“It was supposed to be easy. A quick smash and grab, in and out before anyone knew they were there, and then it was off to paradise with more money than they could spend in a lifetime. Hell, two lifetimes! Shoulda known nothing was ever that easy…”

Six convicts.

One helluva score.

What could possibly go wrong?

Originally published on the Quest of Evolution by Joseph Nassise.

Visual by Martin Cala

Jennifer sat in the kitchen of the tiny apartment she’d rented just days earlier under an assumed name. The early morning sunlight streamed in through the small window above the sink, highlighting the untraceable Sig Sauer P320 pistol resting on the tabletop in front of her. An old-fashioned chess clock sat above and to the left of that.

She took several deep breaths to settle herself and then, when she was ready, reached out and slapped the top of the clock, activating the timer.

Tick, tick, tick.

Snatching up the gun with one hand, she hit the magazine release, dropping it into the palm of her other, and then set it aside. She pulled back the slide, looked into the chamber to ensure that it was empty, and let the slide to fall back into place. As soon as it did she pulled the trigger, prepping the weapon for the next step of the process.

With the new job just hours away, she was doing what she could to keep the anticipation from getting the better of her. Some people paced. Others smoked. She found breaking down and reassembling her weapon to be soothing in a way that no other activity could match. As her hands moved, seemingly of their own accord, she felt the stress slipping away, dissolving like so much smoke in the wake of a snuffed flame. She needed to be calm and collected, so if a situation arose during the job she could handle it swiftly and without hesitation. Wouldn’t do to be all jacked up on adrenaline, no sir, it would not.

She pulled the slide, removed the spring and the barrel, and laid them and the rest of the pieces of the gun on the tabletop in front of her.

As soon as she’d done so, she slapped the clock a second time, stopping the timer.

24.6 seconds.

Good, but you can do better.

She quickly reassembled the weapon, put it back in position in front of her, and got ready to do it all over again.


What happen to the others? Read their stories here:

The Mastermind Gordon Simonovic

The DriverAntonio Marfa

The Killer Edward Hopper

The Face Marco Davis

The Narc Noah Jakes

Want to continue Jennifer's story? Collect and add your stories here.