Long, deep, loud breaths. Wilbur could feel his heart race, pulse pounding in his ears. All he could hear was rapidly pumping blood.
“That heist went south, Man. How did they get there so fast?” Wilbur’s partner in crime asked.
“I don’t know. I just don’t know. We got the jewels. We got the money. We’re going to be alright,” Wilbur explained. He was hardly convinced his own words were true. His spine pressed into a cold wall of red brick. He didn’t know what street he and his partner had found refuge on, but he knew the buildings here were not going to hide them for long.
Sirens grew loud and soft again as squad cars moved down a nearby street.
“We have to move,” Wilbur told his partner.
“How do I let you talk me into these things?” The partner asked, staring forward and snapping his jaw over and over again.
“Ed, listen to me. We have to move.” Wilbur shoved Ed, hoping to move the criminal further away from view.
“No. No, we don’t move. We fight. They’re always going to come for us. We’re never going to be safe. Never free. I’m not going to jail, Man!”
Wilbur could hardly believe his partner had snapped. They had spent years together on the farm, always dreaming of a life on Green Acres. Even a cruise, just a three hour tour off the coast of Florida, was a goal they could kill for. They did not simply wake up one day to take on a life of crime. It was more subtle than that, slower. Something had bewitched their minds and their move into a mindset of do anything to get ahead had grown to consume them.
Hiding against the dirty walls of a downtown factory district was never part of the plan. Wilbur and Ed were going to ride in, ride out and ride off into the sunset.
Nothing ever went that well for Wilbur. Especially since Ed had come along. Wilbur was happy being a hillbilly; all he wanted for his life was happy days with a family; a smart, challenging wife, a bunch of kids- three sons and three daughters. His life was to be simple. Ed changed that.
Wilbur’s mind ran to an angry place. If my partner wants to die, so be it he thought. He looked around for a place to hole-up or secure an escape. His search brought out a different answer.
Skinner’s Adhesives read a sign above a nearby door. The building was closed, being early Sunday morning the whole town was basically closed. There’s no body there. No witnesses. Wilbur was only scared of his lack of fear in this moment.
“Ed, follow me,” Wilbur said. “I know just the place to end this.”
Ed snapped out of his ranting and followed Wilbur into the glue factory. Wilbur had only one fight that day and walked away with a 100% share of the stolen goods.
Gritty Mr. Ed? Don’t mind if I do.
Thanks for reading!