Set The Hook

Jacquelyn’s drink wasn’t perspiring, but she was.  The conversation had turned, as they always do, to felonious stories.  Her friends weren’t competing, they weren’t even her friends, not yet, but each of them tried to outdo the others.

One bragged about scraping under a toll-booth bar at over 300kph.  Another claimed she burned down her business for the insurance, and successfully avoided prosecution.  Three somewhat suspicious soliloquies and three mostly mollifying martinis later, it was Jacquelyn’s turn.  The group sat, slumped, and sprawled around a table at the back of the room.  Club music thumped their glasses like a dinosaur was learning to breakdance downstairs.

Her little black dress wasn’t.  It was a floor-length ivory evening gown, not expertly tailored, but close enough in the dim lighting.  Jacquelyn’s ebony complexion nearly disappeared into the velvet seat-back.

“I once robbed a bank,” she grinned wolfishly, “or at least, played my part.”

The music seemed to fade.

“I didn’t want to hold the gun you see, I have no intentions of returning to prison in this life.  So Hector pointed the .38 at the teller and didn’t say a word.  He didn’t have to, everyone’s seen a movie about a bank getting robbed, she knew the drill, probably the most exciting day of her life.

“The teller girl put some bundles of cash into a bag and placed it on the counter.  Meanwhile, my job was to distract the security guard.  Not kill him, not seduce him, not flirt with him, just distract him.  I threw my hair over my shoulder, kept glancing back at him and smiling before turning away.  He kept his eyes on me until Hector walked out the door.  I followed him 60 seconds later, and waved to Paul the rent-a-cop on my way.

“Of course the money was tagged so we couldn’t keep it, just left the bag around the corner.”

Jacquelyn liked to think of herself as a young woman, but the fact is, she wasn’t.  She had to be interesting.  More interesting than these teenyboppers.  More interesting than high speed chases.  More interesting than snorting cocaine in the DEA bathroom.  More interesting than anyone else.

Her story was a lie of course, just like her name.  But it wasn’t about truth, it was about confidence.  With enough confidence, she could arrive alone and depart accompanied.