“What the fuck are we supposed to do now!” I watched as Jonny paced around the room with jerky movements, bit like a pissed spaz.
“Calm down,” I told him, he was trampling bloody footprints all over the floor and getting right on my nerves. His voice was one of those nasally ones that sounds like he’s talking thought his nose. Now, as he was panicking it sounded as if he had a bee stuck up it. I reached into my pocket, if he didn’t calm down he was going to get a Phillips up it. “If you keep making a racket like that the neighbours will hear.
I walked over to the telly, fumbled for the on button and then turned up the volume, hoping it would stop the neighbours from hearing Jonny’s bitching. Holly, the girl with the lovely big tits came on, smiling with that massive mouth of hers. I watched a porno with a lookalike that managed to get four pricks into her mouth whilst taking one up the arse and another in her fanny. Looking at Holly, I reckoned she could get at least six pricks in it.
“But he doesn’t have the money! Denny said he would have the money. All we had to do was come round here, get the money and fuck him up. Denny won’t believe that we don’t have the money, he’ll think we nicked it.” He started sobbing before he got halfway through his rant, and was full-blown crying, snot bubbles and all, by the time he finished.
Why the fuck Denny saddled me with a prick like Jonny I’ll never know. He was as useful as a chocolate teapot, and even that was being generous. Everything he did turned to shit. Everything he touched broke. Look at Smithy.
I told Jonny to rough him up a bit. He was tied to a chair, gagged and hooded. His chest was rising and falling like he had just run a marathon, and he was making little farting noises through the gag. Made me laugh a bit actually. Farts are fucking funny. One of my favourites jokes is to let out a silent but really fucking deadly, in a car or a lift is best, and then ask if anyone can smell popcorn. The looks on people’s faces are priceless as they take massive breaths.
Anyway, Smithy. Orders were to hurt him and then convince him to tell us where the money was. After that we were to pour petrol over him and make sure he was good a crispy. Denny likes to send people an ‘unequivocally clear message.’
Jonny was good at roughing people up, he was also a complete fucking remi. He started off well, softening Smithy with some slaps across the face, building up the anticipation of what was to come. With the hood, every hit to the face was sudden and unknown. There was no chance of riding the blow, or ducking your head slightly so that the blows start to hurt your tormentor as well.
Once he’d slapped Smithy good and proper, real slaps mind, not the sort of slap a poof gives his cock-bitch, but real arm back and hip swing into it slaps, he moved on to the collar bones. Karate chops, sudden and heavy handed, hit a man hard enough there and you break the bones, killing his ability to fight back. Not that we wanted broken bones mind, too much pain like that and a man blacks out. Makes asking questions all the more difficult, and that’s dead fucking boring as you have to keep waking the shits up.
The belly was next, shovel uppercuts and straight punches, delivered from the knees as punching down doesn’t work so well, if they fold slightly when you’re rocking out a nice combination you can break your hand dead easy.
That’s when Jonny really fucked up. All week he’s been going on about how he’s started training in MMA, or mixed martial arts. He fancied himself as some sort of fucking hard guy, he’s not, he’s just fucked up in the head. When it comes to it, when he’s facing someone who is just as trained, just as willing to have a good fucking ruck, Jonny folds. Every. Single. Time. He’s a coward. He has his uses, like if its two on one and he’s part of the two, then he’s on it like a Ferret down your trousers. Or if he’s beating the living shit out of someone who’s hooded and tied to a chair.
The fuck up came in the form of Jonny deciding that he would show me a kick he had learned, a ‘Tip’ or teep. I already knew what he was on about as it’s a term from Muay Thai, something that I’m more than slightly au faith with. After all, what’s the point of being in my line of work if you can’t defend yourself. Something that Jonny had only just twigged onto.
Before I could stop him, he did a double-switch of the leg and then bladed the kick out. If you think of someone trying to kick a door open, but with their foot pointed forward you’ll get the idea. Against someone standing up, it will either fold them if you hit them in the stomach, or knock them back if they have good abs or can take a bit of punishment. If you can get it under their jaw it will knock them clean out.
