This is the eighth part of a fiction serial, in 1140 words.
By midday, Candy was getting fractious, to say the least. There was nothing around in this flat, and she hadn’t been able to have that rock after all. As frustration got the better of her, she decided to get some payback in the only way she could think of. Fetching a big knife from a block in the kitchen, she dragged it across the sixty inch screen of the television, pressing hard. Satisfied with the huge scratch, she did one the other way, leaving a cross marked on the shiny black surface. Then she started on the DVD films, taking each one out of its case, and making a clean cut across it, before flinging them over her shoulder. Then the few music CDs she could find got the same treatment, until the living area was littered with plastic cases, and shiny, damaged discs.
It felt great to be so destructive, and her eyes scanned around, wondering what to do next. She unplugged all the cables running into the back of the TV, and cut them off as close to the set as possible. Then she did the same with the satellite box, and DVD player. Moving into the kitchen, she repeated the process with the toaster, coffee maker, juicer, and fancy designer food mixer that he probably never used. Walking over to the huge American fridge freezer, she felt around the back, found the plug, and pulled it around to the front, slicing it off with a big grin. Her mind raced, what to do next? The huge row of wardrobes in the bedroom provided the answer to that. Seven smart suits, removed one by one, and cut to ribbons with that super-sharp knife, the resulting rags chucked carelessly onto the bed. After that, she did all the shirts and ties, before opening some drawers, and starting on the underwear, jumpers, T-shirts, and socks. By the time she had finished, the bed was piled high with ruined clothes, and Candy reckoned he would be left with only what he had worn into work that day.
Jack was having a slow day, one of the worst for ages. By lunchtime, he had less than four quid in his pot, and one fiver stashed in his boot. At least he didn’t feel hungry, Mario had seen to that. But the bacon had made him thirsty, and he would have to go and get a drink soon. None of the regulars has been around. Gay Terry hadn’t appeared, and there was still no sign of Candy. He tried not to let himself get gloomy. Days like these were common, when the loneliness kicked in, and the people walking past barely noticed him. It was on days like these he often thought about going home again. There was at least three hundred stashed in the ventilation slots behind the bank now. Enough to get some clean clothes, and a train ticket. Jack shook off the idea, and forced a smile. Candy was bound to be back later. She always showed up eventually.
After all her exertions, Candy was hot and sweaty, and the flat felt stuffy and airless. There was a big air conditioning unit on the wall, but she didn’t have a clue how it worked. Walking over to the long row of folding doors, she found a lever on one side, and jiggled it. The door opened, and she slid it sideways, amazed by how smoothly the huge glass rolled open. On the balcony, the fresh air was welcome, and that high up, there was quite a breeze too. She rested against the railing for a while, watching some boats come and go on the river far below. Glancing to her left, she spotted an enclosed spiral staircase that she couldn’t have seen from inside the flat. At the top of that staircase, she found a huge roof terrace, covered in tastefully-arranged plants in tubs, some wooden loungers with no cushions on them, and of all things, a full-size hot tub, inside a smart wooden building that was open at the front. Wandering around what seemed to be T’s half of the entire roof, she noticed a sign on a small concrete structure near the back. It read ‘Fire Exit’, and had a picture of a man walking downstairs on it. Candy folded her arms across her chest, and chuckled out loud.
Koz had only been asleep for a couple of hours, when he was awakened by a hand slapping his face repeatedly. Without opening his eyes, he grabbed the hand to stop the slapping, and then heard a familiar voice. “Come on Koz, wake up now, things to do my friend. Get up out of that stinking pit, I have a job for you”. When Koz looked up, Pavel was smiling at him. Dressed in his usual track suit, and wearing the latest expensive trainers, the gold chains around his neck swung around as he bent over. The huge spider tattoo on his neck looked darker than usual to Koz. Maybe it was the light in the room. “We have to go get some new girls, Koz my friend, and I need you to help me. Come on now, up, up, up”. No time for a wash, or a coffee, Koz pulled on last night’s clothes, and slipped his feet into laced up trainers. He followed Pavel outside, where his big van was parked. “I’m driving, you ride shotgun”. The Russian grinned, making Koz feel uneasy. Once in the van, Pavel handed him a chunky automatic pistol. “Just in case”, he said, turning the key to start the engine.
Candy was busy again. Back down in the flat, she got the bag back out, and started to fill it with all the things it had contained earlier, dropping the big sharp knife in first. She wasn’t sure about the small stuff, but the laptop, Tablet, talking computer thing, and that gold watch, they should all fetch a decent price, or a good trade with Clinton, at the very least. She found a laptop pocket at the back of the bag, and unzipped that to put the laptop inside. But something else was already in there. Excitement building, she scrabbled around in the pocket, dragging out bag after bag of white powder until the floor was covered in the large sealed plastic bags. There were nineteen of them, and she was betting it was coke, probably good stuff too, knowing T. She put them back into the main part of the bag under the Tablet, slipped the laptop into the pocket, and headed for the balcony and staircase.
When she pressed the big lever to open the fire escape, an alarm started sounding, all through the building. But Candy ignored that, and started to run down the stairs, jumping a few at a time.
To be continued…