TWENTY-THREE, 2.0

The three women ran inside the vault as the door slammed shut.

BANG! The door sealed itself, the women inside.

Mary was pleased. Everything was going exactly according to plan. She high-fived Cassandra, who just smiled, rolled her eyes, and began piling money into her bag. She in turn tossed a bag to Mitsy, who was quiet and remained focused on her task. She didn’t like high-fives, and Mary knew it. Mary tried to offer up a friendly smile to Mitsy, who she’d just met this morning, but Mitsy was none too friendly.

They each finished filling their bags, and Mary pulled out a complex, home-made remote. The others looked at her, curious, unaware of the plan. But again, everything had gone swimmingly so far. She pushed a button on her remote, rocking the room and sounding the alarm. The corner of the ceiling collapsed, offering them their tunnel out.

Cassandra launched her bag up through the hole, then hopped through it using Mary’s hands as a boost. She then reached down and snagged Mitsy’s bag, then proceeded to lift  Mitsy, who was the lightest of the three.

Mary took one last look around the vault and tossed up her bag. A second BOOM shook the room, and a portion of the ceiling then collapsed on top of her, knocking her cold. Cassandra and Mitsy smiled at each other before crawling up through the tunnel and away.

Mary, under two feet of dirt and metal, awoke to the sounds of footsteps and police radios calling for help. She tried to scream but when she opened her mouth the dirt just crowded into her throat, choking off her air, muffling her voice.

In the morning, when the police finally sifted through the rubble and empty safety deposit boxes, Mary’s body was found, eyes open and flooded with dirt, mouth spewing mud and metal, and her fingers finally loosening their grip on another remote.

Twelve officers were lost in that moment, thus drawing attention from the infamous robbery of the Third Coastal Bank of Virginia, for which the main suspects, Cassandra and Mitsy, remain at large.

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