By Whitney Pemrick
It was supposed to be the perfect crime…
Wolfgang and Elvis Schneiderfellson were setting up the greatest jewel heist in history. Brussels was the scene and a popular downtown museum was the target. The reward would be enormous and make the brothers millionaires, if all goes as planned of course. Everyone in town was aware the Customs Department was receiving a fourteen carat canary yellow diamond from the French Royal Family to be added to the vault.
“You make sure you have the plans written out, ok Wolfie? We can’t afford to have anything go wrong.” Elvis gasped.
Elvis was always the more demanding of the two. A sense of resentment had lurked deep in Wolfgang’s heart, he yearned to be the best. He was tired of his brother ordering him around so much. This would be his chance to shine, he thought.
“Don’t worry about me, brother, my side is covered.” he confirmed..
He wanted to ask his brother how he was coming along too, but he knew Elvis would only cut him down for doubting him. Turning back around to face the blue screen in front of him, his thick rimmed glasses reflected off the monitor lighting up his structured jawbone. Wolfgang was a strapping young man, dedicated to his body, and he could be found in the gym every morning lifting weights and crunching his abs. Elvis was the type of man who never had to try. He was naturally taller than his brother, naturally smarter, and of course, much more popular with the ladies.
However, there was one blonde little tart who had just recently caught Wolfie’s eyes on the treadmill. As she ran, her chest would rise and fall with gravity. Almost in a trance as he lifted his weights, he would simply smile or wave as she passed him by. Wolfgang wanted more than anything for her to stop and talk to him, just once. But he was always the shy one, coming up with some excuse why he had to run somewhere, or switch machines suddenly. She was the reason for the heist. If he was rolling in money, she would find him intriguing. Maybe, just maybe.
After a typical run early one morning, Wolfie noticed her. She had walked in right on time, as usual. This was his chance, he thought, to finally talk to her alone without interruption. All the other lug-heads were still in the locker rooms greasing up. He approached her quietly, thinking of how he would form his sentences, thinking of anything to say that wouldn’t sound stupid.
“Uh, um, good morning.” he stammered.
She turned around, startled.
“How are you this morning?” he asked.
“Oh just fine, it’s beautiful out today,” she said. She looked impatient, he was intruding.
“Yes, I took the long way around the river this morning.” he said.
“I live just on the other side of the park, that’s my usual route,” she replied.
This conversation was not going where Wolfgang had planned. He had to make his move, before he lost the opportunity.
“I, um, wanted to ask you something if you wouldn’t mind.”
“Ok?” she looked confused.
“Would you be interested in perhaps joining me for some coffee sometime?” stunned that he actually managed to form a whole sentence, Wolfie paused…
She stamped her foot for a moment, thinking. Her nose wrinkled up and she looked towards the ceiling, she was going to say no. He just knew it.
“Sure, I think that’d be nice.”
Wolfgang had to make sure he wasn’t dreaming, so he asked one more time just for safe measure.
“Are you available this afternoon?” he asked.
“I’m actually meeting some friends later, maybe another night?” she lied. “I’m Sophie LaMonte, by the way. What‘s your name?”
“I’m Wolfgang Schneiderfellson,” he said, shaking her hand.
Introductions aside, in his mind, all Wolfgang could ponder was why she said no. She seemed attracted to him at first, and now she was making up excuses. Typical woman, never could be honest with a man she wasn’t interested in. The truth was, Sophie wasn’t who she said she was. Her real name was Jacqueline L’Coute and she was a French Customs Agent on assignment. Her boss had sent her to Brussels three months ago to make sure the museum got the diamond safely, and nothing stood in the way. Jacqueline had no idea her new friend was involved. Or how closely the two would come to each other soon enough. Jacqueline finished her routine, showered and changed, and called her associate to come meet her. They were going to the docks to make sure everything went as planned.
As sunset approached, Wolfgang and his brother stood around the table in their basement going over the blueprints, repeatedly. Tonight was the big night. Nothing could go wrong. They couldn’t afford the consequences of the heist to fall on either mans’ shoulders. This was the heist to set them up for life. No worries, no problems anymore. Wolfgang wanted to sweep “Sophie” off her feet, and take her somewhere tropical. He also knew this was his chance to get away from his brother, once and for all.
That was the plan, anyways.
