Life as an Outlaw

January 13, 2009
By Patrick O'Hare, Mequon, WI

1933, in Chicago, an Irishman named Patches O'Hoolihan, went to his bank to see if he could get any of his money out. He read that his bank was closing. As he arrived he saw the enormous line two blocks long out side his bank. He turned back. No way could he even get a dime. He arrived to his house, a single bedroom shack in a dark area of town. He sat down by the fireplace and just sat. He and his wife hadn't talked in days. Nothing to say anymore and his son rarely home. Hours past and he just sat next to his fireplace. He got up and went to his cupboard, and reached for his for his last bottle of whiskey. He drank the night away, to ease the pain.
The Next morning he got up, put a suit on, and grabbed his shotgun, and put on a trench coat. He got into his Ford V-8. It looked a little rough but in decent condition. It hadn't started in months, but with ignition, it roared. He drove off into town. He slowly pulled up to a bank down the street from his old one. He walked in and pulled his shotgun up to his shoulder and spoke.
"This is serious. Give me all the money in the register now," he said shockingly calm. At first stunned, the teller finally reacted by pulling out stacks of $100 bills, and gave it to Patches. "Thanks," he said as he walked back out. He heard sirens a few blocks away. He got into his car and drove off. He looked at the world through his rear view. He left town.
He stopped into a pub a half hour out of town. He had heard of this pub before, known for its high profile Irish gangsters. He threw a fresh hundred onto the table and asked for a drink. He looked around and it looked pretty empty. Just an old man in the corner, who looked extremely intoxicated. The pub smelled of whiskey and cigarettes. The door next to the bar opened, and out walked another Irishman. Well dressed, and well groomed with a clean mustache. He approached Patches and sat down at his table.
"So, a good job today?" said the man.
"Excuse me?" Patches quickly replied.
"Don't worry, I'm not police. I heard about the bank downtown today, and there aren't Irishmen walking around with those kind bills around with them."
Slightly confused but intrigued, he replied, "So, what's your point?"
"Look, I can help you out. You clearly have balls. I got three other guys who need a job. You up for another?"
”Yeah, what do you have in mind.”
"Look, we can talk about it tomorrow. You need a place to stay?"
He was brought to a house out in the middle of nowhere. It was a small little cabin that looked a couple decades old.
"You need anything, Patches right?"
"Yeah, just and envelope, pen and paper." With his shotgun by his side, he embraced life as an outlaw.

Pow. The gun went off as he shot walking into another bank, almost six months after the first. Three others followed him in.
"Money! Now!" He yelled. The others scrambled to the tellers to collect the money. Patches stood in the middle of the room to make sure no one did anything stupid. This was his eighth bank and he was getting pretty good at it. He considered it an art form. He now carried a timer to make sure they wouldn't get lazy and go to slow.
They got the money and ran out, jumped in his car and drove off. It was another successful heist. On their way back to the hideout, he pulled over at the post office.
"What the hell are you doing? We gotta go man!" said the nameless man sitting in back.
"Shut up, it'll just take a second." He stuffed something in an envelope and stuffed it into the mail slot. "Alright, let’s go." He then drove off.
They arrived at the house and unpacked. They went in to start counting. They all grabbed some beers and sat at the table in the living room.
"So, how did we do today?" said the man with the mustache. Patches didn't know his name yet. He just called him Jack.
"Pretty good Jack. I'd say at least ten thousand."
"Damn, you guys are getting good. Wish I could help you count but I got some business downtown. You guys need anything while I'm down there?"
"Naw Jack, I think we're good," he replied with his head down, his mind deep into the counting.
A couple hours past and they finally finished counting. They counted eleven thousand, six hundred dollars. A damn good day. They all say around for a while sharing some laughs while drinking the night away. At about six there was a knock at the door.
"What the hell? No one knows we're here besides Jack."
"This is the police, come out with your hands up," they heard coming from outside.
"Shit, out the back!" They all stumbled out of their seats and ran. Patches ran for the back door. He swung open the door and saw the butt of a gun.
He woke back up again an hour or two later. He woke up in a jail cell. Still a little disoriented, he stood up and went to the cell door.
"Hello? Anyone here?" He yelled.
"What do you need?" He heard the voice from down the hall.
"Just an envelope, pen and paper."
"Just a second," he responded and brought it to him.
Patches began to write. He wrote the last letter he would ever write.
Dear Angela,
Sorry there isn't any money in this one. Hopefully you got all eight others. I know me leaving was sudden, and it was the last thing our family needed. However, I don't regret it. I didn't have a choice. After our bank closed it was just a matter of time before we lost our house. Your praying wasn't going to stop that. The government wasn't going to stop that. Life is unfair, so this was just my attempt to equal the odds. I won't apologize for what I've done, but what I haven't done. I didn't get to play ball with my son one more time. I didn't get to take you to dinner one more time. I didn't get to be with you and my son just one more time.
Look for my name in the news.

Much love,
Patches O'Hoolihan

P.S. Tell John I love him too.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Feb. 14 2009 at 4:56 am
hey, you're a good writer overall, but try to work on having more description when you write. instead of saying, "He heard sirens a few blocks away. He got into his car and drove off. He looked at the world through his rear view. He left town." you could say, "He ignored the sirens as her got into his car and began to drive off. Out of instinct, he checked his mirrors. Without a second thought, he drove away from the bank, thousands of dollars sitting in the seat beside him." something like that.

just a suggestion. it'll make you sound much better. =)

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