PAYBACK TIME ( Part 1)

Craig Williams and Danny Selby were talking outside the old run down Tower Block on the Kilby Estate. Craig was twenty nine and five years older than Danny. Both worked for Paul Fletcher, the local supplier of all things narcotic. They were discussing they’re preferred drug of choice. Craig was adamant about Cocaine. The conversation was like a boxing match.
“Look, the possibilities are endless with the stuff, you can sniff it, smoke or inject it, fuck me you can even drink the shit, it gives you a buzz like nothing else, makes you do things faster than you normally would and makes you as horny as fuck.”
Danny took the shots but came back strong.
“You might feel as horny as fuck, but the problem is you can’t get a stiffy!”
Craig countered.
“That’s when you need to take a little blue pill, to help in the downstairs department.”
Danny wasn’t having it. He threw his own combination.
“Yeh, then you’re as stiff as a board for hours, your bird’s red raw, had enough and fallen asleep and you’re still rock solid with nowhere to go.”
Craig came back with a volley.
“That’s when you take your weed, to chill out, calm everything down.”
Danny was bruised but was still punching.
“Yeh, then you’re so chilled out you don’t want to do anything or go anywhere.”
Craig delivered the final blow.
“That’s when you take some more fucking coke!”
The two of them roared with laughter.
Danny shook his head and looked at Craig.
“You are one crazy, fucked up wanker.”
Craig lit up a gigantic spliff, took a long draw then passed it to Danny. He ignored it. He’d noticed someone looking over at them. He was a fair distance away and he had his hood up but it looked like he was looking in their direction. Danny gave Craig a nudge.
“Who’s that guy over there?”
Craig looked over.
“Fuck knows. Can’t make him out from here, maybe he wants some gear, call him over.”
Danny gave a shout.
“Oi mate, you after something?”
The stranger walked a few steps closer and shook his head from side to side. Danny wasn’t impressed.
“Well fuck off then and stop staring you cunt.”
The stranger took a few steps forward. He was no more than fifty yards away. He stood still.
Danny looked at Craig.
“Is this cunt for real?”
“I think he’s calling you out Dan, I think he’s taking the piss out of you.”
Craig was winding Danny up, something he loved to do. Danny was beginning to lose his temper.
“Oi mate, you listening to me, I said fuck off, or I’ll come over there and cut your fucking ears off.”
The stranger stood his ground, took off his hood and gave then both a wide grin. Then very slowly turned and started to walk away.
Craig’s jaw opened so wide that Danny thought he was having some kind of stroke.
“Oh fuck, oh fuck, did you see who that was, did you fucking see?”
Danny had no idea what Craig was talking about.
“See what, you mad fuck.”
“The guy, did you see who it was?”
“No, how the fuck would I know who it was, just some arsehole winding you up.”
Craig was beginning to panic; he was pacing up and down, mumbling to himself.
“It can’t be, no way, he’s still inside, won’t be out for ages yet, can’t be him, not him, if it’s him we’re all fucked, but no way, it can’t be.”
Danny got hold of Craig by the shoulders.
“Will you fucking calm down, you’re beginning to get on my nerves now, what the fucks going on?”
Craig took a deep breath.
“I think I just saw someone. Someone from back in the day. But it can’t be him cos he’s banged up, but it really looked like him, even the way he smiled, that fucking silly grin of his, he looked older but then he would look older, haven’t seen him for six years. I should call Paul.”
Now Danny started to panic.
“Look, you know the rules, you only call Paul in an absolute fucking emergency. Call Ross if you have to, he’s the number two, but not Paul, you know what he’s like if you interrupt him, he could be playing golf or be on a beach somewhere, you interrupt him and he will go ape shit”
“Dan, you don’t understand, if I saw who I think I just saw, Paul will want to know straightaway, I’ve gotta call him!”
“Well make sure he knows it’s nothing to do with me when you interrupt him.”
Danny walked off, he wanted no part of what was about to happen. Paul Fletcher was one nasty bastard. If you interrupted his day for some silly reason, he was likely to send someone round to re-arrange your face. He’d seen it done, poor Des from the Pride Estate had two fingers cut off cos he called Paul on a Sunday when he was having dinner with his family.
Fletcher was a fucking nutter.
Craig took his mobile out of his pocket, took a deep breath and dialled Paul’s number, it rang twice then a voice said.
“This had better be fucking good Craig or you and me are gonna have a real problem.”
“Paul, Paul, really sorry to call you like this but I thought you should know straightaway.”
“What about, you fucked up junky?”
“I just saw Terry Murphy!”
“Repeat what you just said.”
“ I just saw Terry Murphy, right here on the Kilby Estate, he was about fifty yards away and he just looked over and smiled at me, then walked off, it was him Paul, I’m sure of it.”
Craig couldn’t say anything else. The phone went dead.
Paul Fletcher was in his garden, he was trying to think but it was difficult with all the noise around him, he could feel his blood pressure rising, suddenly his bubble burst.
“Stop, stop all this fucking noise and all go away for half an hour, do you fucking hear me!”
Immediately the two diggers stopped, the two men jumped off the machinery and were quickly followed out of the garden by four other labourers, they all knew better than to argue with Mr Fletcher.
“Good, now I can get some fucking quiet!”
He was having a swimming pool put in his garden. He was determined that it would be the biggest and best on the private estate where he lived. Next door was the lead singer of some nineties pop band, he’d just had a pool put in his garden, but nowhere near the size of this one and just up the road the ex-Heavyweight Champion of the World had one put in two years ago, but that was tiny compared to what Paul Fletcher had planned.
He needed time to think, he should call his solicitor see if the rumour about Terry Murphy was true, he would know or at least he fucking should know!
He called his Solicitor, Tom Marks. Tom answered after just one ring.
“Hi Paul, you okay?”
There was silence for a few seconds then Paul spoke.
“How much did I pay you last year?”
“Sorry Paul, what was that?”
“How much of my fucking money did your firm get last year?”
“I’m not quite sure Paul, why?”
“Seven Hundred Grand, that’s how much you cunts took off me and guess what, you can’t even do your fucking job properly!”
“Slow down Paul, what’s this all about?”
“Terry fucking Murphy, that’s what this is all about, one of my boys just saw him on the Kilby Estate, how the fuck can that be possible?”
“No way, Paul, he got twelve years, with a recommendation by the judge to serve at least ten, it’s only been, what, six?”
“Don’t tell me what I already fucking know, just check it out and call me back in ten minutes.”
Paul hung up, he liked to hang up on people, it made him feel in control.
He walked back into the three storey, six bedroom house and headed for the games room. At the end of the long room on the far wall were eight small TV screens, all showing some part of the house, the best CCTV system money could buy. He studied them closely everything was quiet. He made another call.
“John? Are you and Tony outside in the Range Rover?”
“Yes boss, as always.”
“Good, keep your fucking eyes open, you hear me?”
“Yes boss.”
He started to calm down a bit, Craig was a good earner for him but he used too much of the gear himself. He must have imagined it, fucked up junky that he was, he’d probably had some kind of flashback or hallucination that’s all. No way was it Terry Murphy.
His phone rang. It was Tom Marks.
“Yeh go on.”
There was a slight hesitation in Tom’s voice.
“Sorry Paul but it’s true. He was released from Brixton at eight o’clock this morning, done half his term so let out on licence.”
He paused and waited for a response. None came. He tried to soften the blow.
“But he’ll have to report to a probation officer and he’ll be well watched.”
The response came in a loud rant.
“Don’t be a cunt Tom, this is Terry Murphy we’re talking about, he’ll have all those pricks in his pocket, so what happened to the Judges recommendation about doing at least ten?”
“Prison overcrowding Paul, the Home Office is under pressure to get the numbers down so they’re letting people go early.”
“Cunts!”
“Look Paul, you’ve got a team of guys, a great security system in place, he’d be mad to come after you.”
Paul Fletcher laughed.
“You cunt, he is mad! I’m the one that shot him and took over his business, of course he’ll come after me!”
Paul hung up just as one of the diggers started to rev up again in his garden.
He ran as fast as he could through the house and into the garden, he leapt onto the digger and dragged the driver out of the seat by his throat. Once on the ground Paul kicked him hard in the stomach and then again as hard as he could in the face. Blood poured out of the man’s nose, mouth and eye socket. Paul looked down at him and gave him a smile.
“I said take half an hour, it’s only been twenty eight fucking minutes!”
He turned and walked back into the house.

Who Is Jack Winter ( Part 15)

On the way back to his office Jack stopped at the Cabinet Room. It was empty. The large cigar shaped boardroom table was impressive. Jack counted the chairs. Thirty six. But only twenty four had leather folders and name plates in front of them. He walked around it to find his place. He and the PM were seated next to each other on the left hand side of the table. Next to Jack was George Carson, the Home Secretary. He took George Carson’s name tag and swapped it with Harriet Knowles. That should really piss the old bastard off.
He made his way back to his own office. Once inside he poured himself a large whisky and took two more blues and greens. That should keep him going till lunch time. It would also make his mind as sharp as a butcher’s knife.
He re-entered the cabinet room at 07.45. Fifteen minutes early. He was surprised to see almost every seat taken. Only two were empty. His and the PM’s.
