We waited until it got dark and headed down to the car park. We wanted to show Bumper the area before we went to the printers the next day. There was only one car in the car park. It had a light on inside so we decided to take a look. Elvis had stayed at home due to the effort of walking on his crutches. Bumper, Gilbert and myself edged towards the car. We weren’t entirely sure what the couple were doing in there but we were fairly sure they should have had some clothes on.
Whatever they were doing they didn’t take kindly to three, eleven-year old boys having their faces pushed up to the glass. The man went for the door handle. We didn’t need to hang about to see that he was unhappy so we legged it. When we got to the bank we looked back. He was standing there completely naked with his thingy hanging down. He was screaming and shouting and jumping up and down making it swing even more. It was hilarious.
The black Shogun swept into the car park and clipped the edge of the fruit and veg stall, sending the oranges and grapefruit tumbling to the floor.
“For fuck’s sake,” shouted Bumper as he scrambled around, picking up the fruit that was now rolling across the ground.
“Morning Bumper, lovely day for it.” The shaven headed figure of Kevin Davison emerged from the 4 wheel drive. “I take it you have something for me?”
Bumper went into his money belt and counted out five, twenty pound notes. He handed them over reluctantly.
“I think you’ll find you’re fifty short, Bumper.”
“There’s a hundred pounds there. It’s the right money.”
“Silly me. Did I not tell you that the rent had gone up? It’s now one fifty a week. Come on, chop chop, I haven’t got all day.” Bumper took another fifty from his pouch and handed it over.
“Don’t mind if I take these do you?” asked Kev as he took a bag of bananas. “Don’t worry about the oranges, I’m sure you can claim on your insurance.”
“I wish I’d seen it,” said Elvis as we relived the tale of the previous night.
“What? You wanted to see the man’s willy?” asked Bumper.
“No, do you think I’m a woofter or something?” Elvis looked hurt.
“I don’t think that it was us that made him angry,” said Gilbert after we stopped laughing.
“How do you mean?”
“I once walked in on my Mam and the bloke from next door. They were doing the same thing on the settee. They didn’t see me but my Mam was screaming her head off.”
We were all confused about this but Gilbert agreed to ask his Mam what she was upset about when we got back from the printers.
We were glad that Gilbert had been persuaded to come with us and we headed down the bank alongside Tate’s. With Elvis on crutches, we all had to take turns in offering a shoulder to support him. He slowed us down but he had to be there. Sapling trees grew on the steep grassy bank leading down to the car park. At the far side, another bank led down to the main road.
“Right, has anybody got any questions before we get there?” I asked.
“I’ve got one,” said Bumper.
“Why do they call orange jam, marmalade?”
We all pushed him down the bank and he took out a couple of trees as he rolled down the hill.
Discussing the man and woman in the car had luckily kept our minds from what we were about to do and we shortly arrived at Inkerman Print. We crossed the short strip of grass and out of the sun and into the cold of the shadow behind the large red skip.
Nobody spoke. I noticed that although there was a large bolt on the skip there was no padlock. This could mean anything. Had they just put somebody in there? I couldn’t hear any screams but this didn’t comfort me. I decided to keep my thoughts to myself.
Tomma wasn’t surprised when he got his visit. It was long overdue. He’d been careless and somebody was bound to notice. He was just glad it was Nick.
It was a couple of days ago when he found out, Friday afternoon it was. Tomma normally went to the bank on a Thursday to top up the Oz account but he’d been busy running errands for Kev. Friday was always a nightmare in the banks, all the factory girls cashing their paycheques then pissing it all away on the Friday night. He got caught in a queue and was therefore late getting to the Whistle. Usually he wouldn’t take the Oz book anywhere near the lads but he was late. When he arrived most of the lads were already there. Tomma took off his jacket to play pool and the book fell out. Nick had picked it up and gave it back to him but Tomma hadn’t been sure whether he had seen inside it. He was now.
“I’ve been watching you Tomma and I’ve got to admit I’m impressed. Making all this money for the lads and they love you for it but there’s something that’s been bothering me,” Nick took a swig from his can. “I’ve seen how much cash we make and everybody takes a cut and goes home happy. You’ve got Kev wrapped around your little finger and that means you’ve got every little wannabe crawling up your arse. But I know you’re stitching us, I know your cut’s just that little bit bigger than everybody else.”
Another installment to follow same time next week.
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