This is the twenty-third part of a fiction serial, in 1,000 words.
The afternoon of the same day
Ten minutes before their allotted time ran out, two police officers unlocked the cells in the corridor, and told Leonora and Tarr to follow them to the front desk. They were to be allowed to leave, after checking their possessions, and signing for them. There was a flap on around the area, and most of the officers on response were heading to a shooting incident. Leo and Tarr said very little as their stuff was handed over to them, then scribbled something illegible on the forms they were given to sign. Outside in the front car park of the police station, Leo lit a cigarette as Tarr used his mobile to call Bulldog to come and pick them up. He pulled a face as he hung up. “The boy’s across town, it’s gonna take him at least ten, twelve minutes to get here”. Leonora shrugged.
Along the street, Jenny sat in the big Mercedes. She was illegally parked, and had the engine running in case she got moved on. She watched as Leo and her boyfriend walked to the edge of the street, and looked up and down casually. Jenny had watched the police cars rushing in the other direction, no doubt heading for the car park of Agata’s agent. Her respectable two-month old luxury car had not attracted the attention of any of them, but she had crouched low in the seat as they drove past at speed, just in case. In the middle of all that had happened, she couldn’t get over just how much petrol this car used, as it was now showing just a quarter of a tank remaining. She hoped that leaving it running didn’t cause it to run out of fuel before she did what she had to do.
Jenny didn’t know that much about cars, and had no idea how big and powerful the car she was driving really was. She also had no idea that it weighed two tons. But she did know that it went very fast, very quickly, and that was all she needed to know.
So many officers had turned up, Commander McDonald started to give them all things to do, before their presence corrupted the crime scene.
A supposedly traumatised Mark Goldman tried to play down his lack of heroism as they took his statement, claiming he had to rush back inside the building to get something he had forgotten. He said that he ran out when he heard the shot, and saw a short man dressed in black, wearing denim jeans. “He was walking away, in the direction of the back street. Not running, just walking fast. But what could I have done?”. He went on to add that the man was wearing a wooly hat, and no, he hadn’t seen nor heard a car.
The Commander was shouting at everyone to touch nothing until scene of crime officers arrived to take photos. She had already convinced herself that it was a contract killing, set up by Leonora, who had the perfect alibi. Locked up in a police cell miles away, at the time of the shooting.
But the cashmere overcoat was confusing her.
As Bulldog turned into the road leading to the police station, he slowed the speed of the Range Rover. No point getting stopped before he picked up his boss, Leonora. He had already made sure to leave his gun with Otto, before coming to pick them up. He wouldn’t put it past the police to pull them over as soon as they drove away. There was nowhere to stop outside the police station, so he looked for a spot opposite, choosing a bus bay next to a busy bus stop. Leo and Tarr would just have to cross the street to jump into the car. Tarr spotted the car as Bulldog slowed down, and raised a hand to wave to him. With no traffic coming, they started to walk across the road as he pulled across the bus stop.
The huge engine of Jenny’s hired Mercedes 450 went from zero to sixty miles an hour in just under four seconds. Neither Tarr nor Leonora heard it coming, and Tarr was already reaching for the door handle of the Range Rover as the huge black car swept over his girlfriend, dragging her along the street without hardly losing any speed. The impact had not even set off the airbag, but Jenny struggled with the steering as the car continued down the street, failing to notice that a bus further ahead was indicating to pull out. She collided with the bus sideways on, ramming what was left of Leo into the engine compartment at the back of the number 301.
That time the airbag did inflate. Many airbags in fact, all around her.
People rushed to see what had happened. Passengers got off the bus to look, and the bus driver climbed out of his seat too. The commotion in the street attracted the attention of the police officer on reception duty in the police station opposite, and he rushed out, calling up on his radio for assistance, and an ambulance. Tarr looked round at Bulldog, his face grim. “Just drive, man. Get us out of here”.
The young policeman pulled open the door of the Mercedes and looked to see if the driver was hurt. It was a woman, with cropped hair, and she looked terrible, though had no visible injuries. As the airbags drooped, he caught her gaze, and noticed she seemed to be smiling. There was an alarm signal going off on the mobile phone on the seat next to her. “Help’s on the way, stay where you are. Are you in pain? Does it hurt anywhere?” Her mouth was moving, but he couldn’t hear what she was saying. He leaned into the car, pressing his ear against her mouth. “Is she dead? Did I get her?”
With that, Jenny vomited over his neck, then passed out.