Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Off The Rails - Day two

Day two. Not as prolific as day one. To be honest, I have no idea where the story is going or how long it'll end up.

Forgot to say but day one produced 1,454 words, a tad under the 1,667 needed each day. I probably won't be writing much at weekends either so really I should be doing over 2,000 a day.

Today I managed 1,269

Day two

“We ready then?” asked Rich.

Bill nodded.“You wanna take the legs?”

It wasn’t really a question. Rich always took the legs. Bill was just made for carrying the heavy parts. Rich had known him just sling someone over his shoulder and carry him as easily as a sack of potatoes.

Rich grabbed the polythene and raised it. Leather gloves and polythene weren’t the best combination. Too slippery. He needed his gloves like a doctor needed a stethoscope. Part of the job. As Bill wrapped his huge hands under Jimmy’s chest the groans from within the bag increased.

Pulling him up towards the cellar trap door, Rich winced as Jimmy was pushed the final few feet up. He’d had a pain in his side for a week or two now. First he thought it just indigestion, but he knew it was something more. Hernia maybe? Or a cracked rib. Either way, he knew the job didn’t help.

With Bill holding the torso up, Rich left the legs poking out of the cellar door and went outside. The Crown had a gated side alley, just wide enough for a van to fit in. With the smoking ban, part of it had been converted to an outside seating area, but The Boss wanted an area kept out of public view. Handy for night time deliveries and collections, whether it be dodgy lager, drugs or bodies.

Standing next to the blacked out windowed Range Rover, Rich grabbed the legs and pulled. With Bill the oaf pushing, Jimmy came sliding out. A street light above the road lit up the polythene round Jimmy’s face. Christ it was a mess. Rich shook his head. He couldn’t remember a job getting so personal before. This really was the hardest to switch off from.

Bubbles of blood left Jimmy’s mouth as he mumbled please over and over again.

“Give it a rest, Jim.” Rich turned and pulled some nicotine gum from his pocket. He’d gone three weeks without a fag now. Tonight was the real tester. So far, apart from the gum, he was winning.

Bill appeared from the side door, panting and breathing in air. Rich noticed the smell. At first he wasn’t sure if Jimmy hadn’t soiled himself. It wouldn’t have been the first time. But no. Rich knew it was Bill. B.O. Bill, that was one of nicknames. Always had been.

Getting Jimmy in the boot was easy but Rich’s side protested again. Maybe he’d see the doctor tomorrow? Going back in the pub to lock up, he grabbed a few paraceutamols and knocked them down with a bottle of gassy French lager. One for the road. There was so little alcohol in the bottles he knew he could drink ten and still be under the limit. He needed something stronger, but wasn’t going to have it.

Bill opened and closed the gate as Rich drove out of the alley. One in the morning, weekday. Still the odd person walking home from a pub or club but otherwise the streets night on deserted. With Bill back in the car, Rich put his foot down with only the soft growl of the V6 engine and Bill’s heavy breathing to break the silence.

The night-watchman opened the compound gates on their arrival. Rich nodded at him. Ken Clark his name, he was on the payroll too. Night watchmen were both a dying breed and also the body disposers friend. This particular development, block of flats, was taking forever to finish. Rich supposed it was the credit crunch. So little money around these days, who’d want to be a luxury, new build flat now?

The gate locked behind them, Rich drove to the centre of the site. Six massive holes in the ground, part filled with concrete and steel frame. The foundations of a building, no better place to dispose of a body. The weight of the concrete pulverises the body into dust while the harsh concrete eats it away, leaving little trace. As Rich opened his door and then the boot, Bill got in a JCB and started it up.

Rich could see Jimmy’s eyes clearer now. Blinking at first, they soon widened when he realised where he was. Rich held his gaze and shook his head. Above the noise of Jimmy’s moans and protests, Rich said, “You see what you’ve done. Me and Bill have got to live with this, you know. Just so you could cream a bit more off. You’re selfish. Don’t think about anyone but yourself.”

He grabbed a wheelbarrow and pulled Jimmy into it. Arms and legs still moved, protesting as hard as they could. Behind Rich, Bill was filling the JCB bucket with concrete. Rich turned the wheelbarrow round so Jimmy could see what was happening. The moans grew louder as Bill got back in the JCB and drove it forwards, stopping with the bucket just over the hole.

“Sorry Jimmy,” said Rich as he emptied the barrow into the hole. Jimmy fell six foot to the floor with a crunch. His legs and arms moved as he tried hard to fight his way out of the polythene. Bill lowered the bucket, the concrete dripping into the hole and onto Jimmy like cold porridge.

More moans as he realised this was the end. Rich pulled another stick of nicotine gum from his pocket and chomped hard on it. Maybe he’d buy some cigs on the way home? He’d earned them today. God knew he’d earned them.

The bucket empty, Jimmy was covered head down in concrete. His face just visible through the polythene was till pleading. Rich reckoned this was enough. He’d learned his lesson.

“Get him out Bill.”

Rich sat in the passenger seat, listening to a night time play on Radio 4 while Bill dragged Jimmy out, ripped open the polythene and cleaned his face up. Wendy had got him into radio 4. He’d listened to cricket a few times and accidentally caught a few programs but they always seemed too highbrow for him. She’d shown him a whole new side to culture. It could be enjoyed by everyone, not just pompous snobs. He’d even read a few books recently. She was changing him, he knew that. Or, she was helping him to change himself.

Bill opened the door, the heavily bruised, bleeding and broken-boned Jimmy at his feet.

Rich looked at Jimmy. Shook his head. “Normally, the boss don’t give second chances. It’s kind of against his policy. But, as we go back years, he only thought it fair you get a second chance.”

Jimmy nodded. Something fell from his mouth, maybe a tooth.

“We’ll drop you off in a lay-by on the dual carriageway then ring the filth. You don’t say anything, you got that?” He nodded again. “When they’ve fixed you up, you leave town. I’ve heard Spain’s good this time of year.” Rich paused, swallowed his chewing gum. “If we see you around here again.” He shook his head. The sentence didn’t need finishing.

Bill wrapped him up again in plastic sheet, to protect the boot, as Rich rang the boss again.


Rich could hear miniature trains in the background, whirring round the track. “All done, just giving him a lift home.”


“Thanks.” Rich heard his own voice break as he said it. Showing emotion wasn’t good. Not to the boss.

“Forget it. I have. Come round and see me tomorrow morning. On your own. Give the beast a lie in.”

The beast was the boss’s nickname for Bill. Rich wondered what his own nickname was.


Rich put the phone down.

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