Thursday, November 3, 2011

This is Not a Robbery

Everybody get down on the floor, hands behind your heads, and try your best to remain calm. This is not a robbery.

Maybe eighteen months ago, when I first lost my job at the firm, I’d have considered robbing a bank, but back then I thought a new job was just around the corner and that I’d be back on my feet in no time. And now that I realize what a joke those hopes were, it’s too late. The time has passed. It passed when my wife packed up the kids and moved back in with her parents.

They were my world. I tried to convince them things would get better, but after a year of waiting even I was beginning to doubt it. Once they were gone I felt like I had no reason to go on.

Didn’t even bother looking for a job after that. Didn’t see the point of it without a family to come home to afterward. I found it harder and harder to bring myself to care about anything at all. When the bank finally sent somebody around to kick me out of the house the only thing that surprised me was how little I cared.

Afterward, at a local shelter, my things in a trunk at the foot of my cot, I considered eating my gun. But that didn’t appeal to my sense of the dramatic. I’d always had a well-developed sense of drama, back when I was a man, and the idea that I die the way I wish I could have lived appealed to me.

So here I am. And no, this is not a robbery.

It’s a suicide attempt. And you’re presence is just an unfortunate side effect.

So try to remain calm as we wait together for the police to arrive.


  1. Very good - nice opening line, succinct development and a stinging pay off.
    This is what I call flash fiction. Relevant too.

  2. It is so easy to envisage this scene in the recession-hit society we live in today. Nice capture of the occasion.

  3. I think this would make an amazing monologue.

    "This is not a robbery" -- because the robberies have already happened...