup of coffee. They talked about all that led up to that fateful day where they crossed paths. One of the good guys, he not only worked to serve and protect the public abut also, he cared about people.

As a beat cop, he was a beloved member of his community and a Deacon in his church. He knew most every resident of Dorchester and Roxbury by name, where he was stationed for twenty-five-years of his thirty-five-years with the force. A marksman in the Army, he still went to the gun range regularly to practice and, hitting the bullseye every time, he was a deadly shot, and one of the best shots on the force.

Retired as a sergeant with 75% of his salary as his pension, the men at work affectionately called him. "Sarge." When they weren't calling him, "Sarge," they called him "Father John." As if he was their priest, any one of them could talk to him about anything and somehow, he always had the answer.

* * * * *

It was their last run of the day and, with all the banks already closed for the Christmas holiday, this last, Brink's truck arriving late had been delayed by holiday traffic. Some stores still remained open and would stay open for 24-hours. Brink's wouldn't be collecting their receipts until after the holiday.

They were dropping off their shipment of collections in Charlestown. Brink's had a secret hideaway, a secured building behind Boston Sand & Gravel. Within walking distance of the FBI repair facility, where the Feds repaired their fleet of cars. They brought confiscated motor vehicles there to repair and/or to get them ready to sell at auction. With armored cars entering and exiting and with undercover FBI cars coming and going, the Brink's location, as well as the FBI garage, was no secret to Charlestown residents.

A stone structure and a stark, cold contrast to the scenic Boston Harbor, as if a monument to crime and to criminals, looking more like a prison than a garage, the grey building was comprised of walls without windows. After seeing the parking lot filled with Ford Crown Victoria's and dark colored SUVs, John suspected what the building was. After seeing suited men and woman coming and going, a stone's throw from the Charlestown police station, it didn't take John long to figure out this is where the FBI maintained their fleet.

Between the FBI lot, the Brink's building, and with the police station right across the street, this was a secured location. With security cameras everywhere, John felt as safe here as he did when stationed in a police station. Yet, the in the way that the world is today with crime, criminals, and terrorists, no one is safe anywhere.

Even Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator when he said to the desk sergeant, "I'll be back," breached a police station. John knew that if men were desperate enough to gamble their lives for money, with no telling what frantic men would do, he needed to stay vigilant and ready for anything. Now with lone wolf terrorists killing innocents in the streets of every city in America and around the world, and with everyone who wants one carrying an automatic weapon, truly no one was safe anywhere, not even in church.

Whatever the Brink's employees collected today would be transferred to the secured Brink's vault until the day after Christmas when everything opened again. Until then, with everyone on their way home to families to enjoy Christmas, it wouldn't be business as usual until next week. No one wanted their holidays ruined by criminals. No one wanted to be dragged into work to investigate yet another stupid, endless crime until after New Year's.

Between the FBI garage, the Brink's building, and the police station, there were surveillance cameras everywhere that monitored the area seven days a week, 24-hours a day. Yet, with this the day before Christmas, not expecting to be robbed, except for a few skeleton workers, most everyone had already gone home early to enjoy the holiday. Seemingly sometimes, expecting everyone to be home with their families, including law enforcement, Christmas was a free pass for criminals to practice their illegal craft without being chased and caught by police.

Along with the police, unless they were specifically tipped off and/or notified, the FBI wouldn't be looking at the camera feed footage until after the Christmas holiday. Whatever happened today wouldn't be reported until after the holiday. No one wanted their Christmas ruined by armored car robbers, especially these armored car robbers, and especially when the police not only already knew who to arrest but also where to find them.

Yet, once the victims were discovered, with the crime scene littered with dead bodies, and with most of the money gone, an all-out man hunt, the Brink's parking lot would be crawling with Boston cops and the FBI. Just as with a bank robbery, there was a lot at stake with an armored car robbery. Sending a strong message to those who'd think they could rob an armored car, whoever did this needed to be caught, convicted, and put away. Only, this crime wasn't engineered by a man but by a woman, a tall, sexy, and shapely, beautiful, Italian woman, named Emma, Emma Capizzi, the wife of Mafia hitman, Fatal Frankie.

* * * * *

Charlie, a forty-something-year-old man lived alone with his mother, never married, and had no children. He had a small dog naked Dunkin', named after Dunkin' Donuts, and was the driver of the Brink's truck. Where some men have a weakness for women, for drinking, for gambling, and/or for smoking cigars, Charlie loved donuts. Eating donuts every day, he always had a box of donuts on the front seat with him in the truck. A bit overweight, not hired to chase anyone on foot, he didn't need to be in shape to drive the armored vehicle.

