Read Wasted Lives, a Detective Mike Bridger novel Online

Authors: Mark Bredenbeck

Tags: #thriller, #detective, #crime fiction, #new zealand, #gangs, #dunedin

Wasted Lives, a Detective Mike Bridger novel (23 page)

BOOK: Wasted Lives, a Detective Mike Bridger novel
4.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Grant grabbed
a handful of dreadlocks and pulled his face up off the ground. “I
said, where the hell are they?” his voice was a hushed angry
whisper, his face right next to Baz.

Baz just
looked back at him, arrogant indifference written all over his
face.


He’s
not going to help you Grant,” Brian said putting a hand on his
shoulder. “Just get him out of here Throw him in the cells for a
while, see if that helps his memory.”


What’s
the charge?”


Obstruction, resisting arrest, assault, take your
pick…”

Grant
asked the two officers either side of Baz to help him out. Lifting
him bodily, they dragged him facing forwards, Baz refusing to move
his legs, over the remains of the broken gate and out into the
street before shoving him unceremoniously into the back seat of a
patrol car.

Another
police patrol vehicle came driving up to the scene in a hurry,
braking sharply as it pulled to the side of the road. The car door
opened and Sgt Gary Stone, officer in charge of the AOS, stepped
out.


I see
I’m too late for all the fun. Typical, I told the missus that we
should have bought a house closer to town.” The smile on his face
died when he saw Grant’s expression. “Have you got them back?” he
queried, hesitantly.


No, the
pad is a ghost town and this prick isn’t letting on where everybody
went.” Grant indicated Baz sitting in the back seat. “He knows
where they are, I’m bloody sure of it, but we can’t do a damn thing
about it” Grant kicked the side of the car in
frustration.


What
about Bridger? Has anyone heard from him?”


Not
yet…”

A call from
inside the fence cut Grant’s reply short. Becky’s urgent shout had
them running into the house to see something she had found.
Entering the room, she indicated what she had seen to them, they
all drew in a breath realising straight away, what they were
looking at. There was a mattress on the floor in the corner, and it
had clothes next to it that looked like the ones Jo had been
wearing that morning. In the other corner was a small wooden chair,
one of its legs broken making it lean against the wall. There was
blood all around the base of it and sitting against the opposite
wall was a wooden baseball bat. Red stains ran like rivers down its
length and they could see what appeared to be hair matted in the
blood pooled around the bottom.


Bloody
hell, this doesn’t look good” Grant said taking in the scene
“Looking at this I would say that whatever happened here wasn’t
pleasant, and if Jo and John were involved they are in a lot of
trouble.”


These
are Jo’s clothes,” Becky said, her face white as she held up Jo’s
police identification card. “This was in the pocket.”

There was a
short stunned silence in the room as they digested the fact that
their colleagues were now in serious danger.


Get Baz
Ropata back to the station now” Brian said, looking at Grant “Lean
on him hard, he knows where they are, make sure he knows that if
anything happens to them he will be just as
responsible.”

Grant did not
need telling twice, he was already heading for the door.


I’ll
get the scene of crime officers down here to bag this lot up. The
rest of you start looking through the rest of this place, see if we
can find something that might point us in the right direction. It’s
our only course of action.” Brian looked at his cellphone wondering
where in the hell Mike Bridger was.

 


We are
running out of time Mr Bridger, even with my reach we can’t hold
the screws back for too much longer, you need to make your
choice.”

Bridger sensed
in McLaren’s tone of voice that his choice would have to fall on
right side for this to be resolved to his satisfaction.”


If I do
what you want then I risk hurting my colleagues,” he said looking
directly at Joseph senior when he spoke. Joseph’s expression
changed slightly on hearing Bridger’s words. He realised that
Joseph would not be privy to what was being discussed between them;
he thought he had his confession signed and sealed. He was
expecting McLaren to back him on his crusade for his release;
Joseph had no idea that McLaren had put him there in the first
place, and more importantly wanted him to remain there.


And if
I can’t do what you want, then what?”


Then I
can’t guarantee that your wife won’t meet with the loving hands of
my man on the outside. I have told him that he has the green light
if you do not agree with my proposal. If my son ends up in any sort
of trouble then its game on”

Bridger’s mind was about to burst, his thoughts were all over
the place. He was stuck between the beliefs of Joseph Kingi that he
had set him up and the unreasonable demands of McLaren. On one side
were his two colleagues, in very real danger, and on the other his
wife and possibly lover were targets for the sick fantasies of a
violent pervert. How was he actually meant to weigh up the two,
they both deserved his protection. He knew in his heart that his
colleagues needed the help first. Knowing this did not make his
choice any easier, only harder.


Time’s
ticking by Mr Bridger. You know in your heart which way you should
decide, just say the word”

Bridger
took a deep breath, Nietzsche surfacing in his thoughts once
again.

‘All things are subject to interpretation whichever
interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and
not truth.’


Can you
help me with my problem?” Bridger hoped McLaren would notice the
inference that he was talking about his colleagues. He did not want
Joseph knowing what was going on until he made his decision which
way he was going to play it.


The
simple answer is… no, Mr Bridger, I don’t have a clue where Kingi
will be hiding your little friends…, except the pad, it’s the only
logical place I can think of. You are a clever Detective so you
will figure it out. It’s not really my problem; I only have to
worry about how to stop my man’s unholy desire for your wife if he
doesn’t hear from me.”

That is
what he had been afraid of; the pad was the first place he had
thought of as well. It looked like he was going to have to do
something he did not think he would ever have to do. Bridger had
come to a decision, “Okay Mr McLaren, I’ll do my best. That’s all I
can do.”


That’s
what I thought…” David said softly “Love always wins out doesn’t
it; blood is thicker than water when it comes down to it, your
first priority will always be your wife. For what it’s worth though
Mr Bridger, I hope your colleagues will be okay.”

The phone went
dead which left Bridger staring at Joseph Kingi who was sitting
across the table from him, a suspicious look on his face.


You have your way, I have my way, as for the right way, the
correct way, and the only way, it does not exist’

He did not
bother saying anything to him, just picked up the paper with the
false confession scrawled onto the face of it. He folded it in two
and placed it inside his jacket pocket.

Joseph
smiled as he watched him do it, “You have three hours from when
that door opens to get that lodged with the Courts. My lawyers will
be advised when it happens and will let me know, they have been
told that there is going to be a development, but do not know what
it is. Once they let me know then your little piggy friends can go
‘wee wee wee’ all the way home. If I don’t hear from them then I
can’t call off the dogs and your friends will become food for their
appetite”

Bridger
remained impassive, shaking his head unconsciously at the futility
of the situation. Two men who had wasted their lives still had the
power to control the destiny of others in a world where everyone
had their own boundaries and some were willing to cross them all
too easily. He just hoped his decision had been the right
one.

The steel door
clanged behind them as the lock was undone, swinging open, it
bought a rush of cold fresh air into the stagnant room, and it
surrounded and cooled the two men who sat staring at each other,
almost intimately like feuding brothers who have finally come to an
understanding.

Bridger
took a long deep breath of the fresher air and stood up to face the
officer in the doorway, his anger only barely contained that
someone in his position would allow a prisoner to dictate what he
did. He saw an unfamiliar face staring back at him; it was not
either of the two officers from earlier.


There
you are Sergeant; I’ve had a bit of trouble locating you… Why was
this door locked?”

Bridger did
not bother to ask and just gave him a hard stare.


You
really should sign in at the front desk you know, it’s not a safe
environment here, especially if we don’t know where you are or if
you are even present in the building.”

