Authors: Bill Carson
“Well, well, look who’s here, it’s Mr Kane. We’ve been waiting a long time for you and I’ve got you a nice chair right by the fire. Gentleman, our guest of honour has finally arrived, please take a seat,” Jimmy said as he entered the hall. Frank McConnell followed right behind and smashed John in the guts with the butt of his pump action shotgun, with a blow that would have felled an ox. John collapsed to the floor like a rag doll, gasping for breath from the sudden vicious attack from the monster of a man.
“Pick him up, pick him up. That’s no way to treat our guest, Frankie,” Jimmy said.
McConnell dragged him to his feet with ease and he quickly slipped his huge forearm around John’s neck and began to slowly strangle him in a vice-like grip as he dragged him toward the vacant chair in front of the fireplace right next to Nick Harland.
Nick had been given a terrific beating, judging by the golf-ball-sized bulges on his face. His mouth was busted wide open and oozed liberally, and only one eye was visible as the other was closed shut by a tangerine-sized swelling.
“You look like you’ve been enjoying yourself, Harold. I like to see a man happy in his work,” Jimmy said, and shook his head as he noted the blood-soaked rain coat.
“Well, Mr Costa, I’ll be a lot happier when we have concluded our business. I believe that I have fulfilled my part of what I may say has been a most problematic but yet successful conclusion to our contract. All that remains for us to do now is to settle up with the balance of my payment, which will then finalise our deal,” Harold said, as he stood in the firelight covered from head to toe in congealed blood.
If there was one thing that Jimmy disliked more than anything, it was someone telling him what to do. It just didn’t happen, especially when he had a chainsaw within reach. The other thing that he simply couldn’t take was being interrupted, and Harold at that moment was doing both.
“Sure, Harold, I’ve got the rest of your money right here where it’s always been. Frank, give Harold the briefcase that’s in my office, will you?”
“Sure, Jimmy,” McConnell said, in his barely decipherable Northern Irish accent.
McConnell released the stranglehold on John just before he passed out, and secured his wrists and ankles tightly to the chair. He then went to fetch Harold’s final payment.
“John Kane? Nick Harland, nice to finally meet you,” Nick said out of the corner of his swollen mouth.
“Harland? I know that name, you were one of those detectives who were hunting me down not so long ago?” John whispered.
“That’s right, and that’s all in the past as far as I’m concerned. We need to concentrate on the present, because we’re right in the shit here, I can tell you that.”
“We shall see.”
“Optimists, I just love ‘
,” Nick murmured.
“Shut it, you!” Costa said, as he cracked Nick a couple of times across the face with the back of his hand.
Harold backed off and sat in a dark corner by the door, and waited for McConnell’s return.
Johnnie spoke up. “You won’t be needing us two anymore then, will you, Jimmy?”
“No, you two have done enough for one day,” Jimmy said, as he dragged out the large toolbox from under the table.
A moment later McConnell had returned, and he handed Harold the sturdy aluminium briefcase. “There we are, Harold, all ready for
, just as I said it would be, and proof that I am a man of my word,” Costa said, as he adjusted the tension of the drive chain on the chainsaw.
“Thank you, Mr Costa, and I will now bid you all good day,” Harold said as he made for the door.
“Hey, I’ll tell you what, fellas? Bill can drive you to wherever you want to go, Harold, and you too, Johnnie? And you can also dump that Range Rover somewhere for me once you’ve dropped Harold off. The fucking thing must be red hot by now after your shenanigans earlier. That will round off the day nicely, and be the last little job you’ll do for me for a while, lads, and that’s a promise,” Costa said with a grin, as he topped up the small oil reservoir on the side of the huge chainsaw.
Bill Brooks and Johnnie Carter glanced at each other and didn’t hesitate to take up the offer. They wanted out of this madhouse – soon to become a slaughterhouse – as quickly as possible. They suspected that there was a better than average chance that if they hung around he’d be lumbering them with two more stiffs to get rid of. So they quickly turned, opened the door for Harold, and followed him outside into the courtyard. Harold was happy, and they were happy, and Jimmy was happy, and so it was a good result all round.
“Bill, get us the fuck out of here, pronto,” Johnnie Carter said.
“Just a moment, gentlemen, I’ll need to get a fresh change of clothing before we set off. I can’t get on the train looking like this, the ticket inspector would be most displeased,” Harold said.
He could have been wrong, but Johnnie was sure that he detected a flicker of a smile on Harold’s lips as he said it.
“OK, Harold,” Billy said, as he pressed the button which released the boot catch on Nick’s car. Harold removed some items, disappeared into the gloom and was back a few minutes later wearing a fresh, clean identical outfit.
“Where to, H?” Billy asked as Harold climbed into the back.
“H, indeed! I think we had better head north. I’m not sure that I would be very welcome in London at the moment. I need to find the nearest railway station as the first trains will be running soon,” Harold said as he checked his watch.
“The station it is then, and I’ll be glad to see me bed, I’m cream-
. How about a bit of music?” Bill said.
