Prologue

Prologue

A Chapter by Stu Edmond

August 1989

 

The sounds of Madness belting out Baggy Trousers filled the air along with screeching tyres and a roaring engine as a car sped through the back streets of Canary Wharf. With the windows down and the wind rustling his short curly brown hair, Pete Carter sung along at the top of his lungs. A light dab of brakes slowed the car and Pete swung the wheel over sharply. Tyres squealed in protest struggling to maintain traction on the ancient potholed tarmac and the rear of the car threatened to spin out of control, deft work with the clutch and brake corrected the over-steer before he trod heavily on the accelerator, with a roar from the engine the car shot through the apex of the corner and raced away down the deserted streets of the industrial estate.

Pete grinned broadly and childlike giggle escaped his lips as the needle on the speedometer began to nudge 90mph. He was like a kid on Christmas morning trying out his new toy, except in this instance instead of a bike he was at the wheel of a top of the range Ford Sierra RS Cosworth, bright red with gleaming alloy wheels. She was gorgeous and the price had been a steal " well it was stolen. He’d paid a grand to a mate to pinch it out of a new car showroom. A bit of fancy work with the engine number and registration plate and the car was completely untraceable.

Susie, the missus, had gone ape s**t at him when he arrived home with it, sounding the horn loudly. With their two girls safely strapped into their new car seats, pushchair in the boot and still room for a load of shopping she’d soon see the sense in it. It had better be soon, the lumpy old couch was not all that comfortable.

The song ended and the sounds of a car engine starting and blaring horns emanating from car speakers announced the next track. Turning up the volume even further he sang along to Driving in My Car as he pulled the wheel over as he slid around another corner. Once, a few years ago Pete had seen Madness live in Tottenham. He had been on a stag night for his older brother Terry that lived in infamy. The night had ended at a strip joint in Soho, a bit of slap and tickle with a dancer named Carole and a dose of the clap that left him feeling like he was pissing plastic farm animals.

Susie had nearly ripped his balls off when she found out, which at the time would have been a blessing. A few bunches of flowers, chocolate and a bit of sweet talking had smoothed things over eventually.

You f*****g dodged a bullet there my son, he had thought to himself. Susie was a right fiery bird when she wanted to be. In the sack that was great, when there were pots and pans flying at his head, no so much.

The previous night Pete had gotten a call from his boss Rob Granger about a nice little earner. Granger offered him a job which seemed simple enough. All he had to do was pick up a guy, drive him to an address, give a couple of guys a slap or two and then take him home all for a very easy five grand. Not his normal gig, he did not working with strangers, they were unpredictable and unpredictable people made him nervous they attracted all sorts of unwanted attention. But hey it made a change from smashing the knee caps of punters who thought they could avoid paying off debts they owed or sitting on the door of a knocking shop listening to guys getting their rocks off. He did not mind the work, but it became a bit monotonous.

He did not get the same thrill out of inflicting pain on debtors like some. Pete was more pragmatic about his work, only resorting to violence if gentle persuading failed. If people owed money then they had to pay it back, it was simple. Fall behind and they needed reminding that his boss was not operating a charity. Inflict too much damage, though, and they could not work to earn money to pay his boss back. Inflict too little and others thought they could take liberties too. It was a fine line to tread. Some in his line of work were sadistic psychos. He had heard stories about one of the Harding boys who liked to collect finger nails from the wives or girlfriends of people who owed money or crossed the Harding’s.

            It was just after two when he pulled up at the riverside industrial estate. The place was deserted apart from the lone figure standing on the wharf. He was dressed in blue jeans and a big black leather jacket which was completely out of place on the hot summer’s day. As the small scrawny guy got into the passenger side Pete got a good look at his face and a flicker of recognition flashed through Pete’s mind.

            Without saying a word the scrawny guy threw a small black holdall at Pete. Stunned, he looked inside and found a ski mask and a semi automatic with silencer. Normally Pete liked to use his own tools, he knew them, spent hours cleaning them, trusted them. So the thought of carrying an unfamiliar gun concerned him, he didn’t know if it had been used in any other jobs or who’s prints might be on it. He was about to say something when his passenger thrust a piece of paper at him. On it was an address. One he knew only too well.

