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View Full Version : Missouri Is Dead (Warning: Language, Mature Themes, Some Violence)



Hunter56
March 4th, 2013, 05:56 AM
Part 1 of a Short Story I started just a few days ago. Critiques will be greatly appreciated be it positive or negative. Hope you enjoy!


*Please note. Just to avoid any confusion, Missouri is dead is meant to be both the title and the opening line.*



Missouri is dead.

Lying facedown on the concrete sidewalk, blood seeping out from under the body, he met his end getting a chest full of bullets from an AK-47.
I didn't give a shit about him -- I didn't even know him -- the only thing that bothered me is that if he got shot, that means there's a pretty good chance that I will get shot.
"Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" Arizona yelled to himself as the four of us still alive scrambled to the road, hiding behind our getaway van for cover. "Who the hell are those guys!?"
No one had an answer for him, we were all just as dumfounded at what had transpired. I sat down on the asphalt, leaning against the closed van door while staring down at the Beretta 9mm still in my grip. "How the fuck can I take down an AK with this!?" The thought ran through my head. I was contemplating just making a break for it -- just run away from this predicament I had gotten myself into. They didn't know who I was, we were all wearing masks and using stupid ass code names. It was a very tempting idea at that moment, leave this city and never look back…
"He's gone," Ohio informed us, timidly peaking around the rear of the van to get a view of the soon-to-be crime scene. The bank alarm still blared out of the building through the open front doors, right where the masked gunman stood seconds ago. Convinced, but still scared shitless, I laid down flat on my stomach and looked under the van to see Missouri's body motionless in a pool of his own blood; looking past the body I saw no one standing in the doorway from my limited vantage point. I breathed a sigh of relief from behind the fiberglass and got up to my knees.

This was all too much to comprehend, we were the only ones suppose to be hitting this bank, who the fuck was that maniac in the ski mask that opened fire on us when we were on our way in?
Bank robbery is something that you have to take every precaution for -- but this was the last thing I expected. I only committed robbery once prior to this whack job; it was at a much lower scale, snatching money out of a cash register at some diner when the waitress was careless and walked away when the register was opened. After I got away and suffered no repercussions for my actions, I began to think that robbery was my newly discovered passion. Now I got myself into this mess with a bunch of goons wearing grey jumpsuits, surgical gloves, and hockey masks. After a tension-filled minute had passed to regain our bearings, Ohio said something that was music to my ears, "Let's get the hell out of here." We all nodded and cautiously piled into the van, keeping our heads low. Arizona climbed into the drivers seat; he looked at the ignition, no keys.
"Which one of you have the keys?" He silently hissed to the back of the van. Right as he spoke those words my heart sunk, Missouri was the driver in this heist, which meant that the keys were more than likely in the breast pocket of his jumpsuit -- which was now torn apart by bullets. Who knew if the key had gotten hit and was now a blackened, disfigured hunk of metal. Gradually everyone else began to realize this, Arizona began banging his fist on the steering wheel irately.
"Do any of you know how to hot-wire a car?" I said in desperation, grasping to the last strands of hope there was to escape this nightmare. Those last strands were beaten down and gang-raped when the sounds of police sirens became audible. Chills went over me as the interior of the van fell dead silent, the siren became louder and louder until it was quite obvious the cop car was right beside us.


"Get out of the van with your hands in the air!"


My face became numb. The faint words coming through the steel and tinted windows of the van was the final nail in my coffin -- my life was now over.
"We haven't even done shit! It's the assholes in the bank that are doing the robbing!" Arizona screamed in the van, like he expected the cops to actually hear him over the pandemonium that was currently going on outside. Obviously the shaking van that was ten yards away from a bloody corpse was deemed 'suspicious'.


"If you are not out in ten seconds we will open fire!"


"Looks like it's game over," Montana finally spoke up. "Maybe if we surrender now they'll give us only ten years or so."


