Here's what we're working with:
I've got to be honest... at first glance this looks like a complete trainwreck. Let's see where we get with this. ALSO I'm thinking of making this a video series where I give myself 5 minutes (3 minutes?) to plan a story and write it out here on the blog. Thoughts? Let's do it...
The car sputtered to a stop and Shawn banged on the steering wheel.
"You stupid piece of, crap!" He yelled as he creaked open the door.
He kicked the door shut and flailed his arms as he kicked aimlessly at the dirt. He stopped, looked around at the seemingly abandoned desert and finally threw his hands up in defeat. His hands patted along his pockets searching for his phone. He pulled it out and pressed the home button.
"Well isn't that just fantastic?" He stared down at the phone, gritting his teeth. "So glad you're useful," he huffed as he chucked the phone into the brush. "So glad you're useful!"
Just when he was ready to feed himself to the desert wildlife, he sees blue and red lights coming down the road. The car pulls alongside him.
"Need a ride?" The officer asks.
"You're not gonna kill me, right?"
"You never can tell." The officer smiled.
Shawn walked around the front of the car and hopped into the passenger seat.
"Where you headed?"
"Anywhere but here."
The radio cracked and a partially muffled voice came through the other end. "We've got a 211 at Charlie's. Who can respond?"
The officer looked toward Shawn who nodded. "Yankee 17 responding." He clicked the radio back into place and started driving faster down the road.
"What's a 211?" Shawn asked hoping for something dangerous.
"Someone called in a robbery at Charlie's, a convenience store in town."
* * *
Shawn stared out the window for what seemed like five minutes, but when they parked the car the clock on the dash said it'd been almost fifteen.
"You stay in the car. Got it?"
Shawn nodded and the officer left the car.
"Yeah right." He hopped out of the car and snuck across the street to get a better view. It didn't seem like a big deal. Just a few cops, the store owner, and some broken glass.
Shawn leaned against the building and heard a crash down the alley. He glanced over his shoulder into the darkness. His inner voice told him to stay put, but it didn't win. He followed the sound.
Inching farther and farther down the alley he thought about what could be waiting for him.
The robber with some stolen cash. Maybe he'd share.
The robber with a gun. Maybe he wouldn't shoot. But maybe he would.
The robber with some stolen cash and a gun. Maybe he'd still share or maybe he'd shoot. Either was okay with Shawn.
"Hello?" Shawn whispered as loud as he could.
"Hello." A young woman emerged from behind the dumpster.
"The robber?" She held up a pillow case. "Yeah. Yeah I am."
Shawn looked her up and down. She was thin, almost frail and her eyes said delicate flower not armed robber.
"Are you going to arrest me?"
"Me? Heck no, I'm not a cop. Are you gonna shoot me?"
She held up a gun. "I've never shot a gun."
"Why'd you do it, then?"
"My mom, she's really sick. I've been working two, three jobs, anything to help. It hasn't been enough. I thought... I don't know what I thought."
"Yeah, I get it. Life isn't fair."
"Can you help me? I don't know how I'm going to get out of this one."
He felt around in his pockets and pulled out a box of matches. "Let's distract them, just for a while, with a small fire."
"You really think that'll work?" She smiled.
"Only one way to find out." He lit the match and tossed it into the dumpster. "Run."
They ran down the alley, over a few streets, and he lit another match. They repeated the process three times until they were almost a mile away. They tucked themselves into a park and Shawn laughed, breathing heavy from the run.
"You did it. Thank you."
"That's the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me." He peeked around the hedge to make sure none of the cops had followed them to the park. The coast seemed to be clear except for a black car parked along the curb. He couldn't see anyone, but the windows were tinted pitch black. Seemed okay to him.
When he turned back to the girl, she was holding the gun between his eyes. He chuckled.
His eyes glazed over and he fell into the grass.
The girl stood from the ground and walked toward the street to the midnight car.
"You got lucky," the man said.
"You're the one that got lucky. You found him." She tossed the pillowcase and gun into the backseat and stepped in the car.
The couple drove away, leaving Shawn dead in the bushes and a police uniform burning in a dumpster a few blocks away.