            He looked at the scrawny guy once more and finally that flicker sparked into life as he realised who was seated beside him. The scrawny guy finally turned to him and growled one word. ‘Drive’

 

‘What if we get caught?’ had been Tony’s half hearted objection to Tina’s suggestion. They had just arrived at the tiny Odeon cinema to watch Young Einstein with their friends, when Tina whispered in his ear the words every teenage boy longs to hear " ‘Let’s go back to my house, mums out and won’t be back for hours.’

            They had been dating for three weeks and so far the only action he had seen was a snog and the quick grab of a breast behind the bike sheds at lunch before being caught by Leary Leonard, the PE teacher with wandering hands as he ‘assisted’ girls as they crept along the balance beam or tumbled over the vault horse during class. They had done a runner and nearly barrelled straight into Lisa Sheppard, the School Captain with the head start on puberty and a determination to get straight A’s in her end of school exams whatever the cost, who was walking towards the bike sheds herself. Without considering where she was heading or who she was going to meet, they’d taken off again and made it to double maths without being seen by anyone else.

            The journey back to Tina’s large house in Waltham Abbey seemed to take an age. They had hardly said a word to each other since saying goodbye to their friends and jumping on the bus. As soon as they got inside they raced upstairs to Tina’s large pink bedroom. Tony had been in this room many times before. He lived right next door and their families had been friends for years. Today, however, it took on a whole new air. Familiar things, the large stuffed Womble that his parents had given Tina for Christmas when she was ten and the small china rocking horse that sat pride of place on her dressing table, that he had bought her out his own pocket money to cheer her up after her cat had run away, suddenly became objects of envy, having glimpsed what she was hiding under her rapidly swelling blouse.

            All rational thought deserted him when Tina grabbed his hand and pulled him towards the stuffed toy covered king sized bed.

 

Tony had just managed to get Tina’s shirt un-tucked from her jeans after five minutes of fumbling when the front door banged open and two boisterous loud voices shattered the quiet. They both froze.

‘S**t. That’s our dads,’ Whispered Tina. Tina’s father Vincent Fedolini and Michael Harding, Tony’s father, had been business partners for years and were supposed to be out overseeing the fit out of a new club in Dagenham.

Vinnie and Mick had met at primary school when they had stood back to back against a group of bullies several years older than they had been. An unlikely friendship sprung up between the squat son of an immigrant butcher from Genoa and the tall solid son of an Army Sergeant Major. Together they had ruled the schoolyard with their own brand of humour which made them popular with the boys and appealing to the girls. Once in high school they used their entrepreneurial spirit to do a very nice trade in booze and ciggies they had managed to pinch from the local corner stores and dispensing punishment to those who failed to pay for the privilege of not having their heads flushed down the school toilets.

Out of school Vinnie and Mick expanded their trade and begun to work for a small time east end gang collecting protection money and performing the odd heist. With the support of one of the Arif brothers who ran most the of London underworld, Vinnie and Mick began to work for themselves and providing muscle for the Arif’s when they called.

Since those humble beginnings Vinnie and Mick had established an impressive range of operations. They owned a pub and had just signed the lease on a warehouse for a bargain price after certain ‘negotiations’ with the landlord " the main focus of which was explaining to him of the merits of retaining all ten fingers and toes. The warehouse was being fitted out as a Hollywood styled strip club and knocking shop called Marilyn’s-A-Go-Go. It should be a nice little earner for them. They also provided protection to several businesses in and around Dagenham ensuring that, for a small fee, these businesses could open their doors with no disturbances.

Upstairs Tina stifled a laugh which Tony did not think was very appropriate considering their current predicament. They quickly straightened the room and their clothes before they were discovered by her father who had a rather unsavoury reputation when it came to protecting his daughter from the unwanted advances of potential suitors. More than one boy had been left weak at the knees after Vinnie had spoken a few quiet words in his ear.