"Four, three, two, o-"


The sound of shattered glass filled my ears, Arizona smashed the butt end of his gun into the driver side window. He pointed his pistol out the window while still keeping his head down and opened fire blindly. Twelve deafening gunshots rang in the air continuously. I wrapped my arms over my head, fearing for my well being. After he emptied his clip -- no voices -- a few seconds passed by, nothing but the sound of the alarm creeping through the window, no cops could be heard.
"Alaska," Arizona's voice came from the front. I turned my head to face the back of the drivers seat, he leaned back around to face me, pointing his gun up at the smashed window. "See what's out there… see what happened."

egpenny
March 5th, 2013, 04:42 AM
Hooked me in right from the first sentence. Some suggestions...black=delete, red=add, blue=why

Missouri is was dead.

Lying facedown on the concrete sidewalk, blood seeping out from under the body, he met his end getting a chest full of bullets from an AK-47.
I didn't give a shit about him -- I didn't even know him -- the only thing that bothered me is was that if he got shot, that meanst there's was a pretty good chance that I will wouldget shot, too. (tense changes)
"Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" Arizona yelled to himself as the four of us still alive (the dead don't scramble so still alive is redundant) scrambled into the road, hiding behind using our getaway van for cover. "Who the hell are those guys!?" (Don't double up)
No one had an answer for him, we were all just as dumfounded at what had transpired. I sat down on the asphalt, leaning against the closed van door while staring down at the Beretta 9mm still in my grip. "How the fuck can I take down an AK with this!?" The thought ran through my head. I was contemplating just making a break for it -- just run away from this predicament I had gotten myself into. They didn't know who I was, we were all wearing masks and using stupid ass code names. It was a very tempting idea at that moment, leave this city and never look back…
"He's gone," Ohio informed us, timidly peaking around the rear of the van to get a view of the soon-to-be (already a crime scene)crime scene. The bank alarm still blared out of the building through the open front doors,(out of the building and through the open front doors say the same thing, choose just one) right where the masked gunman had stood seconds ago. Convinced, but still scared shitless, I laid down flat (as above) on my stomach and looked to look under the van to see and saw Missouri's body motionless in a pool of his own blood; looking past the body I saw no one standing in the doorway from my limited vantage point. (this would read better with the vantage point first and not seeing anyone. Leaaving the looking passed the body is optional) I breathed a sigh of relief from behind the van's fiberglass body and got up to my knees

Be careful to not to say the same thing twice and keep the tense you use constant.
Loved the plot and would like to read more.
Of course, these are only a few suggestions. Use them or lose them.

Hunter56
March 5th, 2013, 05:42 AM
Thanks so much for the suggestions man, glad you enjoyed it. I do see the redundancy now in a couple parts, I'll try to be more aware of it in the future.

I'm planning to make it a three part story, gonna try to get part two written and posted in a few days. Knowing that at least one person likes the story makes it all worth it. :)

mber341
March 5th, 2013, 01:44 PM
Hi Hunter. Like egpenny, I was hooked and found it intense. I'm not very knowledgeable about writing and am just an amateur with lots to learn so I'm sorry I can't really help with criticism. I often make as many mistakes with tense-slippage and the like, but just posting to let you know I read it and enjoyed it.

Hunter56
March 5th, 2013, 06:24 PM
Thank you man, appreciate it!

I'm also still honing my writing skills, so no worries there. I would like to give other people some critique on their stories, but I don't feel like I'm quite knowledgeable enough yet to judge other people's writing.

egpenny
March 6th, 2013, 08:25 AM
That's the good thing about the forum, every little bit of critique you get is helpful, even if you're not sure what the heck they're going on about. There are helpful places to find that out here, too. Write, slap it on up for people to see, and watch what happens. IF you're willing to learn, you will.
:friendly_wink: It really helps to have a great idea for a story, like the above.

Hunter56
March 8th, 2013, 05:58 AM
Part 2:


"Shit, why me?" I thought. Then, noticing that I was the one closest to the window, I mustered up enough courage to raise my head up to the window.

I didn't see it -- but I sure as hell heard it. A loud and violent sound came whizzing right past my head. It was only on the way down that I realized there was a bullet hole in the window I was just looking out of. I cowered on the van floor, ready to piss myself at the thought that a bullet came inches from hitting my head.
Curiosity got the best of me when I heard the sound of tires screeching; I lifted myself back up and looked out the cracked tinted window. The cop car was driving away, the side riddled with bullet holes from Arizona's blind fire. Before the car sped out of sight I caught a brief glimpse of blood splashed on the white hood -- Arizona's desperate tactic was a success.