His job was to stay with the truck and always remain inside the locked vehicle. His orders instructed him to do just that, to remain inside the locked truck and, happy to obey orders, with his thermos full of coffee and his box of donuts by his side, he never disobeyed his orders. He always stayed in the locked truck. No matter what happened outside the bulletproof truck, when he wasn't driving the truck, until he parked the armored car at the Brink's secured location, his job was to stay inside the locked truck.

Twenty-six-year-old, Vincent, street name, Vinegar Vinnie, was named that because his favorite restaurant was the Olive Garden. Never eating anything but Italian food, when not eating spaghetti with meatball, ravioli, manicotti, or lasagna, his favorite food was pizza. Any time he'd take his girlfriend, Gina, out to eat, they ate at the Olive Garden or bought takeout pizza at Regina's Pizzeria in Boston's North End. Sometimes called Vincent Vega instead of Vinegar Vinnie, with his cool manner and the way that he shuffled when he walked, everyone remarked how Vinnie reminded them of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, played by John Travolta.

Serving his country with honor, thanking him for his service, and recently honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, Vinnie hoped to be a Boston Police Officer one day. Having done well in the test, he placed high on the list and was waiting and expecting to be called to train at the Boston Police Academy soon. Especially with John being a retired Boston police officer and a wealth of information, and with his recommendation, Vinnie constantly and continually asked him questions about the force and what it was like being on the job.

Vinnie was the money man. He picked up the deposits, carried the bags of money, and delivered them to the truck. Young, strong, and in shape, and able to carry heavy bags of money, he escorted the money out of the malls and stores and to the truck with his gun drawn. Always vigilant, if anything, with his safety off and his finger on the trigger, Vinnie was too quick on the trigger.

He loved guns, collected guns, and, costing him a week's salary, was especially proud of his Glock 9 mm. Due to his immaturity, quick to react without thinking things through, if anyone was liable to shoot anyone, it was Vinnie. In the way that John had never drawn his gun, in the way that it was part of Vinnie's job to have his gun drawn when escorting money, seemingly he was itching to shoot someone. John didn't dare tell him that he'd never make a good cop. Nonetheless, his quick trigger finger, trying to make a good impression, he took his armored car job very seriously.

"This is where they filmed the movie, The Town, with Ben Affleck," said Vinnie pointing to Boston Sand & Gravel while nodding his head as if that was his first time saying it. "This is where they also filmed the Equalizer with Denzel Washington. I loved that movie," he said and something that he said every day.

Not the brightest bulb and obviously taken with movie stars, he loved taking his girlfriend to the movies. He said the same, exact thing every day they left and pulled in to the Brink's facility. Actually Charlestown, the Irish section of the city, as they were familiarly identified as such in the movie as The Town, were known for their armored car robberies. Brink's was based in Charlestown with their old facility just across the Charlestown bridge, in the North End of Boston, the Italian section of the city, where the famed Brink's robbery of the '50's happened.

* * * * *

An inside job, unable to pull off the robbery without the help of the driver, Charlie, as soon as the gate opened, obviously thinking that the truck was stuck, all three men alighted from the vehicle. Unable to push such a heavy vehicle, they usually dug around the tire and put something in front and/or in back of the rear wheels to rock it free. The road was unpaved and littered with deep potholes from thirty-plus-ton dump trucks hauling their heavy loads of gravel and rocks to and from Boston Sand & Gravel.

With the armored vehicle so heavy, weighing 55,000 pounds, 27 and a half tons, as much as a small humpback whale or a Chinook, cargo helicopter, the truck was always getting stuck in one place or another. Obviously, thinking their delay routine, John and Vinnie weren't expecting anything to happen. The only clue that something was up, leaving his truck unattended and unsecured, was when Charlie turned off the engine and alighted from the truck with them.

John looked at Charlie with a face filled with disbelief and shock. As if leaving his post while on watch, he had never seen Charlie out of the truck unless he was inside the Brink's facility. As if he was done for the day and was going home, leaving his unsecured and unprotected truck parked there, oddly and suspiciously enough, he had his thermos of coffee and his box of donuts with him.

"What are you doing out of the truck, Charlie?"

With his police training second nature and his police alarm going off in his head, John looked at the driver with suspicion. Charlie never got out of the truck until he had delivered the truck inside the secured, Brink's building. Obviously not taking any chances, John flung open double, rear doors of the armored vehicle. Reaching inside, he immediately grabbed the shotgun from the side of the truck and used the body of the armored vehicle as cover to shield him. With them sitting ducks in the light and with whomever was out there hidden by the dark of night, as if he was on reconnaissance patrol in the jungle of Vietnam again, he scanned the area with experienced, police trained eyes.

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bySusanJillParker© 13 comments/ 52815 views/ 64 favorites

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