The water splashed down hard on Jaylen's face. He didn't mind. The cool mist had done little to bring him back to earth. He needed the full, cleansing blast of however many tons of water were screaming down the side of the mountain.
Enough to make me forget, he thought. Enough to keep me clean.
The gun felt light in his hand. Not even loaded, he thought with a laugh. He pulled the trigger. A faint stream of warm water squirted out. The sound it made when he tossed it deeper into the cave reminded him of running through his grandparents' driveway over the summer. His gramps had been an engineer. That didn't stop in retirement. Only allowed him to shift his focus. They must have play-tested a dozen different sprinklers that summer. Running and jumping through what felt like every possible way water could be fired through tubes.
Him and Scotty...
The bag was damp. He had planned out the robbery from start to finish. Gone over every component again and again, trying, like gramps taught him, where the holes lurked. "Where are the joints, the weak parts in the machine. The places most likely to breakdown and cause the whole thing to fall apart?" He'd tested the motherfucker over and over again. The arrival. The walk up to the counter. Script. Tone of voice. Camera angles. Guards. Over and over and over.
A lot of good that had done.
Water spit off the handles when he threw the bag open. He didn't know how much was inside. He estimated close to two million, but and official count would have to wait. Right now he needed to cool off, to think.
Scotty had the keys. And he'd left him in the car. If they found him--when they found him--there'd be nothing to trace him back to Jaylen other than the fact that they were brothers. But that wouldn't do them much good when he was gone. Blood only took you so far.
Jaylen palmed a bundle of hundreds. Twenty-four hours ago this was all he dreamed about. Hell, for twenty-four months this had been all he thought about. Now? He might as well have been holding a wet stone.
After cradling it for a minute he slammed it back into the bag and zipped the thing shut. It was unlikely anyone would look for him here, but sitting around wouldn't get him out of the country any faster. Stress test. Risk assessment. It was easier to sit tight, but less risky even. But it wouldn't get him any closer to where he needed to be. He had to move.
The bag was on his back with the wind kissing his neck before he even realized he'd left the cave. A strange sense of weightlessness took over him. Like driving without a seatbelt after pulling that thing tight for two straight years. There was no safety net. Nothing holding him in place.
Fuck it. He'd planned till his eyes bled and where did that get him? A dead brother and an escape plan shot entirely to shit. So be it. He'd hike his ass fifty miles through the woods if he had too. Stumble into some sylvan village where the internet was still considered black magic. From there he could plan. Build up supplies. Two million was a lot, but they weren't going to burn down the forest to find him. If he played it cool, didn't go making silly mistakes, he could still find his way out.
Night was still five hours away. If he hustled, he could cover about five miles an hour. Less if the terrain turned on him, but he'd worry about that when it came. Right now he needed to put ten toes on the ground and walk. Billington was twenty miles away. The car lay at the bottom of Oaken Pond five miles from the cave. If they found the car, they'd find him. The more distance he put between himself and that damn thing the better.
The Reamers had never been campers. Jaylen's dad had been a navy brat. Scuttling from base to base for most of his youth. By the time Jaylen and Scotty came around he'd had his share of not having a home. The idea of leaving it behind to go sit in the woods for a few days was as insane a concept to him as anything else. Jaylen didn't even know camping was a thing until college. And by then learning how to do it felt like learning another language and he had no interest in that either.
Hiking through the trees, a moment of regret flashed through him but he quickly tucked it away. If he'd wanted to learn how to camp, he would've. But nothing was going to change that, not even regret. No matter how big. He'd had the foresight to plan for surviving if things went bad. Water, granola bars, and a good pair of sneakers. That would serve him well enough. Everything else could be overcome with pure will. He had to believe that otherwise he was better off jumping into the water with Scotty.
Jaylen had never read a compass before. He packed it just in case and assumed when the moment came he and Scotty could figure it out within a reasonable degree. No sense in. wasting. time on.
The following challenges were completed during the writing exercise:
Begin Start typing to begin
Letter Use the letter G
Words Reach 50 words
Location A waterfall
Words Reach 100 words
Prop Include a squirt gun
Words Reach 200 words
Words Reach 300 words
Event A bank is robbed
Words Reach 400 words
Words Reach 500 words
Words Reach 600 words
Words Reach 700 words
Words Reach 800 words
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