The Men In The Shadows ( Part3)

Jake. pic

Jake tried to concentrate on his job for the rest of the day. The machine he controlled drilled holes into square pieces of copper and brass. Once done they went on to be trimmed and burnished and by the end of the process they became door hinges. It was mundane and boring work but if you weren’t fully on top of it then you were liable to make mistakes. Mistakes meant wastage and wastage cost money. If Pisshead thought you were costing the company money then you were fired on the spot. There was no way he could lose this job. Not now.
At six o’clock he looked over at Pissheads office and saw he was still asleep in his chair. He turned his machine off and left the warehouse.
He’d been worried about his mum and dad all day. What if the phone call he’d received in the café had triggered something? What if the men had lost patience and decided to show him they meant business.
The walk home normally took around forty minutes, today he did it in under thirty!
He walked into the house and was relieved to see his dad in the kitchen drinking a cup of tea.
“Bloody hell Jake, what did you do, run home? You look knackered!”
“Something like that dad, everything okay?”
“Yeh fine, mums just popped to the shops to get some milk.”
“Okay, I’ll go up and have a shower then come down for tea.”
Jake went upstairs and cleaned up. He put on an old track suit and returned downstairs. His mum and dad had already started to eat. His mum gave him a big smile.
“Yours is in the microwave Jake, just heat it up for a couple of minutes.”
Jake pushed the buttons on the microwave and was deep in thought. He wasn’t really listening to his parent’s conversation but two words that his dad said made him turn round.
“What was that about a squashed nose?”
Jakes dad finished chewing his pork chop and started laughing.
“Yeh, all a bit of a mix up, there were these three bailiffs turned up today, big buggers they were, one of them had a squashed nose that seemed to go right across his face.”
Jake tried to act casual as he removed his dinner from the microwave.
“So…what did they want?”
“Nothing, their paperwork was all messed up. Turned out they’d got the wrong address, mind you wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of those three. They looked like real nasty bastards to me.”
Jake sat down at the kitchen table. He ate his dinner slowly. For the first time since this whole weird experience had begun it had suddenly become real. This was no mistaken identity, no stupid wind up, no silly game. These guys were professionals. They’d done their homework. They knew all about him and his mum and dad and now they’d even been to the house.
He put down his knife and fork. His dinner hardly touched. He pushed his plate forward. His mum gave him one of her looks.
“What up Jake? Not like you to leave food on the plate.”
Jake gave out a long sigh.
“Bit knackered that’s all. Been a long day. Up early again tomorrow so think I’ll have an early night.”
He kissed his mum goodnight and shook his Dads hand, that’s the way it always was, kiss mum but never dad.
He didn’t sleep well that night, he tossed and turned and was up at five. He decided to go straight to work. He left home at 5.45.
He walked his usual route and noticed a car was driving slowly towards him. It was a blue Bentley, it stopped when it reached Jake, the door opened.
“You’re early Jake, get in.”
Jake did as he was told and got in the back seat of the luxury car.
“You were a bit out of order yesterday Jake, did you forget your orders?”
Jake nodded.
“No, no, no, Jake. You’ve got to say the words. It’s the rules.”
“Yes, sorry, I forgot.”
“Okay, let’s forget about yesterday, maybe it’s time to bring you up to speed, you ready Jake?”
Jake nodded. Then quickly remembered he had to say the words.
“Yes I’m ready.”
“Good Boy.”
The guy with the squashed nose gave Jake an envelope.
“Take this Jake, it’s two grand. There’ll be another two when you do good and then another two when it’s all over, understand?”
Jake nodded and said the words.
“I understand.”
“You see Jake it’s easy. Now go to work and we’ll call you tomorrow. But, remember Jake we’ll be watching.”
Jake got out of the car and walked to work. He stopped at the café and got a mug of tea, his hands were shaking.
He looked inside the envelope; it was full of Scottish twenty pound notes. He’d never seen so much money in all his life, Mum and Dad could have a nice holiday on this lot. But what did these guys want from him? He still didn’t know and they’d given him no clues. But it must be something important if he was getting six grand for it. He drank his tea and went to work.
When he arrived Stevie was already there.
“Fuck me, what did you do, shit the bed?”
Jake ignored him.
“Oi Jake, come on why so early?”
“Fuck off Stevie, I’ve got work to do.”
He left Stevie standing there open mouthed and walked into the warehouse.



  1. Ooh this is gritty and absorbing. Need to backtrack but it made a dark beach read. Dialogue’s so authentic and my guts were twisted.

    • Thanks Ray. I wrote this about two years ago. It’s novel length, but always thought of it as more of a good story than a book. if that makes sense?

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