Posted 07 August 2011 - 02:02 AM
The dark is high on this night. Clouds are illuminated by the moon, it giving a false reassurance that everything is right in the world. Sirens can be faintly heard wailing in the distance, accompanied by the sounds of dogs, howling at stray cats or even the moon, coming and going through the passing of the clouds. The heavens open, releasing the softly falling rain, pattering and bouncing off the ground. Little droplets joining as one as one large puddle, ran through by cars, vans, the odd motorbike. They all have a destination, and we will never know what they are. The rain becomes more heavier, joining the sea in the ambient Cardiff Docklands. Harbor Patrol comes and passes, along with commercial boats, smuggler's dinghies and the citizens of the sea kingdom. Everything seems at peace.
The rain becomes more heavier, bouncing violently off the roof of the seemingly abandoned warehouse that once clearly read "Kingston Import and Export". Drops of rain sneak through the aged roof, sliding down the support beams, dripping off, one by one. This warehouse is far from ambient, calm and asleep. It is wide awake with the sounds of pain, anguish, anger and violence. The rats dare not too come out of their holes, for fear of ending up like their fallen comrades, stamped on by the large men who occupy this structure.
A figure is seated in a chair. He has been there for some time. Strapped down by a plastic cuff on each wrist, and each ankle. Vision is blocked by a bag placed over his head. The rats fear is intensified by the short bursts of pain let out by the man in the chair, as he is laid into by two of the three men. He coughs and splutters, blood and saliva trickling from his mouth, finding its way out of the bag covering his battered and bruised face.
A third man, a much older man sits in a chair, smoking a cigarette. Well presented in a three piece suit, slicked hair which is beginning to grey, clean shaven, completed with a scent of expensive cologne. He looks on at the man in the chair being beaten by his men. He stubs the cigarette out on the floor, and arises from the creaking wooden chair. He begins to walk in the beaten man's direction. With every step he takes, it sends shivers down each man's spine, except his own. This man has a history, much of it dark. He is not known for showing much mercy. He stops. The blinded man looks up at him through his bag, unable to clearly make out who his captor is.
"Water" he softly commands the man too his right. The old man is passed a bottle of clear water, and uncaps it, whilst lifting the bag off the man's head. As he does, he holds the beaten man's chin, looking at the damage inflicted on him by his two operatives.
"Not looking too good there, are you, Fixer?" he remarks. "Drink?" he asks, shoving the bottle of water in the man's mouth.
The man known as Fixer gulps down as much as he can. As the bottle is taken away, he splutters and spits, before taking a good look at the old man.
"All this can be stopped at any time, Fix. Just tell us what happened" the old man says, trying to reason with him.
Fixer looks down in misfortune, considering his options. He then looks back up at the man, formulating a very poor plan in his tactically-advanced mind. "I can't remember much" Fixer says quietly, trying to buy time. "But I kept a journal - I can show you where it is"
The old man smiles and begins to laugh, nodding at the other operative, who proceeds to jab him sharply in the rib. Fixer coughs and spits blood.
"Do you really expect me too believe that?! Ha ha!" the old man laughs, turning away.
Loosing all aspect of hope, Fixer begins "Well if you want answers, you'd bet your bollocks to a barn dance I expect you to believe that, cause if you don't.."
The old man lights another cigarette and looks back. "If I don't?" he asks, in a cool and cold manner.
"Then you'd better kill me now." Fixer concludes, looking down at the blood stained floor.
The old man takes a good five drags off the cigarette, thinking over the possibilities:
Is he lying?
Should I just kill him and take my chances with the Agency?
Or is he telling the truth?
Does he really care if he lives or dies?
"Alright Fix - show us where it is" the old man finalizes.
The two operatives, cut Fixer loose, and drag him too his feet. They lead him out of the room to the blacked out Transit, parked in the warehouse. The more stockier one holds him, whilst the smaller one opens the side door of the van. The stockier one lunges Fixer into the back, and he lays lifelessly on the floor. The smaller operative opens the warehouse door, and the old man gets into the back with Fixer. Both operatives get in the front - the stocky one in the driver's seat, the smaller one in the passenger seat nearest the door.
The engine is started, and the van begins too reverse out into the pissing rain. The rain falls heavily onto the roof of the van, as it pulls away from the warehouse. The rain batters the ground as the van glides through it. They pull onto the street, leading toward the streets going into the city. The old man looks down at Fixer.
"I'm sorry it had to be like this, Fixer, but this is protocol" he justifies.
