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The Gardner Heist

by Carolyn Oliver

I don’t particularly want to be freezing my ass off at 2:30 in the godforsaken dark morning after St. Paddy’s. I’d rather be out with my buddies, drinking and having a go at the other Isabella, the one with big green eyes that never see me. But these two assholes in their fake uniforms, carrying the second load and walking back to the car now? They told me they could make all my problems go away. All I gotta do is take a little drive to Philly and disappear. I guess the drive is the harder half.

Author's Note

The twenty-fifth anniversary of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft fell at the tail-end of a long, cold winter here in Boston, and one night I found myself wondering what it would have been like to be a getaway driver (not that there was one) waiting in the dark for the end of the robbery. Initially this story was longer and more detailed, but I kept peeling away phrase after phrase, thinking of those empty frames on the museum walls, until it captured just one imaginary piece of the night.

Carolyn Oliver lives in Massachusetts with her family. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Midway Journal, Valparaiso Fiction Review, Pulp Literature, and Constellations, among other journals. Her website is

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