1st Novel

Three Long Days

2nd Novel

Soul Intentions

3rd novel

Soul Directive

4th novel

 

Fortunate Soul

5th novel

 

The Heist

My ex-buddy Ted no longer deserves to keep his membership in the Bill Nye the Science Guy fan club. Ted claimed to be a brilliant chemist who could make anyone invisible simply by drinking eight ounces of his elixir. The stuff looked more like a root beer float and tasted like sour milk. I shoulda known better.

The first time I met Ted, we were both seniors in high school at the turn of the century. He was burning ants with a magnifying glass in the school yard during lunch break. He stole the blasted magnifier from third period chemistry class. Ted had bad manners way back then. I shoulda known better.

Soon after graduation, I worked my way up to be manager at Burger Beast. It wasn’t the greatest job but it paid the rent. I had enough money left over to buy me a new flat screen and the Sunday football package. What more could a guy want in life? I shoulda known better.

The last time I’d seen Ted, until last week, was the summer after graduation. We were on a double date at the movies seeing X-Men. Ted kept telling the girls he too had super powers. I didn’t get many dates in high school. The last thing I needed was for this guy to creep out my new squeeze. Ted tells these luscious ladies that he can see through their shirts. That’s his secret power! Idiot. I elbowed him in the ribs a few times, telling him to knock it off. I shoulda known better.

As of last week, I was the manager of the Burger Beast in downtown Lake Worth and the one in Boynton along Congress Avenue. My boss was even talking about me one day being regional manager for all of Palm Beach and Martin Counties. I had a steady girl and it was the middle of football season. Life was good. Then Ted walks into the downtown Lake Worth shop ordering up a burger and fries. I came out from behind the counter to chat with my old pal. I shoulda known better.

“I finally perfected it, Danny Boy,” Ted tells me. “I can make myself invisible. I walk right into any concert, any movie, for free, anytime I want. No one is the wiser. I even went into the dressing room at the strip joint out on Southern last week and got a free five minute peep show. I’m living the dream, big guy.”

Ted wolfed down his burger and fries like he hadn’t eaten in weeks. I had to pass him a napkin to clean off his face from all the extra ketchup. Why did I care about anything this guy had to tell me?

“Sorry, Ted, but I find it hard to believe you can make yourself invisible. If Linda Nichols didn’t fix your lab book and do your homework the last semester, you woulda failed chemistry. Now you expect me to think you can make yourself invisible and come and go from any place you want without anyone the wiser. Gimme a break.”

“Not only will I prove it to ya, Danny Boy, I’ll make you one rich dude. Meet me at the entrance of First Union Bank, the next block over, tomorrow morning at nine and I’ll prove to you I’m no failure.”

I shoulda known better. But perched myself in front of the bank just before nine when Ted drove up in a tired Chevy Impala sputtering black smoke and oil from the back end. He jumped carrying a small cooler with a brown drink inside.

“You pay close attention to me, Danny Boy. One minute after I drink this, you won’t see me.”

Ted downed the potion and to my amazement, he turned invisible. He asked me to walk to the front door of the bank and let him in. He spoke with me the entire time, so I knew he was actually at my side. We sat in two seats in the bank lobby with him whispering to me for three minutes before leaving the bank.

“Tomorrow, Danny Boy, you will be the richest burger flipper in town. Meet me back here again, same time and we will remove every dollar we can carry. I’ve been scouting this place for weeks. I made myself invisible and followed the branch manager right into the safe three days ago. You can come with me when I strike in the morning.”

Dollar signs rattled my thick skull. It would be nice to take my girl out for a nice dinner and not worry about the cost for once. I thought I would even allow her to order that fancy bottle of wine she always talked about. A new flat screen in the bedroom danced in my head. Ted was going to make up for all his screw ups back in school. But I shoulda known better.

As scheduled, Ted drove up in his environmental death trap. I met him in the parking lot where he removed two containers of his magical drink. I guzzled mine down in two big gulps. It tasted disgusting. Ted smiled then drank his. Sixty seconds later he was gone except for his giddy tone.

We waited for someone to open the bank door and followed them into the lobby. Ted led me by the arm to the back of the bank where we waited five minutes for a nice looking woman in a classy dark pants suit to arrive. We crept softly in our tennis shoes as the banker unknowingly led us right into the vault. The lady soon left, leaving only our two invisible selves stuffing greenbacks into our large sacks. Anything we touched turned as invisible as us. Visions of a new flat screen with surround sound was all I could envision.

Ted and I quietly left the safe and moved towards the front of the bank. We were a few feet from pulling off our great caper when Ted realized his old English teacher was now a teller. The same teacher who forced to take summer school. “Stay right here,” he whispered. “I’m gonna remove some dough from her cash drawer so at the end of her shift she’s outta balance and will get canned.”

I shoulda known better. I stood in the corner of the lobby with my eyes closed daydreaming about counting my loot in my tiny apartment and lost track of Ted. My mind had visions of how happy my girl was going to be when I told her she could order any fancy wine she wanted from the menu later than night. I even thought about opening up my own burger joint. I was one lucky man.

That experience was short lived as commotion filled the bank. In front of me stood a police officer with his arms extended in my direction, and gun pointed directly at my nose. “Drop the bag, turn to the wall and put your hands behind your back,” the cop insisted.He couldn’t have been talking with me. Was someone else robbing the bank the same time we were? Again the cop said, “Put the bag down and turn to the wall.”

I started to walk towards the exit with my stash of cash. Why wait around any longer? Again I hear the cop yell at someone to put the bag down as I inched towards the exit. Before I could blink, there were three other police officers circling me, all with very big weapons pointing at my beautiful face. How was this possible? I was invisible.

I didn’t know what to do. Maybe if they did put handcuffs on me I could slip away as they tried to put me in the car. I didn’t know. So many things were entering my mind. I put down the money bag. A big brute of a cop grabbed my arms as if he knew exactly where they were and slapped handcuffs on me. He wasn’t very pleasant about it either.

I turned to see Ted in handcuffs as well being led out the door. Wait a second, I thought. How could I see Ted? I barked over at him, “What the hell, Ted, I can see you. Can you see me?”

“Yeah, I see ya.” He declared. “Maybe I should have tested how long this stuff lasts. Once I was inside all those places, I never did care.”

I shoulda known better.