What the fucking twat did not take in to consideration was the fact that his target was tied to a chair. He couldn’t absorb or rock with the kick. The force of the kick was direct, starting with Jonny and going through Smithy. If Jonny had aimed low and gone with the gut, he might have got away with it. As it was, Jonny Fuck Up went high, catching him above the breastbone.
Now, if someone is sat down, and you push them up high, they tend to topple backwards. If you kick them with all the force a twenty-year-old prick like Jonny can muster, they fall back with a lot of force. Which is exactly what Smithy did. Straight onto the hearth of his fireplace. It was a proper one too, not one of those modern ones you tend to get. It was all concrete and green tiles. Had a really nice edge too. The sort that stoves a man’s head in when it smashes down onto it after some prick has kicked him over.
I watched Jonny spaccing out a bit more about how we were dead because Smithy didn’t have the money and Denny would think we took it and ‘we’ll never be able to ask Smithy where it is now.’ He was right in that respect. Smithy’s legs were finished doing the hanging man’s jig and he had stopped snoring really loudly, even with the gag. When someone hits their head and gets knocked out, if they snore, it’s a bad sign. Add about a pint of blood and some pinkish gloop to that, and things are really serious. When the spazzing and the snoring stops, you can guarantee they’re dead.
Leaving Jonny to carry on, I dropped Denny a text.
Jonny is a cunt. He killed Smithy. No chance of finding the money. What now?
I can’t stand what the yoof of today call text speak. It’s not text speak, it’s leet or l337, and was first used on computers in the last century. Now, it’s what I call ‘chavspeak’ and a fucking excuse for being an illiterate prick. I might swear and shit, but at least I can string a sentence together. Denny hates text speak too, ‘I don’t want to have to fucking work out what you’ve written before I can even start to reply’, he said when he gave us all mobiles.
He’s good like that. He knows that crims have to move with the times and that twats like Jonny would use a phone that was registered to their name and Facebook about what they’d been doing. So, he gave us phones that could text and take photos. No Internet, no video, just phones that were pretty much phones. None of the numbers were in our names, and they were all pay as you go. As soon as any of us thought we were gong to be picked up, orders were to get the sim and wreck it.
Jonny was so busy shitting bricks about his fuck up that he didn’t even notice me send the message. He stopped pacing when I got the reply though, his mouth hanging open as he stopped mid-bleat.
‘Who’s that then?’ He asked. Like he didn’t fucking know. No one else apart from him and Denny knew the number, we were a cell. Completely cut off from the rest of the gang in terms of direct comms. We’d meet up for the annual barbecue and the Christmas dinner, but none of us could contact the others directly.
I didn’t answer, just read the message.
Kill the cunt. Burn the place down.
I looked up at Jonny, ‘He says we have to burn the place and get out. Grab the petrol.’
The can was behind him. Typical Jonny, he didn’t even think to ask how Denny knew things had gone wrong. As soon as he turned, I moved. I brought the Phillips out of my pocket, and lunged forward. Clamping my left hand over his mouth I piston punched the screwdriver into his kidney, wrenched his head to the rear and stabbed repeatedly into his neck. Not many people know this, but the untrained person can stab someone four to six times a second. Jonny got far more than that, I wanted to make sure that I killed him before I set him alight. I owed him that much after all.
I could feel him try to scream the first few stabs, but the fight went out of him pretty quickly after I got in the neck. Lowering him to the floor I waited until he bled out, avoiding his eyes, avoiding the look he would be giving me. I’d seen that look once before when someone else had fucked up and needed to be removed, and it took a good couple of years to be able to forget them. I wasn’t going to repeat the experience with a prick like Jonny.
Jonny had been right about one thing. No way was Denny going to believe that Jonny killed Smithy before we got the money. When you run an agency like ours, it pays to be paranoid. Very paranoid. If you trust anyone too much, or show them too much respect, you get slack. When you get slack you lose your edge and start to think of the people working for you as people. And that, in this line of work is fatal.
