Posted in comedy, humor, humour, Uncategorized, writing

If I Wanted To Listen To Two People Getting On Really Well, I’d Watch Some Blind People Porn #whatiwrite

wonder

Hello, people. I’ve been busy writing novels and whatnot, so I haven’t updated this in a bit. I also have another blog, which I do every day, so I’ll throw you a link to that in a minute. Just going to throw you a sample from the new YA book, which is half-finished and going well. This is a first draft, so be kind to it. I like writing dialogue scenes. The trick with them is make them punchy. And to make them punchy, you need a bit of conflict. It might just be two friends being sarcastic to each other, or it might be a full on war. Either way, it’s not boring if the people are having a pop at one another.

The other blog is at  https://worldofwest.wordpress.com/ Please do follow it. Anyway, here’s the new stuff. Enjoy!

It was three days before Cal was well enough to walk anywhere. There had been no dreams of Alex, or of the pretty lady. They’d given him pills to help him sleep. There was no shortage of medication; they’d emptied all the local chemists in the early days. It was only bandages and painkillers that they used anyway; something like Valium (which was what Susie had brought him on the first night) just sat in its jars, never really needed. It had done the trick though; he’d spent most of the time sleeping, or in a happy sort of daze.

Eric had held things together, without being asked. The wall was nearly whole again, they’d worked through the nights in teams, staying low as usual by day. There’d been no sign of helicopters or of Denzil’s boys, but no one saw that as a sign of anything significant. A retaliation which was planned for days would be a much more dangerous threat than some knee-jerk, disorganised raid. Cal knew that, and so did Eric.

Ruth and the others had brought Cal food every day while he recuperated; rice and beans, to get his strength back up. Tinned beans and dried rice were foods which seemingly kept forever. Tinned meat had to be carefully checked before they ate it; the smell was usually enough to tell them it wasn’t worth the risk.

Cal took long deep breaths of fresh air on the way to the Funhouse, where he’d arranged to meet the rest of them. Eric had said that it would be fine for them to go to Aaron and Susie’s, but Cal had insisted that he’d rather go to the big house. He needed to get away from the four walls of that bedroom for a few hours, and the air would do him good. His chest still smarted a little with every breath, but it was a far cry from the pain of a few days before.

‘Speak of the devil, there he is.’ Aaron was on the ground in the living room, next to Susie, who gave Cal a warm smile as he came through the doorway.

‘Hey, soldier. How’s the chest?’ Ruth was there too; on the sofa with Brendan and Kevin, who were on either side of her.

‘Erm, getting there, yeah. Better than yesterday, definitely.’ He glanced around the room at the others; Tasha and Sarah were sitting in the armchairs. Eric was notable by his absence.

‘He’s gone for a wee,’ said Ruth, pre-empting Cal’s question. Eric appeared seconds later, dressed in black raid gear, with a woollen hat in his hand.

‘Guv, you’re here.’ He knelt down next to Ruth, who touched his thigh affectionately without looking at him.

‘Yeah. You off somewhere?’ None of the rest had on their night clothing; most were dressed for the weather they’d had earlier in the day, which had been hot for the time of year.

‘Yeah, actually. I got a tip from someone. About some ciggies, up west.’

‘Yeah? A tip from who?’ Eric and Aaron both had friend in other tribes, who they’d arrange to meet every once in a while, to exchange information. It was something which happened all over; it was how news spread, and sometimes lies.

‘Chalky.’ He was from the Enders tribe, who had a big patch in the East.

‘Oh right. So what’s the story? And what are you doing tonight?’ Cal had wanted a drink when he got there, but his thirst was forgotten now.

‘Well, he reckons that there’s a lock-up over there, well, it’s more of a house really, but you know what I mean.’ Eric stood up, Ruth’s hand dropping from his leg as he did.

‘Over where exactly?’ Cal thought there was something significant in the boy getting up to meet him at eye level, but he didn’t mention it.

‘Kensal Rise…’

‘Oh. That sort of up west.’ The Risers were a rough tribe. Cal’s lot had never had to face them, but there had been stories.

‘Yeah. I know. Not the sort of up west where you take a girl and-’

‘-treat ‘er like a princess.’ Cal finished his sentence for him, affecting a Mockney accent, with a hint of a smile.

