Geneva’s City Bank, Illinois

Friday, September 28th

Gina rubbed the bridge of her nose acknowledging defeat might be at hand. The black-and-white marble tiles on the bank’s floor summoned the checkered flag she had ceased to pursue. As a racecar driver Gina taught herself to take violent hits. Perhaps the Lord wouldn’t answer her fervent prayers for a deluge of ready cash. She ducked her head and released the arms of the chair as she’d learned to let go of the steering wheel for unavoidable collisions.

Gina’s financial history would soon blink to life on the loan officer’s computer screen. Would their high-school flirtations fifteen years earlier sufficiently influence Jonas Woods? Gina had trailed behind a bevy of football fans following every move of any coach’s dream, the Woods twins – Thomas and Jonas. She predicted Jonas’s dark eyebrows would raise when he reviewed her negative credit reports.

Her checkbook was as empty as her credit cards were overflowing because of her mother’s continuing medical costs. To help with household expenses, Gina found a job as a school bus driver. Now, she hoped the bank would give her a loan on her mother’s equity in the house to fix its leaky roof and the ancient plumbing, as well as cover the mounting medical debts. Would Jonas want her to have the money?

Gina smiled at him for all she was worth.

Jonas’s head moved closer to his computer screen as he scrutinized her unbelievable amount of debt. Gina had no friends or extended family to tide her over the financial rough patch. As a race-car driver, she never felt a part of the gang. Despite her loyal team, she’d raced alone competing against men. Now she was experiencing the same need for individual courage.

Across the aisle, a bank guard lifted his head toward the balcony at the noise of the vault door swinging open. Gina recognized the guard as Jonas’s twin, Thomas. His mouth was drawn in a thin line of concentration. Tom’s dark blue uniform barely fit his gigantic frame. Then she met his eyes. The combined black of iris and pupil immersed her in their languid pool…until dollar bills starting falling from overhead.

A single hundred dollar bill landed on the knee of Gina’s white wool trouser. Ignoring the delighted hubbub from the other bank patrons, Gina didn’t move lest it sail away. The Lord might revoke the miracle of pennies from heaven. How many pennies in a hundred dollars? How many pennies did she need to fix the roof? Maybe she could just glue the coppers to the shingles to keep the rain out.

Jonas jumped up, shoving clumps of the showering bills into his pockets. Maybe he needed money as much as she did. Obviously, neither of them had been taught the proper etiquette for an actual, finite miracle. Jonas danced into the aisle with his arms lifted over his head catching the falling money.

Then noise and spraying bullets cut across his middle, folding him onto the floor.