EP: Bankrobber by the Clash
1980 CBS Records CBS 8323
Favorite Track: Bankrobber
Coming soon: a review of the Sleater-Kinney concert.
Three years of planning destroyed in five minutes. Cornelius knew he shouldn’t have trusted Warlock. He looked like a fairly normal man–not that appearances were to be trusted, especially in his life of business–just your average height, stringy-haired man wearing a business jacket one size too big for him. His affable smile and agreeable manner won Cornelius over.
Now he had a dead bank guard, two wounded customers, and a staff member huddled in the corner crying snot all over his immaculate jeweled fingers. Warlock was with Speedy in the vault. They had about five minutes to flee the scene and now to flee the country. Cornelius rubbed his mustache for a moment, then moved into action. He was once known as the Invisible Bankrobber–acquired because he worked quick enough and left no clues behind. His favorite band had made a song about him. The police had raided local record shops and seized the 7-inch records to burn at a tailgating party.
Cornelius leaped over the turnstile door and entered the hallway leading to the vault. Another guard was bloody on the floor, but breathing. A strange five-sided symbol was tattooed on his forehead. Just looking at it gave Cornelius a certain sense of dread. Did the other one have it too? Warlock shot him right in the head.
“Come on Warlock. What the fuck are you doing that for?” Speedy’s voice was his typical whine. Cornelius gave him the nickname because he often told Speedy not to talk and to just concentrate on the job.
“You think this money is real? You think we are leaving with some fancy load of tangible riches? This shit is a symbol…a magical charm…wave the wand and it is money!”
This Warlock guy was nuts. Cornelius checked his revolver. Gangsters laughed at his choice of the .38, but Cornelius was an avid Clue fan and you have to use what you like. Six bullets. He breathed slowly, pointed the barrel down at the ground, and walked into the room. As he did so, the chemical odor of gasoline flooded his nostrils.
Speedy bumped into him. “Warlock’s psycho, man. Run!”
Speedy rushed his squat lumpy body toward the exit. Something thin and silver fell from his pocket. Evidence. This wasn’t Cornelius’s day, but he had to stop Warlock first.
“Now what has gotten into your imagination that we came here to burn money and not steal it? Which part of the word bankrobber means arson?”
Warlock had the strike-anywhere match in his hand, his eyes curiously still but wide-eyed as if he had seen something intangible move from between the bars. A quiet laughter stuttered through his closed throat.
“You don’t see what I see, Cornelius? You don’t see what this power represents? It represents it…from under the seas…”
Cornelius glanced at his watch. “We don’t have time for this. We have to go now. Stuff some green in your bag and let’s split before we end up in federal prison.”
He reached for some money when Warlock screamed at him.
“Don’t touch it! Everyone who touches and uses it feeds it power…imitative magic…by forcing everyone to focus on its image, the transference of power is completed…we must destroy it from under the seas…”
Cornelius’s brow wrinkled. He thought he heard a grotesque groan from out in the corridor. Something inhuman. And a familiar sound, one from his boyhood at the farm. Like a cleaver slipping through flesh. Even Warlock had frozen, his jaw twitching.
“It will rise again…the same way it did in October of ’29…I have read all about it in Cryptonicionary…the entry in Latin mistranslated by by Joseph Bolden…but I had access to a more forbidden tome…MY GAWD!”
The security guard from the corridor had entered the vault. What was left of the security guard. The torso had split into three-pieces, ropey violet appendages with spikey talons on them whipped about underneath the guard’s head which hovered in the air upon an extended spine that dripped putrefactive acid on to the marble floor. Warlock dropped the lighter, the match still held between his eyes.
Another groan and splitting-sound echoed from the lobby. The other guard must have had that same tattoo, Cornelius thought. Sirens were approaching. Should he let the cops deal with this? Did he have time to think? Was Warlock insane or not?
Either way, Cornelius felt a little insane himself. At least his reputation would relatively maintain itself as the Invisible Bankrobber. Maybe another song would be written about him.
Standing close to Warlock and avoiding the appendages reaching for him. Cornelius aimed his revolver at Warlock.
“Please tell me you didn’t empty all that gasoline from that pouch of yours.”
Then he pulled the trigger.