Fixer scoffs, "Tell your main gorilla he's headed toward Torquan Street - that's where it is"
A short time later, the van pulls into the street, the old man studies the surroundings, and looks back at Fixer.
"This looks like you, Fixer - smart part of town" the old man remarks.
"Cheers" Fixer sarcastically replies. "Apartment 32B, under the grandfather clock"
"You heard the man" the old man barks to the operatives.
The two men exit the van, and proceed into the apartment block, the rain making this journey more annoying. Back in the van, the old man lights another cigarette, unbuttoning his blazer, revealing to Fixer a chromed Taurus Raging Bull .44 revolver, carried in the old man's belt.
"If they come back empty handed, boy, I'm gonna have to use this" the old man threatens.
The two operatives reach Apartment 32B. The stocky one kicks down the door, and they barge into the apartment. The apartment is fully furnished, very clean and well looked after. A description fitting Fixer. The two men sight the grandfather clock, looking very out of place in this modernized apartment. The stocky one turns around and stands guard as the smaller one puts the clock on its side. The operative grabs the Motorola tablet taped to the bottom of it, and tries to pull it off. As he does, he pulls the false bottom of the clock off, snapping a wire. A beep intensifies, resulting in the explosion of the bomb taped to the real bottom of the clock, incinerating the apartment. The smaller man is thrown out of the window, his corpse plunging the 7 stories down to ground level, whilst the stockier one is thrown too the wall, and is killed by the resulting blast.
The old man looks out of the van at the commotion, grabbing his weapon. He turns back to Fixer, who lunges at him. The force wielded by Fixer takes the old man down, and he begins to strangle him. The old man tries in vein too hold on for dear life and desperately tries to break free of Fixers grasp. The force of Fixer's fingertips intensifies, yanking his hand back up, holding in his bloodied hand the throat of the old man. The old man gasps for air, and looks at Fixer, blinded by rage.
Fixer looks on at him, and quips "You fell into an obvious trap, you senile old c*nt".
The old man suffocates after a few seconds, and his eyes close. Fixer drops the throat of the old man and coughs, whilst trying to get too his feet. He stands up and stumbles out of the van, into the clear night. The rain calms, and so does Fixer, looking up, feeling the refreshing rain on his head. He walks down the street and aims for an apartment block a few hundred yards down the road. The feeling of rest hits him, as he is almost there. To his home. He waits for the elevator, almost loosing consciousness.
He stumbles into his apartment, and falls onto the welcoming bed. Fixers passing out, now able to gain some well earned rest.
Posted 30 August 2011 - 12:53 PM
So, I enjoyed the mood of this. Really dark, really unsettling, almost dilapidated at times - destructive words like "crashing", "creaking", "bouncing violently" adds a harsh quality which I like. The highlight for me was the introduction of the third man, who seems the least bothered out of any of them about the captor's presence.
One thing I would advise you to work on though is the speech. I found that the actual line spoken and the line showing the character speaking tend to blend into each other as they lack a comma at the end, just before you've closed the speech marks. Adding a comma breaks it down and let's my brain have a breath before moving down a line:
| The engine is started, and the van begins too reverse out into the pissing rain. The rain falls heavily onto the roof of the van, as it pulls away from the warehouse. The rain batters the ground as the van glides through it. They pull onto the street, leading toward the streets going into the city. The old man looks down at Fixer.|
"I'm sorry it had to be like this, Fixer, but this is protocol," he justifies.
Fixer scoffs, "tell your main gorilla he's headed toward Torquan Street - that's where it is."
I've quoted a small piece, added commas and removed the capital T from "tell" to show you what I think would look more fluid. The speech really does drive this piece, and it's well written otherwise. Just small, nitpicky things that could make it better.
One more thing, and I actually noticed it when I was quoting that chunk up above, is the use of the word "pissing" to describe rain. I personally love the term. I use it in real life whenever I can, and when I can't use that, I use "hoofing". Anything powerful, haha. My problem with it here is it seems to detract from the classy, noir-like description you've set up beforehand. Carefully worded imagery displaying dismal weather and creaking floorboards seems to contradict the use of "pissing". However, this is only slight, and because I only just noticed it, it can't have taken much away from my reading experience and I quite enjoyed this.