It was a very poorly kept secret that they were dating, but neither of them wanted to face the wrath of their parents if they were found in a compromising position. It wasn’t as if they were kids anymore. It just wasn’t fair, they were nearly sixteen, able to leave school at the end of the year, ride a scooter and get a job. Why couldn’t they go out with each other and spend time alone? All their friends were doing it. Tanya King and Eddy Smith both claimed to have gone all the way in the back of the gym store during lunch break in the last week of term.

            She took a deep breath and opened the door to her bedroom. Suddenly the front door burst inwards with the sharp crack of splitting timber. The ruined door banged against the narrow mahogany sideboard in the hallway, unbalancing her mother’s favourite china vase which hit the wooden floorboards, smashing loudly. Two men barged their way through the remains of the broken door. Both men, Tina saw, were wearing black ski masks, one carried a sawn off shotgun, while the second held a handgun with a silencer attached to the end.

            ‘What the f**k,’ were the only words Vinnie managed to get out before the second gunman raised his arm took aim and fired. The silenced gun coughed twice and two vivid red spots appeared on Vinnie’s white shirt the blood slowly spreading from the holes in his chest. His body fell backwards, slumping lifelessly onto the couch.

            ‘Dad,’ Tina screamed running towards the stairs.

Tony quickly grabbed her arm and dragged her back up the stairs into her bedroom, slamming the door behind them as they heard the loud explosion of the sawn-off shotgun, someone cry out in pain, the shotgun went off a second time, then nothing but silence. Tina’ body shuddered violently with terror as Tony’s clasped his hand tightly over her mouth, trying desperately to stifle the sobs that threatened to escape.

The stairs creaked loudly as someone climbed the stairs slowly upwards, the sound growing closer and closer. Gradually the handle of the door turned and one of the men tried to push it open. Tony braced his leg against Tina’s desk and put all his weight on the door slamming it closed again. Through the door came a muffled curse of frustration as the gunman tried to force the door open.

            ‘Quick,’ Tony shouted. ‘The window.’

            Tina clambered up and raced to the window, throwing it open fiercely, sending her collection of shells tumbling onto to the carpet. She looked down and swore. It was too far to jump. The fall would kill her or break her legs. There was no way out

            ‘They’re going out the window,’ they heard the muffled shout of one of the gunmen. Tony beckoned her back to the door and they listened as they heard the men running down the stairs and through to the kitchen.

            Tony pulled the door open grasped Tina’s arm again then took off down the stairs and out of the front door. As they ran along the street, dodging between the rows of parked cars they could hear the frustrated cries of the two gunmen. Suddenly, the window of the car next to them exploded spraying glass over the road. Tina screamed as a bullet struck another car window, sending fragments of glass flying through the air. She felt a sharp sting as something struck her face. Crying out she threw her arms up to shield her eyes as more glass landed in her hair.

            She waited for the next bullet to hit her. She was sure it would happen; sure she was going to die. Her heart thundered in her chest as they ran and her lungs burned from the effort as they continued to flee. Tony pulled her between two cars and they ran towards an alleyway between two houses. The alleyway opened up to the large park, where as children they had played for hours, searching through the long grass for newts and beetles or playing hide-and-seek in the small copse of trees in the far corner. This was where Tony headed now following the well worn path.

They sprinted across the uneven ground and only slowed once they reached the cover of the trees. The copse was surrounded by dense bushes which made an almost impenetrable wall.

‘Stop, Tony please.’ She cried before collapsing onto the hard packed soil sobbing.

Tony crept back to the small gap between the trees where they had entered and looked out across the grass.

‘I don’t think they’re behind us anymore.’ He whispered still panting hard. In the distance they heard sirens that grew louder as the Police cars approached.

‘We’ve got to go back to the house.’ Tina said. ‘The Police will be there. We can tell them what happened.’

‘No, we have to go to Dave’s. He’ll know what to do,’ replied Tony stubbornly, ‘If we call the police, they’ll take us down the cop shop and everyone will know we saw who done it.’

