Carter’s phone smashed against the wall as look of sheer anger spread across his face.
“Bastards!” The whole office stopped and stared. “We’ve just had a report of gunfire at Davison’s house. It’s kicking off and we’re scratching our arses wondering what’s going to happen. Well, it’s happening now ladies and gentlemen. We’ve got to move.”
Everyone gathered around Carter.
“We don’t know. Ingham probably if he’s received the same photos as we have today. In fact it could be just about anybody. I wish I knew who sent us this information. I wish I could make some sense of it all.”
“What about Couzens? Where does he fit in?”
“I don’t know and right now I don’t bloody care. We need to get hold of Davison before Ingham does or we’ll have one bloody great mess to clean up.” Carter grabbed his phone on the way out of the office. “I need the armed response unit and I need them now. I don’t care, I want every gun in this entire fucking force round at Davison’s house in ten minutes flat because we’re just about to be caught up in the biggest gun fight since the OK Corral.”
I was forced to sit in the chapel and work alone and I wasn’t allowed to have lunch or breaks with my friends. I had gained some notoriety amongst my peers but now, as far as everyone was concerned, I didn’t exist.
Kevin Davison and his gang pretty much forgot about me and I got a chance to do some work and revise for my exams. Whilst Kev and his mates knew the truth about the drawing, he was careful for it not to get out when he realised how strong the punishment was. He wouldn’t be able to keep up his reputation if he didn’t have an audience.
Although I was grounded forever, Elvis still managed to get in to see me occasionally. After he had his lunch he would slip through the hall and then into the chapel. The teachers were too busy in the staff room to be bothered.
“How’s things on the outside?”
“Not good. Kev has given his gang a name, The St Pat’s Casuals.”
“What, like the football hooligans?” I said.
“Exactly. He’s getting right into that scene. I’ve started believing the stories he tells. They’ve even got their own calling cards. They leave them with their victims after they’ve encountered a beating.”
“You’re joking? Where did they get them done?”
Elvis pointed at himself. “Being the only person apart from you to have the slightest idea what to do with a computer, I was given the job of producing the cards. Couldn’t really say no could I?”
I shook my head in disbelief as he handed me one of the cards.
“I was also the first to receive one after I delivered them one day later than promised. My printer wasn’t working,” said Elvis.
“How’s everyone else? Gilbert and Bumper?”
“Gilbert is having a bad time of it. He’s got his own little collection of calling cards now, three in one day.”
He took a beating for no particular reason, typical Davison stuff. They threw one of the cards down and told him to read it to them. As you know, reading is not one of Gilbert’s strong points. They chased him and gave him another beating on the stairs outside the science block. One of the elderly dinner ladies arrived on the scene and found Gilbert on all fours, in tears. When she asked what was up with him, Martin Gelder said that Gilbert had lost his contact lenses. Satisfied with the explanation, she left him to his third beating of the day. Kev’s getting out of control, Pete. Somebody’s going to have to stop him before it really gets out of hand.”
Carter was first to the door but it was already open.
“This is the problem with the rich criminal types, all the security in the world and they leave the fucking front door open.”
He was now sporting a bulletproof vest and a gun that he’d been trained to use but had never had the need or the desire to fire on active duty. The rest of the armed response unit were lined up at either side of the door. Carter’s heart started racing, this was it. Two members of the ARU went in first.
“FREEZE, ARMED POLICE!” the first one shouted as he burst through the door.
Ingham turned and raised his gun to shoulder height.
“Drop it dickhead.”
Ingham thought about it for a couple of seconds and then placed the gun on the floor.
“On your knees.”
“All right, all right, I’m going.”
“Where’s Davison?” Carter shouted.
“In there,” Ingham nodded towards the study, “it’s not pleasant. Looks like someone got to him before I did.”
“Save your story for the judge. Someone get him out of my sight.”
Carter edged towards the study door.
“What the fuck?” Junior Carling came through from the conservatory when he heard the shouting.
“Freeze! Armed Police!”
Everyone raised their guns again.
“Boss?” Junior looked towards Ingham for inspiration but he was already cuffed.
“BASTARDS.” A shadow emerged from behind Junior. One of Ingham’s doormen fired his gun towards the front door.
Carter let off two rounds and the gunman was dead. A second bouncer came bounding down the stairs but dropped his gun as soon as he saw his friend lying face down in a pool of blood.
“Check the rest of the house. Make sure there’s no more gung-ho heroes waiting to gun us down.”
Carter shook his head; he had never aimed his gun at anyone or been fired at in the past, now he had killed a man and two bullets lay in the doorframe behind him.
“Follow me,” he said to DC Oliver as he opened the door to the study.
Carter edged in slowly with his gun at shoulder height. The blue flashing lights outside briefly lit the room. Davison sat behind his desk in his swivel chair. The rain on the windows mixed with the police lights to send tear like shadows running down his face. His brains were spread over the wall covering the photo of him and Frank Bruno.
“For fuck’s sake.”
Carter slid down the wall and held his head in his hands.
“Looks like we’ve got another murder on our hands. If Ingham is telling the truth and he isn’t responsible then what the fuck is going on?”
I had to be in the chapel by 8.30 each morning so that I didn’t come into contact with any of the pupils on my way to school. Mr Swinbank, the deputy head, was always in early and met me in the entrance hall. After he had left me in the chapel, I was pretty much left to my own devices until about eleven thirty when I went for lunch. I was then put back into the chapel for the rest of the day. Whilst I was given work to do, it took very little time and I filled my mornings by daydreaming.
I started to have a look around the chapel, more out of boredom than a general interest. There wasn’t much to see; an altar with a couple of candlesticks and behind red velvet curtains was the tabernacle. This contained the wine and bread that the priest used during mass. It was always locked. On the wall behind the altar was a large vent from the heating duct. I peered in through the grate but there was very little to see as it was so dark. I considered my surroundings. Perhaps, after the outburst in Religious Studies, the school thought it would be appropriate for me to spend time contemplating the error of my ways in a chapel. Maybe they were trying to be ironic.
Another installment of Leg It by Alan Parkinson to follow same time next week.
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