A stocky man in his mid-thirties put away his mobile phone and walked slowly towards the big house in Gidea Park. He walked around the back, climbed over the garden fence and tried the handle of the back door, it was locked. He took a bunch of keys from his pocket and within a few seconds he was standing in the kitchen. The house was in darkness, the residents in their beds. He started to climb the stairs, one by one, gently, so that none of them made a sound as he put his weight on them. He reached the landing at the top, took a few more steps and turned the handle of the first bedroom door. In the bed in front of him was a sleeping woman. He walked towards her, towards……….Laura Samuels.
DCI Spencer was back in his office at the station. The clock on the wall was reminding him that it was almost one o’clock in the morning and he should be home in bed. But there was too much information running through his mind and he knew that sleep would be impossible. From the top drawer of his desk he pulled out a half full bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label and poured himself a mug full. As the harsh sharp taste hit his throat he started to relax. It had been one hell of a day. He started to go through the day’s events and tried to make sense of them.
Ray Samuels had spoken to the media and suddenly he was some kind of national treasure, the peoples champion. He said he wanted to change the way the world was run by a series of peaceful protests. But he was also threatening that there was more to come. No longer was he the angel faced, blue eyed boy. Now he was something completely different. Something much more powerful. Something quite scary.
Then there was Swan. He had suddenly become a nasty piece of work, fanatical about stopping Ray Samuels at any cost. He was up to something, something bad, possibly something unspeakable. He didn’t like the way Swan operated. He thought about his own career, he’d always been a good copper, not always popular, but fair. He’d joined the force to help people not hurt or destroy them. After he’d done his time on the beat he’d spent a few years with the murder squad. Promotion came quickly but never at the cost of others. Swan was different. He was ruthless. Maybe that’s why he was now a Commander. But he was a powerful man that reported only to Ministers. Spencer knew he would have to watch his step.
He sat back in his chair and finished the tumbler, then poured himself another, hoping that it might help the bad thoughts go away. It didn’t.
Stacey Samuels needed to pee, she needed to pee urgently. Too many cups of tea during the day had made her wake up at 1.00am and get out of bed and walk towards the bathroom.
As she walked past her Mums bedroom she noticed that the door was open, this was unusual. Mum always closed her door when she went to bed, it had become a ritual, she said it was the only place she could really be alone. Stacey looked in, her Mum was in the bed, no Jim tonight, he was away on business. She walked towards the bed. Her Mum was very still, peaceful.
She leaned over and whispered.
“Mum, you okay, Mum?
There was no answer. She spoke louder.
“Mum, Mum, wake up, you okay?”
Still no answer. She started to shake her mum by the shoulder. Laura didn’t respond.
“Mum, mum, please wake up, please Mum, please!”
She ran into her own room found her mobile and dialled 999.
Swan was in his study at home when he got the call on his mobile. A voice on the other end said carefully.
“It’s done Sir.”
Swan hung up and sat down.
He didn’t know why, but he felt angry. An anger that he’d never experienced before. Ray Samuels seemed to have awakened something within him that he didn’t know he possessed. It was as if he didn’t care anymore, he just knew what he had to do. Laura was the first step, the first step in making Samuels see sense. The people above him had told him that he needed to stop Samuels at any cost. They of course hadn’t been specific, they never were, but he knew what they meant. So the first step in accomplishing his objective was done. Ray Samuels would see sense now. He sniffed the air. He could smell damp.
Stacey was shaking, she was at her Mums side still begging her to wake up, she was holding her Mums hand, it was still warm but she couldn’t feel a pulse, she heard a noise downstairs.
“Up here, please quickly, it’s my Mum she’s not breathing.”
She heard footsteps on the stairs and then a deep and familiar voice.
“It’s okay Stacey it’s me, Ray.”
Ray entered the bedroom and walked over to where Stacey was cradling her mum. She looked confused.
“But how did you know?”
Ray smiled at her
“I just knew. Now leave me with your Mum for a few minutes will you. Close the door.”
Stacey started to cry. The tears were uncontrollable.
“The ambulance is on its way Ray. It’ll be here in a minute. I think she’s gone, I think she’s gone!”
Ray held her tight by the arms. He looked into her eyes with a deep stare.
“Stacey, listen to me, leave me and your Mum for a few minutes, please. Now go!”
Stacey did as she was told and ran from the room closing the door behind her.
Ray knelt beside Laura. He held her right hand and put his other hand on her forehead. A few seconds passed and Ray suddenly felt new warmth to Laura’s hand, he could hear her breathing again. She was unconscious but she was alive.
He heard noises outside the bedroom; Stacey came in followed by two paramedics.
“It’s okay Sir, we’ll take it from here.”
Ray stood up and Stacey ran to him, fearing the worst. Before she could say anything Ray whispered to her.
“She’s fine Stacey, she’ll be fine.”
“But I thought she’d gone Ray, I thought we’d lost her?”
“Just for a short while but she’s back now, she’ll be fine”
Laura was taken into the ambulance, still unconscious but breathing unaided. Stacey went with her. Ray stayed behind, he said there was something he had to do and then he would follow on.
He picked up the telephone in the hallway and dialled a number that he read from a business card.
A man answered. Ray spoke very slowly.
“For every life that comes back one has to be taken. I’m afraid they are the rules. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Goodbye Commander.”
He hung up the phone.
Fifty miles away, Commander Swan put down the phone, slightly confused. The smell of damp was now at its strongest. It was then that he felt the sudden pain in the left side of his body. It travelled along his arm and into his chest, it felt like he was being pushed down by a tremendous weight that was caving in his chest. He started to fall. He was dead before he hit the floor.