            Tina got up and tried to walk past Tony. He pulled her to one side until her back was pressed against the trunk of a tree.           

‘We go to the cops we’ll be next. We gotta go to Dave, he’ll sort it.’

 

Back in the street Pete swore loudly as the two teenagers disappeared up an alleyway. Looking around he saw curtains twitching as neighbours peeked outside to see what the commotion had been. Time to get out of there.

‘Get into the f*****g car’ the scrawny man called. He was standing next to the passenger side door, nervously looking around also. In the distance police sirens announced their imminent arrival so it was time to move.

He swore again and jumped into the car, turned the ignition and revved the motor hard in almost one fluid motion. He hadn’t realise he was part of a hit today. He thought it was just going to be a shake-down, a warning from his boss to put these fuckers in their place. If Pete had known they would be offing them, hell he’d have done it for free.

But they had been seen by those f*****g kids and they were screwed. Neighbours would tell the coppers about his car. Even though it could not be traced back to him, it would mean he had to ditch the car somewhere. That pissed him off even more. Typical, first decent car, less than a week old and it’s got to be torched

During the drive back to the wharf Pete head raced as he formed a plan. Getting out of the country for a while sounded like the best plan. He could surprise the missus and take her and the girls on that often discussed yet never taken holiday to Spain. There he could lay low until the heat wore off. He had plenty of money stashed away in case of a rainy day and even though it was hot as hell today, he could feel dark clouds gathering on his horizon.

The car slowed to a halt alongside the edge of the water and Pete switched off the ignition. The only sound he could hear was the cooling engine ticking loudly under the bonnet. Laying his head back on the headrest he took in deep breaths willing his pulse to slow. It was over, he told himself.

 ‘I’m sorry for this,’ that was the first thing Pete heard his companion say the entire drive back from the house and the last. The silenced gun snapped twice and the side of Pete’s head exploded onto the driver’s side window.

 

It took ten minutes for Tony and Tina to reach Dave’s house. She had tried to get Tony to stop and turn back several times. He refused pulling her along as he ran. As they crossed a busy road Tina tripped and rolled into the gutter, narrowly avoided being hit by a bus, the driver blasted the horn in annoyance. She lay there breathing heavily, her lungs on fire before Tony dragged her back to her feet before setting off once more.

Tony banged loudly on the front door until it was answered, barging past the startled occupant. Dave Harding was Mick’s younger brother and was the spitting image of him, if only slightly shorter. Dave didn’t have Mick’s easy going nature and some people resented his abrupt manner. As Mick’s right hand he took care of enforcing discipline within the various enterprises. Usually this involved a pair of pliers, jump leads, a car battery, a baseball bat and a barely suppressed look of sadistic glee.

            ‘What the f**k happened and what the f**k are you two doing here?’ That was Dave’s way, straight down to business.

            ‘Two men came in,’ Tony stammered, ‘we was upstairs, the movie was crap and we didn’t want to hang around in town. They shot Dad and Vinnie. They heard us upstairs and chased after us. We got away and lost them in the park behind the houses. They ... they just shot them.’ His words came out in a near incoherent babble. Tina simply stood silently next to him, a haunted look in her eyes.

            ‘You call the cops, or let anyone else know you were there?’ Tony silently shook his head while Tina continued to stand next to him mutely. ‘Good. Now who the f**k did this?’

            Tony hesitated as if trying to make decision then took a deep breath ‘We didn’t see their faces because they were wearing ski masks but I heard one of them. I think it was one of Grangers men.’  He began, ‘I’ve seen some of them come over with Granger to talk to Dad and Vinnie. I’m sure it was one of them.’

            ‘I thought the other one sounded like Little John,’ Tina sobbed. Little John, John Samuels, was a driver and occasional bodyguard for Vinnie and Mick. Being short and skinny had not stopped him being handy with his fists and being totally fearless meant he was usually the first to get stuck into the middle of a punch up.

            ‘Our Johnny?’ Dave asked.

            ‘Yeah, he didn’t say much, but I could have sworn it was him.’