The radio had been pre-set to BBC Radio 3 and as he pushed the button the serene sound of the old 1950s hit, ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ by
, flowed from the crisp, crystal clear, high-quality surround sound system. Billy immediately reached down to select another station, but as the gentle, high-pitched tranquil whine of the opening violin section of the piece reached his ears, he stopped and changed his mind. He sat back as the almost humbling and strangely convivial arrangement floated around the interior.
All remained silent and they simply allowed the magical music to wash over them. The sounds inexplicably seemed to mesmerize each man, and for a few fleeting moments each of them was transported to another place – a peaceful place, a place seldom visited by such violent and brutal creatures – but that is the power of music as it has the ability to sooth even the most savage of beings.
As they neared the gates of the exit to the park, Anna and George drove in at the same time, and only just narrowly missed the large vehicle. She caught a glimpse of the three men inside as it passed, and a snapshot of them driving away from the front of the office with Nick immediately flashed into her mind.
“George, that was them. They were the ones who took Nick,” Anna said, quickly glancing out of the back of the truck.
“What? Are you sure? He wasn’t with them, was he?” George said as he looked over his shoulder.
“No, he wasn’t, but I’m sure it was them. Stop the car,” Anna said as she checked the bullets in the huge
Mk 6 revolver.
As the last chords from the
melody faded into infinity, there was a terrific crack. It was as if a gigantic thunderbolt had struck from the heavens, and the Range Rover suddenly exploded into a huge fireball of blue and white flames. The explosion flipped the heavy vehicle onto its roof. Its front wheels were blown clean off and pieces of the vehicle were flung for hundreds of yards into the air. Within seconds the whole vehicle was engulfed in an inferno and the air was suddenly filled with thick, pungent black smoke. It looked like hell in there. Billy Brooks and Johnnie Carter had been killed instantly by the bomb, their bodies literally torn asunder, and small chunks of them were strewn all over the road.
“Fucking hell!” George and Anna cried in unison, as the sudden hot blast wave stripped the old canvas roof from their vehicle.
“Jesus!” Ryan said, as he clung onto the branch.
The huge explosion was seen and heard from the hotel, and lit up the horizon for an instant. Costa and McConnell were waiting by the window and watched in triumph as the large mushroom-shaped cloud defiled the orange dawn-cracked sky.
McConnell had learned his craft years ago in Northern Ireland and was an expert car bomber. When they had arrived earlier, he’d quickly slipped out and rigged the vehicle with one of his ready-made timer-activated
“Ah well, at least they wouldn’t have felt a
at all now, I can tell
that, not like these two fellas over here, boss,” McConnell said as he viewed the aftermath of his handiwork.
“Yeah, that’s right, Frankie, and now we get to the fun part.” He turned around. “You two have caused me a lot of grief but, as I am a reasonable man I’m
tell you a little story. Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then we will begin,” Costa said, as he pulled up a chair and sat directly in front of his two battered prisoners.
“Save your fucking breath and get on with it. And I’ll tell
something, your brother was a no–good, slimy, cowardly scumbag, just like you,” Nick said and he spat a large globule of blood onto the floor in front of Costa.
McConnell stepped forward and slammed the stock of his shotgun into the meat of Nick’s guts.
“Now that is typical and just what I’d expect from a fucking copper, sorry, ex-copper and soon to be deceased ex-copper. Now, what about you? I know he was the tea leaf and I can understand the temptation. Imagine trying to keep Britain clean on the minimum wage, anyone would be tempted. But you actually murdered my dear little brother, didn’t you, for some old slag of a tart? And now you’re going to pay, as everything has come full circle and I’m going to make you two wish that your bitches of mothers had never had you. You’ll be cursing the day you were fucking born. Because of your big mouths you’re
get the full fucking Monty. Right, now where do I start? At the top, I think. Talking of mouths, when did you last visit the dentist, lads?” Costa said as he rose from the chair. He reached for the toolbox, and flicked opened the lid to reveal the instruments that were soon going to be inflicting agony.
He took out a pair of huge pliers and shoved them into John’s mouth, and while McConnell held his head back against the headrest of the chair Costa began to yank John’s teeth out, one by one.
“Fucking hell, a tough guy, eh”? Costa said as he wrenched another of John’s teeth out. He was surprised at the fact that John Kane hardly made a sound as he did so, and just more or less growled at him as the pliers went in again.
“That’s it, John, don’t give the fat twat the satisfaction,” Nick blurted out of his busted mouth.
“Your girlfriend‘s all worried about you. How touching, and when I’m finished with him I’ll make sure that you will suffer like no man has ever suffered before, big mouth,” Costa said as he pointed at Nick with the pliers which had John’s huge dripping molar clasped in its jaws.
“George, pull over just up here, we’re right on top of him!” she said, as the Land Rover skidded to a halt.
“Bloody hell, Anna, what’s going on here? I mean, this is getting well out of hand.”
