Flash Fiction Challenge: Fire Escape

In all the time I’d known Barry, this might have been the wackiest plan he’d had yet.

He was always the dreamer and the schemer. So far, things had always worked out, though not usually as planned.

But this – robbing a bank dressed as firemen?

In 250 words or less, tell us a story incorporating the elements in the picture. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.

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7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Fire Escape”

  1. I grew up on a chicken ranch. It is scary to be four-years old and chased by a mean ol’ rooster, but that’s not taz-bad as bein’ chased by a headless chicken. Anyway, we had us a garden, compost pile and trash-burning barrel.

    Christmas was coming and I didn’t want another lump of coal in my stocking. So I was trying really-really hard to be a good girl for Santa. Then it came to me how to show Santa just how good I was. I’d burn the trash for daddy. Man, I couldn’t wait.

    I waited till grocery-shopping day so there’d be lots a’paper bags. I’d even get rid of those bags ‘tween the stove and icebox and burn them too. My plan was ready.

    Trash burning day came. I stashed them bags in the corner next to the sink and fired them. Next thing I knew there were fire trucks, firemen, police and ambulances. I guess fireman helped me escape, but I don’t remember that. I jest knowed I’d get another lump of coal from Santa.

    “I tried so hard to be a good girl,” I bawled in daddy’s chest, “I don’t want anuther lump of coal from Santa. I’m so sorry I burnt the kitchen. I tried so hard to be good.”

    “You escaped the fire that’s what’s important. It’s good notion ya had. You just forgot one important step.

    “What’z that?”

    “Take the trash to the trash-burning barrel before you strike the match.”

  2. “EyeInfo12 NewsBeat now takes you live to Patsy Reasoner.”

    “Thanks, Bill. I’m with Jayne Smyth, who was just involved in a bizarre rescue by a Good Samaritan. Jayne, what happened?”

    “Well, I was on my way home from the bank when I saw a young kid wipe out on a bike. With my cane and all, I couldn’t help, so I called 911.”

    “I thought you were the person rescued.”

    “Let me finish. These two firefighters came running up. I shouted at them to help the boy—so they did. But the one guy was complaining to the other about how stupid he was for finding a parking space so far away, and they got into a fight.”

    “I still don’t understand.”

    “Well, the kid was ok. But while the two guys were going at it, the kid stole some kind of bag they were carrying. I tried to bean him with my cane, and it got stuck in the bag handles. When the kid escaped with the bag, he threw me off balance and I broke my ankle. One of the firefighters ran after him, but the second one stayed to help me. After he got me comfortable, he left for a couple of minutes and came back to splint my leg.”

    “So he’s the Good Samaritan?”

    “Yeah. Strange thing, though. The cops arrested him for robbing the bank, and I heard him mutter something about how he never should’ve run back to put change in the parking meter.”

  3. Crazy as it sounded the plan did have merit. All it would take is a fire. How hard could it be to set a fire in a bank. Once the fire department was dispatched to contain the blaze and rescue the people inside we would slip in with the real crew and do our own bit of rescue work.

    How do you set up a fire without getting caught though? The plan, a little convoluted, took some work. A timed charge in an assumed name safety deposit box. Incendiary charge placed in just the right spot to burn hard and burn bright.

    Me and Barry were the muscle, the ones who would do the heavy lifting. We convinced Denise and Jordan to set up the safety box. Jordan worked in the bank. Denise was Barry’s girl. They did the work and set the box up yesterday.

    Now it was a matter of time for the magic to happen. Me and Barry, staked out the bank in a beat up POV. He called it a burner car. I checked my watch again, any time now. The waiting is the hardest part.

    Barry nudged me with his elbow when he saw the smoke pouring out the doors to the bank. He smiled then said, “Almost showtime.”

    The stampede of people rushing out of the building began as the first firetruck showed up. We joined the groups after a couple more arrived. We were the first to rush inside. That was the mistake.

  4. I hadn’t known Barry all that long. He was the only one to befriend me when I started my new job. He always made me laugh, and never let me eat lunch alone. So I felt like I kind of owed him. But robbing a bank? And dressed as firemen, no less? I felt really uneasy about this.

    Last weekend, his scheme to pick up chicks by claiming we were CSIs at an actual murder scene went ridiculously well. I felt just a little too weird taking advantage of someone’s death to score chicks – not that it mattered. Both girls were way into Barry. His confidence in everything he did was magnetic.

    That night, he even went out of his way to ask me which girl I liked better, and he’d steer her my way. I’d told him not to worry about it. I felt like a fifth wheel, so I was going to call it a night. The next day, he had a bunch of pictures of the three of them: drinking at a bar, goofing off in front of a BMW, and soaking in a hot tub. He told me I went home too early.

    And now, here I was three blocks from the bank, shrugging on bulky fireman’s equipment. “Where’d you get this stuff?” I asked.

    “My dad had it in the garage” he responded.

    Dad? Garage? He’d never mentioned either of those before.

    Once in our disguises, we headed towards the bank. “The big tanks are tear gas. When we go in, just use your breathing apparatus and spray the hell out of the joint. I’ll get the cash,” he explained.

    As we rounded the corner, I saw smoke. In the alley next to the bank, a car was on fire. Through the billowing smoke, I could barely make out a BMW. I looked over at Barry. He was grinning.

  5. All we have to do is steal Gregorio’s medicine its a sleeping agent. Break in the station, wait until everyone is unconscious. Go to the computer, move the truck to “medical follow up to BBH” marking the lo-jack in the truck as out of service, showing as transporting a medic back to hospital. This will stop any real fires from being called into this station allowing us to use the truck. Change into bald caps, rubber gloves and gas gear. Radio in we saw smoke and were going to check it out. Firetrucks will be sent out and arrive fast. Open the KNOX box with the key for the front door of the bank inside of it, it will trigger the burglar alarm sending one police vehicle. Phil you should go to the other end of the block in case police arrive before we call in the false alarm. Police show up outside Phil will tell them there is a CO leak. Keith you go to the truck, call in a false alarm, dispatch will call back any trucks that have been sent. That’s when I go into the bank, begin breaking open safe deposit boxes, bagging valuables. Keith when you’re done grab your ax, head in the bank, begin going to work on the main safe. We all leave behind our fire equipment and dissapear.

  6. Chicago Fired

    Trying to keep pace with his partner, Doug tried not to look like he was running. The last thing he wanted was yet another joker asking him, ‘where’s the fire?’

    They had started from the firehouse five minutes ago, ‘hustling’ in full turnout gear. The only good thing he could say about the day was that most of the snow had melted. The combination of weather change, exertion and temperature were taking their toll on the fire fighter.

    “Take it easy, Dave,” he muttered under his breath, which was getting heavier with every step. They needed to get there, but they needed to get there in once piece.

    “I’m not the one out of breath and running,” Dave was quick to point out.

    Doug sighed. “Yeah, whatever, how much further?”

    “Three blocks,” Dave said, trying to catch his breath. “Man these budget cuts suck.”

    “Hey, at least we aren’t on the hose and ladder team.”

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