The light from the full moon guided her way as Sister Lara walked down Roseberry Hill using her father’s rifle as a walking stick. Lara’s Day-Glo Dr Martin boots gripped the slippery, muddy surface. Her nun’s habit flapped in the night wind like a bat’s wings.
Halfway down, she stopped. She could see the occasional lights of the cars cutting along the road below. She waited until she saw the big truck’s headlights. When it got close enough, she said a prayer and fired three shots, hoping that she’d hit something in the dark. The screech of tires told her that she had.
Lara continued down the hill until she got to the road.
Vince’s truck had veered off to the side. The engine seemed to be running but the truck wasn’t moving.
Lara held her gun in front of her as she walked in front of the truck. The windscreen had shattered and Vince was decidedly dead, a bullet hole slap bang in the centre of his forehead. Lara smiled and crossed herself. She trudged back up the hill to her jeep.
‘Look at him,’ said Suzanne, nodding toward the tall, blond barman. ‘Young dumb and full of cum.’
‘Full of the manager’s cum by the look of it,’ said Caroline, as an older Latino man whispered into the barman’s ear.
‘It’s such a cliché but it seems as if all the best men really are either taken or gay,’ said Suzanne. She sipped her chardonnay.
Caroline slouched back in her chair.
‘Like Lloyd Cole said, the reason it’s a cliché is because it’s true,’ she said looking around Gordon’s Wine Bar. The clientele seemed to be made up almost exclusively of professional women in their early fifties, just like her and Suzanne then. Except for that nun, that is. She was in her twenties or maybe even younger. It was hard to see in the wan light of the candlelit basement bar. She looked a tad out of place but seemed contended enough. She smiled at Caroline, who blushed and turned back to Suzanne who was tapping away on her phone.
‘Did you sign the petition?’ said Suzanne.
‘Which one?’ said Caroline. ‘There’s seems to be a new one every day.’
‘The one about Brexit.’
‘Well, there a lots about that sticky wicket. I did sign one. You?’
‘Oh, yes. All of them. I always sign them. It’s good to be involved.’
‘Yes, it is. I wish I’d had time to vote, though,’ said Caroline.
‘Me too. The bloody peasants did though,’ said Suzanne. ‘In droves.’
‘Yes but they have all the time in the world. Bloody scroungers.’
‘I bet they put the price of the plonk up in here because of those bloody plebs.’
‘Speaking of which, are we having another?’
‘Of course! Going to try it on with the hunky barman? He might swing both ways. ’
‘No. I think he’s Polish. I’m not so fond of them. They’re so bloody racist you know?’
‘I know! And there are so many of them around these days. I’ve never known so many plumbers.’
‘Yes but they are cheap.’
‘And grateful for the work. They do as they’re told. Not like the bloody English plebs!’
As Suzanne went to the bar, the nun got up and walked past Caroline who felt a frisson of … something she hadn’t felt for a long time.
Sister Lara watched Suzanne stagger out of the bar. Caroline followed her, giggling. They kissed each other on the cheek and Suzanne staggered towards Embankment Tube Station.
Caroline was checking her emails on her smartphone when Lara slammed into her.
‘Oh, sorry,’ said Lara, her Slovenian accent as sharp as a razor. ‘I think I have had a little too much to drink. I’m just not used to it.’
Caroline smiled. ‘No problem. My pleasure,’ she said. She saw that the nun was really beautiful and that her habit had a short skirt showing off her stocking tops.
‘Fancy dress?’ said Caroline.
‘No. Do you fancy undress?’ said Lara.
Caroline smirked. ‘Maybe I do. Your place or mine?’
‘Follow me,’ said Lara. ‘My jeep is parked close by.’
Madge’s Mini Coffee Pot was stiflingly hot and cluttered. Behind the counter, Madge, a midget with a withered arm, was serving tea in half pint glasses to a couple of diminutive Teddy Boys. A sound system that was twice as big as Madge blasted out an Alice Cooper song from a pair of raspy speakers. Detective Sergeant John Toshack was watching the streamers of steam rise from his muddy coffee.
‘What’s the SP on that barrister bird that got killed, Tosh?’ said Madge, as she refilled his mug.
‘The one over Embankment way?’ said Tosh.
‘Yeah,’ said Madge.
She wiped down a Formica table.
‘She was shot in the head,’ said Tosh. ‘No suspect at the moment. Turns out she was related to that truck driver that got croaked. Vince Zak.’
‘Ooh! What do you think? Contract hit?’ said Madge.
‘Could be. Certainly sounds it. Looks like the trucker had been involved in some people-smuggling ring.’
‘Must have pissed someone off, then.’
‘For sure. I heard it was the same gun that killed that nonce DJ and the bloke that owned the strip club in Acton. I even heard speculation that they were all part of an international trafficking ring. Lots of bigshots involved,’ said Tosh. ‘That’s between you and me, of course.’
He tapped the side of his nose.
‘A tangled web,’ said Madge.
‘Too right,’ said Tosh.
Lara sat at the next table and smiled. She finished her sausage and eggs and took a sip of sweet, milky tea. She’d really developed a taste for unhealthy English food since moving to London from Slovenia.
She took out her moleskin notebook and pen and circled the next name on the list.
One more to go and then her sister would be avenged. They would all pay, every one of them. Prime Minister or not.
© Paul D. Brazill.
Bio: Paul D. Brazill is the author of Cold London Blues, The Last Laugh, Guns Of Brixton, and Kill Me Quick! He was born in England and lives in Poland. He is an International Thriller Writers Inc member whose writing has been translated into Italian, German and Slovene. He has had writing published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Books of Best British Crime. He has even edited a few anthologies, including Exiles: An Outsider Anthology, and True Brit Grit – with Luca Veste.