I’m not really sure how else to describe this piece. I just experimented with a different voice, writing style, etc. It’s a third person, kind of fluid… like if you were recapping the story for some purpose and those details didn’t matter until later, maybe? Or maybe it was to show a glimpse that everyone in that situation had a life outside of that situation, even though you will never see them in that life. Remember, your story doesn’t take place in a vacuum! It takes place in a world! (If that isn’t a Tolkienian view, I don’t know what is)
A man in a rush came into the bank today. He wore black under armor and running shorts with a sport watch on his wrist. He clapped to garner the attention of seven bank employees and nine customers – one pregnant, and one blind. The man puffed out his chest and made the following announcement:
“Ladies and gentleman, may I have your attention please? I’m a little nervous; please bear with me… This nifty little device on my wrist is an all-encompassing fitness program. It tracks my caloric intake, activity level, and of course my pulse. Right now my pulse is at 85 beats per minute. Now, the cool thing about this device is it synchronizes to an app on your phone so you can log your progress. This matters to you phone synced to this particular device is the trigger for a bomb with enough explosive to take out a city block.”
People weren’t sure what this was until he revealed a glock pistol. A mother screamed and clutched her infant son to her chest. The man pulled the slide and pressed the barrel to his throat. The security guard put a hand on his revolver but planned not to draw unless the man pointed the gun at someone else. Fifteen years of private security taught him to do it that way. It keeps the situation from escalating.
“If my heart rate drops below 70 beats per minute, we all go boom. There won’t even be gooey bits left to identify.”
A part-time employee, Jennifer, slowly reached towards the silent alarm under her desk. The gunman caught her and hustled over to her, gun now level with her brain.
“Hey! Don’t do that! Hey, stop!” The tellers were behind a bulletproof case so, he fired a warning shot into the air and startled her back.
“I’m not done!”
The manager of the bank, days away from his promotion to the corporate office, stepped forward, “Please, we don’t want anyone to die. Just tell us what you want.”
The man kept his focus on Jennifer, who also studied at the local college to become a biomechanical engineer.
“There’s more bad news. There’s a psychopath with a phone, ready to call mine and interrupt the signal from this little watch. You know what happens then?”
“Boom?” The manager played along.
“Boom. Heh…” the man must have been at the end of his rope. The manager thought he may be forced into this.
“How do we keep him from doing that?”
“I get out clean. You can call the cops ten minutes after I leave. Or we can all die now.” The square tip of the gun lay flush with his sharp jaw. The criminal had the physique of an athlete.
“We have one hundred thousand in cash.” He snapped towards employees and they approached their registers.
“No! No! Don’t go anywhere near those alarms!”
The manager boldly pushed, commanding his employees while also assuring the attacker, “No one is going to touch the alarms. I just want this to end quickly.”
A teenager put his skateboard on the ground and sat down. The gunman paid him no mind. The shift leader, Terry, gathered some promotional messenger bags and handed them out for the tellers to load. He looked over to his station, at a picture of his petite Irish girlfriend with their new puppy.
He took the bags off of the staff, all students or recent graduates, and stepped out of the bulletproof teller box to hand it to the gunman. They locked eyes and the man smacked Terry with the butt of his pistol.
“Thank you for your cooperation. Remember, ten minutes. If anything happens to me before then…”
“Boom,” the skater answered.
“This guy… he gets it.” The gunman laughed and ran out of the bank. The security guard checked on Terry’s broken nose then radioed in the situation.
The gunner, a casual gamer who wanted to get rich quick, hopped into a yellow Volkswagen Beetle in the parking lot. His roommate Ritchie sat in the driver’s seat.
“Like clockwork, man. Go.”
Ritchie laughed as they drove down the freeway. “I can’t believe they bought that bit… I guess I owe you some money, eh?”
Oscar fondled the five bags stuffed with cash. “I think we’re square, bro.”