3:17 Part Ten

This is the tenth part of a fiction serial, in 726 words.

Neil was checking his watch, but he didn’t have the satisfaction of saying I was late. So he talked about Junior instead.

“Junior is out already, an early viewing before they catch their train to work. You would do well to follow his example, Darren. The early bird, and all that”. I wanted to have a pump action shotgun to hand, so I could blow him against the back wall, watching the blood spatter against the photos of the houses we had been trying to sell for so long, they were relegated to what we called ‘the dead zone’.

What the hell was he doing here? He must have had a ninety-minute drive from Kent, in terrible traffic. My day could not get any worse.

But it did of course, starting with having to watch Kelly and Penny flirting with him, as if he was the greatest catch in Essex. Then if that wasn’t bad enough, he wanted to go through all my unsold commercial lots, and tell me why he thought I wasn’t selling them.

Obviously the fire at Dockside View had shut down the development for now, leaving him at a loose end. He had jumped at the chance to fill in for John, which was his first offer of management. Even though it was temporary.

I was hoping he might change his mind, when he found out it took him over two hours to drive home in solid rush hour traffic.

After Neil’s pep talk, I had to spend all morning on the phone to people who didn’t want my commercial premises, and had no intention of ever buying them. Lunchtime came as a relief, and I went to Sammi’s to get that lottery ticket. I still had the napkin, and made sure to choose the numbers exactly as Mark had written them down. While I was there, I also bought a Ginster’s Steak Slice, two packets of plain crisps, and a creme egg. I stood in the alleyway and ate the lot, reluctant to go back inside and let Neil lord it over me.

The truth was, I might well have battered him senseless. Not only losing my job, but getting arrested for assault into the bargain.

That afternoon felt like a week. I still don’t know how I lept my temper. At least I didn’t have to work over the weekend, thanks to my two days at Dockside View. I had that lottery ticket safe inside my wallet, and could only hope that I got a result, and could tell Neil where to shove his job. Then maybe give him just a playful slap as I walked out.

As slaps go, I could have happily slapped both Penny and Kelly. Penny conned the Mini out of Neil, stroking his arms in the process. She disappeared without having to say where she was going. Though I suspected she was off home, for a sex session with PC Plod. Then Kelly made him three different cups of coffee, until he decided she had got it just right. That reminded me of the three bears, and Goldilocks. I could have spit, I tell you.

Finishing time couldn’t come soon enough, not helped by Junior showing up, claiming to have sold not one, but three houses.

Walking home, I was praying that John would be alright, and be back at work soon. The prospect of Neil taking over full time would have been too much to bear, and I considered quickly researching some vacancies online when I got in.

Just about to ring and order an Indian takeway, the phone rung in my hand, and I saw it was my mum calling. I usually phoned her on a Sunday, and it was unknown for her to ring me.

“Darren, it’s mum. Can you come and see me this weekend? I have something important to talk about. Why don’t you come for Sunday dinner, shall we say about two?” I told her I would be there, then rang the Indian to order my food. As I was waiting for the delivery, I couldn’t help wondering why mum wanted to see me. She almost never asked me over, except on her birthday and at Christmas.

It occured to me it might have something to do with Auntie Jean, and I felt my face flush at the memory.

37 thoughts on “3:17 Part Ten

    1. He has spent his life watching films starring the likes of Arnie, Sly, and Clint. He thinks of revenge on those terms, but he never actually does anything violent. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Observation: “I wanted to have a pump action shotgun to hand, so I could blow him against the back wall, watching the blood spatter against the photos of the houses we had been trying to sell for so long…” Darren continues to have violent thoughts, and is obsessed with the number 317 and bouncing balls. He’s not right in the head…

    (1) Early birds are steering clear of Darren. His flights of fancy are violent.
    (2) Does SexxonMobil sell gas in Essex?
    (3) Bad citation: “I stood in the alleyway and ate the lot. Yes, it was a difficult and dirty job moving that unsold commercial lot into the alleyway, but my taste buds assured me that the effort was worth it.”
    (4) Sammi’s hard boiled eggs tend to ricochet off the walls of bedrooms, and bounce noisily down dark stairways. Maybe they should stop selling eggs laid by rubber chickens.
    (5) G-Man Digest ran an article on Darren. In a wiretapped conversation with Kelly, Darren was overheard saying, “I feel like shooting Neil. I’m going to buy myself a machine gun, Kelly.”
    (6) “The prospect of Neil taking over full time would have been too much to bear.” My advice: Get out while you can, Goldilocks!
    (7) Darren was “just about to ring and order an Indian takeaway” when he realized that the kidnapping ring in Mumbai had changed its phone number…again.
    (8) I’m not anti-Jean as long as she’s young and alive, comes out of her half-dreamed dream, and runs to the top of the hill into my arms.

    Liked by 1 person

All comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.