This is the twenty-fourth part of a fiction serial, in 839 words. It may contain some swear-words.
Going over things.
If the police were still interested in Frankie’s murder, they weren’t putting themselves about much in the area where he used to live. Alan was relieved to see no more coppers than usual around the estate, and presumed they were concentrating their investigation on the area where the bodies had been found, off the Balls Pond Road. He was keeping away from the usual pubs, not wanting to get involved in any conversations about Toland’s sudden departure from this life.
Being in the flat on his own gave him time to think. He was about to embark on a very serious bit of work with a crew that he didn’t really know. Kenny seemed up for it, and his mate Duggie looked the part. Despite his squeaky voice, he reckoned he could count on Carl, but his mate Panda was a worry. Mickey Moon was trading on his old man’s reputation, so he was an unknown quantity. As he sat sipping a large scotch that Monday evening, he thought seriously about jacking it all in, sending the guns back to Rupert, and cutting his losses.
So far, the front-money hadn’t been too much to walk away from. He could pick up Gloria, leave the Audi at the airport, and be back in Spain by next weekend. The thought was tempting.
But not as tempting as the money he might get from that job.
Graham’s idea was basic, but very workable. They would need to drop the two changeover vehicles somewhere not too far early that morning. Fifteen minutes on scene was plenty of time. Ten would be enough, five at a pinch. But it all depended on everyone doing as they were told on the day, and after the event. Alan’s trump card was that he was unknown to the police, and that was mainly thanks to Teddy Henderson. But his name would now be known to the five others on the job, as well as Graham, Reg and Lugs. And Teddy of course. That in itself didn’t matter too much, as long as he got his sister away so they couldn’t trace him through her.
Nobody knew about Richard Alexander, except Rupert, and the letting agent. But Rupert couldn’t grass, not if he wanted to stay in business. And stay alive. As for the agent, he would get his keys back, and a nice clean warehouse with just one broken smoke alarm. No reason to think he would be any the wiser, or associate the rental with a robbery near Debden.
He woke up with a start, just before five in the morning. He had forgotten something. It was a detail, but a crucially important one. He sat on the edge of the bed and punched the side of his head in frustration. How could he have been so stupid?
The kid on the bmx bike. He had taken the message about Frankie meeting him that night.
Alan had told him to get Frankie to pick him up on the corner at eight. And he had no idea who the kid had passed that message on to, before it filtered up to Frankie himself. If that kid had any sense, he would know full well that Frankie was picking up a bloke not long before he was shot, even if he didn’t know the bloke’s name. Someone else might know it. Someone higher up in the chain of command.
After that, he couldn’t get back to sleep. No chance he could shoot a kid who was probably only about thirteen, and avoid a huge police investigation on Gloria’s doorstep. Paying him to keep quiet wasn’t an option, as he was bound to brag about that to someone. He decided to go and have a bath, despite the hour. No point dwelling over something he couldn’t change. There was no option but to wait and see if anyone came calling.
Just as well Gloria had decided to stay in Clacton for now.
Not long after ten, he was ringing Teddy’s doorbell. If his old friend had been on the booze again, he didn’t look like it when he opened the door. Upstairs in the flat, Alan went over some things he needed to be done.
“We are going to need some sort of overalls. The zip-up type, dark colour, all the same. Then boots, like army boots. Matching gloves, and some face coverings like those SAS soldiers wear. And sunglasses, each pair the same. The only thing different about any of the team on the day will be height and size. Can your man Carl sort all that, Teddy?” He removed a pile of cash from his coat pocket and placed it on the coffeee table. “This should be enough. Oh, that Panda character. You sure he’s staunch? He seems like a complete fucking idiot to me, Teddy”. Teddy picked up the money, and smiled.
“He’s as thick as two short planks, but as tough as nails. He’ll do what he’s told, Al”.