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No Casualties

Little did I know what was in store for me as I shuffled into the tall office building where I worked. I was a teller for the Royal Bank of Scotland and had just come in for my shift that morning. It had been a bad morning for my manager Mr Stephens and I could already hear him screaming at the others as I entered hurriedly. I was late.

“Ahh, good morning, thank you for gracing us with your presence.” he said sarcastically.

“I am sorry, Sir,” I muttered trying to get to my desk as quickly as possible. My co-worker Joe gave me a consoling nod as I walked past him.

Our shift began a little after ten and the clients started coming in. I did not particularly like my job. It involved too many fake smiles and unrequited ‘good mornings’ and ‘good days’ and just too much interaction with people in general. Yet, it was the only job I could find and it paid the bills. Joe, on the other hand, loved his job. He thrived on people and loved the fact that he got to talk to so many people in one day. The clients loved him and he loved them. This would be bad if we were paid by the number of clients we serviced but we all got equal salaries so it did not bother me much.

Eleven-thirty, I saw in the large clock ticking above the front doors of the bank. Another hour till lunch, I thought to myself as a bald man sat in front of me. I noticed that Joe was servicing a regular with a twinkle in his eyes.

“Good morning, Sir, how may I help you today?” with the fakest smile I could muster.

Baldy, as he is going to be referred to henceforth, mentioned his name, I forgot it instantly. He wanted to make a withdrawal. As I entered his account details I noticed three men standing idly by the entrance not going anywhere in particular.

“I am sorry sir, there seems to be no money in your account.”

“Well, it’s going to have some soon”, Baldy replied as he pulled out a pistol and stood up on the chair at the same time the three idle men sprang to action. Each one pulled on a mask, jammed the doors shut and started gathering the clients alike in the centre of the bank.

“As all of you must have guessed, this is a robbery.” Said Baldy as one of his goons dragged Mr Stephens out from his office. All of us except Mr Stephens were lying on the floor. He was having a deep conversation with Baldy. Two goons watched us while the third loaded their bags with money. They had clearly done their homework, the van with the fresh stock of currency usually came in around eleven, so most of the money was still there. This continued for about ten minutes before the bags were loaded and the Baldy’s Gang was ready to leave. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw some movement on the floor. It was Joe inching slightly forward, but towards what? I followed his eyes; it was in the direction of Baldy who had turned away and was barking instructions at his men.

Joe was heading towards the pistol hanging loosely by his side.

‘Don’t be a hero Joe. It’s not worth it’ I thought to myself but there was little I could do without attracting attention. Joe was close now, maybe three feet. ‘Don’t turn around, don’t turn around’ I hoped. He did. It was not pleasant. Baldy turned around and in some sort of reflex action pulled out his pistol and shot Joe right between the middle of his eyes. Blood. So much blood. All I could think of in that moment was that it would leave a stain on the marble.

One of his goons shouted, “Boss had said no casualties!”  They hurried off after that leaving Joe dead, in a pool of blood.

That night at home I was thinking about the events of the day when there was a knock on the door. I opened it. Baldy stood there.

“Here is the money, Boss.”

“I thought I said no casualties.”

“He sprung up on me, what was I supposed to do?”

“Follow instructions,” I said, as I pulled out my pistol.

Now, that bank robbery had two casualties.

-Udyaksh Khera, 12B


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