"I gotta get out, I can't stand being trapped in this van!" Ohio came beside me and slid open the van door. I went out after him into the middle of the street, no one was in sight. Scanning the ground where the police had just been, there was a small splosh of blood on the pavement. I turned around to face my three partners, I couldn't see through their masks, but could tell they were sharing my extreme dismay. We had to think of something quick; the coast was clear now but at any minute the cops or the AK-assholes could come back and resume the firefight that we started with both of them earlier.
"Do any of you have the slightest idea what the fuck is going on?" Arizona yelled, waving his empty gun in the air.
"No," Montana crossed his arms around his chest. "All I know is that Missouri is dead, the cops are going to shoot us on sight now… and we haven't even gotten through the front door."
"No shit! Of course I know that!"
Ohio seemed to have regained his composure after becoming claustrophobic in the van. "Can't you see what's going on?" He said in an irritated tone. "A man with a ski mask and an AK came out of the front doors of the bank we were about to hit and shot at us seconds after the alarm went off. It's quite obvious that he wasn't alone either. My intuition is telling me that there's two fucking gangs that decided to hit the same bank on the same day… and we came just a little bit too late."

I refused to believe it at first, what are the chances something like that could actually happen?

"Shit, that's exactly what's happening." I didn't even realize I said it out loud as deep in thought I was. There was indeed two groups of bank robbers that decided to rob the same bank at the same time. The only difference was that the ones in the bank were better organized, better experienced, and better armed -- and Missouri is proof that they were not willing to 'share' the loot with us. "Well… at least we look cooler." Was the only positive thought I could conjure up. Our masks were replicas of the old Philadelphia Flyers goalie Bernie Parent -- the only difference is we weren't the bullies on Broad Street this day.

"Probably," Montana halfheartedly agreed. "We might've been able to get out of this predicament with only minor charges if Arizona didn't decide to light up a cop car."
Arizona turned to Montana, obviously angered at the remark. "Are you saying this is my fault? Fuck you faggot!"
"Faggot?" Montana let out a humorless chuckle. "What are you 12? Go home kid."

With that said, Arizona ripped the mask off his head and threw it to the ground. I know one thing -- he definitely doesn't look twelve -- more like mid thirties. He was unmasked now but vexation still covered his face; he had wiry, disheveled dark hair and a mildly grown beard.
"Do I look like a kid motherfucker?" He began to walk towards Montana -- who stood his ground and started to raise his gun.
"Hey hey hey, now you both are acting like kids," I intervened, gently pushing Montana's arm back down and placing my hand on Arizona's chest. I turned to Montana, "You need to shut the fuck up,"
I turned to Arizona, "You need to shut the fuck up and put your mask back on."
They both slowly backed off and took a few steps away from each other, Arizona picked up his mask and placed it on top of his head but didn't slide it down over his face.

I let out a drawn-out sigh, dread started to come back over me as I looked up at the overcast sky. We weren't suppose to show anybody our face on the job; the robbery outfit came to me through the mail anonymously, I waited in a dark alley for the van to pick me up and had to put my mask on before they could open the back door to let me in. That was when I met these clowns; Arizona, who I quickly figured out was the "unofficial leader" of the group told everyone that we had to pick a state for a code name. I automatically picked Alaska since that was the first state in alphabetical order -- almost immediately after announcing it I realized it was actually Alabama -- didn't matter though, what matters now is getting out of this city with my life and my freedom.
"Wait," Ohio put his gun-free hand up in the air, we all fell silent, Arizona knew this was the cue to put his mask back on. "Do you hear that?"



"This is the police! Let the hostages go! The SWAT teams are on their way!"

DeathandGrim
March 8th, 2013, 06:09 AM
I felt the scene was tense and actually well written, you can feel the nervousness of the MC as he's gotten in way over his head

Hunter56
March 8th, 2013, 06:25 AM
Thanks for the compliment man, glad you enjoyed it!