Bridger was
about to say something this time but stopped himself at the last
minute, he needed to fix his own problems first, not sort out the
prison service. Picking up his cell phone from the table, he
stalked out of the door, feeling Joseph’s malignant eyes staring at
him in the small of his back.


Three
hours Mr Bridger” Joseph called from inside the room as Bridger
continued to walk.

 

 

 

Chapter
Fifteen

 

Martin
stood in the warm sunshine outside his childhood home, slightly on
edge. The scene he had witnessed at the pad had shaken him. When he
heard that cop say what he did, he wanted to smash him, stick a
knife in his belly, and make him see what fear and survival was all
about. That cop didn’t give a shit about Tama or what he had to
deal with, all he saw was trash, someone to be swept up and dealt
with so the ‘Normal’ people could sleep soundly, knowing that they
were so much better than the likes of him.

He had watched
in awe as the police had moved in with vicious precision and
violent force. Where was that effort when Tama was lying in the
dirt with no head? There was no speed then, it seemed like they
were just going through the motions, typical bloody coppers.

The gate
had been no match for the front-end loader driven by that black
killer ant. He was not embarrassed that he had been crying. It had
actually made him feel slightly better. He had stayed and watched
what the police were doing; half hoping that he would see the two
police officers Joseph had kidnapped come out with them. However,
the face they had dragged out was bloodied and beaten and the
distance had made it hard to tell at first who it was. The sight of
the man struggling against his captors, as they tried to put him in
a police car with his dreadlocks swaying violently, left little
doubt in his mind. It was too late for those little piggies. They
were gone. He was sure Baz Ropata would not be letting on where the
rest of them were no matter what they did to him. The unwritten
code was sacred to Baz, Martin knew he would never break or deviate
from his chosen path. Do not speak to the cops, no matter
what.

He
remembered the text from Joseph, saying he would kill Tama if he
talked. Tama would never talk; he followed the rules as well. He
may not have been as hard as Joseph or Baz but he still lived the
same life, ran in the same circles, and breathed the same fetid air
in the same stinking neighbourhood as everyone else. Martin found
himself getting angry again, it brought back memories of Tama and
how scared he had been before the police came for him.

Tama did not
have to die. Things could have been different. He thought of what
he knew, and of what Baz had told him. He could end this if he
wanted; he knew he had the power now.

Fuck’em,
he thought, let J man and his crew dig as big a hole as they
wanted, big enough for all of them to fall into. Fuck the police as
well, what have they ever done for the likes of him, they had not
even been able to protect Tama.

Martin looked
at the closed door at the end of the short path, a path he had
walked up and down all his life, a path that for many years had
been one of fear.

He knew his
mother would not be home yet, but that was good; he did not have
the words for goodbye. Although they had not been close, in the
last few years, she was still his mother and he was not sure
whether he would be able to walk away if she asked him not to.

He would be
there though, the man who had shaped his young life from innocent
wonder, a child's courage to face the world and all it had, into an
ashamed frightened existence of self-doubt and hatred, one man's
sickness touching him and others and infecting them all beyond
cure.

He hated that
man, for making him hate himself.

I will
just have to be quiet, he thought, he is probably passed out on the
couch anyway, the fucking loser.

Another
thought flashed through his mind, he was glad at that moment he did
not have the shotgun with him; but then would he actually be able
to pull the trigger. Would his hatred have been strong enough?

Either way he
needed to retrieve his money, there was nothing without the money,
no new existence. Taking a deep breath, he walked up the path,
opened the front door and stepped inside.

"In here
Star" The voice was quiet, almost seductive, instantly taking him
back all those years. He was seven years old again, too young to
know any better, too young.

BOOK: Wasted Lives, a Detective Mike Bridger novel
4.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Five Days by Douglas Kennedy
North to the Salt Fork by Ralph Compton
Whats-In-A-Name by Roxie Rivera
The Jesus Cow by Michael Perry
Living Low Carb by Jonny Bowden
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr, Ronald Himler