Another abandoned opening. This one would see conflict within the group as they try to ransom the woman, but ultimately decide to murder her, and the main character doesn't want to be part of the murder.
I was the only one who waited at the house. I argued with Julio, but he said I was too young. I'd been on other jobs: mugging, shoplifting, breaking into houses, that kind of thing, but this was different Julio said, bigger than anything we'd done before. This one would make us rich. Besides, he said, someone had to guard the house. Julio was broad as a buffalo and ducked through doorways, and at nineteen he was the eldest. His word was law. So, the other four went on the job while I wandered between rooms, stared out of windows and wondered when, or even if, they'd be back. I heard the whine of the Chevy engine as darkness fell, doors slamming, voices yapping, Julio yelling at them to be quiet, then they bundled the woman indoors like a pig's carcass wrapped in cloth.
They carried her upstairs into the back room and dropped her onto a mattress on the floor. They were all panting hard and staring at her. At first she lay still where they dropped her, then she unfolded her limbs, taking her time, and sat up. That was the first time I saw her eyes, deep blue, vivid against her gray face and gray clothing. She looked petrified, like she thought she was going to be raped.
The mattress took up half the floor. There was a wooden chair against one wall. The five of us crowded into the rest of the room. Maurice held a butcher's knife with a blade that must have been ten inches long and the woman's gaze followed it. Julio pulled out a gun, handed it to Fabio, and said, "If she makes a sound or tries to escape, shoot her." The woman groaned and made the sign of the cross on her chest. Julio looked at me. "You stay here too."
The rest of them went downstairs. Fabio sat on the chair, the only piece of furniture in the room. He kept looking at me and grinning, his eyes like slits, but he said nothing. He was no bigger than me and the gun looked too big for his hands.
The woman rubbed her bruised face. I could imagine Julio beating her into submission when they grabbed her, or Maurice, he liked to use his fists. Her head was covered. She wore no shoes. Her plumpness showed through her clothes, and I could see from her hands and face that she wasn't young. But her clothes - Holy Mother of God - Julio had lost his mind. This wasn't the way to make us rich, this would send us all straight to hell.
"Hey, Fabio, what's going on?" I said.
Fabio swung his head round. "No names, stupid." He looked at the nun. "You'll find out soon enough, kid." I was twelve and Fabio a year older. I hated the way he always called me kid. If he wasn't Julio's brother I'd have done something about him.