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 (8 page)

BOOK: Wasted Lives, a Detective Mike Bridger novel
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quite right Ken, but it’s too much of a coincidence to ignore",
Bridger replied, ignoring the negative inflection in Ken's voice,
"That's why we are going to kick his door in and ask him what he

Johnson spoke up from the side of the room. "I've dealt with him a
few times in the past; he has never had a propensity for violence
though. It bothers me a bit that it is out of character. This would
be a massive step up for him if he were involved.  He hangs
around with a Martin McLaren who lives next door. Martin is an
unknown to me, although the name McLaren rings a bell for some
reason… Anyway Martin is not in the system and I don't think he has
ever come to our attention".

"I agree
with Brian, this has 'The Gang' written all over it" Becky said,
"Joseph Kingi would be a good fit for the build of the bigger
person in the CCTV footage we have, his dreadlocks could be tucked
up into that ski mask he's wearing. He has a history for using
people outside of the gang for his jobs as well. Do we know if Tama
is connected to him?”

something to explore in the interview Becky, good point. There are
two other people involved in this and Joseph Kingi could be one of
them. Now... does everybody know what role that he or she is
playing?” Everyone nodded “Good… Once AOS has secured the house and
Tama along with the firearm the arrest team can move in", Bridger
looked around the room for final questions. Seeing none, he gave
the order. "We move on the house at exactly ten hundred hours", he
said looking at Gary Stone who nodded his confirmation.

"Right, let’s
do this".






were back in Martin's room. Tama was still buzzing from his night
in the spotlight; Joseph had been more than happy to let him talk
back at the pad. He had sat with an amused smile on his face, like
that of a patronising uncle, when Tama had regaled the room with
his exploits. Martin watched as Joseph whispered in the ears of
those around him, no doubt belittling what Tama was saying. He
hated Joseph Kingi with his dreadlocked swagger; he hated the hold
he had over everyone, using fear to keep people in line. He did not
think Joseph understood what letting Tama talk like that would do.
With every detail cemented into Tama's head as legend, his self-
deceit would get bigger. Tama would fool himself into feeling like
someone he was not. He had longed for this type of

new Tama would shout this story to anyone and everyone who would
listen, Tama the unwitting Judas in the group would bring everyone
down with his loose tongue, and Joseph was stoking the

had toyed with the idea of letting Tama know about the money, maybe
share it with him, he had changed his mind quickly when he realised
Tama's storytelling would lead right back to him and to

Tama had
always been good at sharing though. He remembered the times he had
gone to Tama's house in search of a safe place; Tama had always
looked at him with knowing eyes, as if he knew exactly what he was
going through. He had always given what little he had in an effort
to please Martin. Tama was always trying to please people, he did
not quite know where he fit in the chaotic world they lived in.
They had grown up together in a shared world of poverty and
hardship made worse by the weak minds of the predators that lived
amongst them. Tama was his best friend. Tama was also a time bomb
with its fuse lit, and as much as he loved his friend, he did not
want to be near him when he finally went off.

Pity we
didn’t get that money J man was talking about…” Tama was looking at
Martin without suspicion “We would have been rolling in it, still
can’t have everything right?”

did not reply. His eyes strayed to the frayed edge of carpet in the
corner of his room, a shot of guilt running through his blood. Tama
did not notice where he was looking, or what it meant.

if I get a patch then I won’t need it will I” Tama feigned a few
shadow punches at the wall, short breaths bursting from his mouth
like a boxer in training.

A patch
isn’t everything Tama, how much have those guys actually got… J man
is about the only one with a car.” Martin realised that his friend
was completely infatuated with the gang; if they took him in, he
would never get his friend back.

better than what we have now Star, they’re a fucking family, and
they look after their own. I want some of that.” He was still
fizzing and his words came out faster than normal.

Martin was
about to say something when he heard the faint whistle from outside
in the distance, it was a warning whistle that was repeated over
and over as it was passed from person to person in the
neighbourhood. The unmistakable sound of big powerful engines
winding up as they accelerated up the hill from the flat sea level
suburbs of South Dunedin followed the whistle. A sound they
recognised instantly as trouble.  

