Chapter 1:

Chapter 1: Green

Burning X

“It’s early, I wish we got up later for this” I yawned, brushing my hand through my dark hair, moving it out of my face.

“I know man, but we gotta get this done, once we’re finished I’ll take you for ice cream” Riz said to me. My older brother and my best friend, Riz was the reason I was on this job. Well, that and my overwhelming debt. 

“You promise?” I looked up at my brother with happiness filling my smile. I never knew I’d be so happy to be offered ice cream. I suppose stress makes you appreciate the simple things in life.

“Yeah of course!” Riz told me, patting me on the back and helping me in to the van. 

“I hope we’re not too long, how hard can robbing a bank be right?” I joked to the other people in the vehicle with us. Nobody laughed.

(Doors slam shut and drives off)

“Alright! We’re closing in. Everyone remember their names? And no, not your real names you morons, your code names!” The large man’s voice echoed and rippled through the vehicle as he ordered us around whilst checking our weaponry. 

“Just incase you don’t remember call me K as per usualJoe you’re J, Richy you’re D, Riz we’ll call you Z and his lovely little brother Xavier, we’ll call you X”   K, the largest and loudest of the group finally quieted down. 

“Yes boss! Haha lets go” Joe, the bubbliest of the group was always the quickest to respond to orders. 

“Shut up Joe! Always so damn loud” Richy was the most quiet out of us, nothing he loved more than silence and a good book. 

“If these two keep up we won’t even make it to the bank in one piece” Riz, my older brother, the reason I’m here in the first place. 

“Hey Riz, are you sure this is gonna be okay? I’m nervous” then there’s me, Riz’s younger brother and number 1 pacifist of the crew. 

“Don’t worry Xavier, if anything happens I’ll protect you, just like I always do” Riz comforted me as usual, patting my head softly, smiling ear to ear. The kind of smile that fills you with hope.

Little did I know… this was one of the last times I’d see it

(The van finally stops at the destination…)

“Check your guns! Make sure they’re loaded!” K done his final checks of our weaponry; moving quickly towards me he hands me a small case. 

“What’s this K?” I looked at him, confused and worried. 

“It’s an explosive, small but big enough to take out the bank if we need to” he says with a rumble in his voice. 

“What? K let me handle that” Riz knew it was too much for me, being the protective brother he always was. 

“NO! We most likely won’t need it to detonate but just incase I want Xavier to plant it at the center of the bank. It’ll be good to scare the hostages”. K was stubborn, once he makes his mind up it’s near impossible to change it. Riz tried his best to persuade him 

“K I’ll handle it I’m better with the tech anyway! Where did you even get this fro-” K stops him mid sentence as if he said something forbidden. 

“DON’T ASK WHERE IT’S FROM! Just know I got it from one of my guys, where he got it from however I’m not sure. Lets just hope it works” Riz did what he could but in the end I decided to take the job, I couldn’t be a burden on him anymore. I grabbed his arm and faced him with pride, 

“it’s okay Riz, I-I can do it” I smiled and held my head high so I wouldn’t worry Riz. I could tell Riz was uncomfortable with the idea of me, a 17 year old boy handling an explosive, aswell as the rest of us in the van, but if I could be of use for once I’ll do whatever.

“MEN! MASK UP AND MOVE OUT!” K’s voice roared through our ear drums. We put our masks on and left the van. Marched to the front door of the bank and quickly whispered to each other details of the plan. 

“Put the money in the bag and nobody gets hurt! That’s all you gotta say” Joe told me quickly. 

“Okay I understand…” I nodded and moved to the door nervously.

We shot through the front entrance and ran in to the bank aiming our weapons at everyone in sight. 

“PUT THE BAG IN THE MONEY AND NOBODY GE- wait that ain’t right damn!“ I stopped myself from embarrassing myself further and went to place the explosive. I opened the case, the explosive seemed strange, like something not of this world, a strange green colour and smooth cylindrical design; I ignored it and set the timer for 5 minutes, placing it softly on the ground. The other member of the group moved the hostages near the walls and kept weapons focused on them, K and Riz hurried the cashiers for all the cash they had. So far so good.

So I thought…

Joe Gold

Burning X