Read Ben Bracken: Origins (Ben Bracken Books 1 - 5) Online

Authors: Robert Parker

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Ben Bracken: Origins (Ben Bracken Books 1 - 5) (17 page)

BOOK: Ben Bracken: Origins (Ben Bracken Books 1 - 5)
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Tawtridge nods once as he walks, his loyal acquiescence assured. They are ending the corridor to a locked metal gate, which Tawtridge opens swiftly. They drop immediately down a flight of steel stairs, and arrive in a cold entrance area that hosts a grand black wooden door - a remnant of earlier times in the prison’s lifetime but no less imposing. A guard pokes his head out of a glowing side room, confusion spattered across his face.

‘If you want to keep your job, you’ll ignore this’ Tawtridge yells to him, and the guards head vanishes immediately like a spooked gopher. ‘And you’ll open the door.’

Tawtridge and Ben pause by the door, but only momentarily, as an urgent buzzer sounds softly and a lock clunks undone. Tawtridge opens the door immediately, but Ben stops him.

‘Harry - you don’t really expect me to leave wearing this do you?’ Ben says, motioning to his prison issues.

Tawtridge stands dumfounded for a moment.

‘I’ll need your suit’, Ben commands.

Tawtridge stares at Ben in outrage but he knows that Ben holds all the cards - and then some. He has no option at this stage but to play along, and as he strips down to his obese pink belly, y-fronts and pringle socks, he knows his embarrassment is complete. He has been well and truly beaten.

Ben throws on the shirt, trousers and jacket in a flurry, euphemistically holding his nose at the stale sweat stink that hovers on the surface of the clothes. Better than nothing, he grimaces. He knows freedom is mere seconds away - so close to this plan coming off better than he ever could have guessed. He had contingencies, but they were so minor, and they all were pretty last ditch in the grand scheme of things. A future looms large ahead of him, and with it a typhoon, brewing, sure and unstoppable. He is elated, buoyed by the second chance to do good which he has generated for himself. He swears he will not make the same mistakes, and will make the most of this welcome opportunity.

He tosses the prison issues to Tawtridge, who stands there pathetic, stripped of both his clothes and bravado, right down to his grits. Ben turns to the door, and lets the cool air of outside drift in onto his face. It feels damn good.

‘I’m a man of my word, Harry’ Ben says, while he surveys the cold blue Manchester outside. ‘The duffle bag is safe for now.’

‘I don’t doubt it’, Tawtridge says, pulling on the prison issue sweatshirt.

Ben steps through the door, into the cold wet street. Out. Free. Home. Ben takes a second, as the door thunks shut behind him. The suit fits horribly, hanging off his shoulders and down over him like an apron. He simply stands in the street, enjoying the moment. He looks back up at the stone beast that is Strangeways. Silence. You’d never know it was there, or what was going on inside. The ecology that is trying to find it’s new balance through bloodshed. Ben takes a step forward, and crosses the street, about to make the short walk into the city centre, and the first steps to redemption.

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FOLLOW ROBERT PARKER ONLINE

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BOOK: Ben Bracken: Origins (Ben Bracken Books 1 - 5)
13.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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