Even worse than that was I knew that Denny knew I wasn’t a mug. He was planning to get rid of me already. Texts would be going out already. My address, a recent picture, where I was right now. Thank fuck I never had a girlfriend. She would be the first thing that they used against me. First they’d beat her, then rape her, and then they’d kill her in a horrifically inventive manner. All whilst I watched. One girl was choked to death with her boyfriend’s prick shoved down her throat.
No family either. I cut those ties a long time ago. My first and only conviction actually. The shame was too much for them. A copper caught with his fingers in the wallet of a dead dealer would never be accepted back into the fold.
It didn’t take too long for Jonny to die, so I quickly splashed the petrol all over the bodies, took a hammer to their teeth and made sure that the petrol covered their fingers and their hands were palms up. Hopefully the bodies would be so well burnt that the police would have to resort to DNA typing, which would give me a little bit longer to stay ahead of them.
It’s amazing just how fast old buildings flare up. People tend to forget about floorboards that have been drying out for decades. They also forget that a lot of old houses have lots of layers of carpet, usually with newspaper laid between them, and a fair few layers of wallpaper and paint. When you add an accelerant such as copious amounts of petrol to the mix, strategically closed doors and open windows, you end up with a bonfire that would make a pyromaniac cum in his pants.
There was lots of screaming and some shouting from the neighbours, most likely worried that their houses would catch as well. Like with how well they burn, they also forget that a lot of these old houses have dividing walls that are at least two bricks thick. Good bricks, not the shit they make modern houses out of. Bricks made to last. Bricks made to last that are fucking good at stopping fires from getting too far. Unless they get into the roof spaces that is. Which is what happened. When it doesn’t rain, it fucking pisses it down. I just hope that no one with influence owns one.
I scanned the crowd, looking for anyone that stood out from the crowd of gawkers. Someone standing too still, standing too far back from the crowd to be part of the crowd. Someone who was dressed wrongly for the area. Someone who just felt wrong. Bingo.
He was a big bastard, leather jacket, black jeans, black shoes and a black hoody underneath the jacket. He was ready for working for the shadows. I just hoped he was ready to become part of them. Fuck it, if he wasn’t ready he was going to fucking die anyway. No way was I going down for something I hadn’t done. I’m like that you see. If I’m caught for something I’ve done, I’m caught and I’ll say so. After all, it’s my own fucking fault if I get caught. But I won’t cop it for something some other twat had gone and fucked up. I didn’t kill Smithy and I sure as shit wont go down for his death. Especially not to an amateur like the prick I’d just spotted. That would be embarrassing.
I made sure he caught sight of my side profile and moved off to a little lane running down to the back lane of the terrace. With all the noise and shot that was going on at the front of the terrace, no one would hear us having a ruck. Even better, they wouldn’t see us.
As soon as I turned the corner I realised just how dark it was. I thought I’d gone blind. Quick as a whippet after a rabbit, I dropped to the floor in a kneel. When he turned the corner he would be just as blinded as I was. He would be looking ahead, left and right, not down.
Sure enough the poor bastard came blundering around the corner, cursing as he lost his sight and stopping pretty much in the same place as I did. In the words of the Great Hannibal, I love it when a plan comes together.
I moved faster than shit off a shovel. A quick spring forward and I rammed the Phillips into is groin, just where the crease of the leg is, all eight inches of it. That brought his head down bloody fast, which was great as I was bringing mine up. It hurt me, but it smashed his nose and sent him whipping back up.
An elbow to the inside of the knee took him to the ground and I stabbed my way up his body, finishing with a coup de grace through the eye. He died without a murmur, the best kill of the evening.
Looking back on the night so far, I was pretty impressed. I’d been given one person to kill and ended up killing three. Denny is not a man to give up easily, so I knew that I would have to deal with a couple more people like me. I would also have to kill Denny. Kill him, and the lads looking for me would have no reason to keep coming after me. Kill Denny, and no one got paid.
It was a risky move, going back to my apartment, but I had a good Go bag hidden in it. As well as a few liquid assets that would help me re-establish myself. Somewhere hot and fucking miles away from here.
