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Authors: Robert Muchamore

Brigands M. C. (4 page)

BOOK: Brigands M. C.
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Dante grimaced as Mickey Mouse and a trip on an aeroplane vanished in a puff of smoke. Then he jolted and slid down off the cabinet as his mum crept up and touched his shoulder.

‘Nosey parker,’ she said irritably as she dragged her son towards the fridge-freezer. ‘You should be asleep. If you start up whining when you’ve got to get up for school in the morning I’ll make you
damned
sorry.’

Dante studied his mum’s expression. Sometimes she got so angry that you had to do exactly what she said or she’d go bananas, but he wasn’t getting that look and decided to play for sympathy.

‘I came down because
you
forgot to bring my glass of water.’

His mum took a tumbler out of a cabinet and slammed the door shut before filling it from the cold tap. ‘There,’ she said, as she passed it over. ‘Now scram.’

Dante reached the hallway as hell broke loose in the living-room. His dad shouted. Then the table grated across the floor and the Führer shouted back.

‘I’ve put my own sweat and money into this, Scotty. I’m not leaving this house until these papers are signed.’

‘You think you can bully me?’ Scotty screamed. ‘You don’t know me at all, do you? Get out of my house you short-arsed son of a bitch.’

Scotty stepped out from behind the table, muscles swollen beneath his vest and looking like he could break the Führer in half with a sneeze. Dante swelled with pride, but the balance of power changed when Felicity pulled a handgun from beneath his leather waistcoat.

‘You sit down and sign it,’ the Führer ordered, as the Wrestlemania pen smacked down on the table.

‘You think you can muscle this?’ Scotty shouted incredulously. ‘After all these years? You’d better kill me because this is way out of order. I’ll have this put to a vote and you’ll be out of the club.’

The Führer smiled. ‘The accountants found some irregularities in the books from last year when you were club secretary. I’ve already discussed it with the London chapter and the national president. They’ve left it at my discretion for now, but you’re looking at a disciplinary hearing and being kicked out of the club in bad standing.’

‘Trumped up bullshit,’ Scotty hissed. ‘How much did you bribe them?’

‘Enough,’ the Führer smiled. ‘That’s all you need to know.’

Dante had the best view in the house. As well as a clear view into the living-room, the crashing table had brought Jordan and Lizzie out on to the top of the staircase behind him. In the kitchen, his mum stood on an upturned bucket and pulled a shotgun wrapped in a bin liner down off the cabinet.

‘Dante, upstairs,’ his mum shouted, before ratcheting the shotgun, heading into the living-room and aiming it at Felicity. ‘I think it’s time you boys said goodnight.’

Scotty was alarmed and raised his palm. ‘Carol, you be careful with that thing,’ he warned. ‘It’s loaded.’

‘Well you don’t say,’ she carped, as Dante got halfway up the stairs and stopped. ‘Now I don’t give a shit about your development, but it’s two in the morning. I’m awake, my kids are awake and I want you two out of my house. Is that crystal clear?’

The Führer looked at the barrels of the gun and smiled. ‘Carol, why don’t you put that thing down?’

‘You know what?’ Scotty said, eyeballing the Führer. ‘I don’t need this shit any more. I’ll sign the papers and take my two hundred grand. I signed up for a brotherhood not a business, so you can take my Brigands patch and stick that too.’

As Dante’s mum lowered the shotgun, his dad bent down to pick the pen off the floor. The Führer set the table straight and told Felicity to help pick up the papers and find the pages that Scotty needed to sign.

Carol looked back into the hallway. ‘You kids get back in bed,’ she shouted. ‘Don’t make me come up there.’

Dante moved up a couple more steps, but his two teenage siblings didn’t like being spoken to that way and stayed defiantly still on the top landing.

‘Don’t make me come up there, you three,’ their mum repeated.

‘I’m trying to get past,’ Dante protested.

This earned him a withering look from Lizzie at the same moment as a baby’s squeal came out of their parents’ room.

‘Aww great,’ Carol said, as she turned back towards the three men. ‘That’s an hour getting Holly back to sleep.’

