A short piece of fiction for your entertainment featuring Monty, gentleman thief, and his long-suffering PA, Molly.
The wind whistled over the damp cobbles, adding to the icy chill in the air. Molly picked her way between the frost-rimmed puddles reflecting the dingy sodium light of the street lamps. She shivered and pulled her long black coat tighter around herself. What was a nice girl like her doing out on a night like this, she mused to herself, checking her watch. Wrong side of midnight too. Closer to dawn really. A girl really needed her beauty sleep rather than being out in the cold.
Her cellphone buzzed in her coat pocket, breaking her reverie. She pulled out a bluetooth earbud, popped it in place and answered the call she’d been expecting.
“Ah, boss. I’ve got a little problem.” She turned at the street corner, scanning left and right. “It’s about the car.”
“It got towed.”
She pulled the earbud out as Monty unleashed a tirade of invective, gave her employer a moment to finish then replaced the tiny transmitter. “I know, I know. Looking for a replacement now.” She’d spotted a car a hundred yards down the street, parked in a dark spot between two lamp posts. She hurried towards it. Not ideal, and she could imagine what Monty would think of it, but needs must.
“Wait, got one. What’s your ETA?” A staccato burst of gunfire from above answered her question. She killed the connection and delved into her handbag, fishing out the lockpick set that Monty had made for her. He’d been giving her lessons on how to deal with the basics. She hoped that she remembered what he’d taught her. The freezing night air didn’t help and she had to stop to blow on her hands to warm them up as she fumbled with the slim metal tools. That one went in *there* and this one like *that*. She twiddled them experimentally.
The cellphone buzzed again. Monty announced that he’d need a car by the front entrance in, oh, about twenty seconds or so, preferably moving, preferably very fast. Ideally something in the bulletproof line, but he realised that beggars couldn’t be choosers but could she please hurry up, thankyouverymuch. Molly hung up and returned her attention to the lock. Another fumble and she’d dropped the tension pick. In the manner of all things dropped near parked cars, it helpfully bounced underneath the vehicle, just out of reach.
Molly swore loudly, kicked the car and examined her options. Monty needed a car, now. She’d lost her means of getting into this car. Any car, for that matter. Another burst of gunfire focussed her mind and a solution popped up.
The brick made a satisfying crunch as it went through the passenger window, spraying the interior with tiny shards of glass. Brilliant. One car. Hotwiring, she was good at, taught at a very early age by her elder brother, Charlie. Three seconds later and the car was laying down streaks of rubber. It hurtled towards the junction and she threw it into a handbrake turn, tyres protesting loudly. She grinned. This was fun.
Monty exited the building via the large glass front doors. She was not surprised to notice that he hadn’t bothered to open them first. Stylish. He was being pursued by two security guards bearing semi-automatics, firing wildly at their quarry. He bounded down the steps five at a time and dived through the newly removed passenger window. Molly, at his request, floored it.
It took him a second or two to recover his composure and dust himself off before he took in his method of escape.
Molly cut him off. “I know, I know. I was kind of stuck for choice.”
She gave him one of her trademark Looks. “Would you rather walk?”
He returned the Look. “Quite frankly, yes. I mean, there are cars and there are cars, and then there’s… this?”
She screeched the custom-built, neon-paint jobbed, darkened windowed, rear-spoilered boy racer to a halt. Two large fluffy dice bumped on the windshield.
“Out you get then.”
A bullet took out the rear window, destroying the elaborate flaming skull decoration. He sighed and waved her on. Molly smiled sweetly and put her foot down again.
“You’re actually sulking, aren’t you?” she said, glancing over at him, sat there with his arms folded and the beginnings of a pout on his lips.
“I don’t like these cars. Remember what happened to the last one? It was rubbish. It very nearly blew us up.”
Molly thought for a second. “No, the rocket-propelled grenade nearly blew us up. It was hardly the car’s fault. And it was either this or one of those tiny French cars. This one at least looked like it might get us out of here in a hurry.” She looked in the rear-view mirror. “Hold on…”
The car slid around the corner sideways, engine screaming in protest. Unfortunately for her, the guards seemed to have a very nice, very fast looking black SUV which took the corner almost as well as she did.
She looked down at the speedometer as it crept up past sixty, seventy, seventy five. There was no way they’d get away from these goons, not in this, not now they’d reached the main road. “Running out of ideas, boss.”
Monty delved into his backpack for a moment, and came out with a small package. “Lucky for us I didn’t need this to get into the safe. Those old Dortmunder & Fforde 900 models are too much fun to crack…”
He flicked a switch, grinned then leaned out of the window before lobbing the explosive charge in a carefully timed arc.
The resulting explosion was small, but enough. Especially as he’d thrown it at the lorry they’d been passing. A lorry containing a load of scaffolding poles, which rather helpfully strew themselves in the path of the SUV.
Monty leaned back in his seat. “Brilliant. Despite your appalling taste in cars, a job well done.” He delved into his backpack again. “Want to see it?”
Molly nodded, and whistled softly as he unwrapped the black velvet from his newly acquired prize. “That’s possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”
Monty grinned. “Isn’t it just? Zenn is going to be *so* mad. I wish I could see his face when he finds out it’s gone” He scratched his ear, thoughtfully. “Do you have…”
“In my bag.”
He retrieved the small laptop and powered it up. “Where..?”
“Third one down. It’s the one which says ‘monitor'”
Monty clicked the icon and a window opened onscreen. It was dark. “Come on, Zenn. You must be there by now. Don’t you want to even check… ahhh. There we go.”
A man’s face appeared in the window, a slim face framed by silver hair and a neat goatee beard. It looked annoyed. Very annoyed. Monty grinned and waved as his nemesis picked up the tiny remote camera he’d left in the safe.