I’d chosen a second floor flat because it made it harder for someone to break into, either planned or on a whim, and was high enough to make people think I wouldn’t jump for it if I had to. Going in through the front door would have been stupid, and that’s one thing I’m not. What I hoped no-one knew was that I had a third floor flat right above the one I supposedly lived in. A fucking genius move.
The door was untouched, I could tell by the fact that the small hairs and invisible thread I’d put in various places around it were unbroken. I cracked it open quietly nonetheless and listened to hear if any bastard was waiting to slit my throat from the groin up.
Nothing. Not even a squeak from the well oiled hinges. It didn’t mean that no one was inside, it just meant that they were fucking good at staying quiet, but I couldn’t stand in the corridor like a spare prick at a wedding either.
Moving in I quickly closed my left eye and quickly flicked on the lights. Anyone waiting for me in the dark would be as blind as a bat for a few seconds, enough for me to spot them in the open plan apartment I’d created. Even the toilet was out in full sight. Completely against council regulations, but fuck it, I wasn’t going to be ambushed by anyone just because a prick in a suit thinks that I should have a set number of supporting walls.
Nobody was waiting, not in this flat anyway. Switching on the CCTV monitor on my desk I flicked between the cameras hidden in the rooms. They were day and night vision and I could see the two guys who were waiting for me sat very comfortably on my bed and in the reading chair I had positioned at the back of the lounge. I just hoped they’d helped themselves to the food and drink in the fridge or the booze in the cabinet. All of which were heavily dosed with potent laxatives. Childish on my behalf, but the thought of my potential killers shitting themselves and having a ring piece from hell made me grin like the Cheshire Cat.
I dropped Denny a text.
Smithy and Jonny gone. Back to mine unless you want to see me?
That would really piss him off, and set his paranoia off big time. Was I alive because the big’un had missed me? Was I alive because I’d killed big’un? Worse, was I alive because I had shared the money with big’un? Had I texted him to taunt him, or was I actually that fucking stupid that I really was going home.
No need to meet tonight. Will text tomorrow.
A few seconds after I got my text, the lads downstairs got theirs. I watched as they read the message and got themselves ready. Both of them had hand guns, but I couldn’t tell if they were pistols or revolvers. Not that it made too much of a difference save for the fact that pistols had more ammunition than revolvers and were quicker to reload. Revolvers, on the other hand, never jammed. You might get a dud round, but all you had to do was pull the trigger again and you would get the next shot off. With a pistol you would be lucky if all you had to do was chamber another round. Some jams were much harder to clear, and in a firefight, were the difference between living or dying.
Enough was enough. I couldn’t leave those boys waiting for me forever. My personal tools of choice are knives. They’re much more personal and you have to get in close, but at least you know that if you miss, you aren’t going to kill some poor sod out shopping with his family. They are also silent, never jam, and never misfire. A cut, one half inch deep will sever the artery in the bicep. Fourteen seconds after that, the target is unconscious. Three minutes after that, they’re dead. Now, I’m not going to be relying on just one cut like that, I’m going to be slicing and stabbing all over the place. Kind of makes it hard to squeeze off a shot if you’re busy trying to block a shit load of knife strikes.
They were fucking quiet, I’ll give them that. I stood outside my false flat for a good thirty seconds trying to hear if they were talking or shifting around, but I didn’t get a peep. These boys were the next level up from big’un, they’d had some proper training, or survived long enough to learn from their mistakes and put that knowledge to good use.
Wouldn’t help them though. They were already dead, I just had to kill them. My plan was both genius, simple, and a bit loud. I would bang on the door, shout I was police and tell me to open my door as copper me wanted to have a chat. If the door wasn’t opened, copper me would break it down and I would be in a world of shit.
This gave the lads inside four choices. One do nothing and see if it was a bluff, try to jump out of the window, wait for cooper me to come busting in, or have one of them answer the door and try to blag it.
Every door in the block had a peephole, which is great when the lighting is good, but I’d just replaced the bulb outside my flat with a faulty one that gave off what can only be described as fuck all light. It wasn’t bust, as that would make them suss, but it would make id’ing me just that bit harder, enough for them to answer the door. The fancy dress police uniform would keep them guessing too.
