I wear two hats when I write this blog of mine. First and foremost, I manage a small charity in a small Scottish town called Dumfries. Ours is a front door that opens onto the darker corners of the crumbling world that is Britain 2015. We hand out 5000 emergency food parcels a year in a town that is home to 50,000 souls. Then, as you can see from all of the book covers above, I am also a thriller writer. If you enjoy the blog, you might just enjoy the books. The link below takes you to the whole library in the Kindle store. They can be had for a couple of quid each.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

'The horror, the horror'

So, OK, this all rumour and hearsay stuff.  But nine years of First Base tends to suggest that rumour and hearsay tends to be more or less right. There are no names here anyway. The story. The victim is a bit of a lad. Early twenties. A ladies man they say. Out and about and strutting his stuff. He chats away with a young lass and in all likelihood they have both had a few. She sits on his knee. Shock, horror. She sits on his knee! In public!

Stage left: Enter the boyfriend. I don’t know if he saw his woman sitting on another man’s knee or if he just heard about it. Whatever. What is for sure is that he was very seriously pissed off. His pride was dented. His rep was suddenly under threat.

Viewed from afar, it is such a completely trivial event. This was absolutely not a full on passionate affair of the heart. It was sitting on a knee.

So what does the boyfriend do? He plots and schemes his revenge. For in his mind there must be a revenge. That is the tit for tat world he has decided to live in. When you are that focused on being a big fish in a little pond you can’t have your bird sitting on someone else’s knee.

What comes next is utter over kill.

Utter horror.

The boyfriend recruited accomplices for his revenge plot. A female friend is dispatched to visit the victim and tell there is a great party going down. Unmissable. And she’s got a taxi. And she can pick him up. And he’s got to go cos it’s going to be absolutely brilliant. And the victim takes the bait.

A taxi calls and he gets in. A short ride across town. There is probably some small talk. Soaps and celebs and who’s up to what.

Destination reached. A block of social housing. And a flat tenanted by another accomplice. The venue of the supposed unmissable party.

But there was no party.

Only the waiting boyfriend with a bottle in his hand all broken and ready for action. The door opens and the boyfriend leaps out. There is no hesitation.

He buries the bottle deep in the victim’s neck.

Just like that. No argument. No nothing.

Because the victim had sat on his bird’s knee. Because the victim had threatened his rep.

The blood is hosing out. On the floor. On the walls. On the windows. It seems like accomplice two objects to the carnage on the doorstep and so the victim is dragged down the stairs and out of the block and dumped on the pavement.

Like a sack of spuds.

Like refuse.

Like roadkill.

Then it is all police and ambulances and crime scene tape. Blue lights flashing through a curtain of summer drizzle.

The emergency services are as good and ever and the victim survives the night. He is going to make it.

Come Monday morning our lads from the Veterans Project are in the block carrying out the cleaning contract. The residents are rightly pissed off. The bio hazard guys who had been tasked to clean up the blood have not covered themselves in glory. The floor is pretty well mopped but the walls and windows still bear witness. And the crime scene tape is still flapping in the breeze.

And in my mind is Brando’s contorted face breathing his last at the end of ‘Apocolypse Now’.

‘The horror, the horror.”

Not Cambodia. Just another rainy night on the streets of Dumfries. Because a lass sat on a lad’s knee.

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