Neighbourhood Watch by Charlie Wade

A smashing, crunching of wood woke Bryn from his afternoon nap. He jumped to the window and rattled the net curtain. The door across the street had been demolished. Six officers, heavily booted and uniformed piled into the house.

“Druggies across the street being raided,” he called to his wife.

“That’s nice dear,” she said, her head not moving from her laptop screen.

“Six of them, police, piling in.”

He watched them fly up the stairs, the door half hanging from its hinges. “Get the bastards,” he muttered. They’d been nothing but trouble, that lot. Rented house, that’s what the problem was. This wasn’t that sort of area. Parties at night, comings and goings at all hours. They were nothing but trouble.

“Made a right mess of the door.”


He waited, watching. Curtains all over the street were twitching. Old Mrs Gable from 44, she had her nets almost open. Reggie from 36, he was out on his yard, broom in hand. He hadn’t brushed that yard for years, the nosy sod.

“Causing quite. Everyone’s looking.”

“Yeah,” she replied, still not interested.

“I’ll pop the kettle on,” said Bryn. “Could be a long one, this.”

By the second cup of tea, the officers seemed to have given up. The long haired scrotes that lived there weren’t at home. Had it been luck they were all out? Bryn wasn’t so sure. He’d watched enough police programs to know nothing was a coincidence. He reckoned someone had tipped them off.

“They’re out on the street now,” he told his distracted wife.

Three of the officers were on the street, looking at parked cars. One of them had something in his hand. Bryn strained to see what it was.

“They haven’t got any cars. You’re wasting your time, mate.”

Bryn saw the indicator lights on his Mondeo flash. “What?” The police walked towards it. The thing the officer had was a key fob. He tried it again, locking then unlocking it.

“That’s our car, what?”

He pulled his coat on and went outside.

“Is there a problem?” he said.

The officer’s eyes caught his. “Is this your car, sir?”

From the corner of his eye, he could see Mrs Gable’s net curtains rattling. He was sure there’d be some innocent explanation, but his face grew red. Reggie from 36 wasn’t sweeping anymore either. He just stood there, watching.

“Yes it is. How did you get my keys?”

“It is yours then? We just need to have a look inside, sir.”

“Where did you get the keys?” Bryn was face to face with the officer, his blood pressure high. The doctor had told him to avoid stressful situations but hadn’t mentioned what to do if this happened.

“Just take a step back please, sir.” He opened the boot.

“What’s that?”

A sports bag in the centre of the boot. He’d never seen it before. How did they have the keys? The harder he thought, he couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen them. They should have been hidden away in the emergency drawer along with the torches, candles and eye wash.

“It’s not mine.” Bryn moved towards the bag, his hand stretched towards it.

Another officer by the side of him grabbed his hand, twisting it violently around.

“Get off me.” Bryn shook his arms, tried to break free.

In a second. Three other police, their hands on his side, neck and other arm. Falling to the floor, his cheek crunched as it hit the pavement. A punch to his shoulder. A knee landing heavily on his back. He tried to wriggle, to move, but he was trapped. His arms pulled from underneath him were stretched across his back. Searing pain through his joints. Arms weren’t supposed to twist that way. He heard them crack. He felt sick. Handcuffs were clasped over his wrists, the metal gripping then squeezing his flesh.

“Get off me.” He felt heat from his face, his arms burned and ached. A pain rose from his chest, breathing became awkward.

“Stop struggling,” screamed one of them. They seemed to be punching and squeezing points on his arms and legs. Pressure points, he’d seen it before on a cop program. He tried to struggle harder, the pain was too much. His chest ached again. Really ached.

“RELAX,” the policeman screamed.

Bryn couldn’t relax. He was scared, angry. His muscles were tense and bulging. He wanted to escape, to get away from this.

From the corner of his eye, he saw the first policeman pull something from the bag in his boot. Cling film wrapped. Inside, a great big block of dirty white something.

“Jesus,” said the policeman. “Must be fifty grand’s worth here.”

The relaxing Bryn had sought came. Stunned, he stared at the block. The police holding him relaxed too. Their eyes on poles, they stared at it, unbelieving.

The policeman pulled another bag out. Full of small white pills. Thousands of them. Thousands.

“I’m arresting you…” the policeman started.

Tap, tap, tap. She looked at the screen. “Can’t believe it worked,” the message read.

She typed a reply, “I’ll meet you tonight, usual place x.”

The reply, “Clear your history in case the fuzz check your computer.”

“Will do x,” She signed off.

Bio: Charlie Wade lives in Derbyshire, England and has written three books, a comedy spy thriller, a post credit crunch dystopia and a crime thriller. He’s had six short stories published online and his story, Pleading and Bleeding, was in Out Of The Gutter Magazine issue 7.

4 thoughts on “Neighbourhood Watch by Charlie Wade”

  1. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie!

    You had me to the window and back and out there with a rake or broom myself. I was wonderin’ where the non-care wifey was gonna go — but to go to all ends . . . that gives Instant Messaging a new sudden death.

    Well writ in a churn-me-on kinda way . . . and natch, your superb title was telling; had its day.

    ~ Absolutely*Kate,
    AT THE BIJOU and beyond

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