The two men looked at each other and nodded without speaking. They got out of their car and hurried along the alley. Just before they entered the bank, they put balaclava helmets on.
“Let’s do this,” said Mac.
“What?” said Cheese. “I can’t hear. The balaclava’s too thick.”
“Just do it like we planned, ok?” Mac was beginning to sweat and not just because of the heavy wool over his face.
They strode into the bank waving guns.
“Everybody move!” Cheese bellowed. He fired a shot at the floor.
“Nobody move!” Mac corrected. He fired a shot at the ceiling. The customers and staff dropped to the floor with gasps and screams of fright.
“Hands out of sight!” Cheese ordered, threatening those nearest with his revolver.
“Where we can see ’em!” Mac corrected. He sent Cheese a despairing look.
From the floor, people looked at the robbers with confusion.
“Empty this bag!” Cheese slapped a holdall onto the counter.
“He means fill it up,” Mac advised. The teller looked from one to the other, her forehead wrinkled with fear and uncertainty.
Cheese grabbed Mac and put the gun under his chin. “Don’t make me shoot a hostage,” he snarled. The teller crossed her arms and pouted.
“Let go of me, you idiot,” Mac urged, trying to wriggle free. The whoop of sirens in the street made everyone freeze. The light of hope began to shine in people’s eyes.
There was a crackle and the amplified voice of a police officer filled the air.
“Stay where you are and keep hold of your weapons!”
Mac and the bank manager at his feet exchanged a long-suffering glance. It was going to be a long afternoon.