Holiday Bank Hours [Free Short Fiction]

I used three prompts for today’s short story of a young woman with a plan.

Inspiration Monday: TOO SMALL TO FAIL

JC Cauthon: Female, 23-years-old, outspoken, leader, collected, works as a bank teller

Our Write Side: Fireworks and/or Mayhem

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“Money can’t buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you’re being miserable.” ― Clare Boothe Luce

Holiday Bank Hours

“You have to fill out these registers down to the penny, or you will find yourself in a pickle.”

Old eyes crinkled more at the corners as the little woman smiled, then leaned her head down and penned the deposit amount in a shaking, flowery script. The teller looked on with the serene face of someone who has nowhere else to go despite the turmoil churning in her skull.

The pen clicked closed. Slipped into the bank register, it was tucked away in a large, ancient purse clutched in a claw-like hand.

“Will that be all for today, Mrs. Opal?”

“Yes, thank you, Blossom. Have a lovely holiday.”

The teller watched as her familiar customer shuffled away. This deposit had to go straight in or the shrewd mind inside the naïve façade would have questions, and no matter how much planning Blossom had put in, she would be caught.

This had to go off without anyone blinking an eye. Her plan counted on it. The exchanges had to be lost in large deposits or withdrawals to stay off the radar; they had to be too small to fail.

Her next customer walked up, and Blossom smiled at him warmly. “Mr. Putnam, have you been working out?”

“You know how to make an old man blush,” he said, his eyes dropping to his feet. “How are you today, Blossom?”

“I’m well. Do you have plans for the Fourth?”

While they chatted about picnics and the appropriate size for a rack of ribs, Blossom mentally calculated the amount to shortchange him. And when she reached over to hand him his receipt, she clasped his hand.

“Don’t get too hot out there by the lake,” she said through a knowing smirk.

He blushed, tucked the receipt into his pocket, and wished her a happy holiday before he walked away with a spring in his step. Blossom slid the deposit into place and her cut out of sight.

Before her next customer could reach her through the velvet rope maze, a hand clamped down on her shoulder and she shrieked.

“Don’t think I don’t know what you’ve been doing,” said a gruff voice.

Her throat constricted and her armpits started to sweat through the sheer fabric of her dress sleeves. Then the hand released her and clapped her on the back.

“You know I don’t like surprise parties.”

Blossom turned to face the bank manager, a tall, broad man with a port-colored face and teeth ground down from too many nights of distressed sleep. She put on the best smile she could muster.

“You caught me,” she said, and tittered out a laugh.

He leaned forward, hand on her backside, and asked in a conspiratorial whisper, “Tell me you’re going to bring your famous red, white, and blue pie.”

“I wouldn’t dream of disappointing you.”

Not yet, at least. Not until she had everything she needed to ditch the bank – and its manager – forever.

 


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