I leaned forward. A figure had emerged from the shadows. We weren't far away and could see the knife. I was straight out of the car, running towards them. If I'd thought about what I was doing, I would have stayed in the car.
'Alright, Darren?' I asked, standing between them.
The guy holding the knife turned to me. 'I suggest you fuck off, mate.'
'Can't do that' I said, hoping I sounded more confident than I felt. He was a teenager, not much more than a kid. He was scared but he didn't want me to see the fear I knew he was feeling.
'The police are coming' said Ahmet, eventually catching up. His breathing was heavy and laboured. He wasn't in shape for running. 'I have called them.'
'Put the knife down' I said to the teenager. I made sure there was plenty of distance between us. 'Just calm down.'
'Fuck's sake.' The kid's hand was unsteady, the situation spiralling out of his control. 'This was supposed to be easy.'
'It still can be' I said. 'Just walk away.'
'Course you can. The police aren't going to be here for a while yet.'
'Be on your way, son.' We all turned towards the newcomer to the scene. The man was even bigger than Ahmet, but definitely family.
Ahmet shook his head. 'Gus?'
'Good evening, gents.'
I turned to Ahmet, looking for an explanation.
'This is my brother' he said, looking away from me.
I didn't like what I was hearing.
'Ahmet is my brother' Gus said, holding his hand out to me, 'and my business rival.' 'I swear to you, Joe, I didn't know about this' Ahmet said to me. 'I wouldn't have asked Don to send you if I had known the truth.'
I turned to Gus. 'The robberies were your idea?'
'I'm not proud of it' he said 'but yes, I had to send Ahmet a message. I cannot tolerate his behaviour in stealing my staff.'
I shook my head and turned to Darren, understanding the set-up. 'You were in on it, weren't you?'
Darren put the pizzas down. 'I needed the money, man.'
'For your bigger plans?'
He said nothing.
'It's not Darren's fault' said Gus. He turned to his brother and pointed. 'If he could have just left my staff alone, none of this would have needed to happen.'
It started to make sense. 'Darren's sister would ring you, wouldn't she' I said 'tell you where to send your man with the knife? Make it look like a robbery?'
Gus nodded. 'Yes. She is loyal to me. She only left because Darren had his head turned by my brother. She wishes to return to my employment. As does Darren, really.'
Easy pickings, I thought. No wonder Darren was so relaxed about the situation. He was never in any danger. I wondered how many times he thought he'd be able to turn the trick before calling it a day. He probably thought he was bullet proof but your luck has to turn eventually. I heard police sirens in the distance.
Turning to Ahmet, I told him there was no need for me to be here. He could sort out Darren's side orders business if he wanted to. I wasn't interested.
The night was cold and I was tired. I'd tell Don to raise an invoice tomorrow. I put my hands in my pockets and headed back to the car.
Fiction - Everyone Loves The Big Girl By Leah Scarpati
The lights go back on and there are cheers, claps and wolf whistles as I
take my final bow. That plank of a DJ ruined the end of my performance
by cutting Shania off short instead of fading her out like I told him to.
Thankfully I don't think anyone noticed.
I'm sweating like a pack horse, but at least I've given it my all.
Large Lady Kiss-a-grams are getting a good reputation and I reckon
it's all down to me. Read more...
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - The Unkindest Cut By Manuro
Phil's partner in hell-raising had convinced him that it would be a 'good idea' to spend all of his gig money on pork chops. They had met during the summer at an all-night Clown Skills and Raw Food workshop in Worksop, where the ability to see through walls and predict future events had proved, at the very least, useful.
Unable to control his bohemian life, Phil took solace
Fiction - Later. Still. By Christopher Skolik
Maybe human beings get through life by focusing their attention down to the smallest details, those soap opera comings and goings that make up the flickering magic lantern show of day to day existence, the little things that make life worth living, the details that stand between us and the chasm.
Fiction - The Hunch-Back (in the style of The Hitman by T.C. Boyle) By Katherine Horrex
By the age of nine the Hunch-Back is aware that he has no place. He questions the existence of everything he sees and it is not until he grows shady from first stubble and hard with distracting pubescent bulk that he gains any sense of purpose, or raison d'etre if you will, for he is half French.
It is his mother to which the French in him must be attributed,
Fiction - The Terminal Brothel By Christopher Skolik
Gales crashed onto the housing estate. Grey sky like fractured mountains.
In the passenger seat Dennison read through the paper, as Snaith drives. As some story or headline caught Snaith's attention he would ask Dennison to read it in full.
The council estate was a maze of similarity -a dizzying optical illusion where homes, roads, and people all
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Kundalini By Andrea Longstaff
She was homeless and walking the streets.
Her mind was unhinged but full of new found awareness. A realisation that she was now free in the true sense of the word.