Posted 26 December 2011 - 12:51 AM
Chapter 2 – Leads and Pasts
The pissing rain hasn’t let up much in the night. The balcony of the apartment is soaked through, evident by Fixer’s wet socks. As he inhales the fresh air, Fixer places a Windsor Blue into his mouth, and brings the naked flame of a Zippo, taking a long, smooth drag. The lighter is engraved with a dagger and two blue wavy lines, and the phrase “Through Strength and Guile”. The cigarette burns away, Fixer intakes a gaze of the cityscape on offer from Cardiff, along with several long drags of the cigarette. As the rain begins to intensify, Fixer disappears back inside his apartment.
His eyes are drawn to the answer machine of his phone, flashing a red 3. He dragged his finger across the ‘Play’ button, and took a seat on his sofa.
“You have TWO new messages” the robotic female voice reports. “Message 1”
The voice then changed to a more human female voice. “Hi, it’s Lauren…” the voice begins, Fixer placed his head in his hand, an expression of self-disappointment is plastered over his face. “Listen, can you please just let me know you’re alright? A text would suffice- just, ANYTHING, to let me know you’re ok? I love you, baby, I always will. Bye”
“Message 2” the robotic voice reports.
This time, a male voice is on the other end “Hey man, it’s Sorter”. Fixer’s face was more pleased to hear this voice. “I got some info on the guy on the picture you showed me about. I don’t know where you got that phone from, but it was a bloody treasure trove on the network, stop by and I’ll give you what I found. Later.”
As Fixer waited for his shower to warm up, he looked at himself in the mirror, not recognising the man that stared back. The figure of a clean shaven, cropped hair and happy-go-lucky Special Boat Service Captain looked back at the face of a shaggy haired, 5 o’clock shadowed pessimist. In a moment of rage, Fixer slammed a clenched fist into the mirror, before bowing his head, almost crying. As he looked into the reflection of his sink, he could still see his best mate Sorter, dragging him away from the atrocity that fated Fixer six years ago. The screams and cries of help from the men under his command being slaughtered by the bastards of the Bosnian Ultranationalists tortured him. They tortured him bad…
After the shower, Fixer attired himself. Never the one for shirts and ties, Fixer sported a black long-armed crew neck, dark wash regular jeans, black Timberland boots and his black Superdry windcheater. He grabbed his phone, wallet, cigarettes, lighter and keys from the side, Fixer checked the mag on his Glock, chambered it, and headed out the door.
Posted 27 December 2011 - 11:48 PM
I got a little distracted by the use of "more heavier" twice in the first paragraph though, a slight flaw in an otherwise exemplary piece.
Posted 30 December 2011 - 04:21 AM
The weather had eased up, much to Fixer’s delight. He hated the rain. It reminded him of dark times, darker history, a worse past and a life changing career. Each time he could feel the cold and unforgiving wet patter of raindrops on his body, all that could be seen through his eyes were burnt bodies, destroyed lives and the blood of many on his hands. Any weaker man would have killed himself. Atrocities, carnages, brutalities and acts of violence... All performed and executed under the orders Queen and Country - a Queen and Country that shunned him and forgot him.
As Fixer exited his apartment, the events of last night played on his mind. As he briskly walked to his car, he kept asking the same three questions over and over.
“How did they know where to find me?”
“Why did the Old Man show?”
“Why were they so naïve to believe the bullsh*t?”
Fixer became increasingly paranoid. Nearing his car, he ran too it. He ran his hand underneath the bodywork for trackers or bugs, coming up empty. Opening the boot, he tore it apart looking for some sort of confirmation to a paranoid theory. Inside the car, he explored every possible nook and cranny for some sort of homing device - nothing. As he sat in the car, unsatisfied, he realized he must have been watched.
“I’m off the grid now” Fixer frantically said to himself. “How the f*ck did they find me?! I don’t have a goddamn legal document in my name, not one possession with my name on, it’s damn impossible—“
And like the baseball bat that cracked him in the face the previous night, it dawned on Fixer. There was one only possible explanation, one theory which made sense and one right answer.
“Sorter” Fixer said, with the anger apparent in his tone.
Slamming the key into the ignition, Fixer reversed onto the main road, and violently swung his car around. The cell phone in the centre console began to vibrate.
“Sorter” was the name on the caller ID.
Fixer allowed it to ring for a while, before picking up.
“Yeah?” Fixer snapped.
“It’s me mate, come and meet me.” Sorter replied.
“Where?” Fixer snapped again.
“The café on the High Street. Hurry mate, it’s urgent” said Sorter, rather agitated.
“En route” Fixer ended.
6 minutes later, Fixer stopped near the High Street and parked around the corner. He brass-checked the Glock in his waistband, and exited the car.
“Now is the time for answers, you bastard” Fixer thought to himself, as he entered the café.
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