            ‘It couldn’t have been Johnny. He was here. Just left to get some grub,’ Dave started to pace the length of the front room cursing under his breath. Finally he stopped and looked directly at the pair of them. 

`F****r.’ He muttered, ‘Right. You two get out of here. Don’t tell anyone what happened, or what you saw or heard.’

            ‘What about the Police?’ Tina asked in a small voice.

            Dave took a step towards her. ‘You tell the police you were there and they’re gonna get you to make a statement. But all you’re going to be able to tell them is that you heard one of them who may have been someone you recognised as being someone you saw with someone your father may have done business with and someone who had no reason to want your dads dead and was somewhere else at the time.’

            With each word Tina shrunk back. She knew how unbelievable it sounded, even to her.

            ‘Even if they do find these guys,’ Dave went on, ‘The cops will never be able to prove anything and it will be laughed out of court. By then everyone will know you both saw what happened and Granger’s men will do anything to make sure you keep your mouths shut. Now get out the pair of you, there’s nothing you can do for your dads now.’

Tina did not have to think very long or hard to understand what Dave meant. Keep silent about what they saw, and heard or Granger would find someone to keep them silent, permanently. Tony took her hand and led her outside. As the front door closed behind them, Tina collapsed on the step and burst into tears.

 

            The day of the funeral dawned with a cloudless sky, full of the promise of a glorious day ahead. Families would take the opportunity to head to the beach or local parks. Children playing endless games of football or skip rope. Fathers would take a few well earned days off work and kick the ball around with sons or twirl skipping ropes for daughters to dance and jump through. Mothers would make rounds of ham sandwiches and laugh at their husbands wrestling on the grass with their children.

            Tina hated them, hated them all. Hated them for having fun, hated them for enjoying such a beautiful day and hated them for having a father to play with. Today she would no longer have a father. Today she would see him being put into the ground, buried under tonnes soil. Today she felt as though there was no joy to be had in the world and that she would never be happy again.

            Her mother had come into her room earlier to wake her though Tina was already sitting on her bed looking blankly out of the window. Two hours later and she was still sitting there. The funeral was not until later that afternoon and she did not know what she was supposed to do in the meantime. So she just sat and looked out on the world.

            Downstairs she could hear people starting to arrive. The voices of friends and family drifted up to her as though they were in a dream. She could only catch a word or two from each person as they spoke in hushed tones. Tina knew that eventually they could come for her. She was her father’s daughter and she had to be ready. She would not want to disappoint him today of all days. Rubbing her face with her hands she was surprised to find them wet. She had not even realised tears were flowing down her cheeks and dripping onto her nightshirt.

            She took an age in the shower letting the scalding hot water wash over her. Though she emerged from the steam filled room almost red raw from the heat yet she still felt chilled. Sitting at her vanity she looked at the image in the mirror and did not recognise the person drying their hair and applying makeup. It was as if she was watching an actress playing the part of Tina for the day. She could see what was happening, what the person was doing, but it was a stranger wearing her face. Finally dressed in a plain black long black dress, opaque stockings with her long chestnut brown hair brushed to a fine sheen she ventured downstairs.

            In the kitchen seated at the breakfast table her mother and Lorraine Harding sat being force fed cups of tea by the wives of her father’s business associates. Several children were running wild in the back garden too young to understand the sombre nature of the day. To them today was just another holiday, albeit one where they were dressed in their Sunday best.

            Pam Fedolini, her mother, looked up from studying the rim of yet another cup of tea and saw Tina standing in the door to the kitchen. Tina saw the dark rings around her mother’s bloodshot eyes and nearly crumpled to the floor. Normally her mother was full of joy and happiness. Today however Pam looked almost unrecognisable as though she had aged twenty years and shrunk to the size of a mouse.

            The time came to depart for the cemetery and what had been hushed conversations between various guests erupted into chaos. Seating arrangements in cars were made and altered; children rounded up and stuffed into coats and an endless series of hugs from well meaning friends threatened to squeeze the last bit of life out of Tina’s body.

