The Getaway Driver
He only did one thing well, and that was driving the getaway car. Stan stared at the door to the old warehouse building, hesitating. He looked back over his shoulder at the car, parked at the side of the road, engine off. Not ready to speed Stan and his accomplices away with the loot safely tucked in the trunk. Stan didn’t like it.
But Davy had texted him to come inside.
So much loot dude! U won’t believe it! We need ur help carrying it.
Stan hated being on the inside during a job. He was the getaway driver; that was what he’d signed up for. He was no good at the other stuff. Unlike Rick, Stan sucked at fighting and he was a lousy shot, so giving him a gun was a waste of time and bullets. And he wasn’t good at thinking on his feet the way Davy and Mark were. He drove the car. That’s what he was good at.
With a sigh, Stan put his hand on the door handle and pulled it open. It was so dark inside he nearly closed the door and walked back to the car. But he thought of the haul that was waiting for them, so he pulled out his flashlight and forced himself to keep moving.
They had been watching their mark move boxes into the warehouse for weeks. While it was mostly electronics, Davy had spotted a box full of gold bars. That box by itself would set all four of them up for the rest of their lives. The thought of retiring to a nice tropical island bolstered Stan’s spirits and he moved forward with more purpose.
He checked the map the guys had left with him and turned down the corridor they’d indicated. At the end of the hallway there was a door. Stan stepped through it into a large room. Boxes of loot littered the floor, but Stan’s friends were nowhere to be seen. Perplexed, Stan grabbed his phone and sent Davy a text.
Where r u guys?
When he didn’t get a response, unease started to creep up Stan’s spine. Something wasn’t right. His flashlight touched on a door on the far side of the room. Stan took a deep breath and walked over to the door. He thought he could hear voices on the other side. Maybe the guys had found more stuff in the next room. Stan opened the door and stepped through.
The room he stepped into was larger than the first, and in the center of the room a group of people in hooded black capes stood around what looked like a giant hole in the ground. On the far side of the hole stood Stan’s friends. He didn’t know what he’d stumbled upon, but Stan wasn’t eager to find out. He turned to head back through the door, but his way was blocked by one of the hooded figures. Only this one’s robes were stitched with gold and green thread and Stan could see his face. Without asking, Stan knew this was the leader. He grabbed Stan’s arm and began to escort him across the room.
“We’ve been waiting for you, Stan,” the leader said. “Your friends weren’t convinced that you’d come, but greed is a powerful motivator, isn’t it?”
Stan didn’t reply. His eyes were fixed on the hole. A strange green glow was emanating from it and as he got closer, Stan heard strange, inhuman noises unlike anything he had ever heard before. He realized his whole body was shaking with fear.
The leader continued, “We were counting on your greed, Stan. We need four to complete the ritual, you see. Without you, none of this would be possible.”
They had reached the edge of the hole. As the leader took Stan over to join his friends, Stan glanced down. What he saw pushed his brain to the brink of madness. A giant oozing nightmare with broken galaxies swirling inside far too many eyes. Stan looked away. The leader placed Stan beside Davy, whose eyes were glazed over with fear and something more.
“I should have stayed in the car.” Stan whispered his last coherent thought as enormous tentacles emerged from the hole and slithered in his direction. As the first tentacle reached him, he slipped gratefully into madness, never realizing the screams he could hear were his own.
This is my submission for this week’s Speakeasy #131. We’re channeling spooky, creepy, and scary this week. You should come and read all the other fantastic submissions, then come back and vote for your three favourites on Thursday (that’s tomorrow!).
This week, we had to use the following opening line: He only did one thing well. We also had to make some kind of reference to this work of art (The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli):