This is the twenty-ninth part of a fiction serial, in 705 words. It may contain some swear words.
Thursday, early morning.
For Alan, the easiest way not to oversleep was to not go to sleep in the first place. So he was at the warehouse not long after three in the morning. There had been no message from Teddy or Reg that would have meant a cancellation, therefore he had to presume that Graham was going to work and doing the run as planned. Everyone knew their routes, and Kenny would show up later, after dropping the changeover vans in Epping Forest.
It was around a thirty minute drive from Leyton to the lay-by. At peak time, most of the traffic would be heading into London, not out of it, so he didn’t anticipate any problems, unless there was some kind of bad accident on either the M25 or M11. He was feeling surprisingly calm, but then he always had been like that in the old days.
Fifteen minutes before four, he opened the shutter high enough to let cars in. His Audi was parked up the side, out of the way. No sooner had he raised the shutter when Carl appeared in his motor-caravan. He drove straight in, and Alan could see Panda and Mickey Moon in the front too. Panda got out holding a cardboard box. “We stopped at an all-night cafe near Smithfield Market. Bacon sandwich each, and tea for everyone”. He seemed surpised that Kenny and Duggie were not there. “They will have to have theirs cold then”.
The two white vans appeared just after four-thirty. The shutter was raised a bit to let them reverse in, then closed for privacy.
Alan waited until sandwiches and teas were finished before speaking. “There are bin-bags over there, everything goes in them. Get your gloves on before changing into the overalls and boots Carl has brought. Let’s try to keep fingerprints and forensics down to a minimum. Don’t put the sunglasses on yet. It’s December, and cold. But put them on before we jump the truck, and don’t take them off until after the swap in Epping Forest”.
He pointed to the guns laid out on the camping table. “Don’t touch those without gloves. Carl and Panda, you take an AK each. There is only one magazine, no spare ammo. Mickey, you, Kenny, and Duggie take a pistol. They are already loaded, so don’t play with the triggers”.
After putting on the gloves, each man took the weapon allocated to him. Ten minutes later, they were all dressed in identical overalls, wearing identical boots. Alan was stuffing their clothes, including his own, into black plastic sacks. “We will change back later, and Carl will take the overalls, boots, everything else, and burn them. Kenny, here’s a key for the white Audi. Can you arrange to have it picked up tomorrow from my sister’s estate? Crush it, or sell it, I don’t care. It’s a clean motor, but I will have no use for it”. Kenny nodded as he took the key.
Just after six, Alan put a Colt Python into the leg pocket of his overalls. “Right boys, let’s make a move. Carl, you ride with Duggie, Panda in the back. I will go with Kenny, and Mickey in the back. No need to stay in sight. There are plenty of white working vans around at this time, but let’s not look like we mean to be together. Duggie, you set off now. I will lock up, then we will see you in the lay-by”.
When Kenny pulled into the lay-by at ten minutes before seven, Duggie’s van was already there, at the other end of the space.
They just had to sit and wait. Everyone had taken a piss before leaving, so nobody was allowed to get out and walk around. The three-hour wait felt like ten hours, and Alan had to stub his numerous cigarettes out inside the van, rather than fling the butts out of the window. It was almost ten before the white lorry pulled in. It was bigger than Alan had expected, and just about had room to park in the gap left between the two vans of the robbers.
When the passenger door opened, Alan shouted. “GO! GO! GO!”.