The Score


“For me, the action IS the juice.” One of the rerun movie channels was airing Heat, the Pacino/De Niro heist flick from the 90s, although this was the first time she had seen it. That pretty much sums it up, she thought. It wasn’t about the money, she knew she was set to live comfortably for the rest of her life. As trite as it sounded, it was about the thrill. She swore it off so many times but always got pulled back in for one more “score.”

When did it all start? Twelve years old she sat with her family in the back row of St. Anne’s for Sunday mass. The collection basket came around, her mother had given her a quarter to put in. She lowered the coin in, and came back with two. No one noticed, the fifty cents went into her pocket, and the fact that nobody would have ever suspected this sweet little girl with blonde braids was stealing from God only added to the thrill. From then on she was hooked … a life of crime.

She had her code. No civilians got hurt, that only attracted attention involving people who weren’t in the game. Never flaunt the wealth, again the attention. Trust no one—that old saying about honor and thieves… well, let’s just say there’s a reason for old sayings. Discipline and attention to detail kept her out of the slammer all these years.

One more score and she would walk away, for good this time. Of course she had said that before, but this time she meant it. Or did she? Addicts are, if anything, very good liars. Especially when lying to themselves.

She knew her timing had to be perfect. Too soon and you’ll give yourself away. Too late and you lose the chance and it’s all blown to shit. Heart racing, but outwardly cool, she waited ten seconds after Walter stepped outside and followed suit. She snuck up behind him just to the right knowing he always turned left afterwards—she’d done her reconnaissance. Right on cue he produced the money, made the drop, and received the goods. He let go of the spring loaded door, just before it snapped shut she stabbed her cane in keeping it open. Walter was none the wiser. Double checking the coast was clear, she reopened the door, grabbed a copy of The Times and calmly walked back inside the assisted living facility with the paper folded under her arm.

The morning was just getting underway. Several folks were already camped out on recliners watching FOX News and complaining about something or other. A jigsaw puzzle was nearing completion on the next table. Apparently someone’s grandchildren were visiting today, always a source of excitement. She took a sip of Earl Grey, took out a freshly sharpened pencil and opened the paper to the crossword.

“Good morning, Ethel,” Frank said.

“Morning Frank,” she said

What a rush.

~ fin ~


Tobias McEvoy is a bartender in Seattle, Washington. He enjoys traveling but always finds his way back to the Pacific Northwest. His hobbies include, but are not limited to, drinking coffee and climbing mountains. He’s new to fiction writing, but has occasionally written about his outdoor adventures under the pen name Catch23.