Daring Dooz (The Implosion Trilogy (Book 2))

BOOK: Daring Dooz (The Implosion Trilogy (Book 2))
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Daring Dooz.

Stan Arnold

 

Copyright © Stan Arnold 2013

ISBN:
 9781301125739

Stan Arnold has asserted his right under the Copyright
Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. This
novel is a work of fiction. Names and characters are the product of the
author’s imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is
entirely co-incidental.

 

Thanks

With thanks to my wife, Dee, for her
patience. Particularly for reading bits and laughing and making constructive
suggestions and coming up with funny lines. Then giving up many hours to make
the final checks and amendments.

 

Also, to my
daughters - Bea, Dulcie and Florrie.

Bea, for constant encouragement, and
approving the ending, before I’d even started. Dulcie, for insisting we keep
the cat that strolled into the villa. His constant purring has been calming,
throughout. And Florrie, for going 'Whoohooo!' every time the word count went
up, just as she did with the first novel.

 

Novels by Stan Arnold

They Win. You Lose.

Daring Dooz

Sea View Babylon

 

For more details, my website is:
http://www.stanarnoldbooks.com

My facebook page is:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stan-Arnold-Books/114708918620865

About Stan Arnold

Hello

I've been a copy, speech and
scriptwriter for a long time!

Before that, I wrote songs
and stories for the BBC, then became a stand-up comedian for eight years,
writing my own stories (no jokes!). I also wrote and sang all the songs for my
rock band - the Stan Arnold Combo.

I now live in and work from
Lanzarote, with my wife Dee and cat, Bonzo.

In my three and a half years
here, I have written three funny novels - The Implosion Trilogy, no less!

The stories are about two
incompetent Soho-based video producers who drink too much, don't earn enough
and get too many death threats.

I suppose the next thing to
do is promote these little offerings so I can achieve my life's ambition - to
own a garden shed on Mustique.

(All very well, I hear you
say, but have you seen the price of creosote on the island?)

Cheers

Stan

 

Chapter 1

James Redfern
Chartwell was asleep in paradise. For someone who had been chased half-way
round the world by an international crime syndicate, and managed to persuade
the top man to cancel the contract on his life using his meager knowledge of
Ealing comedies, you might well think he deserved a kip.

But this was
no ordinary snooze. Jim’s chin was resting on the top of a post at the end of a
simple wooden pier which jutted out into the shallow, turquoise lagoon.

The early
morning sun was bright, and reflections were dancing like diamonds. The
spectacular white beach was lined with lush, green palm trees, interrupted only
by a small beach bar with a palm frond roof. The breezes were balmy, like
gentle kisses that had travelled a thousand miles just to make things seem
better.

A seagull,
floating lazily on the warm air, landed gently on Jim’s immobile form and,
without so much as a pause, emptied the contents of its bowels over his head.
He didn’t stir. The uric acid dribbled out from his hair and ran down the side
of his unshaven face.

Suitably
refreshed, and five or six ounces lighter, the seagull flew off again in
pursuit of a rather nice female seagull it had seen on the roof of the beach
bar.

A couple of
yards away, the chin of Jim’s lifelong friend, video cameraman and would-be
bon viveur,
Michael Selwyn Barton, was
resting on a nearby post. The squawk made by the seagull, as it unloaded itself
onto the hapless Jim, woke Mick up.

Through
bloodshot eyes, he managed to see what had happened, and thought how
embarrassing it would be for Jim when he eventually woke up. And with that
unkind rumination over, he gently smirked himself back into a state of
unconsciousness.

If Mick had
been able to look down at his reflection in the water below the pier, he’d have
seen he had nothing to laugh at. His head, chest, shoulders and back were
covered in seagull crap, so that, with his yellow baggies, sunburnt body and
green Crocs, he looked like a 16-stone knickerbocker glory.

The previous
night at the beach hut, they’d had more than a few Dom Perignons too many, and
ended up tombstoning off the end of the pier, at midnight. The beach bar staff
took pride in their ability to out-drink anyone, but realised they’d entered a
different league. The girls from the local lap-dancing club, who thought they’d
seen and done everything, learned a few more tricks. And by three in the
morning, they’d all given up, and, rather than drag Mick and Jim’s lifeless
bodies back up the pier for the umpteenth time that month, they’d decided on an
innovative, if rather mean-spirited, solution.