‘Exactly, no. Anyway, he gave me an address, said he’d heard from some Riser that there’s a whole room in that house, full of fags. And that basically, you could just walk out with them.’ Eric was standing firm now, and there was a confidence in his tone.

‘That’s sounds like a load of crap. What’s wrong with him, then? If there’s a bloody goldmine of B&H or whatever in some place up Kensal, why isn’t he on it? Fags are gold, man. Especially if you want to trade for something proper. You know that.’ Cal had been there too many times when a rumour had turned out to be nothing; or, worse, a trap. People weren’t always to be trusted; he’d learned that over the years.

‘I know, I know. But he reckons that his mob and the Risers are on a truce. Because of what happened a few months back. That whole palaver, at Kensal Green station.’ Eric grimaced as he said it, the image in his head was a grisly one, even if it wasn’t from first hand.

‘Oh, yeah. I remember. That was nasty stuff. Those boys don’t mess about. What was there, thirty of them, all dead?’ Cal had got the story from a bike runner who belonged to the Risers, when they’d gone on hunt for corner shops, out the other end of the Overground line.

‘More than that, probably. Shooters; both of that lot have guns, man. It’s not somewhere you mess about.’ Eric shook his head. Ruth looked at the ground with a frown.

‘You’re telling me. But you’re saying that Chalky isn’t interested in the stash?’ It was plausible enough. Both of those tribes had been hit hard in the fight, and neither of them had gained anything from it.

‘He doesn’t want to risk it. But basically, he got word, and he’s giving us the word, so…’ Eric met his eyes with a hopeful look.

‘And what’s in it for him?’ Cal glanced around the room momentarily; all eyes were on the two of them, but no one else was joining in the discussion.

‘Twenty per cent.’ Eric slipped his thumb into the pocket of his jeans, which was something Cal noticed he did a lot, but couldn’t work out what the significance of the tic was. Nerves, maybe; then again, it could have meant nothing.

‘Twenty?’ Chalky wasn’t a bad businessman, even if he didn’t seem smart in a lot of other ways, Cal mused.

‘Yeah, it’s a bit much, Guv. But it might be worth-’

‘How much is there in that room; did he give you a number?’ Still, no one was chipping in. There was something going on in the room. It wasn’t quite a power struggle; Eric was speaking with respect still, but it was definitely a conversation of some importance. Everyone there was aware of that.

‘He reckons there’s more there than you could carry out by yourself.’ On the other side of the room, Aaron exhaled audibly. Cal’s face had a look of disbelief.

‘And they just leave it unguarded? Did this not sound a bit-’

‘I know. I know, it sounds a bit dodgy, Guv. But Chalky’s never screwed me over before and-’ Eric’s face was reddening now, his hands held out in a pleading gesture.

‘First time for everything.’ Aaron’s voice seemed strange and alien to everyone in the room. Possibly even himself, because he put his hand to his mouth immediately, as if to say that he hadn’t meant to speak at all. Eric carried on.

‘Maybe. Maybe, but here’s the thing: the bloke who gave him the tip off is the bloke who’s looking after the stash.’

‘Oh. And what, you’re going there tonight, on your own, taking it all back with you? What are you, Eric; a one man army?’ There was a little derision in his voice, but Cal’s question was more sincere than sarcastic.

‘No, no. I was gonna go there and see him; the bloke who’s minding the fags. See if he’ll do a deal.’ Eric’s thumb was back in his pocket again, his weight shifting alternately from one foot to the other. He looked uncomfortable to Cal.

‘A deal?’

‘Yeah. I mean, as far as I can see, he’s told Chalky that the stuff is there, right? So, if someone knocks the place over, even if it isn’t Chalky or his lot, that bloke’s gonna know who gave the info out, and Chalky will be the one in all the bother, right? And I don’t think Chalky’s thought that through, Guv. He’s not the sharpest tool…’

‘I’m listening, and?’

‘And, well. What if I go talk to the bloke, cut him in on some of it, and he just agrees to lie down? Maybe we might have to bash him on the head or something; make it look kosher, but I mean-’

‘We get our cut, he gets a little off the top, Chalky gets his fags…’ Cal understood the plan, and it wasn’t a bad one.

‘No one hurt, no truce gets broken. Happy days.’ Eric stood a bit more confidently as he said it. The rest of them looked to Cal. Susie spoke then.