Her life always did have a surreal texture to it but after a night of no sleep and helping the stranger who had dropped his pens.
He looked into her glazed eyes, "I hope you get a good nights sleep tonight"
Fiction - The Artist By The Silver Fox
Pencil in hand, he stands immobile. His eyes are locked onto the pristine expanse before him as though searching for some secret buried within the paper itself; an image that his pencil will simply be highlighting rather than creating. Above and beyond his eye line, the graphite point gleams dully in the harsh light that cascades down onto the easel.
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Crackers By Pete Texas
I was 12 ½ when my dog ate my rabbit
He chewed on its head like a malnourished Gannet
So I traded Ben for an Arini Parrot
Put her in the hutch with the lettuce and carrot
I was sure with the straw to build Polly a nest
So when she fell asleep she'd have somewhere to rest
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - The Flat By The Silver Fox
He emerged from the oven to see the landlord eyeing him as though enquiring as to what he'd expected to find in there. He adopted a knowing expression - as though saying that he hadn't found it and was disappointed.
"Seventy a week?"
"That covers your water rates," came the expansive reply. He nodded, fearing that further conversation would bring
Fiction - Independent By Katherine Horrex Photos by Darren Rogers
The room was pulsing with white noise and euphoria. Giles was positioned behind the sound booth, stupefied by the scene on stage: five Burberry clad men thrashing manically at their instruments, their sixties feather cuts flicking through the damp air.
A final power chord growled through the Marshall stack, reverberating triumphantly and the lead
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - The Prescription By The Silver Fox
The pen flashed across the pad like a magic wand. Jeff watched, appropriately spellbound. The prescription was pushed across the desk with neither comment nor eye contact.
"Not much of a bedside manner."
"This isn't a bedside."
Pain sent a stinging retort flying to Jeff's lips; need bit it back.
"Not funny," he mumbled, leaving.
After an agonising moonwalk
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Kids Like That By The Silver Fox
The abuse, though muted by the noise of the engine, was clear and vile in the thick afternoon air. It poured onto the bowed head of the smaller boy; rank as his sweat and tears. He pressed down upon the accelerator and the car shot forward, elongating the bully's last insult into a thin scream.
He was out onto the hot road before the broken bundle had rolled off of the bonnet.
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Who's The Daddy? By Catherine Horlax
I heard footfalls; hollow thuds echoing down the corridor, and drew my knees up so my boots wouldn't be visible. He'd said he'd be there. A tap gushed.
I noticed the door was inscribed with idiocy, and calmed myself with the fact that
'Lisa Hyde stuffs mashed potato up her cunt'.
At least I'd kept my word - I'd said I'd be there too. I laughed because, barring crying,
Fiction - 3 Phones, 300 Words By Joe Hakim
She smiled as she handed him the bottle. He took it from her and poured himself a glass.
'So what do you think?' she asked.
'I'm not that bothered,' he replied.
He was pretty drunk by now and he attempted to think of something to say, but the silence remained stagnant. She took a gulp from her glass,
Fiction - Lessons Learnt By Nick Quantrill
DS Richard Coleman pulled into the lay-by and headed towards the flashing blue lights. An hour later it would have been someone else's problem. But it wasn't. An articulated lorry had been isolated from the other vehicles, cones placed around it, linked together by barrier tape.
A mobile generator providing power to the small floodlights
Fiction - Mr Keith Fortner By The Silver Fox
In assessing the nature and worth of Mr Keith Fortner, it helps to be acquainted with one or two salient facts about his background. This is true of anyone, of course; understanding can rarely come without some awareness of their past experiences and emotional development after all.
Even the vast majority of people who tend to exist in a very limited context - the parameters
Fiction - After The Rain By Joe Hakim
He noticed there was another crushed snail by the doorstep. It was the third one he'd found this week. It was funny because he could never recall standing on the snails, but there they were.
He opened his back door and lit a cigarette. He'd been in this place for a month now, but it still didn't feel like his home, just a place he was staying in for a while.
Fiction - The Suicide Park, Self Surgery And Brutalised By Affection By Christopher Skolik
Dennison followed Snaith from the road, through trees, to a wire fence. Snaith slipped through. Beyond the skeletal
trees, Dennison could see a smoky illumination. Snaith and Dennison walked around as if inspecting a gallery.
It looked like a derelict industrial estate from a distance. Only when he got closer could Dennison hear the sound
of 22 engines humming.
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 2 Chapter 4 By Frank Beill
'There, there bai'n. It's o'right now. The bad man's gone away.' Sal walked up and down her bare living room, hugging her sobbing baby.
'Sorry, Sal. I shouldn't have done that.'
'Don't matter, Sammy.' She kissed the child's tearstained cheek. 'He deserves a good hidin'!'
'What was it all about? Sounded as though he was up to no good.'
I put two large lumps of coal