They’d simply
sat Jim down on the pier decking with his arms and legs on either side of a
supporting post. Then it was just a matter of tying his hands together, tying
his feet together and placing his chin on the top of the post and, there he was
- safe and sound for the night. Providing the same sleeping arrangements for
Mick was a no-brainer.

And so,
morning came. Neither Jim nor Mick had moved an inch during the night. They sat
with closed eyes, staring impassively out to sea. If you can image a couple of
Easter Island heads carved by ancient stonemasons after a night out on the
piss, you would be getting close to the mark.

They were
still unconscious, when, at around mid-morning, the yacht arrived.

It slid with
silky, ocean-going assurance through the lagoon - with a woman of about sixty
at the helm. She was deeply tanned and wearing a yellow polka dot bikini - and
yes, it was itsy-bitsy and yes, it was teeny-weeny. She was lean and toned with
long, silver hair and clear, penetrating, light blue eyes.

The yacht
drew alongside the pier. She stepped off confidently and surveyed the scene,
which essentially consisted of the dead-drunk, fully harnessed, former
directors of Soho corporate video company, Implosion Productions. She looked at
them with a strange degree of inevitability. Several empty champagne bottles
littered the pier decking. The bikini-clad lady picked up the bottles, went
back on board her immaculate vessel and placed them in a Brabantia bin.

On the deck
of the yacht was a small tarpaulin sheet. As she walked by, she lifted the
sheet and kissed something.

She came back
onto the pier with a large Sabatier kitchen knife and cut Jim loose, looking
with some distaste at the rapidly forming guano on his head. Then, with
remarkable ease, she turned him upside down and, holding his ankles, dunked him
several times, headfirst, into the lagoon.

Throughout
the cleansing operation, Jim showed no signs of regaining consciousness.

She pulled
him out of the water, laid him on the pier, then went back on board, stopping
to kiss under the tarpaulin again. When she returned, she was carrying a blue
plastic bucket and a roll of duct tape.

After placing
the bucket on Jim’s head, she secured it by running the duct tape, three or
four times round the top of the bucket and under his armpits, then, taking a
firm grip on his ankles, began dragging his body, including his well-protected
head, along the pier and into the shade of the beach hut.

She returned
to deal with Mick, and wisely decided to abandon the idea of dunking him in the
lagoon and dragging his bulky form back along the pier. She simply cut him free
and pushed him into the water. As Mick began to drown, she dived elegantly into
the lagoon, grabbed his body in exactly the way they illustrate in lifeguard
training manuals, and began to swim powerfully to the shore. She dragged Mick
up the beach and propped his semi-guano-free body next to Jim.

Tutting
slightly, she returned to the yacht and removed the tarpaulin to reveal a small
man curled up in the foetal position. He had a very thin, green face, sunken
eyes and a Hawaiian shirt that was too big. He wore extra large, cerise
baggies, and his scrawny arms and legs were deathly white. He looked as though
he’d been under the tarpaulin, eating wallpaper paste, for at least a year.
There was a small flicker of recognition before he closed his eyes again and
abandoned himself to his fate.

She picked
him up gently under one arm, holding him round the waist, so his arms and legs
hung vertically downwards. She carried him along the pier to the beach bar,
where she gave him another little kiss and sat his limp body down on the
ground, next to Jim and Mick.

She stared at
the three of them, deep in silent thought. The only sound came from two
seagulls which were shagging unnecessarily noisily on the roof of the beach
hut.

The silence
was broken further by the ‘ting ting’ of a bicycle bell. A man wearing a khaki
shirt and shorts, and whose great-grandparents had obviously made the long
journey from Africa two hundred years ago, was having difficulty making the
short journey from his office in the police station to the beach hut. This
particular trip was made more difficult than usual, thanks to a serious night
on the rum with some of the inhabitants of the cells.

He was a big
man and came cycling round the corner much too fast. His eyes popped out of his
head, twice. First they popped as he caught a glimpse of the svelte, sun-tanned
vision in the bikini. Then they popped again, a split second later, as,
distracted by the yellow polka dots, he braked too hard and went straight over
the handlebars and head-butted the solid support post of the beach hut.

The captain
of the yacht picked him up, humped his unconscious body over her shoulder,
carried him behind the bar, poured some beach bar whisky on his head wound and
dragged him over to sit next to Jim, Mick and the green-faced man.