‘I’ll get her,’ Lizzie said wearily, as she headed towards the cot in her parents’ room, mumbling, ‘Don’t mind me, I’ve only got a Spanish exam tomorrow,’ to herself.

In the living-room the papers were back on the table. Scotty reached between toy cars and blocks underneath the sofa to grab Dante’s pen. As he straightened up, he saw Felicity’s handgun pointing limply at the carpet. Felicity’s eyes stared dumbly at the Führer, awaiting his next order.

‘OK,’ the Führer said, as his titchy moustache bristled in a self satisfied way. ‘Three signatures by the Post-it notes.’

Scotty was serious about signing the documents, but the Führer’s smile and the happy little bounce of his size eight Dr Marten boots made him angry. Scotty loved the Brigands as much as – maybe even more than – he loved his family and the thought of handing in his patch and burning off his highwayman tattoo was too much to take.

With a powerful movement, Scotty sprang to his full height while simultaneously driving the pen through Felicity’s windpipe. Blood gurgled; Dante and Jordan nervously came down the staircase to see why their mum had screamed.

‘Shoot him now, Carol!’ Scotty shouted.

Dante’s mum raised the shotgun as Felicity staggered back to the wall. The giant still had the pen sticking out of his throat and he was choking on his own blood, but he managed to raise the pistol slightly.

Two triggers were pulled in the same second.

The shotgun erupted with two orange muzzle blasts, spraying shot over a wide area concentrated around Felicity’s head and torso, but also peppering the surrounding wall with tiny holes. The pistol made a sharper bang. Felicity hadn’t the strength to raise it high but the final act of his thirty-eight years on earth was to shoot a bullet into Scotty’s kneecap at such an angle that it bored on down, shattering his right fibula and exiting through the back of his calf after severing the main artery in his leg.

In the seconds before he passed out, Scotty groaned as he hit the carpet and reached for Felicity’s pistol. The Führer had ducked under the table and he too crawled towards the pistol as Carol pumped the shotgun to reload.

Carol had known the Führer since she’d been a fourteen-year-old tearaway hanging around the Brigands clubhouse looking for free marijuana. She knew that the Führer would kill her now that he was riled, but she felt calm as the empty cartridge flew out to her left.

To Carol the consequences of murder were nothing compared to her need to protect her kids. But as she pushed the barrel forward, there was lightness to the action and a hollow sound from inside. The shotgun was empty.

3. WITNESS
 

Carol turned. She saw Jordan at the bottom of the stairs and Dante halfway up as she dropped the gun and charged towards the front door.

‘Run,’ she screamed to her boys. ‘Get out of the house, now!’

Jordan followed his mum towards the front door, Dante started going downstairs but ducked out of the way when the Führer fired Felicity’s pistol. It was a wild shot from under the dining-table that punched through the wall and clattered into saucepans inside the cupboard on the other side.

The Führer sent the table flying with his boot and took proper aim with his second shot. It hit Carol in the back as she held the latch on the front door. Her body slumped against the frosted glass, blocking the doorway and forcing Jordan to turn back into the hall.

The Führer stepped out of the kitchen doorway, trailing blood from the rapidly growing puddle around Scotty.

‘Come on, Jordan!’ Dante pleaded, as he headed back up the stairs and charged towards the door of his parents’ room.

But Jordan knew he wouldn’t win a race to the top of the stairs with a bullet. Possibly hoping to save his own life, but more likely knowing he was doomed and trying to give Dante a better chance to reach his parents’ room, Jordan grabbed the only thing that came to hand and charged at the Führer.

The metal waste basket was filled with umbrellas and a collection of Holly’s toys. As the items flew through the air Jordan made a desperate lunge. He was as tall as the Führer, and his flying foot plus the debris forced the Führer back into the living-room – but not before he’d pulled the trigger and shot Jordan in the stomach.

The teenager crumpled against the tiled floor. As the umbrellas, Duplo bricks and Beanie Babies landed, the Führer pointed the muzzle of the pistol down and shot Jordan through the head.

Dante reached his parents’ bedroom. His legs felt hot, his stomach was somersaulting. It was a cramped space, with clothes piled out of the broken wardrobe doors and eleven-month-old Holly’s cot shoehorned at an angle between the double bed and the radiator. Holly lay on the bed kicking the air, gnawing her fist and making a low rattly groan that meant she wanted someone to pick her up and cuddle her back to sleep.

