Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A little bit from Underground Guy

I'm trying to make this as hard-hitting as possible. It's after Devlin's been arrested for attacking a man.
Just after the beginning of my fourth hour in that pitiless room, a condescending older man entered, tall, brisk and efficient, his uniform as impeccable as his posture. The instant I saw him, I knew he knew he had a big dick, and he planned to smack me around with it. Normally I'd say, "Fine, motherfucker, bring it on." But this man's eyes gleamed with intelligence and anger, which indicated he wasn't going to play word games with me or try any tricks; he was going to hit me head on. The worse kind to meet in a business situation -- the honest type who shoot straight and believe in honor.

He was joined by a younger, darker, pudgier cop with floppy hair whose uniform was still neat but sported a looser collar. His piggy eyes and chubby cheeks made him too damn typical an English lad for me to take any real notice of. They took seats opposite me and set two folders on the table. No tape recorder. No note pads. Nothing. I also noticed the older man's cap and jacket were littered with insignia, which meant, at the very least, he was high-ranking while pudgy boy was lowest of the low. Someone to carry Mr. Insignia's folders and back him up in court, if need be. Oh, this did not bode well.

"So," Mr. Insignia spit out, "Robert Devlin Pope. Junior. It's unusual for the second son to be named after the father."

"I need to take a piss."

He eyed me, for a long moment, then pulled a photograph from one of the folders and lay it on the table. It was of a man's face, twisted in agony, eyes half closed, mouth drawn tight, a wire cutting into his throat, blood dripping from it and foaming around his lips. For a second, I thought it was Reg, he looked so much like him. Man, I was ready for anything but that, so despite my plans to play it Joe Cool to the max...I flinched.

"This happened last night," he said, his voice vicious in its cold hollowness. "Martin Callow. Married. Two children. A business in Feltham, near your hotel. He was raped and stabbed several times in the back as well as being garotted. Was your assault on my constable to help with his murder?"

I was too locked on the horror of the photo to say a word.

He took in an irritated sigh then slapped my cell phone on the table and pointed at the image of Reg; they'd hacked past my security code. "Explain to me how you knew this man was a police officer. How did you know he was a decoy? How long have you been working in tandem with the killer? Is that how this worked? You created a citywide diversion so your other half could have his fun at his leisure?"

I looked at the image of Reg, again. I remembered the worn clothes and unhappy texts. The way he strode down the street. The cops' flashlight shining into the room and saying he'd hate to be Reg. The cop cars rushing around West Hounslow. Now I knew why they were looking for him, and the words slipped right past my censors, "He was undercover..."

"Robert, answer my question."

"I don't answer to Robert," whispered from me, like an afterthought.

"How did you know about Thornton!? Why did you choose him?"

My brain was about to run screaming from the overload of realization, so I gave him a vague shrug and managed to mutter, "I want to speak to someone from the American embassy, please."

"Of course you do." His voice dripped with flat-out hate.

I looked at him. He was pure stone. I knew the answer even before I asked, "You gonna let me?"


No comments: