The Great Kwik Stop Heist
Two weeks before they became accomplices in murder, Jimmy and Kelly met at the Alcoholics Anonymous clubhouse. Kelly was trying to meet the terms of her probation and Jimmy was lonely and bored. Neither were alcoholics.
Kelly held herself out to be the mistress of heists but was really just the kind of girl that would stick $15 worth of Dollar General makeup in her pants for the rush. Five different times. The judge was ready to sentence her to serious time when she ditched her public defender and found a bulldog of an attorney whom she let suck her toes in lieu of cash payment. The afternoons of propping her feet on his mahogany desk paid off and she got a stint at AA as punishment.
Jimmy should have known she was trouble the first night he met her.
“You’re hot. Wanna go in the bathroom and fuck?” she asked without an ounce of shame.
“Not in the bathroom,” he said. “Let’s get out of this shithole.”
Jimmy and Kelly were half way through a bottle of whiskey, naked on a consigned couch at the corner of Jimmy’s Guns and Pawn, when they decided to steal the mini ATM at the Kwik Stop Food Mart.
“You really want to knock over the Kwik Stop,” Kelly laughed.
“It’s the only way to get the big bucks,” Jimmy slurred.
Jimmy Swindell had never been particularly business savvy. Jimmy’s Guns and Pawn was an ill-conceived whim after his father passed away and left him with a quarter million dollars and a small box of Kruggerands. He had one made into a necklace so he could flaunt his new wealth. “Fake it ‘til you make it,” was his motto. It worked—kind of. “Jimbo! Can you spot me a couple hundred until payday? I’ll give you my stereo as collateral,” his favorite bartender asked him one day. Thus, Jimmy’s Guns and Pawn was born.
These days, the shop was fewer guns and gold coins and more expired baby car seats and dusty disco balls, along with an assortment of hunting rifles his old friends would come by to hock for Xanax money.
Jimmy needed cash to stay afloat and a heist seemed about right.
In the backroom of his shop, Jimmy collapsed against the wall, sweat rolling down his face, his eyes darting back and forth from Kelly to the locked door.
“You fucking shot him. For $180 and a broken tabletop ATM.”
“What? It was a heist? What do you think happens in heists?” Kelly asked, incredulous.
“Well, what now?! You fucking killed a dude. An innocent dude.”
Jimmy knew Kelly was stupid but didn’t realize the extent until that moment.
For a petty thief who had just committed her first murder, Kelly was oddly calm. “We can call my lawyer.” The more Jimmy looked at her, the more disgusted he became.
“The toe sucker? Really, Kelly? We need a real plan.”
“Run? I have a friend in Texas we could crash with for a couple weeks. Go to Mexico after? Just me and you. I’ll be your Bonnie and you can be my Clyde.”
“Fuck off, Kelly.”
Jimmy, having never stolen more than a pack of gum and Kelly, petty thief extraordinaire, didn’t know anything about heists beyond what they saw on TV.
“Should we go with ski masks?” Kelly asked.
“Nah, too hot. And a little cliché,” Jimmy said.
“Pantyhose?” suggested Kelly.
The mini ATM was near the slurpy machine and coffee makers, near the back of the store. Jimmy had done some casing and noticed only two security cameras at the front of the store: One outside and one inside.
“You a good shot?” Jimmy asked Kelly.
“Yeah, of course I am,” Kelly said. “I used to go squirrel hunting with my daddy all the time.”
“Good. You think you can handle shooting out the security cameras then? With a .22 maybe?”
The next day, it was a go. Kelly drove, since Jimmy’s Suburban had the Guns and Pawn logo on the back window. They parked around the corner, Kelly with her .22 and Jimmy unarmed, so he could grab the ATM and run.
It was Sunday night and the Qwik Stop looked empty.
“Ready for this?” Jimmy grinned.
“Damn straight,” said Kelly.
They each pulled a pair of panty hose over their heads and stormed the front doors.
“This is a holdup!” Kelly screamed a little too loudly.
The guy behind the counter, a pimple-faced 40-something, looked up from his phone, annoyed. “Shit, y’all. I haven’t even been here a week.”
“Shut up and no one gets hurt!” Kelly yelled.
Jimmy headed to the back of the store and tried to lift the ATM. It wasn’t any bigger than a large microwave, but was heavier than he expected. He wiggled it off the counter, not noticing the handwritten note taped over the screen: Out of order. No cash.
He almost buckled under the weight of the machine, but remembered the future of his shop was at stake.
“All the cash in a bag!” Jimmy heard Kelly yell.
The register wasn’t part of the plan.
“Kelly, the cameras?!” Jimmy struggled with the broken ATM.
“C’mon, bitch. Y’all got the ATM,” the clerk said, annoyed.
“In a bag. Now.” Kelly meant business.
As Jimmy struggled to push open the Kwik Mark double doors, he heard it: A pop. And then another.
Kelly calmly counted her nine $20 bills. “I’m telling you: We need go to Texas then head on down to Mexico.”
“Screw that,” said Jimmy. “What even happened back there?”
“He wasn’t fast enough. And I didn’t like his face.”
Jimmy didn’t have a chance to respond before heard a knock at the front of the store. “Police, open up!”
“Shit.” Jimmy whispered. He felt panic welling up in his stomach. He looked at the back door and then to Kelly. “Mexico?”
“Si, Monsieur Clyde!”
And then they were off.