“I don’t know, George, but Nick’s car is over there, so let’s go and get him. Here, take my phone, it’s switched on. I’ll take Nick’s and I’ll call you when I’m in position. When it rings just go for it, OK? I want you to drive the Land Rover right into the front doors and I’ll go in through a back window, but we’ve got to go at the same time to make it effective, OK?”
ring when you’re in position, and then I’ll ram the doors as a distraction?”
“That’s it, George, it’s called a plan, and I’ve got the feeling we’d better act fast. Here, take this,” Anna said as she handed him a dusty old
Mk 6 pistol which was part of the arsenal that she’d found in the old chest in the basement. “Point it at the target and pull the trigger, the gun does the rest, OK? And if you hit anything with that, don’t worry, because they won’t be getting up again,” she said, as she demonstrated how to hold the formidable handgun.
Anna stripped the rest of the weapons from the black bag, which included two more fully loaded Mk 6 pistols and a Thompson submachine gun with a half dozen stick magazines. She shoved the pistols each side of her waistband, slipped the extra stick
into her deep pockets and slung the Tommy gun’s strap around her shoulder. Finally she slotted a fresh mag into the deadly old machine gun.
“OK, George, this is it, mate. Now listen, when I call you that means I’m in position, so drive up slowly and get as close as you can without being seen. Aim the Rover at the doors, wedge the accelerator pedal down, put it into gear and jump clear.”
“What about those?” George said, as he pointed to the three old Mills bombs and some 45 calibre ammunition that was left in the bag.
“Take them with you, George. You never know, they might come in handy. OK, I’m going in, it won’t take me long to get there, so be ready.”
“OK, Anna, I won’t let you down.”
What a girl
, he thought, as he watched her small black shape disappear into the distance.
Andy Ryan had been observing everything that had been going on, and was a little bewildered as George and Anna showed up on the scene in that beat up old banger. He waited for it all to play out in front of him before getting involved.
Anna approached the outer edge of the gravel driveway, crouched down and moved slowly around to the rear of the hotel, but she had been spotted by the goons on the roof and they both immediately took aim at her.
Here we go
, Ryan said to himself, as a split second later he watched them both fall as if poleaxed.
fish in a fucking barrel
he thought. Anna was oblivious to her help from above, and continued on her way around to the back of the building.
She crept to the edge of the large window and took a quick peek inside the banqueting hall. She was sickened and stunned by what her eyes were telling her and almost froze with sheer terror. As Costa held the spinning chainsaw two inches from Nick’s battered face, she dialled her mobile number and George started the Land Rover. Within seconds she could hear the clapped-out old engine blowing a gasket with its high revs. But she couldn’t wait or it would be too late to save him.
she thought, as she opened up with the Tommy gun and shattered the huge bay window. It exploded into a million fragments. She continued to lay some fire down, and two rounds hit McConnell in the guts. The 45s ripped him open. Another round knocked the chainsaw from Costa’s hands. And as the burst continued in an upward arc, a number of bullets hit the huge chandelier, which spectacularly crashed to the floor and landed between Nick and Costa.
McConnell was badly wounded and staggered backward toward the doors, holding his guts together with his huge mitt. He still had enough strength left to raise one hand and fire off one round from his shotgun at the small dark figure in the window, before being completely flattened by George’s old Land Rover as it demolished the pair of heavy oak doors. He was crushed to death beneath it.
It was deathly quiet for a moment and the room was full of cordite. The lull gave Costa the opportunity to make a run for it, and he disappeared around the corner and flew up the staircase to his office like a frightened rat.
“Nick! Nick! Anna? You in there?” George’s familiar Cockney accent resonated in Nick’s ears, and he simply couldn’t believe what they were telling him. He thought he must be hallucinating as big George Smith materialised out of the dust and debris, his bulky frame illuminated by the single working headlight on the Land Rover. He stood in the middle of the hall with a massive gun in his fist and with three pineapple hand grenades clearly visible clipped to the belt of his trousers.
“George, over here!” Nick called. George ran over to him and cut him and John Kane free with his Swiss army knife.
“George? What the…? How the…? I can’t…?”
“It’s OK, it’s all over now and we’ve got you, mate. We’re all going to go home, OK, relax it’s all over. Who’s he?” George asked, as he nodded toward John Kane.
“Oh, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time like me, mate,” Nick said as he stood up.
“ANNA! ANNA! WHERE ARE YA? I’VE GOT HIM!” George desperately shouted, as he was freaked out by Nick’s condition, but there was no reply.
“She saved our asses,” Kane said, as he climbed out through the tattered wooden window frame. George quickly followed and found Anna lying motionless outside, her body covered in slivers of glass fragments and brick dust. John Kane grabbed the machine gun that was lying beside her and relieved her of a fresh mag from her jacket pocket, while George attended to her. Nick stumbled toward the window and poked his head through.
“She’s alive, Nick!” George shouted, as he checked her pulse. ”Looks like she’s banged her head and knocked herself out, I think.”
“Right, let’s get her inside, George, and then go and find a first aid box. And give me that fucking gun,” Nick said as he snatched the revolver out of George’s pocket and examined the old gun. He quickly took control of the situation. As for John Kane he was simply there one moment and then, when Nick looked up, he was gone.