I literally finished the second part like half an hour ago lol, but I'm going to work on the third and final part very soon and it should be up on here in a matter of days. Stay tuned!

egpenny
March 9th, 2013, 10:04 AM
Why are they standing in the street discussing and shouting about their situation? My first thought was "Run fools!" next was "That's just stupid." I don't know what's going to happen to them, but maybe you could move them into an alley or something. It seems a little beyond belief that they would just stand there...although humans can be pretty stupid in times of stress.:tongue:

Quotes
{ It's quite obvious that he wasn't alone either. My intuition is telling me that there's two fucking gangs that decided to hit the same bank on the same day… and we came just a little bit too late."

I refused to believe it at first, what are the chances something like that could actually happen?

"Shit, that's exactly what's happening." I didn't even realize I'd said it out loud as deep in thought as I was. There were indeed two groups of bank robbers that decided to rob the same bank at the same time. The only difference was that the ones in the bank were better organized, better experienced, and better armed -- }


Don't repeat yourself, you could leave off the second underlined portion and be fine.

Good read and tension is building nicely. Poor Alaska, the whole thing is becoming a clusterf**k of major proportions. Waiting to read the next segment...

Hunter56
March 9th, 2013, 07:00 PM
Why are they standing in the street discussing and shouting about their situation? My first thought was "Run fools!" next was "That's just stupid." I don't know what's going to happen to them, but maybe you could move them into an alley or something. It seems a little beyond belief that they would just stand there...although humans can be pretty stupid in times of stress.:tongue:

Quotes
{ It's quite obvious that he wasn't alone either. My intuition is telling me that there's two fucking gangs that decided to hit the same bank on the same day… and we came just a little bit too late."

I refused to believe it at first, what are the chances something like that could actually happen?

"Shit, that's exactly what's happening." I didn't even realize I'd said it out loud as deep in thought as I was. There were indeed two groups of bank robbers that decided to rob the same bank at the same time. The only difference was that the ones in the bank were better organized, better experienced, and better armed -- }


Don't repeat yourself, you could leave off the second underlined portion and be fine.

Good read and tension is building nicely. Poor Alaska, the whole thing is becoming a clusterf**k of major proportions. Waiting to read the next segment...


You answered it yourself lol! They're under a lot of stress or "extreme dismay" like what's said in the prose. They would of stayed in the van but Ohio was starting to get major anxiety from being cooped up in there. No one was in the street at the time but Alaska knew that they had to think of something quick and not stay out in the open for long.
They start to argue and shout because they just don't know what else to do, the plan has gone so wrong that they are at a complete loss -- and Alaska is the only one that wants to run, but the rest are still trying to find a way to make the plan work. He's not willing to admit it though.

Thanks for reading the second part, glad that I only had a small handful of mistakes this time :smile:

Stay tuned for the finale!

WechtleinUns
March 10th, 2013, 05:59 AM
The great thing about this story is the love-ability of these goons. They are bank robbers, but they are clearly out of their league. The core strength of this story is not the bank robbery itself, but the emotions and reactions that these lovable idiots are having as the bank robbery unfolds. This means that the resolution of this story might prove to be a bit difficult to write. The story is very good, however, you have a powerful opportunity to develop these characters.

Alaska and Arizona feel somewhat developed as characters. That is good, but you need to really juice it up. When Arizona took off his mask to reveal a dingy, mid-thirties male face, I felt that this guy has a story to tell. I feel the same way about Alaska, who definitely needs back story. The only other character that is somewhat memorable is Ohio, and only because you use his name often throughout the two pieces.

That's two parts to this story. Three characters are known. One of them is dead(Missouri), so that leaves one additional character/state name that was not memorable enough to make an impression. The strength of this story is in the characters. Their emotions. The fact that you just finished this second part less than thirty minutes ago means that you are good at free-balling characters. It can also mean that you already have a good feel for these particular characters. You might be drawing from real world experience to create them.

What concerns me, however, is the lack of polish on the first and second piece. Are you taking your time to revise these words after you write them? Punctuation, grammar, spelling, semantics, word meaning, turns of phrase... these things can actually become the most enjoyable part of writing. If you are just putting your stuff out there without revising, then you are missing out on half the fun and essence of what it means to be a writer!

Furthermore, appearances matter. Your work is emotional and filled with energy. You may be a right-brained person. That's excellent, but if you put forth the effort to master spelling, punctuation, and grammar(at the very least), you will immediately have gained a step. I'd say your writing would be on par with professional-quality publications.