People always underestimate the effect a uniform can have on them. If someone in a suit told someone else not to stand on a specific area of paving that looked just fine, they’d be told to fuck off. If someone in a uniform does the same thing, people will go out of their way to obey. It’s social conditioning, and even criminals like the lads in my not apartment are affected by it just as much as anyone else.
Right now, adrenalin would be surging into their system, making them breath quicker, their hearing and vision would alter, giving them tunnel vision, their palms would sweat, their legs and arms would feel weak, and they’d probably need the loo. It affects people in different ways, but no matter how experienced you are, it still happens. How you deal with it is the key factor. Some people love it. I fucking hate it, but I’m used to channeling it. Most, when they experience a really heavy hit, mistake it for fear. It’s not fear, it’s just the way that the body gets itself ready to run like the fucking clappers, or to stand its ground and kick the living shite out of the thing that has just threatened it.
All of this would help me when one of them opened the door. At least, that was what I was counting on. I couldn’t afford to have them coming after me whilst I was trying to get out of this mess. In my line of business, tying up loose ends is crucial. I took a deep breath, held it, and then released it slowly.
“Police! Open up Green, we know you’re home. Open the fucking door!’ I banged on the door as hard as I could, making sure that my palm landed full on. Nice and loud.
The door cracked open, there was no chain on the inside, nothing to stop me barging forward, knife in my left hand. The lad caught the door full on and started to stagger back. As the door opened inwards, my left hand was clear of the edge before my right. He barely had a chance to open his mouth before I did an overhand thrust with the blade, cutting in- and down into his neck, severing the wind pipe and cutting through to the back of his neck.
I didn’t bother looking back as I continued moving into the corridor, with a cut that deep he would be dead soon, and was far too busy trying not to be dead to even think about coming after me. I heard movement to my right which meant that his mate was in the bedroom. It had a deliberately flimsy lock, which I smashed with one kick. As it slammed into the wall on the right, I knew that the guy in the room could only be in two other places. Sitting on my bed, or to the left of the door.
I went in low through the door, rolling forward towards my bed and lunged at the shadow sat on the edge. He managed to squeeze one shot off, the silenced pistol still sounding fucking loud to my ears. Coming out of the roll into a tuck, I thrust the knife up through his diaphragm and up into his chest, cutting right into the heart. He coughed once, blood burping out of his mouth, and then died.
Five fucking bodies. Five. There was only supposed to be one, but Denny had to fuck up by letting Jonny go on a job. Fuck that they’re cousins, or whatever shit. It’s not as if he really cared about him anyway, look at how fast he got me to slot him. There would be one more. One more and I’d be done. I’d be well and truly gone. The UK was not a place that I wanted to stay in anymore. Maybe I’d go for an extended stay in Canada. If all went to plan, I’d have enough money to not need to work again for a fucking long time.
When I was in the force, apart from the odd bit of snaffling here and there, I was bloody good at my job. I had to be, I was an undercover copper anyway, major crime. How else do you think I’d survived this long after all? I’d been paid by the force to be a bloody criminal, to mix with them, to be mates with them, and to commit crime when it meant that my cover was maintained. As such, I knew that Denny would be doing two things right now. The first would be shitting bricks about the fact that I’d offed so many of his boys. The second was that he would be shitting bricks as to whether I was going to come after him. Now, a bit later, or a few years later, it was all the same. Until my body was cut and fed to the pigs, I was a threat. I was a walking death threat and that was something that Denny could not just leave alone.
Being good at my job meant that I was able to find Denny’s place. It helped that I knew a few crooked cops who appreciated me not dropping them in the shit to save my own neck as well mind you. A number of whom were getting sick to the back teeth of having Denny’s boot on their necks. I got out of the car I’d ‘borrowed’ for the night and shook hands with those that had turned up to help out, no need to name them. They wanted to clear the favour I’d done them, and the fact that they’d see the end of Denny and get their hands on whatever he had stashed in his place would help as well.