Lizzie had seen everything downstairs. She’d opened the window and considered jumping down and running for help, but she didn’t want to leave Holly and didn’t think she’d be able to jump safely with the baby in her arms.

The Führer stepped over Jordan and raced upstairs as Dante slammed the bedroom door and bought a few seconds by turning the key.

‘Go by the window,’ Lizzie shouted, as she gave Dante a shove, then reached up high and grabbed the front of the double wardrobe.

She tugged with all the strength she could muster and the fragile chipboard and melamine wardrobe creaked and groaned as it crashed down in front of the door. Wire hangers clanked inside and the seldom used suitcases on top puffed clouds of dust.

‘Come out now and I’ll kill you fast,’ the Führer shouted, as a shot skimmed through the top half of the door. Dante and Lizzie ducked and the bullet only hit the wall.

‘What do we do?’ Dante screamed, as the Führer shoulder-charged the door.

‘That time Jordan dared you to jump out of the window and you twisted your ankle,’ Lizzie said rapidly, as the Führer slammed into the door again, popping the lock and shifting the tilted wardrobe several centimetres. ‘Do you think you can do it again without hurting yourself ?’

‘That was two summers ago,’ he nodded. ‘I’m bigger now.’

‘Right,’ Lizzie said. ‘You drop, I’ll lower Holly down to you and I’ll jump last.’

‘OK,’ Dante nodded.

The Führer slammed the door again. The opening was now almost wide enough to squeeze through. Holly hated the banging and started to cry as Dante swung his leg out over the window ledge. He’d noticed his legs feeling warm, but it was only now that he saw the dark green patch around his crotch and realised that he’d pissed himself with fright.

‘Come
on
,’ Lizzie urged, as Dante stared down. It was a three-metre drop on to a shaggy lawn softened by the recent rain, but his mind flashed back to the previous jump and he hesitated until the Führer slammed into the door again.

A sharp pain went up Dante’s leg as he landed, bare shoulder squelching into the mud. By the time he stood up, Lizzie was leaning out of the window, with Holly dangling off the end of her arm, kicking and screaming.

Dante went on tiptoes and gripped Holly’s chubby ankles.

‘Have you got hold?’ Lizzie shouted.

‘I think so,’ Dante said. He was at full stretch, and wasn’t a hundred per cent sure which way the baby would topple when Lizzie let go.

There was a huge bang behind, indicating that the Führer had triumphed over the wardrobe blocking the door.

‘Take her,’ Lizzie screamed. ‘Don’t wait, start running.’

Dante stumbled backwards as Holly’s weight transferred into his hands. The baby’s head and body were heavier than her legs and with Dante holding her ankles her body pivoted awkwardly.

Dante gasped in horror as Holly’s skull scraped the pebbledashed wall of the house. She let out a desperate scream, but in a frenzy of flying arms and trying not to fall over Dante saved her from hitting the ground head first, ending up with the baby clamped awkwardly to his waist.

Up above the Führer was in the bedroom. Lizzie couldn’t jump safely until Dante and Holly had moved out of the way and the Führer grabbed her arm before she got a chance.

‘Wish I had more time with a sexy thing like you,’ he laughed as he dragged the teenager away from the window.

Lizzie kicked, spat and elbowed the Führer, but it only delayed the inevitable by a couple of seconds. The last thing she saw was her own nose squished against a cracked mirror as the pistol touched the back of her head.

The shot echoed through the darkness around the farmhouse. Holly wriggled and screamed as Dante tried to run with her. The wind was cold on his chest and his socks slipped on the mud.

Dante dared a backwards glance and saw the Führer aiming his gun through the bedroom window. It was open ground, but it was also dark and the Führer was no marksman. He fired two shots. The first was hopeless, the second close enough for Dante to hear it whistle over his head and lash through branches and leaves at the end of the garden. No more shots came and Dante realised the Führer had run out of bullets. It was Felicity’s gun, so even if there was a spare ammunition clip the Führer wouldn’t have it.

BOOK: Brigands M. C.
12.7Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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