Good luck on writing the ending to this short story. But remember, take your time and enjoy it! Make this story a story that you yourself want to remember. :D

Hunter56
March 10th, 2013, 06:48 AM
First off -- thanks so much for taking the time to read my story, it means a lot! I'm very thrilled to know that even a few people have been enjoying it.

I haven't started yet on the final part, I don't have it set in stone just yet but it is definitely daunting because I know endings can make or break a story.

I will admit that I haven't spent a whole lot of time revising the parts before I post them. The very first line was written just about a week ago, and when I'm finished with it I will scan it for any spelling/grammar/delete or insert extra details. I probably will spend a bit more time to make sure the ending is as good as it can possibly be.

I'm still honing my writing skills, I'm 21 and never went to college so I do have lots of room for improvement :P

Thanks! I hope you'll enjoy the ending!

Hunter56
March 14th, 2013, 04:56 AM
Part 3:


The amplified words made my blood turn to ice. I went down into a prone position to look under the van once again at the crime scene. Three police cars were lined up at the other end of the street from us, positioned so they were facing both our van and the entrance to the bank. Squinting my eyes I could see a half dozen heads poking up from the top of the cars, one of them that was behind the middle car was the one talking into the megaphone. Before I could announce to my partners 'We're fucked' I had to stop myself and say "We're royally fucked." as I saw the armored SWAT truck turn the corner, screeching to a halt beside the cop cars.

"Just come out and surrender, make it easier on yourselves. You already wounded one of our officers so we are permitted to use lethal force if you don't come out within the next few minutes!"

"They think us and the AK-assholes are on the same side…" A preposterous thought given the fact that they killed one of ours -- yet we were the ones who shot the cop. However, I can tell that they have their attention focused solely on the bank entrance and weren't regarding our van at all, the cops must think we went back into the bank to 'regroup'. When I shifted my gaze to the bank entrance was when I noticed that the bank alarm was still blaring -- it had been the entire time -- but I guess my subconscious mentally blocked out the high-pitched hum after awhile. Things suddenly got very interesting; through the opened double doors of the bank emerged one of them, dragging a bank teller hostage by the throat, using her as a shield between him and the cops.

"Let her go!" The spokesman cop made the stentorian command. The bank robber was thoroughly disguised like we were; ski mask, leather jacket, leather gloves -- but he had an immense aura of douche on him, I had to refrain myself from shooting at him right where I lied. Without even realizing it, my other three partners were also lying prone on both sides of me observing what was going on. We all looked like soldiers hunkered down in a trench.
"Pass the popcorn," Montana quipped, which made me silently chuckle. I thought however that this was a rather macabre act we were committing -- as just a look to the right of the robber revealed Missouri's dead body, bloody and motionless. My thoughts were interrupting by the bank clerks piercing scream. "Shut up bitch." I faintly heard the bank robber say and she did what she was told. I could see the AK-47 in his other hand, but didn't know for sure if he was the one who shot Missouri.
"Oh shit," Arizona muttered beside me. Looking back to the cop cars, we saw the SWAT team pouring out of the armored truck. The heavily geared law enforcers moved behind the cop cars and took aim at the bank robber -- but holding their fire for the hostage's sake.

"Just give it up buddy," The spokesman cop's tone was more brash. "Don't throw yours or anyone else's life away… face it, it's over. Surrender and release the hostages and I promise we'll take it easy on all of you."

Hearing those words made me think of our own situation that we are putting ourselves in. Why are we sticking around to watch this bullshit when we can be long gone? I was beginning to tell my partners exactly that -- until something happened that left me in shock -- I was speechless and couldn't tear my eyes away from what was occurring.
The bank robber opened fire on the police; sparks began to fly, glass was shattering, police lights blew apart as the bullets tore through the barricade of vehicles. Though it was distant and our vision was limited, I saw few cops get hit, their heads falling back behind the cars from where we could no longer see them. The way the bank robber was firing -- with one stable arm holding the AK-47 and the other holding the hostage -- told his story, he was an experienced criminal in an experienced gang and we had no business being here. The loud and powerful gunfire ceased when all the policemen and SWAT team was out of sight, taking cover behind their makeshift barricade. He then threw the hostage forcefully to the ground and turned around to go back inside the bank. Before he went through the doorway, he did something so heinous that it made my stomach lurch forward.
He pulled a handgun from his leather jacket, turned around, and fired two round into the innocent woman's back. I heard Ohio gasp beside me.
"Does this fucking psycho have a death wish?"
As the bank robber retreated back into the bank, the SWAT team made their move. Brandishing MP5s, a dozen of them made their way single file into the entrance of the bank; the regularly uniformed cops went to the aid of the wounded bank teller -- but it didn't look like there was much hope for her.