“Remember, Denny is mine. I’m leaving this shit hole of a country anyway, and you seriously don’t want to get blood like this on your hands. I end Denny, I end the trouble I’m in and we’re all even. Okay?” They nodded, grunted, or did both. Adrenalin was starting to hit, limiting every movement, every word spoken so that their brains could deal with the threat at hand in the most simplistic way possible.
“Remember, we’re not here as cops. No shouting out ‘Police, stop’ or any other such bullshit. We steam in, I kill Denny and we fuck the place up just like any other bunch of crims would. Tool up, we hit them in five minutes.” Tool up, bit like saying fix bayonets. Two words that really get the adrenalin flowing, Adam’s apples bobbing and mouths drying. These weren’t fresh-faced babies out of the academy, it took more than a few years for a copper to drift off the straight and narrow, but even so, they were all quietly shitting bricks.
When we hit, we hit fucking hard. Denny was based in a very nice area of suburbia so we knew that we had less than eight minutes to do what needed to be done. The front door would be armoured to the max, designed to hold out against anything the police force had. It wasn’t armoured enough to stand up to the JCB we put through it. As soon as it had backed out of what I can only describe as a fucking big hole, we bundled through. All of the lads had brought shooters, all of which had been used by criminals before and would therefore cause a world of trouble for the dick that next used them if they were caught. Which they would be, the lads would make sure of that.
I was second in, I wanted to make sure that I made the most of the shock caused and knew that if anyone was going to get plugged it would be whoever was first in. I’d then have a good chance of getting the shooter and of moving deeper into the house before people really started to get their shit together. A huge fucking mountain of a man came barreling out of the kitchen at the end of the corridor ahead of us, dropping without a sound as the lad in front of me let loose with his sawn off.
“Reloading!” he stepped to one side, just inside the house and popped out the spent shells. We moved on, flowing into the house like a horde of pissed off soldier ants. The door to the living room was open and two of the lads piled in. I don’t know what they found, but there was a shit load of shooting, some screams and a shout of “Clear!”
At this time of night, I knew that Denny would be upstairs. I also knew that by now he would be wide awake and getting ready for whatever was coming his way. More shooting and screams came from the dining room as I reached the topmost steps and threw myself down and forward. Thank fuck I did, as the baseball bat that slammed into the wall would have seriously put a dent into my cognitive functions. See, I might swear a shit load, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a good vocab.
I lashed out with my knife, hacking into my attacker’s shin with a forehand and then immediately swung back across the bottom of his knee cap, forcing him back with a scream and taking his mind off hitting me long enough to scramble to my feet and see who I was up against. Denny.
“Fucking hell Dave, what the fuck do you think you’re doing in my house!” He winced as he tried to keep as much weight as possible off his bad leg. The bat shook in his hands as he held it in a form of high guard.
“Tying off loose ends. Bit like you.” He was trying to buy time, to hold out, to stay alive for as long as possible. He knew we had to get in and out before all the respectable citizens started screaming for help. In and out. Just like facing a baseball bat. The most dangerous part of the bat is the end. Stepping away from the bat doesn’t stop an attack, it just gives the attacker a chance at another swing. Stepping in, which is counter-intuitive, is the safest option. Bats are also hard to swing in corridors such as you find in houses.
“Nothing personal, Dave, you know that.” He lunged, thrusting the bat at my gut, forcing me to parry with my knife hand. I countered with a cross and rear front kick that sent him reeling.
Without giving him a chance to recover, I landed forward, and took a stepping lunge with my knife hand. I realised I’d scored when I felt his stomach against my hand. I cupped the back of his head and leaned in, “It’s always fucking personal Denny.” With that, I thrust further in, twisting the knife to cause as much damage as possible, pulled his head back and jammed the knife up through his neck and into his brain. His legs went, like a puppet whose string has been cut, and his body dropped to the floor, ripping the knife free with an awful sucking noise.
I span into a crouch as I heard footsteps behind me. “Woah, chill Dave, it’s me. We clear?” It was one of the lads, hands held high to show he wasn’t a threat, today at least.
I looked back at Denny’s body as it lay in an ever-growing pool of blood, “Yeah, we’re clear.”