The Job: Part Three

This is the third part of a fiction serial, in 730 words. There are some swear-words included.

An Idea Forms.

“The Bank of England, Reg? I presume we are not talking about walking into Threadneedle Street and holding it up? I doubt there is any cash on the premises mate”. Alan lit another cigarette, feeling the pressure on his chest as he inhaled.

Reg took another big swig of the Black Label, and Alan refilled the glass for him.

“No, Alan. This is a warehouse in East Ham. One of the places where old notes are stored from banks all over London. They are counted out into amounts, wrapped in plastic, then put in wheeled cages. The lorry drivers load them up, and take them to sites around the country to be incinerated. The biggest one is in Wales. But the thing is, next year, they are going to start composting them. Chop them up, and recycle them. It’s all this Green thing, you know. Global warming, pollution. You must have heard about all that crap, even in Spain. The bottom line is that this is the year. The last chance before they stop burning them. Once they are chopped up, they will be worth nothing. Fuck all mate.”

Waiting for Alan to say something, Reg tapped the rim of his glass with his unusually long and thick fingernails. But before he got an answer, there was the sound of someone moving outside in the hallway, followed by the bang of the toilet seat being lifted carelessly. Next came the unmistakable sound of someone throwing up, with the accompanying gagging and retching. Alan stood up and switched on the kettle, sliding a mug over before dropping a tea-bag into it from the canister nearby.

Gloria would need a cup of tea after that.

As Alan allowed the tea to brew and spooned in two sugars, the tapping of the glass was irritating him. Reg seemed nervous in a situation where he had no need to be. He added a splash of milk, and stirred the tea. “Won’t be a minute, Reg. Just need to check on Gloria”.

His sister was taking her dress off as he walked into the bedroom. Her hair was plastered flat on one side, and her face was as white as a sheet. He put the tea down on the bedside cabinet. “Drink this, love. Then get some decent sleep. I’m just chatting to Reg in the kitchen”.

Before going back to Reg, Alan leaned against the wall in the hallway, staring at the knitted flamenco dancer ornament on a side table that Gloria had brought back from a trip to Benidorm. If he worked on this plan, it would mean months of preparation. He might even be there well into the new year. Even after seven years, Alan hadn’t got used to seeing a two in front of the year, and two thousand and eight wouldn’t change the feeling that it didn’t seem right.

Alan came back into the room so quietly, it made Reg jump. “So how soon next year does this composting start, Reg? Can your boy find out? It’s never going to happen this year, it will take too much planning, maybe even a couple of dry runs for timings and feasibility. Besides, I don’t know that many blokes still working in the game now, and finding a decent team is going to be the hardest part”. Reg smiled, knowing that Alan must be interested enough to have an idea forming in his mind.

“I can ask him tomorrow, Alan. His name is Graham, but everyone calls him Duke, ’cause he walks like John Wayne. He had a bad motorbike accident years ago, and his hip never set right. Alan lit a cigarette that sent him into a fit of dry coughing. “No phones, Reg. All face to face. And I’m going to need to see this Graham, sound him out, get the feel of him. Okay?”

Gulping down the remainder of his scotch, Reg stood up and felt for his car keys in a trouser pocket. Even though he had drunk the best part of a bottle of Black Label, he seemed like he hadn’t had one drink. There was no way he was walking home, Alan knew that. “Right, Alan. I will set up a meet. Somewhere quiet, away from any big-eared radar”.

The bathroom door slammed again, and they both heard Gloria bringing up her sweet tea.

33 thoughts on “The Job: Part Three

    1. Some of the nicknames back in the day were almost impossible to work out, and others were obvious. ‘Little Legs Brian’ was a real local gangster who had unusually short legs. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.


    1. They use dye-packs in packages of notes in transit in case of theft. But those notes are the ones destined for use in banks. The old ‘worn-out’ money wasn’t stained, just packed into same denomination bundles and sent off for burning or composting.
      There was an actual case some years back where some random housewives working in such a facility stole tens of thousands of pounds by stuffing it inside their underwear on a daily basis. 🙂

      ‘The Loughton incinerator thefts occurred between 1988 and 1992 at the Bank of England’s incinerator plant at Debden in Loughton, Essex – four employees of the plant stole more than GB£600,000 in a series of regular thefts. The four participants and their spouses were arrested in 1992, with only one being prosecuted in criminal court. In a civil suit, the remaining members of the group were ordered to repay half a million pounds to the bank’.

      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  1. (1) Did you hear the one about the Aussie who tried to find Threadneedle Street on Haystack Island?
    (2a) He who ̶ ̶s̶q̶u̶e̶a̶l̶s̶ ̶ steals in East Ham inevitably goes on the lam ̶b̶ .
    (2b) I read an old note that claims the Japanese prefer karate chops to lamb chops.
    (3a) Did Gloria stay in a beni-hotel or a beni-dormitory?
    (3b) I take it those weren’t Just for Laughs gags in the bathroom. #FunnyCanucks
    (4) Bad citation: “It’s never going to happen this year, it will take too much planning, maybe even a couple of dry runs for timings and feasibility. But at least it’s not a mission: impossible.”
    (5) Alan wants to get the feel of Graham. But Graham may decide to duke it out with Alan.
    (6) Reg drank “the best part of a bottle of Black Label.” I figured he wouldn’t drink the worst part.
    (7) Bad citation: “Right, Alan. I will set up a meat. Do you want ham or lamb?”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The characters you’ve presented are just gold Pete, Reg the old guy who holds his liquor, Gloria who shouldn’t be drinking at all, Alan the intense one who smokes like a chimney, and now Duke who walks as if he’s John Wayne! Love all the detail, looking forward to the possibility of a daring heist? C

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re welcome, Pete. I’ll be there! We”re in the car headed to see our grandchildren after 18 months. A rare few days off work. So it’s nice to be reading.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “And I’m going to see this Graham, sound him out, get the feel of him. “Okay?”

    “Fine. Just don’t ask me to join in on your tawdry fantasies. I don’t like handling men.”

    Liked by 2 people

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