As the police moved forward, we started moving back. Right before I got up and the side of the van blocked the scene I saw a couple cops beginning to move towards Missouri's body. Only a few seconds afterwards we started to hear gunshots and screams coming from the bank's interior over the alarm. Without even speaking we all knew that it was time to get the hell away from this van. I noticed that there was a small side street that wrapped around the bank about twenty feet away. Before we left however, my subconscious told me to do something that none of the others did, I opened the van door and grabbed one of the duffel bags that we were supposed to use to stash the money (you know, if things were actually going right) and slung it over my shoulder. We sprinted to the street without looking back, not knowing if the cops were still there or if they ran into the bank after hearing the activity. We all stopped about halfway down, looking around apprehensively.
"How do we get out of here? We can't just run into the avenue looking like this!" I yelled.
Right as I said that Arizona pointed over at the other side of the street, a bit farther down. "There's an alleyway, let's go-"

Those were the last words he'd ever say. The sound of gunfire became louder -- like it was now coming from outside of the bank -- and when I turned around I found out it was. Gunfire tore Arizona's back to shreds, blood sprayed out of his body and onto the asphalt; he fell forward as the bullets made contact, and now he didn't look much different from Missouri.
The ski-masked bank robber stood at the end of the street we just came from, his AK-47's barrel smoking, he must have came from the bank's rear exit to escape the gunfight, and for whatever reason decide to start a new one with us. I raised my gun without hesitation -- it felt natural -- self-defense, he shoots at us, we shoot back.
Ohio, Montana, and myself opened fire on the cocksucker, and he continued to fire back at us. I let off four rounds at his midsection and they all hit on target. Within a split second the bank robber had seven bullet-holes in his torso, one round from either Montana or Ohio managed to hit him in the head, he died instantly and crumbled to the ground. I looked down, regarding Arizona's bloody corpse for a second; I looked back at the other two, my eyes grew wider than they already were. Montana had fallen. He took some lead to the gut, but it looked like he was still alive. Ohio kneeled down beside him, wanting to aid him in some way but not knowing what to do. Time seemed to slow down, what in the world are we going to do now?

Two dead, one wounded, and police very close to busting our asses.

I ran… making a break for the alleyway that Arizona pointed out right before he died.
"Where the fuck are you going? Alaska!" Ohio screamed behind me. I know I probably look like a humongous pussy leaving them, I had enough dignity to turn back around right before I went into the alleyway.
"There's nothing we can do for him, we either get out of here now or get our asses pounded for life in prison!" I looked back to where the corpse of the bank robber we gunned down was, immeasurable panic came over me when I saw another AK-asshole coming out of an alley behind the bank, I took aim and unloaded the rest of my clip on him. He fell in mid jog as my bullets tore through his upper body, crimson mist spraying into the smoggy air. He dropped only a few feet away from his 'friend'. This street was a fucking bloodbath -- this whole job a maculate disaster. I couldn't look back at Ohio and the dying Montana, I dropped my gun and sprinted into the alleyway. I never saw them again.

I cut through another alleyway connecting with the one I originally came through. At almost the end of the narrow passage I spotted a stained-glass window, I tried my best to peer through but the glass was opaque. It was a gamble, but I smashed the window open with my boot; the inside was old, rotten, and abandoned -- perfect. I squeezed through the window (making sure no glass cut me) and went into the deepest, darkest corner of the building. For the first time in what seemed like a lifetime, I took the mask off my head. It would've been better to breathe in fresh air instead of old dusty air, but it felt good nonetheless to not have fiberglass reflecting my breathe back at me. I opened up the duffel bag and shoved the hockey mask in there, then I undressed out of the grey jumpsuit and put it in there as well. I wanted to take off the surgeon gloves, but couldn't risk leaving any fingerprints behind, hopefully no one will give me odd looks. Under the jumpsuit I wore a causal t-shirt and khaki shorts, which was part of the original plan but I don't even want to think about that goddamn bank right now. I vigilantly went back through the window and went out into the open street, I had no idea how I must look right now. My hair felt matted down yet messy at the same time and my face was probably as pale as a ghost. About two streets from the abandoned building was when I started running into civilians, I kept one hand in my pocket and the other placed firmly on the bottom of the duffel bag. It seemed like no one gave a shit -- so far, so good.