“I won’t go back to jail, Wolf. I just won’t do it.” Elvis interrupted.
“I know brother, I got your back. No worries.”
“I hope so, ’cause you know I’ll take you down with me.” he threatened.
Elvis was always interfering with Wolfgang’s thoughts. All he wanted was to be a grown man and live his own life, according to his rules. But instead he’d spent his whole life answering to his brother, ever since their parents died.
Looking at the clock, Elvis started to gather his supplies and tools for the heist. Wolfgang changed into black pants, and a sweater to help disguise himself. Wiping black paint under their eyes, the two brothers put on the last of their costumes, the black stockings to hide their faces. No one would know it was the Schneiderfellson brothers committing the ultimate jewel heist. They had tied all the loose ends, and checked everything over numerous times. It was time. No going back now.
Meanwhile, Jacqueline and her partner arrived at the docks , and began checking the shipment. The diamond had made it, safe and sound. The transport to the museum would be short, and then Jacqueline would be finished with this job. She had wanted to quit months ago, but her boss had asked for just one more assignment. After this, she could retire someplace tropical and be done with the Customs Agency forever. Soon enough, she thought.
“All clear.” she told the officer standing nearby.
“Ok, then we should get this in the van and head to the museum.” he said.
Jacqueline and her partner put the armored box into the police van and hopped in. As soon as they began driving she had a bad gut feeling about the situation. Something just didn’t feel right.
Pulling up to the illustrious museum , it seemed to glow in the night skyline of Brussels. Many valued art pieces, sculptures, and jewels were housed inside, and she was responsible for adding one more beautiful piece. A fourteen carat canary yellow diamond worn in the crown of the famous French queen for more than a century. Stepping out of the van, the officer unlocked the back doors and reached for the treasure box. A mere 30 feet stood between Jacqueline and her last day as a Customs Agent. She could feel the warm breeze on her face as she walked up the stairs, and could almost taste the salty air of retirement. Entering a back door near the vault, the officer went first, then Jacqueline. Her partner, Mark, had stayed out front to watch everything. Typing a password into the flashing alarm unit, the officer motioned for Jacqueline to continue with the jewel. Unlocking the vault, she walked in, ready to place the diamond and finally be done with this.
As she put down the box, and put the jewel into its new glass home, she heard footsteps nearing the vault and they were getting closer. Turning around to investigate, the officer rushed towards her with wild eyes! He knocked her to the floor, punching her hard. He held her down. She tried fighting him off.
“Please, someone help me!” she screamed.
There was no one in the museum, she knew that already. Who would hear her? Who could save her? Maybe she could trip an alarm, and the real police would come. She just knew she had to fight for her life.
Walking around the corner, Wolfgang came upon the scene, his brother was on top of Jacqueline choking her. He could see the life fading out of her eyes; he was killing her!
“Stop!” he screamed.
Elvis stood up quickly, still straddling her lifeless body.
“What the fuck do you mean, stop?!” Elvis huffed.
“You’re killing her!” he said.
“Wasn’t that the plan? No one gets in the way, remember?”
“But, that’s just the Customs Agent, she has nothing to do with this. The plan was just to knock her out and leave her in the van.” he reminded his brother.
“She was getting too nosey, she knew something was going happen.”
Wolfgang hadn’t stopped to recognize it was Sophie laying on the floor under his brother, until finishing his sentence.
“Oh my God.” he sunk to his knees. “It’s Sophie.”
Elvis leaned down to get the diamond from the box, he wiped it off with his shirt, admiring the sparkle. It was more beautiful that he ever imagined. Wolfgang begged for Elvis to help him. He was too consumed with the diamond. Jacqueline was lying on the vault floor, dying more with each fading breath. Why was she here, he thought suddenly to himself. Noticing something shiny in her blouse, he reached in to discover a badge;
Agent Jacqueline L’Coute
French Customs Agent
Department of Art & Culture
Wolfgang was devastated. The girl he’d been admiring for months had lied to him from the beginning. She was the agent they were trying to scam the whole time. Elvis grabbed his brother’s sleeve pulling him back into reality, and as they ran from the vault, he glanced down at her body; she wasn’t breathing. His heart sank from his chest, what had they done? Nobody was supposed to die. It was supposed to be the perfect crime.