Abercrombie May Be Armed and Dangerous
by Dave Ludford
have been another dull, routine day for Ethel
Abercrombie escalated into a nightmare that began
when she burned an iron-shaped hole in a pair of
her late husbands trousers. Ironing was a
chore shed always hated, and welcomed
therefore the distraction of the ringing of her
front doorbell. Absentmindedly she walked from
the kitchen to the hallway, leaving the iron to
smoulder away on the aforementioned garment which,
along with several other items, had been destined
for one of Chapeltowns charity shops.
It was while
paying the milkman- her caller- that she smelled
burning. Suddenly alert, she dashed back to the
kitchen as fast as her arthritic, aged legs could
she shouted, snatching up the offending implement.
OK Mrs A? the milkman enquired.
bloody well isnt she retorted. Then,
contritely: Sorry, Arthur. I shouldnt
take my frustration out on you.
OK. No offence taken.
Abercrombie picked the trousers up from the
ironing board and returned to the front door,
where she held them up for the milkman to inspect.
Arthur, theyre ruined. I cant take
these to the charity shop.
hard to stifle a fit of giggles, and failed. Mrs
Abercrombie soon joined him.
like to put my clumsiness and general ineptitude
down to my age, she said after her giggles
had subsided. But Ive always been
like it. Drove poor Malcolm mad.
upset yourself Mrs A. Anyway, Im sure theres
plenty of other good stuff. Are you heading into
town with it this morning?
that was the plan. Its bagged and ready to
lift? Ill drive you down in my van if you
Arthur. That would be wonderful.
Abercrombie came out of the Second Chance charity
shop and walked towards the black BMW parked in
front of the bank, engine running. Opening the
back door, she sat down, gently shut the door and
said to the totally bemused driver, who had
turned round in his seat to regard her:
Gardens, please. Number 57.
He was cut
short when two men, wearing Mickey Mouse masks,
dashed from the banks front entrance and
jumped into the back of the car next to Mrs
fuck are you? one of them demanded of her.
Without waiting for an answer, he looked up at
the driver and shouted: Step on it, Brian.
obliged, and the car pulled away with a loud
screech and headed at considerably dangerous
speed up the high street. The man who hadnt
spoken yet said:
asked you a question, lady. Who are you and what
the fuck are you doing in our car?
Well thats rich. This is my taxi. I was
here first. And I would ask you to modify your
language and show some respect to a lady.
Furthermore, why are you wearing those ridiculous
missus, the man replied, somewhat ashamed.
But this aint no taxi, its our
realisation dawned on Mrs Abercrombie.
Bazzer and Brian was robbing that bank, he
it all went wrong. The
cashiers laughed at our plastic water pistols and
raised the alarm. We came away with nothing. Just
our bloody luck.
And just my
luck to have mistaken a getaway car for a taxi
and be on the run with three desperados, two of
them dressed as Mickey Mouse, Mrs Abercrombie
thought. She sighed heavily and sank her head on
her chest, closing her eyes. This day is rapidly
turning into a nightmare, she further thought.
Why me? Oh, what a damn mess!
lady, we dont mean you no arm. Well
drop you off at the roundabout up ahead. Youll
have to get the bus from there. Theres a
number 6 due thatll take you right down
Orpington Gardens, said Brian. Mrs
Abercrombie opened her eyes and looked up.
However, may I suggest that you all seriously
consider a radical change of career?
villains nodded their heads in reluctant
Evening Gazette contained a front page leader
detailing an attempted armed robbery at the towns
National Bank earlier that afternoon. Mrs
Abercrombie stared in disbelief at the
accompanying photograph, a still taken from the
banks exterior CCTV. For there, staring
right back at her, was her own face, along with
two others disguised as Mickey Mouse. She sighed
heavily once more, sank her head on her chest,
and closed her eyes. This time she added a
disbelieving, slow shaking of her head.
distance, she could hear the rapidly approaching
scream of a police cars siren.