            The fact that Vinnie, being catholic, and Mick, being protestant, had wanted to be buried in adjacent plots had caused a few problems between the priests who were officiating over the service. A few donations to the priests’ parishes had smoothed out ruffled feathers and the service had gone off smoothly.

            Large smiling portraits of Vinnie and Mick greeted the mourners as they wound their way through the cemetery to the grave site. Located on top of a hill on the outskirts of London the cemetery offered occupants sweeping views of the city not that the inhabitants were there to enjoy the scenery.

            Tina and Tony walked silently hand in hand behind the coffins each carrying a single red rose. They held their heads high not wanting to disappoint their fathers by crying in front of so many friends, family, employees and rivals. Tina had not been surprised at how many mourners had packed the tiny chapel in the cemetery grounds. Their fathers had been widely liked and admired, even grudgingly by those who had come up against them.

            After the coffins were finally lowered into the ground the crowd began to disperse, Tina remained standing a silent vigil over her father until Tony silently walked up to her, took her by the arm and led her away.

             

The wake was held at the family pub, The Red Lion. Though her father and Mick owned the building, the bar was run by Big Ron and his long suffering wife, Rosie. It was almost as if he allowed her father and Mick to own his pub. Sure they paid his wage, but step out of line and they would have been given short shrift just like everyone else.

No-one knew Big Ron’s last name, he had always been just Big Ron. As if that should be enough to separate him from everyone else and anyone who lived in the East End or did business there knew who Big Ron was. He was never a face in any mob, never got involved in any capers. But put a foot wrong in his gaff and you would regret it. Upset one of his bar staff and even the American mobster Don Cotti would have been asked which window he would like to leave through.

In his day Big Ron could have been a champion heavy weight boxer, but too many rules in the ring and an assault charge out of it ended any title hopes before they had even began. Twenty years later and he looked as though most of his muscle had turned to fat. A mistake people only made once. As one of his favourites Tina had been able to walk around the bar as she pleased and had often seen Big Ron in the cellar tossing around full kegs of beer as if they were made of thin cardboard.

To Tina, the wake passed her by as a series of disjointed scenes from a film. She heard Den Patterson, Dave Harding and a few others giving speeches and making toasts in honour of her father and Mick. She saw her mother and Lorraine Harding talking at the bar. Her mother was talking with an expression of great pain across her face while Lorraine was listening and stroking her mother’s arm soothingly.

Later, or was it earlier she saw Dave Harding sitting in a corner booth with Den, Mitch Tyler and a couple other of Dave’s crew. Dave was talking quietly but animatedly as if someone had turned the volume down on a television. She didn’t know what orders he was issuing but she could guess from the looks of imminent violence on the faces of Dave’s audience.

 There were the endless offers of sympathy and condolence to be accepted from various family members and friends. Even business rivals came to say a few kind words to her. Tina could tell though that several so called mourners had only come to watch her father and Mick being put into the ground and if left alone would have been dancing a jig over the freshly filled graves. She was her father’s daughter though and had a duty to accept each and every kind word with grace and dignity.

After the funeral Tina had only seen Tony once. There seemed to be a distance between them and it widened every day since they saw the death of their father’s. As she looked around the pub she spotted him sitting next to his uncle while Dave appeared to be issuing orders and promising retribution.

The police had admitted to Tina and her mother that they had no leads or evidence to tell them who was responsible for her father’s murder.  Everyone they talked to denied knowing anything about the hits and no witnesses came forward to say they had seen the killers enter or leave the house that day.

She had wanted to scream at the Police that she knew who had killed her father. Her voice failed her as Dave’s words rung in her ears. The Police would never believe she recognised the voice of one of the killers as maybe belonging to someone who worked for someone her father might have had dealings with in the past. Even if they did believe her, found the killer arrested him, the case would be laughed out of court at best and at worst she and Tony would be taken out by Grangers men so they could not give evidence.

As the afternoon wore on and the alcohol flowed the mourners became more raucous. A few words were spoken in anger, glasses were broken and punches were thrown before Big Ron waded through the crowd picked the offending parties up by the collar and unceremoniously deposited them on the footpath outside.