She could see
from the name tag on his shirt, that the trick cyclist was Roberto Velazquez,
the island’s Chief of Police. Hm! thought Mrs Hathaway, he might be useful -
though obviously not in his current condition.

The sun was
arching higher, the palm trees were getting ready for another roasting, the
water in the lagoon was already becoming too hot to swim in and there was not a
single cloud in the sky.

She looked
around. These were potentially tough conditions, if you didn’t know how to
handle them.

But for what
she had planned, the conditions would be far more dangerous, far more
unpredictable and far more deadly. She would be testing human endurance and
resourcefulness to the absolute limits, and beyond. There would be no room for
even the slightest error, and any failure would, at best, result in an
unpleasant and agonising death.

She stood,
hands on bronzed hips, and gazed down at the four unconscious men propped up
against the rattan bar. She looked with growing apprehension from face to face
- one with alcohol poisoning and wearing a blue bucket on his head, one
overweight and still covered in seagull crap, one green with extreme
sea-sickness and one blood-stained, concussed and unable to ride a bicycle
properly.

Were these
men of the right calibre? she mused. Did they have the inherent toughness to
cope with extreme physical challenges and excruciating mental pressures? In
short, were they the dynamic, self-assured, hyper-energised, Alpha males she
needed for her mission.

She walked
behind the bar, poured herself half a tumbler of whisky, knocked it back in one
go, and began to have some serious thoughts.

 
 

Chapter 2

Serious thoughts could not
have been further from Aubrey’s mind as, some four months earlier, he pressed
himself to the wall, out of sight of the lift, and out of sight of the entrance
to Implosion Productions.

He had a great degree of
satisfaction as he heard the screams of panic and foul language emanating from
Mick and Jim’s office. This was panic and foul language he had caused - and it
felt good. As the dogs-body for Charlie Sumkins, his lunatic international
crime syndicate boss, he was used to being impaled on the smelly end of the
stick - and this was a refreshing, one might even say fragrant, change.

Aubrey smiled what he
fondly imagined was a languid, rather sophisticated, lounge-lizardy type of
smile. In fact, it looked a little like the expression people have when they
are coming round from a not-very-well administered general anaesthetic - but
this was his moment and, after years of abuse at the hands, knuckles, feet and
boots of his employer - he thought he’d earned it.

He glowed inwardly as Mick
and Jim came stumbling out of the office, loaded down with gear and arguing
violently about going back for a ‘nervous’ to see if they’d forgotten anything
in the four minutes it had taken them to rip out all their video and sound
equipment.

He was proud he’d caused
this mayhem - and with just a few words. Simply by mentioning that Charlie
Sumkins’ top enforcers, Vlad and Vic, were coming round in ten minutes to
collect the unpaid office rent - or to inflict unspeakable pain and suffering
to the equivalent of £6000 + VAT.

Vlad and Vic were a legend
with the international criminal classes. From drug pushers scrimping a living
in the tundra of the Kamchatka Peninsula to disgraced Peers of the Realm
running knocking shops in Tierra del Fuego, they all knew what being Vlad and
Vic’d meant. It was something you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Although
Charlie Sumkins would happily unleash their persuasive talents onto anyone who
caused him even the mildest irritation.

The ancient concertina lift
doors were slapped shut, and the lift containing Mick and Jim descended into
the bowels of the building. Probably trying to get to their clapped-out Morris
Traveller, thought Aubrey.

It was during this
reflective moment, that things began to change. A damp patch started to appear
on the woodchip wallpaper, just at the spot where it came into contact with the
back of Aubrey’s head. His languid smile disappeared and his face started to
look like something you would expect to see if you pulled a cryogenically
preserved head from its liquid nitrogen container, in the middle of a heat
wave.

His skin turned grey. His
eyes sank into his skull. And the sweaty patch continued to grow at an alarming
pace. This was not the honest sweat of the artisans who had so inspired William
Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement of the 1860s. It was not the sweat of
the mid-nineteenth century French peasants that motivated Jean-François Millet
to paint his masterpiece,
Evening Prayer
.
No, this was the sweat of someone who had just realised he’d fucked up, big
time.

