Excerpt: A Loving Son
“Children were playing football Stanley watched them charging about all trying to kick the ball at the same time.
“Wotcha Stan, ain’t this great, you can’t beat summer in England.”
“No, it’s not bad you should be at the seaside. Eating ice-cream and getting sand up your arse.”
“Yes Stan it’s urgent.”
“That’s short notice.”
“He might be leaving the country with a lot of my money, if he moves don’t wait.”
The envelope was passed across.
“See you Stan.”
Stanley watched him walk across the grass towards a gate, then stood and walked along the path. He was aware of someone behind him, a quick glance, man in a suite keep to the other side of the path. He came level.
“Hello, can I have a talk with you?”
The man smiled.
“The man you have just been speaking to.”
“Oh is that his name, we were just chatting.”
“Look I don’t know who you are, I don’t care, but Frankie did work for us he was useful, thinks he’s too powerful now, he doesn’t need our protection. You are doing a job for him, the envelope is in your pocket.”
“I can make it my business to find out who you are; have you arrested, put away for ever, you would not like that.”
“What do you want?”
“You look a sensible person: when you have done the job for Frankie, kill him.”
“Just like that?”
“Or go to jail forever.”
Stanley looked at him remembering every line, every feature.
He swallowed hard.
The man turned, his jacket opened, plainly visible a .32 in a shoulder holster, the message screamed out, I can walk around London tooled up without any worries. It was time to go home.
The photograph was of a hard looking man aged about thirty nine, one of Frankie’s soldiers, runs a bag round twice a month to pick up the pay offs. This Thursday just a few, next Monday a lot, the bag would be full, surely Frankie could have handled this? Perhaps he wanted to send a message to the troops.
List of pickups, the drop off, his home address. The bicycle, all these stops and starts, first though, a visit to his home address. First floor flat above a paper shop, a Yale and a mortice for the side door. Would they use the mortice, probably only at night, need to get a key if possible, anywhere to watch from?, a cafe bit further down the road, not much cover here. On to the last stops Thursday and Monday. If he goes to the office he will travel east, home he travels west, fairly simple.
The first pickup, on he goes looks straight forward nice and casual. Lets get back to his place wait about, at least it’s dark, here he comes, reaches into the letterbox pulls out string and key opens the door, that solves one problem. Lets get home.
“Are you working this weekend Gill?”
Now that his mother had moved next door they had become more informal. She was wearing a silk dressing gown and painting her nails as she sat on Stanley’s lap.
“You are a wriggler Gill.”
“Do you like it?”
“What time are you going out?”
“About half an hour and no, I don’t have time. You are horny.”
“Gill, don’t be coarse.”
“It’s not coarse….Deirdre!”
“Stan’s got a hard on he’s nearly pushing me out of the chair.”
“Gillian! Mrs Allen could hear you.”
“She does it deliberately Deirdre, she’s a tease, gets me all worked up.”
“I am off out, be about two hours, going to see my friend.”
“I suppose you are just going to leave me like this.”
She pouted her lips.
“You poor baby, do you want mummy to make it better?”
“Be a good boy, take your clothes off and get into bed.”
“Is this what you like?”
“There’s a good boy mummy will look after you.”
Peddling along to the first pickup, Stanley stopped and looked at the list, here he comes looking around he looked twitchy no smiles today. In he goes, a few minutes, head down, off he goes, go to the third one. Wait he will be a little while yet, here he is, eyes everywhere looking round, very nervous, this is different, it’s on today. Miss a couple pick him up again, yes most definitely let’s get back to his flat.
Now round the back there’s a small alleyway doesn’t go anywhere put the chain on too many thieves about; gloves, gun out of the saddle bag into jacket pocket, silencer into the other. Walk round to the front, hand through the letter box, people do what they have grown up doing, step inside pull the key through close the door, stand still listen all quiet, up the stairs check the kitchen, toilet, bedroom, living-room, suitcase feels heavy, what’s the time not much preparation fit the silencer and wait.
Time is a funny thing, if you have two minutes before you die it goes in a flash, when you have a hour and a half to pass it seems to last forever. A scrabble down stairs. Make sure the safety catch is off, sit still. Running up the stairs the door opened a man burst in put the briefcase on the coffee table and reached for the suitcase, Stanley pulled the hammer back and the man turned.
Blood splattered the back wall as the body was thrown across the room. Wait, silence, pick up the briefcase walk out slowly, downstairs, wait listen. Open door step outside pull door shut, walk round the back, there is the bike, at least it hasn’t been stolen.
Stanley sat in the park shelter, the briefcase beside him, Tuesday morning very quiet, he looked at his watch five minutes, not many people around. He looked through the missing plank at the back of the shelter, there’s the man walking along the path, he reaches the shelter looks at his watch sits down inside. Stanley opens the the briefcase, assembles the rifle, scope, silencer, look round all clear, put the rifle through the opening stock into the shoulder nice and firm. Look through the scope line it up, cross hairs he’s looking at his watch again, nice and gently, control the breathing, steady keep still, the rifle jerked against his shoulder the man slipped down the seat.
Stanley started taking the gun apart, scope, silencer, barrel, breach, stock all put away, close the case push the slips in stand up, pick up the case and slowly walk out, down the path out of the gate along the road, no taxi’s about better get a bus.
“You sound out of breath.”
“Yes take your clothes off.”
“No, take yours off.”
“Stanley…..Stanley no, don’t do that.”