Authors: Gerard Brennan
“Look, I know Sheena’s a bit of a boot, but I think that’s an unfair...”
“I was talking about you trying to burn the tit off me, you psycho-bitch!” His face instantly contorted as he spat his words through bared teeth. “If I had a cup of battery acid right now, I’d throw it in your face!”
“Sean!” Karen said.
“Karen, don’t,” Rachel said. “You shouldn’t get mixed up in this.”
Sean didn’t even register Karen’s protest. He seemed to be doing his best to burn holes in Rachel with his mad, glaring eyes.
Rachel realised that every customer in the café had turned their attention to the unfolding drama. She’d never be able to show her face in the place again. And it wasn’t as if the town was coming down with nice coffee shops.
“Get lost, Sean. You’re making a show of yourself.”
“You’re a dirty, skanky bitch, Rachel O’Hare!” He’d bent at the waist so he could get right in her face.
“And you need to brush your teeth, Sean.”
A couple of patrons laughed nervously. One or two hissed in anticipation of Sean going nuclear.
“Hey, you!” The clear voice boomed through the heated atmosphere. “What are you at?”
A man in a white apron stood at the café’s counter. Rachel guessed he’d been summoned from the kitchen by the nervous waiting staff. He wasn’t big, but he had that little hard-man look about him. All sinewy muscle and intimidating stare. Sean stood up straight and turned his attention to the new player.
Rachel couldn’t help herself. She fired a punch into Sean’s groin. Then another. And another. He squeaked and folded over. The men in the café groaned and crossed their legs in unison. Sean fell onto his side and curled into the foetal position. Karen screamed.
“We should get out of here, Karen,” Rachel said and dropped a twenty pound note on the table. She turned to the man in the apron. “Sorry about the commotion. Keep the change.”
She stepped over Sean, who she almost felt sorry for, but he made a half-hearted attempt to kick out at her and she caught herself on. She booted his rubbery leg away and hunkered down so she could make sure he heard her through the pain.
“How was that for a handjob?” she asked.
You Dirty Rat
Paul stood at the traffic lights on the main street in Warrenpoint with a cardboard box at his feet. He spotted a red Audi TT convertible with the top down approaching. It wasn’t the first time he’d seen it scooting around the town’s streets. The little blonde driver must have been based in one of the small offices in the town but had a job that took her out and about. Or, more likely, she was a trophy wife who had little else to do all day but burn petrol as she went about a handful of unnecessary tasks to put in her day. Paul had a very keen eye for pretty motors and he’d clocked this one’s routine for the last couple of days.
He pushed the button for the pedestrian crossing. The lights changed on cue and the car slowed to a stop. Paul winked at the blonde trophy wife driving the car. She licked her lips and smiled at him. He pulled a humane rat trap out of the cardboard box. There was a live rat inside, scratching at the plastic bars. Paul opened the trap and dumped the rat onto the passenger seat. The trophy wife screamed and clambered out of the car, scrabbling over the door instead of opening it. It was a less than graceful exit. Paul grinned, threw the
trap into the passenger side foot-well and hopped into the driver’s seat. He peeled off.
“Okay, Mister Rat, thanks for the help. Now just you crawl back into your wee house there and I’ll drop you off at the shore with a big block of cheese, deal?”
The rat hopped onto Paul’s lap. Paul screamed.
Fast Track Promotion
Paul raked the TT’s engine as he sped into O’Rourke’s remote lock-up. One of the young mechanics had to dive to the side to avoid certain death. Paul didn’t bother with the car door, but vaulted out over it and performed a disjointed dance by the side of the vehicle. He ignored the puzzled stares from O’Rourke and his two young engine-heads as he gave himself a full body search.
O’Rourke’s voice rumbled slow and calm. “What the fuck are you doing, Paul?”
“I hate rats.” Paul continued to dance but edged away from the Audi.
“Okay. But what’s that got to do with the price of chips?”
“I’ve just driven six miles with fucking vermin as a passenger. It kind of freaked me out, okay?”
O’Rourke ambled over to the car and looked in. He grunted and bent over the door as he reached inside. The adult brown rat squirmed in his huge, powerful hand. The rat’s struggle became a frenzy of jerks and squeaks. Its tiny bones crumbled as O’Rourke clenched his fist. One of the mechanics screamed as the rat’s stomach split and a loop of its purplish intestines sprang out like a popped watch spring. Paul fought the urge to vomit. He had embarrassed himself enough already.
O’Rourke threw the rat’s carcass into a rusty barrel full of old oil. He looked Paul up and down.
“Why was there a rat in my beautiful sports car, Paul?”
“It’s a long story.”
O’Rourke shrugged. Paul shuddered.
“Okay then, Mister O’Rourke,” Paul said. “That was the last car on your list. Have I proved my worth yet, or are you going to send me off on another test raid?”
“Paul, you’ve impressed me. I didn’t expect you to complete our little probationary period so fast. Until I get these ones shifted I won’t need any more cars. I’m running out of space to be honest. But I do want to give you some more work.”
