It was just another day at the bank.
Then there were the loud bursts of gunshots, the shimmer and crackle of shattering glass, the shouting of masked people raiding the front lobby, and I was witness to it all. There were four of them in total, each wearing a different mask to conceal their identities: one was of a lion; another was a goat; the third was a leopard; and the last was a cobra. Each face was metallic, cold and grey, matching the weaponry they carried. One by one, in a wave-like fashion, every customer was forced to the floor by the lion and the leopard. The cobra was watching the main entrance, and the goat walked amongst the captives.
A barrel was held between my eyes, and I felt my knees go weak. I kept my hands on top of the counter, pressing against the glassy surface to hold myself up and avoid being shot. “Move it, bitch!” the leopard barked – in a woman’s voice – as she swiftly gestured the gun towards my right-hand side.
I complied, slowly sliding my legs over the counter and taking a shaky step away from my station. “Pl-please... I don’t want-“
A shearing pain struck the back of my knee and I collapsed, hitting the concrete floor with a dull thump. I cried out, but had little time to recover. I raised my head ever so slightly, only to feel the hard rubber sole of a boot standing on my temple. I chose against speaking out anymore.
Looking around the room, I caught a glimpse of the goat masked figure slowly making their way through the piles of innocents. They seemed to be looking for something – or perhaps someone. After watching them inspect the captives for an excruciating amount of time, the eyes of the goat mask finally met mine, and they began to briskly walk towards me. Whether it was my bright red shirt that stood out, or the fact that the leopard was keeping a hold on me, I had no clue.
The boot was lifted from my head, and a gloved hand yanked me to my knees. Swallowing, I kept my blurry, watering gaze on the goat-masked criminal before me, waiting for them to make a move. Finally, they decided on what to do. Instead of just hovering inches from my forehead, I felt the metal of a barrel pushing against my teeth, clanking and clicking roughly against them. My heavy heart began to beat endlessly, and I resisted the urge to cry.
“You’re going to open up the vault, got it?” the goat faced man said. I was too frightened to respond. He answered my fearful silence with a simple metallic click as he cocked back the hammer of his gun. “I’m waiting.”
I nodded as well as I could, fighting against the barrel’s position. Just the act of nodding was difficult – one wrong jostle, and that trigger could have gone off right there and then. That’s why I screamed when the blast of a gunshot rang out, but after feeling the barrel being ripped from my mouth and the pain that it left, I realized that I was still alive.
But, if not me, then... My eyes began racing around the room, and to my left I saw it, rising up in a dusty beam of sunlight; the smoke of a revolver, held by the lion.
The goat groaned, then aimed lower and fired in my direction. The bullet ripped through my side, and I finally cried in pain, in suffering, in fear. I gripped my side as best I could, laying there on the floor, trying not to black out. I felt a kick to the back of the head as the leopard stepped over my body and advanced on the lion, as if nothing had happened.
“Are you fucking with me?” the goat yelled, supposedly at the lion. “This is the fifth time you’ve done this!”
“I’m sorry, man,” the king of the jungle answered, a sense of worry hindering his ability to sound strong. “The trigger, it was so touchy-“
The goat’s voice was drowned by the sudden screams of the public, and the thunderous applause of the cobra’s shotgun that struck them down. Each boom only cut down more innocent lives, and my heart felt ready to explode from the emotional pressure welling up inside me. Body after body, limbs and torsos, all spilled onto the floor with a sickeningly wet thud. Some tried to get up and escape, but the leopard helped in taking those ones down and finishing off any stragglers. My brain couldn’t even ask myself why fifty million times - I simply froze.
As the shooting died down, I could finally make out the conversation again, but it was getting harder to retain my consciousness. “... Again?” the goat seemingly asked.
“Well, yeah, we have no choice. We don’t get the bonus if anyone dies,” the leopard replied with a sigh.
“Just restart it,” the cobra whined.
“Fine, fine,” the goat replied begrudgingly, but not before giving a look to the lion. “Last chance, got it?” The lion nodded in apology as the goat pushed back his sleeve, revealing a device of some sorts. My ears strained and failed to make out his mumbling, but his last two words lingered on, and in the milliseconds that remained, my brain ran through thousands of scenarios and theories to explain their meaning.
- - -
It was just another day at the bank.
Written by RedNovaTyrant