Flushed by the power he had
felt surging through his scrawny body, a few minutes earlier, he had
inadvertently mentioned to Mick and Jim that Vlad and Vic would be round in ten
minutes. If he’d kept his mouth shut, Mick and Jim would have been sitting in
their clapped-out office armchairs, sipping Earl Grey tea and discussing the
finer points of interior lighting techniques in 60s French New Wave cinema,
when Vlad and Vic would have struck.

Aubrey’s mind whirred with
the speed and precision of a finely adjusted Swiss watch. What were his
options? Stay where he was and be discovered by Vlad and Vic - who would, no
doubt, transfer their venom and assorted serrated clamps and beautifully
machined screw devices from Mick and Jim to…

He whipped round the corner
and pumped the lift button until he bruised his index finger, but Mick and Jim
must have left the lift door open in the basement. Shit!

Perhaps,
he could run down the stairs, but he might meet Vlad and Vic coming up.

Perhaps, he could raise
himself up to the corridor ceiling using his hands on one wall and his feet on
the other, like Sean Connery did in one of those James Bond films.

Perhaps he could take the
fire extinguisher off the wall, batter himself to death and have done with it.

In the ten seconds it took
Aubrey to evaluate these options, his brain function degraded from the speed
and precision of a finely adjusted Swiss watch to something you'd see dropping
from an electro-magnetic grab in a scrap yard.

He decided to stay where he
was. Which was as just as well, because within seconds, the two crew-cutted,
Crombie-clad, Wayfarer-wearing V-twins arrived at the top of the stairs. They
were breathing heavily, because, the truth was - they were out of condition.
They hadn't beaten the shit out of anybody for a good three weeks now. But
professionals to the core, they were looking forward to getting back up to
speed with the help of the unsuspecting directors of Implosion Productions.

They placed their darkly
stained implement suitcase on the linoleum, then stood outside the office door
to get their breath back.

Vic was the first to speak,
in a high falsetto.

‘Hello, Implosion
Productions, this is the maintenance lady, I need to check your electricity
supply.’

No answer.

Again, even higher.

‘Hello, this is the
maintenance lady with the big chest. I need to check your electricity supply.’

No answer.

Vic’s larger twin, Vlad,
who was obviously not a great admirer of Vic’s acting abilities, suddenly let
out a roar and took a flying, double-footed dropkick at the door which ripped
off its hinges and landed with a tremendous bang about six feet inside the
office. He looked at his brother with contempt.

‘So much for fuckin’
Shakespeare!’

All would-be thespians have
a fragile nature when criticised, and you could tell Vic was hurt. But, as if
to redeem himself, he whipped a crowbar from inside his Crombie and leapt into
the empty office, through the space where the door had been. Vlad followed,
having seemingly palmed a lump hammer. There was silence, followed by a brief,
muttered discussion. Having reached an amicable agreement, they began trashing
the office.

This was Aubrey’s chance.
The frantic sounds of smashing glass and splintering wood, accompanied by a not
inconsiderable amount of effing and blinding, convinced him that, if he moved
fast enough, he could get past the door without being spotted. He could have
taken the stairs. But when your brain is full of scrap metal, your judgement
can be impaired. So, he ran straight along the corridor, crouched, head down
with shoes removed so as not to make a tell-tale click-clack on the lino.

He’d just slid to a stop at
the other end of the corridor, when Vlad and Vic emerged from the office. Both
were breathless and rather unpleasantly sweaty. But they were elated. Vlad
checked his Rolex and smiled at Vic.

‘I’d say 400-450 square feet
completely
destroyedamundo
in around
one minute twenty-five. Not our best, but I think we’re getting the chain back
on the tandem, bruv.’

Vlad picked up the stained
suitcase and they headed off down the stairwell, Vic happily running his
crowbar along the metal staircase spindles. At the far end of the corridor,
Aubrey was not so happily having another dilemma.

He could wait an hour then
creep down the stairs. But he reckoned Vlad and Vic would soon clock that Mick
and Jim’s non-appearance meant they’d been tipped off. And what fuckwit would
have done such a dastardly deed?

Within minutes, they’d be
back at the top of the stairs, spitting blood and checking the corridors.
They’d find him. He’d say, ‘Hello, Vlad and Vic, fancy seeing you here.’ And
then they’d kill him.

BOOK: Daring Dooz (The Implosion Trilogy (Book 2))
9.79Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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