I managed to get through the 90 minute walk to my apartment with minimal obstacles. When I entered the complex I went to my apartment with haste and locked the door behind me. The first thing I did was go to my bathroom, took off the surgeons gloves and flushed them down the toilet. My hands were drenched in sweat from the tight-fitting rubber. I hesitated for a moment, but I finally turned around to look into my bathroom mirror…
I looked -- not as bad as I thought. My blonde hair was a little matted and damp with sweat from having the mask on all day; my face seemed to still have some color to it.
As I stared deeper into the mirror I began to remember one major reason why I agreed to do a bank robbery -- going incognito means that no one -- not even the people I was going to work with would see my soft, non-threatening face. Arizona's hardened, weathered features were the perfect contrast to my own. Those last words I said to Ohio wasn't some sick joke, if I got busted I would've been someones jail bitch.

No more time could be wasted on such frivolous thoughts now. I needed to leave this apartment, and leave this city forever. Going back into the living room reminded me why I got into robbery. What was once a neat and tidy space was now filthy and littered with trash. Just a few months ago my life decided to take a nosedive down the shithole. I was unemployed, slipped into depression, and started to abuse my painkillers. I grabbed a luggage bag and packed only the bear necessities, right after that I went into my bedroom and lifted the mattress; under it was where I hid a small stack of cash (most of it from what I stole out of the cash register a few weeks back) this was the only money I will have from now until I can find a new life. Everything that I wore during the job I got out of and stuffed into the duffel bag that contained the jumpsuit and mask. I redressed into a casual outfit and left without looking back.

In a small grove on the outskirts of the city, I dropped the duffel bag to the ground and drained an entire bottle of lighter fluid onto it. I placed the bottle on top of the duffel bag, lit a single match, took three steps back, and set the bag ablaze. Everything that I wore earlier that day was burning to ashes. The veil of dusk partially hid the smoke that was rising up from the trees. I kept looking around nervously, and patrolled the perimeter of the grove to see if anyone was watching me. After awhile the duffel bag was reduced to ash, I poured some water from a bottle on it to fully extinguish the dying flames. I exited the grove and returned to the shoulder of the highway where I parked my brown sedan. I drove down the low trafficked highway for about twenty miles and pulled over again. I took out my cell phone, shut it off, placed it on the ground and stomped on it once. I picked it back up and with all my strength threw it out into the grasslands. Everyone I came to know in that city I would never talk to again (especially my idiot friend that connected me to the bank heist) I only actually memorized a couple of their numbers, none of them mattered now though. I got back into my car and drove deeper into the plains, towards the sunset, and into a new life.

California is amazing.

Perfect weather, ruggedly handsome coastlines, and beautiful women had become an everyday custom for me ever since I came here. I was sitting on a bench in a beachside park soaking in all the sun rays, wearing the cliché hawaiian shirt and shades. It had been six months since I fled from the bank robbery, at first I had to fight with my mind, trying my best to stay away from any news or media outlet that might be covering the bank robbery nationally. After awhile I didn't hear anything about it, from neither media nor gossip, and the biggest sense of relief went over me. The only person that I contacted afterwards was my younger sister (the only family member I still got along with) to tell her everything was fine, she was worried that I went missing for awhile but I told her I merely decided to drop everything from my old life and start anew, and that she should try to come visit me sometime. Other than that I've pretty much started a brand new life, finding employment in a skateboard shop and basking in the city nightlife. Ironically, when I took up skateboarding as a hobby, I chose my board graphic to be a caricature of the same type of mask I wore during the robbery, and also had 'AK' sprayed at the bottom of the graphic, for some reason I thought fully putting 'Alaska' on the board would be too risky.
At this moment -- sitting on this bench and looking up at the clear blue sky -- was the first time I actually began to reflect on that bizarre day. Killing two people was something that was still somewhat unsettling to think about, but I accepted that it was either me or them, and I did what any logical person would do in such a dire situation. Missouri and Arizona being shot down and never knowing what exactly happened to Ohio when I left him with the dying Montana gave me the same feeling. They were either shot down or arrested, I couldn't think of any happy ending working out in their situation.
As the peaceful day began to come to an end, I gave myself a slight grin at my final thoughts on the ones I killed and the ones that died right in front of me.