“I’ll do anything that won’t get me killed, Mr O’Rourke.”
“Good.” O’Rourke cracked a rare smile. “And, by the way, you don’t have to call me Mister O’Rourke anymore. We’re friends now. Call me Richard.”
Paul nodded and smiled. O’Rourke offered Paul his slab of a hand; the hand that had crushed the rat; the hand that he hadn’t washed the rat’s blood from; the hand that could easily crush Paul’s windpipe if he ever fucked with the big bastard. Paul shook his boss’s meat-hook and kept his poker face on. The grip was slimy and slick with rodent gore. O’Rourke pumped hard, jarring Paul’s arm in its socket. Paul did his best to relax his muscles and hoped his arm would remain attached to his body.
O’Rourke released Paul’s hand to answer his mobile. Saved by the ringtone. Paul wiped his hand on the arse of his jeans and allowed himself the luxury of a skeleton rattling shudder. What a way to seal a deal.
The L Word
Brian and Rachel lay on the sofa in each other’s arms, gasping. They untangled from each other and grinned like loons. Brian snuck a hand down to his crotch and adjusted his thrumming dick. Rachel patted the pink skin of her chest and tried to steady her breathing. Brian admired the jiggle of her pert boobs that each pat set off. The sound of Rachel’s tummy rumbling sent a hunger pang ricocheting around his gut.
“We should go for a meal, babe.”
“Yeah, why not? I’m sure we’d get a table at the wee pizza place on the shore front. It always looks empty.”
“There’s probably a good reason for that, Brian.”
“Well it isn’t about the food when you’re young and in love. It’s about the company.” He’d said the ‘L’ word before his brain had filtered it. His post-orgasm mind allowed it through. He hoped she hadn’t noticed.
“You said the L word.”
“Do you love me?” Rachel’s hopeful expression
made it impossible to lie to her or make a joke out of it.
“I love you, babe. It’s only been a few weeks, I know, but, Jesus, I just can’t stop thinking about you when you’re not around, and pinching myself when you are. I love the way you laugh and smile and move, and when you get naked… mother of God, I can’t control myself.” He couldn’t stop the words from spilling out of his mouth. He prayed that she’d say something back, if only to interrupt him before he started to quote Shakespearean sonnets.
“I think I get the picture, Brian.”
“And I love you too, you big eejit. But if you mess me about, I’ll cut your balls off.”
Brian stared at her in wonder and she stared back. For at least a minute he struggled to come up with something to say. In the end he settled for, “cool.”
“Let’s just order a pizza in,” Rachel said. “I’m in the mood for an early night.”
She slid a soft hand down Brian’s spine and cupped one of his buttocks. Brian felt the first twinge of a fresh hard-on.
“Cool,” he said.
Paul perched himself on the radiator outside O’Rourke’s office. There was nothing as grand as a waiting area in the grotty wee building at the back of the garage. He stood in a widened hallway with just enough room for a small, cluttered desk and a thin receptionist/secretary/PA. Paul had been summoned to the office via a phone call from one of the underlings. Possibly the mechanic he’d almost run down in the TT. He didn’t know him well enough to be sure, but there’d been a hint of aggression in the abrupt message.
Oil pervaded the entire hallway. Oily footprints on the floor; oily handprints on the office door and dotted along the white-painted walls; the smell of oil in the air. Paul’s slightly dodgy stomach flip-flopped and his grim surroundings offered little relief. So, he checked out the pretty receptionist/secretary/PA in an effort to ignore his nerves. Black hair with red streaks. Low-cut white V-neck T-shirt. Decent cleavage. False tan, but closer to brown than orange. She wasn’t bad for a Warrenpoint skank. He cleared his throat and tried to catch her eye.
She smiled at him. “Mr O’Rourke should be ready for you very soon.”
“Thank you, um...?”
“Bernice. That’s a nice name.”
“Ah, no. It’s common as muck.”
“Really? I’ve never met one. Apart from you, like.”
“You’re not from around here, though. There were three Bernices in my class at secondary school.”
“I bet you were the best looking one.”
She blushed just a little bit. Hard to detect under her spray-tan, but Paul was looking for it. He was in there.
“You’re a bit of a charmer, are you, Belfast boy?”
“It’s Paul, and no, I don’t think so. I just reckon you’d be hard to beat in the looks department, you know?”
“Well, it just so happens, you’re right. The other two were complete dogs.” She put a carefully manicured hand to her lips and giggled. It was a pretty, feminine flourish.
“So what do you like to do with your time when you’re not working, Bernice?”
“Ach, you know. The usual. I like to get out for a drink and a bit of a dance when I can get a babysitter.”
Paul’s interest in Bernice took a sudden dive, but he didn’t let the Mister Smooth act falter. He didn’t want to piss her off. She probably held a bit of sway with O’Rourke. Especially if she’d ever shagged the big bastard.
“Oh, you’ve got a kid? Boy or girl?”
“She’s not called Bernice, is she?”
She smiled at him, delighted he was taking an interest.
“No, she’s called Natasha.”