The Job: Part Eleven

This is the eleventh part of a fiction serial, in 743 words. It may contain some swear-words.

Recruiting begins.

As Gloria was going to bed, Alan popped his head around the door of her room. “Glor, is Teddy Henderson still about?” She shrugged. “Last I heard he was living on the Packington Estate, Danny will know where”.

Daniele Ricci was from an old Italian family in Clerkenwell. His dad had run an ice cream firm, with mobile vans touring all over north London. But that was a dangerous game at one time, with others trying to muscle in on the trade. Danny had been roughed up bad. They took a sledgehammer to his ice cream van, then to him. He had been in a wheelchair ever since. He smiled as he pulled the door open, scooting his wheelchair back to let Alan into the ground floor flat.

“Danny, I’m looking for Teddy Henderson. Gloria told me you know where he lives now”. Wheeling across to a chest of drawers, Danny took an address book from the top one. “He was on the Packington until last year, but now he lives in a flat in Golden Lane, Barbican area. It’s above a shop, so I’ve never been there. Hang on, I’ll write down the address for you”. Alan took the post-it-note, and turned to leave. “Thanks, Danny. Good to see you mate”. The less Danny knew about anything, the better.

The cab didn’t take long to get down to The Barbican at that time of day. There was no reply from the doorbell marked ‘Henderson’, so Alan waited, pretending to browse along the windows of the row of shops. Three cigarettes later, he heard a familiar voice. “Fuck me! Is that a ghost? No, can’t be, ghosts don’t have tans. Alan, you old bastard, you found me. Come on up, I’ve got some decent brandy in the flat”.

Teddy still looked fit, but his face was old. He served the brandy in two mismatched glasses, and sat on the bed. Alan took the small armchair, trying not to look around the shabby studio flat. He came straight to the point. “Teddy mate, I’m looking to put up a team. I need someone like you to sort out five reliable blokes who don’t ask too many questions, and can handle themselves with shooters. And nobody just out of jug, or wanted by the Old Bill. There’s a nice earner in it for you, get you out of this shit-hole”.

Twenty-nine years earlier, Alan had taken Teddy on a job. They used motorbikes and raided a posh jewellers in Knightsbridge. In and out, with a good haul, but Teddy didn’t know the area. He had got himself lost in some back street, and been cornered by two police cars. He decided to shoot his way out, and injured a copper in the leg doing so. Five minutes later, another police car rammed his bike, and put him in hospital.

He went to court for sentencing on a day when the judge was in a shit mood, and got thirty years. Armed robbery, and attempted murder of a police officer. He wouldn’t grass up the others, so got hit hard. Paroled after twenty-two years, his wife had left him, and his flat was gone. Alan had given his wife fifteen grand when Teddy got sent down, then Pauline told him to fuck off, and slammed the door in her face.

He felt he still owed Teddy.

“I was living with my old nan on the Packington, Al. But when she died, I didn’t qualify to keep a two-bed flat. This was the best I could get from the housing trust people. I do know some people who would be up for that, but not me. I’ve had enough mate”. Alan swallowed some more of the cheap brandy. “I just need you to do the recruiting, Teddy. No need to be on the job”. Teddy nodded. “Yeah, I can do that. Got a number where I can contact you, once I set up a meet?” Alan shook his head.

“No phones, Teddy. Come and find me at Gloria’s flat in Highbury Grove when you have something solid”. Reaching into the inside pocket of his jacket, he handed over five hundred pounds. “This is for your time and trouble today, and for using cabs. No hire cars, and like I said, no phones”. He stood up to leave.

“And there’s enough there for a decent bottle of Cognac. Treat yourself”.

32 thoughts on “The Job: Part Eleven

  1. (1a) Clerkenwell got its name when a fallen clergyman perished in the parish well.
    (1b) Bad citation: “Daniele Ricci was from an old Italian family in Clerkenwell. His dad had run an ice cream firm. In fact, the ice cream was so firm that you needed a sledgehammer to break it into edible chunks. The firm should have gone with soft serve.”
    (2) A man was clinging to the edge of a cliff. He had stumbled while hiking the scenic trail with his wife. Overheard:
    Husband: “I need Search and Rescue!”
    Wife: “Hang on, I’ll write down the address for you.”
    (3) Directions to Teddy Henderson’s place: “Fill your tank with gas, and then take the Lost Highway. After roamin’ around for a while, you’ll see the Appian Way exit. At milepost MMCDXIII, turn onto Easy Street. Drive past the Yellow Brick Road to Golden Lane and turn right. Look for a honky-tonk called the Golden Goose. There’s a Primrose Path on the side of the building that will lead you to the shop in the back.”
    (4) “Is that a ghost? No, can’t be, ghosts don’t have tans.” Has Teddy never heard of Ghost Toasties?
    (5) After drinking brandy in the shabby studio flat, Alan’s mind remained sharp.
    (6) Two mismatched glasses: one for cheap Brandy; one for a decent Cognac.
    (7) Teddy couldn’t shoot his way out of a paper bag, but he managed to shoot a copper in the leg.
    (8) Did you hear about the backwoods genie who loved moonshine so much that he spent 22 years in the jug? A cop rubbed him out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alan’s certainly a planner while covering his back…but guess plain sailing this won’t be…Loving this trip down memory lane so far, Pete very descriptive and true to life πŸ™‚ x

    Liked by 1 person

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