"Fuck them. I got away… that's all that matters."



Fin.



Missouri Is Dead by Hunter56

Hunter56
March 15th, 2013, 07:47 PM
I've been thinking -- if this is cleaned up and had a bit more polish to it, do you think it could sell as a short story somewhere? Even to like a non-profit magazine (if they exist) or something like that?

WechtleinUns
March 16th, 2013, 09:55 PM
Hunter56, I'm going to take my time and really read this third part thoroughly. You shall have my full and detailed review within 73 hours. Good luck! ;D

Hunter56
March 18th, 2013, 01:53 AM
Looking forward to it!

Hunter56
March 23rd, 2013, 03:11 AM
... still looking forward to it lol!

WechtleinUns
March 30th, 2013, 10:20 PM
Hi, Hunter. Haven't forgotten about this work. I said that I would critique within 73 hours, and it's been way over the time limit. It stands to reason that I shouldn't have set it in stone if I couldn't have carried it out. And to be honest, at the time, I felt that the next 73 hours would give me ample time. Boy was I wrong. Things came up pretty fast, and I haven't even been able to post on the forums in a while. I apologize, and you have every right to be upset. Having said that, I'm going to do the critique right now. I'm not going to make the same mistake of giving a definite deadline, but I'll try to get it up within an hour or two.

Thank you very much, and super sorry!

WechtleinUns.

WechtleinUns
March 30th, 2013, 10:35 PM
Hunter56, let me say this. You have talent. Your writing says volumes about you, and much of it is positive. The most important thing that you have accomplished with this short story is the ability to evoke an atmosphere. At this state, you are likely to be writing lots of crazy stories with ample amounts of gunfire and wry witticism, and you should do exactly that. There are certain places in the writing where inexperience and immaturity get the better of you. For example, your use of the word "Stentorian" is inappropriate to the atmosphere and appears as if it was inserted as an after thought.

The truth, however, is that you can't cheat your way out of inexperience, and nor should you want to. This is the time to flex your creative muscles and do whatever you want. Strike out on your own literary path and get that experience under your belt. Because, like you said, this story is funny, and entertaining, and humorous, and wild, but it lacks polish that comes from experience. Please understand, polish is not simply grammar and spelling. Even if this story was written perfectly in regards to grammatical structure, it would still not read as a "mature" work. But that is perfectly fine. Don't worry about being perceived as a mature writer.

This is the point where many are tempted to take short-cuts and try to get published quickly to make money. But I think it would be wise to resist that temptation for now. Once you become published, things change very quickly. You have to have the skin and grits to withstand that kind of pressure. With this kind of energy, I'd say that if you focus on improving your craft, you will do well. You've got the makings of greatness in you, but, please, be careful,


"For unfulfilled genius is such common thing. But to actually acheive takes effort far beyond all human measure."

Hunter56
March 31st, 2013, 01:48 AM
Hey WechtleinUns,

No need to apologize, it's completely fine. I only posted again just in case you forgot about it :P

That's very good to hear!

Yeah I'm not trying to become the next Mark Twain or anything -- I just want to make good stories. I definitely agree that I'm still pretty inexperienced and have much improving to do. My biggest weakness is my lack of vocabulary. Sometimes I really can't find the right word for something and will try and look for a word and "gamble" on it working or not, I'm improving on that though. Very glad you liked it though, and I shall work on my polish!

WechtleinUns
March 31st, 2013, 02:20 AM
Haha. Hunter56, I think you very well could become as well known as Mark Twain. Both you and he were interested in good stories more than fame, and that counts for a lot in this world. ;)