Fiction Saturday Returns With – “Family Matters” Part Five
Fiction Saturday Returns With – “Family Matters”
Digging back in time on those three people is not as easy as I thought it would be. I assumed that the newspapers would have everything computerized, available at the touch of a button. They did for maybe the last five years or so, but beyond that – not so simple. The newspapers in this town are still firmly locked in the 20th century.
To go find the coverage of the events that, theoretically, put their fathers and me in the same frame had me sitting in front of an ancient microfilm player cranking away on those dusty little handles.
Once I located something relevant I was faced with another problem. When I busted Daddy #1 – Nate Williams Senior, I was a lot younger, but trying to read about it now I was faced with the fact that I had today’s eyes. I had my Driving glasses with me, but I am going to have to face reality and Reality is telling me that bifocals are in my future – like yesterday. I couldn’t get much past the headlines so I had to drop a few bucks to get printouts.
I stopped at a discount store on the way home and bought a pair of those cheap “Reading Glasses” for a couple more dollars. Add in the cost of parking downtown and some lunch from a food truck and this “research” was getting costly.
When I finally sat down at my kitchen table and started reading it all did it grease up my memory a bit. The news stories gave me a couple of facts followed by a ton of unofficial editorial opinion, but it was enough to help me to dredge up the barebones facts about what had really happened.
With the first shooter, Nate Williams Junior, who tore up the gas station and mini-mart, I remembered that his daddy and I met when he tried to rob the Second Street National Bank. I was actually in the bank that day trying to swing a Home Loan. I was still married then and…well, you know how that goes. Wife wants home with big front lawn and a bigger mortgage. On The Force I was at a “Barely able to make ends meet” pay grade and there I was at the Second Street National Bank trying to beg and plead my way into serious debt so I could please my wife and the guy who sold riding mowers at Sears.
It was the middle of the lunch hour and the bank was hopping. I was sitting at a desk on the other side of the polished wood barrier talking with a “Loan Officer”; try to not look too desperate or stupid. I smiled a lot and the “Loan Officer” did not. His expression was like he smelled something bad.
At about 12:35 Daddy #1 walked into the bank. He was alone. As he came through the revolving door he pulled on a cheap knit ski mask. As a disguise he was about five feet too late. As soon as he stepped up to the door he was on camera. A pro would have known that.
He lifted a Mac-10 Machine Pistol out of the tote bag he was carrying. He held the pistol over his head and fired off a short burst into the bank’s ceiling. Everybody in the bank, including me, froze. That didn’t stop him from yelling, “Everybody, freeze! This is a stick-up!’
There were about thirty people in the bank including him and me. He couldn’t keep track of us all.
“I want you tellers to put all of your cash on the counter for me!”
He yelled out that and half of the tellers their silent alarm buttons that locked all of the doors and called the police.
When he started scooping up the packets of money he lost sight of me. I moved around a pillar to get a good close sight line on him. When he’d filled his tote bag he turned around to leave and saw me fifteen feet behind him with my concealed carry weapon aimed at his chest.
“Don’t even think about it, Pal,” I said calmly, trying not to spook him. “Put your fancy popgun down on the floor and shove it over toward me.” He looked at me and at his weapon. “Don’t get stupid on me, Pal because I’m a police officer and I’m not in a good mood.”
Daddy #1 tried to follow my instructions, but his day was going from Bad to seriously Worse. He did a nice job of putting the Mac-10 on the floor, but instead of pushing it my way he kicked it and the cheap plastic pistol, favored by drive-by shooters because it’s noisy, fired once sending a piece of lead across the bank’s floor and into the 44 inch belly of my “Loan Officer” who was on the floor beside his desk. Daddy #1 hit the floor, spread-eagled and yelling again. Only this time it was, “I give! I give! I’m sorry!”
Within three minutes half of the city police force was parked outside of the bank. Somebody unlocked the doors and Nate Williams, Senior was escorted out of the bank by ten uniformed officers.
I was the primary witness against him at his trial which didn’t last very long. He got a longer sentence than usual for botched bank robberies because of the random shot that plugged the Loan Officer and twelve years later Nate Junior had himself an excuse to go crazy and kill a few strangers.
I didn’t get that Home Loan. My wife did, but not with me. She got a divorce and married our dentist.
Yeah it brought back all sorts of memories.
In everything I read there was no mention of the kid or whatever became of him. Finding out something like that was going to take a different kind of research.
Some of the most valuable things a person can accumulate are Contacts – not friends, but Contacts, people who have access to things that you don’t – mainly information. Having good information can save you time, money, and in some cases, your life.
Information is like a Time Machine. It can tell you what did happen, what is happening right now, and many times, what is going to happen next. Information is cold and heartless. It shows no favoritism. It is what it is whether you like it or not. I needed information about some people I never knew existed until the other day and I knew just the man to see – if he would still talk to me.
Some people hold grudges.