The cocktail of pills and whisky he’d taken just a few minutes earlier were having the desired effect. He felt on top of the world. He stood at the doorway and looked around the room. All eyes were on him. Time to get into character. Time to take control. He spoke loudly.
“Good morning everyone and thank you for being so punctual. The PM should be here shortly.”
In those few words he’d set the scene. Jack Winter had arrived.
He strode confidently to the middle of the table and took his seat. Sitting to his right, smiling, was Harriet Knowles. He slipped his right hand under the table and gave her knee a gentle squeeze.
Before he could move his hand up to her thigh, Harold Simpson breezed in accompanied by Maurice Wells. The PM took his seat next to Jack. Maurice took a seat behind them. The PM looked around the table then spoke.
“Good morning everyone. I won’t keep you away from your offices for too long, I’m sure you’re all anxious to get on with the job in hand. I’ll have one to one meetings with each of you in the weeks ahead but for now I want to share a few things with you.”
For the next twenty minutes the PM waffled on about the party being behind in the latest opinion polls and with the general election just a few months away how it was time for change. New blood and new ideas were needed. They would all face big challenges in the weeks ahead. But they had to be strong and remain loyal. Then Jack heard his name mentioned.
“What are your thoughts Jack?”
For some reason that even Jack couldn’t explain, he stood up. The blues and greens were working their magic. He suddenly felt like Mel Gibson in Braveheart. His brain was recalling great lines from films that he’d seen. Then everything fell into place.
“For me it’s simple. We must restore abundance amid an economic shortfall, we must secure peace in a time of global conflict, and we must sustain hope in a time of anxiety and fear. More than any time in recent history we must convince the people of this country that that is exactly what we intend to do. Starting right now. Remember, it’s the journey that’s never started that takes the longest to finish!”
He’d just recited lines from the American TV series, The West Wing and something that Gandalf said to Bilbo in The Hobbit. He gambled none of these wankers would have heard any of it before. He was right.
The PM was first to applaud. Then the rest of the cabinet followed.
“Well done Jack. That’s exactly the spirit I’m looking for.”
The PM closed his folder and stood up.
“On that inspiring note from Jack, I will leave you. Maurice will be in touch to arrange a more personal and private meeting in a few days’ time.”
The room emptied quickly. He noticed glances from The Home Secretary and the Chancellor. They weren’t exactly complimentary. He thought he heard the word imbecile. Jack knew that it was a posh word for wanker.
He whispered in Harriet’s ear.
“Don’t leave yet.”
Harriet remained seated until they were alone in the Cabinet room, then she turned to him and spoke quietly in case they were being overheard.
“Great speech Mr Winter. Or do I have to call you Deputy Prime Minister?”
Jack grinned and stared into Harriet’s eyes.
“You can call me anything or anytime you want. Anyway, education is key at the moment so we need to spend a lot of time together.”
Harriet started to blush. But kept her composure.
“Okay, I suppose that’s a good idea. But tell me Jack. Why do you keep staring at me?”
“Honestly?”
“Yes.”
“I keep wondering what face you’ll pull when I’m giving you an orgasm.”
Her face was now the colour of a Post Office Pillar Box.
“And tell me Mister Winter. What makes you think you could do that?”
Jack continued staring into her eyes.
“Because I can eat a peach for hours!”
They were interrupted by the appearance of Maurice Wells at the doorway.
“Jack, sorry to interrupt, but can you spare me a few minutes?”
Jack stood up.
“Of course Maurice. I was just telling Harriet how important Education will be in the run up to the election.”
Harriet picked up her notes and tucked them away safely in her leather folder.
“Thank you Jack. You’ve given me a lot to think about.”
Making sure that Maurice couldn’t see. Jack gave her a wink. She left.
Maurice walked into the room and took a seat opposite Jack.
“Well done this morning Jack. Very impressive for your first cabinet meeting. The PM is very pleased with you. Now we need to bring you up to speed for the meetings with the US President the day after tomorrow. So tell me what do you know about Victor Kennedy?”
Jack sat back in his chair and began to recite everything he knew about the US President.
“He’s 52, a Republican, married with two sons. Used to be Governor of Wyoming. Has a Law degree. Big on social reform. Likes Country and Western music. Plays the banjo.”
Maurice waived his hand in front of his face as though he was dismissing everything Jack had just said.
“Listen Jack. The man’s a fucking cowboy. A gunslinger. Thinks he’s John Wayne. Believes that America should police the world. He’s a devious, nasty, two faced, womanising bully boy. If we’re not careful he’ll walk all over the PM just like Bush did with Blair!”
Jack kept a straight face but was secretly thinking that he and Mister Kennedy might have a lot in common…