I'm having a stab at Nano. If you don't know, it's writing 50,000 words of a novel in the month of november.
I'll also be blovelling it. (i.e. Blogging it as I write) Thanks to Ron Earl Philips for that idea. It may come to nothing. It probably will to be honest, things are busy enough as it is without adding another 50,000 words to the mix.
But here's day one. Please excuse any typos or formatting problems.
Off the rails.
Ron Henderson leant over the chipboard. His sleeves were pinned tight to his broad arms: a wayward sleeve can cause havoc in four millimetre scale. The tree in his hand tiny. Barely two inches tall yet as detailed as a full size oak. Squeezing the trunk into the chipboard, he released his finger gently, raising his arm up before leaning back out of the way.
His mobile rang.
Turning, he grabbed the phone and looked at the display. Rich. It had to be him, no one else would ring this time of night. His muscles already clenching, he answered it. “What?”
“I know. What?”
“Erm, that problem we had? It’s worse than we thought.”
Ron sat on the swivel chair and placed his finger on the power pack, gently moving the dial to the first setting. He winced as a small electric spark came from a wheel as it started to turn.
He watched the train move out of the station, past the carefully built and painted signal box then turned the speed up a notch as it crossed the branchline junction and headed into the green-felted countryside.
“His hand’s been more than in the till,” said Rich.
His hand clenched as he turned the dial again. Three then four. The train now careering through the tunnel, then out again. Round the circular track, past the second station through more countryside then back into the first station.
“Take him out,” he said.
His hand moved the dial from four to seven. The train now hurtling round, it passed bemused plastic sheep and railway workers destined to forever hold an sledgehammer mid-throw.
“Out where, Boss?”
Seven to ten. The train now too fast. Wobbling on the bend as it struggled to keep grip. Over the wooden lollipop stick bridge with a shudder. Rounding a corner towards the goods yard. First the tender wheels came off the track, then the first class carriage. The momentum carried it forward, towards the village.
“Take him out. Snuff him out.”
The train flew off the board, taking out a retaining wall, a MkI Ford Cortina and an allotment worker with it.
Rich put the phone back in his pocket.
There was a time when he liked his job. It used to be fairly harmless. Ducking and diving, wheeling and dealing. A bit of a game. That’s all it used to be, just a game.
He stared at the man in front of him. Jimmy Cargill. Licensed to serve intoxicating liquor. Not licensed to serve weak French lager that’d never been near customs. Jimmy was only in his twenties, he’d been in the same school year as Rich’s little brother. Rich shook his head, this wasn’t going to be easy.
“What the boss say?” said Bill.
Bill stood beside him with his mouth open, wiping blood off his knuckles on a beer mat. Rich had known Bill since school. Mates of old. Brains and brawn, the classic partnership. Bill was obviously the brawn; if he had a brain he’d nearly be dangerous.
Nearly dangerous, just nearly.
“It ain’t good, Jimmy.”
Jimmy looked up at him, his big nose now squashed flat over his face. Arcs of blood on his white shirt with a few drips nestling on the floor.
“Please?” He squinted his eyes, tried to make them say please.
Rich had seen it all before. What the boss wanted, the boss got. It still wasn’t going to be easy. He looked round, caught Bill’s eyes then nodded. Bill dropped the beer mat and picked up the pick axe handle.
Rich turned and walked to the back of the cellar as the blows rained down. He’d never been one for the violent side. Sure it went with the job, but does a hat maker admire every hat he sees?
The damp brick walls were sporting green algae at the back of the cellar. The whole pub had e-coli written all over it. Maybe an easier way of finishing Jimmy would be to force feed him his own cheese rolls? He typed a message into his phone.
‘Working late tonight, be another few hours.’ then pressed send.
‘Okay x’ came the reply.
Wendy was a good one. In the past he’d liked them bad. That kind of went with the job too. Trouble always followed bad and before long, he’d had enough of trouble and bad. Wendy was good. She didn’t know the half of it. She didn’t know any of it. He thought she suspected, after all, he was very well paid for just a chauffeur. Chauffeur’s didn’t occasionally come home with scars, muddy trousers and bloody hands either. Yeah, she knew something wasn’t right. But she’d never asked.
She was a good one.
Jimmy’s screams were getting louder than Bill’s heavy breathing as the hits rained down. Bill had always breathed through his mouth. It seemed using more than one orifice was too much for his brain. He was a good lad though. You’d trust him with your life. With your life.
“Okay Bill.” Rich walked back from the barrels and crates of Le Lager towards the mass of pulp and blood that was once Jimmy. Jesus this job never got easier. Nose broken, eyes bulging, one about to pop from its socket. His elbow the wrong way too and a lump halfway between it and his shoulder. Even his fractures had fractures. Bill put down the stick of wood and gobbled in breaths, his face nearly as red as the blood on the stone floor.
Jimmy moved, he was still alive. Thank god for that. The boss doesn’t like them dead too easily. He likes them to really know the reason why. Not that it’s a lesson. No one else knows, do they? What kind of lesson has no pupils?
“We’re going for a drive, Jimmy,” said Rich. No emotion in his voice. His whole body was on autopilot now. Done this a dozen times before. Probably do it another dozen.
He pulled out his phone, rang a different number.
“Yeah?”Snake. Snake the cleaner to his friends.
“Ferret inn cellar, Snake. Bit of a spillage, needs a good mopping up.”
“On my way.”
Rich pocketed the phone and spread the plastic sheeting on the floor. Ten foot by eight. The cellar was barely big enough to stretch it out.
“Please,” mumbled Jimmy.
That didn’t make it any easier. Rich looked at his face again. Jaw lopsided, head split open and dripping red into his eye. He remembered the time Jimmy had come round for his tea. Would have been twelve, maybe thirteen. Him and Rich’s brother, Ted had nipped into his room, raided his stash of porn mags. He heard them upstairs, sniggering away like a couple of hyenas while he was watching Crackerjack. He went up, caught them red handed and red faced. He had to smile at the time though. He’d have done the same himself.
And now, here he was. Half dead with Bill rolling him up in polythene.
Rich always thought the half dead were curious. They moved so slowly, limbs moving under a sea of blood but everything was slowed down. Just like a zombie film. He thought back to his brother, Ted. Living in Australia now. He’d had the real brains of the family. God knows where he got it from. He thought his dad had always wondered the same thing too. Never had any time for him. Rich and his brother lost contact when he was half way through university. Different crowd of people, different tastes. He’d got out though. Left not just the estate but also the country.
Jimmy mumbled one last please as Bill gaffa taped the polythene together. His bloodshot eyes inside moving around. Rich thought this was the probably the hardest so far. Him and Jimmy had got fairly close this past year while he was running the pub. Of course everyone expected a bit of slicing off the top, but Jimmy’s slice was approaching the ridiculous. He was a crap thief too. If he’d been clever, he could have got away with it for years. Made himself a fortune then buggered off to Spain. But no, just like that magazine twenty years ago, he’d wanted too much too soon.
One last check of the polythene and Bill nodded, his breathing now like he’d run a marathon. Rich knew it wasn’t his fault. Bad sinuses. A small piece of dislodged bone that continually blocked his nose.