            ‘Come on, we’re going home,’ Pam said in a rush. Tina was snapped out of her daze by her mother grabbing her arm and dragging her towards the front door as it closed behind the large frame of Big Ron.

            Outside in the street a taxi was waiting. Pam pulled the door open jumped in and had already given the driver their address by the time Tina had been able to climb inside. During the drive home her mother was silent though had an air of determination and impatience about her.

            As soon as they arrived Pam was out of the taxi and bounded up the path to the front door. The driver had looked too stunned for words as Pam threw a bunch of ten pound notes at him and instructed him to wait there for them.

            Tina stood in the hallway trying to take in what was happening. Her mother had raced into the living room throwing open draws and cabinets searching for things. It was only when Pam came back to the front door where Tina still stood did she see that her mother was holding their passports and plane tickets.

            ‘Quick, upstairs, get packing, we’ve got to leave. Right now,’ Pam said grabbing Tina by the shoulders. There was a look in her mother’s eyes that she had never seen before. Fear.

            ‘What? Why?’ Tina questioned confused.

            ‘Granger’s found out you and Tony were in the house,’ Pam explained in a rush, ‘Dave told me this afternoon. They’re going to be coming for you both. I can’t lose you and your father. Please Tina, quick pack.’

            The look of fear was enough to galvanise Tina into action. She raced up to her bedroom and grabbed her suitcase from the wardrobe. Weeks later she would regret not taking the time to work out exactly what she should pack but right then she settled for throwing open drawers and wardrobes and pulling out what ever came to hand. Tony’s china rocking horse managed to be included in her grab for clothes.

            ‘Come on Tina, we’ve got to go. Now,’ Pam shouted frantically from the hallway.

            Tina slammed the lid of the case down, pulled the zipper closed and dragged it down the stairs. At the front door Pam stood with her own matching suitcase. Her father had brought them all matching luggage before they went on their last family holiday to Spain the year before. Tina felt a fresh stab in the chest at the realisation that that holiday had been their last together.

            She had spent her time acting up, well she thought of it as asserting her independence. Sulking about being dragged around tourist spots in Barcelona, refusing point blank to step foot anywhere near a bull ring where the Spanish gathered in their lust for blood and glory and generally being a pain in the backside.

            Tina would have given anything to go back to that holiday and savour the time with her father. She would have even had eaten the huge steak that she claimed tasted of the suffering of the bulls as they were slaughtered for the amusement of the crowds.

            Now though, there was no holiday, no excitement only fear and uncertainty. Without a word Pam closed the front door and locked it. The latch slid home loudly and Tina wondered if that was the last time she would see their front door unlocked.

            ‘Where to now luv?’ The driver asked.

            ‘Heathrow,’ Pam said with grim determination before settling back in her seat.

            As the taxi pulled out and drove away, Tina looked behind at the street that had been her home for so long now. Somehow she knew that she would not be going back there ever again. In the distance Tina saw Tony running down the street after them. The clouds that had built up during the afternoon finally opened up, instantly drenching him to the bone. The taxi turned left and her childhood best friend and short time boyfriend disappeared from view. She sat back in the seat but could not get the vision of Tony, standing in the middle of the road soaked and looking forlornly at the rear of the cab, out of her mind.


© 2010 Stu Edmond


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What i liked about this, like right from the beginning is the dialogue between
author and reader feels like the ambience of the story itself, like as if the Godfather himself was telling this story through a memory, theatrically played motions, weave the nature of this proloque from the mountain top
to the bars, through the alley ways so to speak, some of analogies had me laughing. I love a good gangsta- crime read, this is awsome!

Posted 10 Years Ago



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Added on May 20, 2010
Last Updated on May 20, 2010
Tags: Crime, Thriller


Author

Stu Edmond
Stu Edmond

Northampton, United Kingdom



About
I discovered writing while searching for a new career after my business went down the gurgler. I was born in the UK and moved to Australia with my parents many years ago. I returned to the UK to find .. more..

Writing
Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Stu Edmond


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A Chapter by Stu Edmond