‘Why do we want fags though? I mean, I know they’re good for trades and whatever, but why take a risk like that? Do we want those guys from Kensal on our case? They have guns. We can’t fight people with guns.’ She looked from Eric to Cal, not asking the question to either of them in particular. It was Kevin who answered her though.

‘That’s exactly why, Suze. We need guns. Denzil’s boys are going to come soon enough, and they won’t be coming with fire arrows, neither.’ He turned to Cal after he’d finished.

‘I don’t… I don’t know.’ He didn’t feel like this was any sort of mutiny, but Cal was starting to realise that he was probably in the minority in the room. Had Sen been there, the tide would have been even more against him.

‘Guv, I know you don’t like guns, and I know that you said we can get along fine without them, but look at what happened the other night. And those guys were just shooting some arrows at us. This Denzil thing… this could be the end for us. And I’m not trying to be dramatic or nothing…’ Eric again, bolstered by the apparent support of the others.

‘I know; look, I know. The other night was a surprise though, okay? We’ve done things the way we’ve done things here for five years, and it didn’t matter who tried to come in here, or what they were shooting at us with; every time, we’ve come out on top. Not because we had guns or bombs or anything better than those guys had; we win because we’re tight. We’re a unit, and we know our own manor. Every time, Eric. With no guns.’ He gave the boy a look which he hoped was a firm one, but he knew that he was losing the battle.

‘I know, Guv. And I’m a hundred per cent with you, most of the time.’ Eric’s voice took on a less confrontational tone, and his eyes softened.

‘Most of the time?’ Cal’s chest gave a small stabbing pain, and his hand went instinctively to where the bandage was.

‘All of the time, yeah. Just not this time. Look, you’re the Guv, and what you say goes, and I am the last one to argue with you, mate. Cal, Guv. It’s just that I’m worried. I’m worried more every night that they don’t show up here. I don’t go to sleep thinking that it’s over. I’ve barely gone to sleep at all this last week. When I don’t see them coming, all I think is that they’re getting ready to hit us proper, and hit us hard. And we’re not ready.’ Around the room, the others nodded in agreement. Cal rubbed the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand.

‘I thought we were ready? I thought you’d stepped up the watches; got more people on. I thought Aar was making me some bottle bombs, I thought-’

‘It is, it is; we are, we are. We’re ready for them. But if you let me do this, and if I get those fags, and take them down Tower Hamlets, and get us some proper gear, then…’ There was an urgency in Eric’s tone, with a hint of frustration.

‘Then what? We’ll have some guns? Is that going to make us more ready?’ Cal looked around the living room once more; none of their eyes met his.

‘Yes! Okay, it won’t make us more ready, because Cal, I’ve been making these guys readier than they’ve ever been in their lives, but what it will do, is give us a chance.’ His voice was raised, but not quite to a shout.

‘A chance for what?’ Cal’s rose to a similar volume, frustration also showing in his tone. Eric shook his head as he spoke.

‘A chance to bloody live, Guv. I don’t get up every morning and think that this is the best place in the world, okay? I’m not a fool. I know I’d rather be out there, if there’s still an out there, because sometimes I don’t even know. But it doesn’t matter anyway, because in here is what we have. And I’m not going to let someone take that away from us. I’m not losing Ruthie, or you, or any of the rest of them, just because of some stupid-’

‘Careful now, mate. There’s a line-’ Cal bit his bottom lip and sucked in his cheeks.

‘Sorry, Guv. Not stupid, just… this rule of yours. Of ours.’ Eric’s face lost some of its hardness with the last words. He knew that there was a certain amount of respect that needed to be shown; otherwise the support in the room might shift the other way.

‘It’s not a stupid rule, and we’ve been fine with it…’ Cal put the emphasis on the word ‘stupid’, his eyes unblinking.

‘Well, when those Olympics come over the walls shooting, we’re gonna stop being fine, Guv. We need to smarten up.’ Eric shrugged his shoulders, and looked around. No one was looking at him now, or at Cal. The silence, like the tension, was palpable. After a couple of minutes, Cal spoke.

‘I’m gonna go out for a second, okay? I need some fresh air.’ He needed to think as well, but fresh air was as good an excuse as any.

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Self proclaimed author, cynic, saviour of humanity.

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