Tama had heard
the same sounds, in the drug induced space occupying his brain a
couple of synapses had managed to fire in the right order, his
brain had told him the trouble was coming for him, and it was
probably right. Martin watched as his friends pupils dilated in
fear, his breathing became short. He started to have a panic
attack, something Martin had not seen since their childhood. Fear
was never Tama's friend.

He pushed
himself off the bed and went to the window, outside was a blur of
movement, Police cars were sliding to a halt, disgorging the
occupants all dressed in black. Evil looking guns held in front of
them. They were all running with a purpose, eyes visible above
black scarves and below black helmets, killer ants with a single
purpose, moving with precision towards their intended target.


the fuck am I going to do Star? I am fucked aren't I... They're
here for me. Fuck, fuck, fuck". Tama was almost in tears, the drugs
and alcohol in his system messing with his reasoning. He moved
about the room like a caged tiger, not finding any way

Martin was
beginning to panic as well, it was then he saw two armed police
officers pass the window directly in front of him, close enough to
touch. He could hear their boots on the path but there was no other
sound. He realised that they were heading away from where his front
door would be.  

down Tama, its okay, I think they are going for your house, not
mine. They don't know we are here". Tama was still wired from last
night so there was no way he was going to let the Police get hold
of him in that state."Quick, we'll go out the back".

opened his bedroom door quietly; he could hear Tama breathing
heavily close to his ear, panic evident. He heard the explosion of
a distraction blast in the distance, and then heard the black ants
shouting 'armed police'. He imagined them as they swarmed into
Tama's house with the big guns they were carrying.

That was good,
as they were more likely to be focusing on Tama's house and not the
one they were in next door. It may give them a chance.

stepfather came out of the lounge room shaking his head groggily,
standing in their way. "The pigs are next door, what the fuck, have
you two done now?" He said, looking directly at Martin. He never
spoke to Tama; he did not even acknowledge him half the time.

Not that you would give a shit about it anyway". Martin tried to
push past has bulky frame.

stepfather stood his ground, "Fuck you Martin you little bitch,
once they are done next door they will be here for sure looking for
you two. I am not having them kick my door in causing me
aggravation. Your mother doesn't need it either."

Martin could
not believe he was trying to use his mother against him. "Fuck you,
you don't give a shit about my mother, just hanging around getting
wasted all the time, letting her support you. I'm not scared of you
anymore you fat lazy waster...” Martin paused to catch a breath; he
did not want to get into this right now. “We're out of here anyway
so there won't be any aggravation".

I know
what you have done… I know where it is.”

You’re full of shit old man.”
Martin stared into his eyes, trying not to let
the little boy in him give the predator any power. What the fuck
could he know anyway?

For a second
no one spoke, the shouts outside continued, the police had not
found anyone next door. He was right; the police would be here
next. They had to move.

balance of power had shifted ever so slightly now, Martin could see
it in his stepfather's eyes, they had a slight uncertain look about
them, but underneath he could still see the sickness of his

His stepfather
relented and turned sideways letting them continue, they
practically ran down the hallway towards the back door, not seeing
the eyes of the predator following them.

He turned and
looked at his friend before he opened the door. Tama was freaking
out; Martin could see the fuse was getting shorter. "If we get
separated we will meet at the castle, you got that T?” He looked at
Tama who was just staring back at him not speaking. "T have you got
that? Meet me at the castle", he said more forcefully.

"Yeah..., yeah
I've got it Star, no worries, let’s get out of here", Tama finally
replied, his eyes unsteady and uncertain.

Martin let out
the breath he had been holding, he knew his friend was adept at
running from the Police; he had a lot of practice in all states of
sobriety. Wasted or not he could run with the best of them.

Opening the
door, he stepped out into the sunshine followed by Tama. The day
looked so calm and forgiving; there was not a breath of wind. The
smell of freshly cut grass invaded his nostrils, the sound of a
lawnmower somewhere in the distance. It was a beautiful spring

He looked left
towards the large hedge that separated Tama's back yard from his;
they would be invisible until they climbed the back fence into the
gully that ran along the back of their properties. Once in the
gully they would have to drop quickly into the lower part to remain
out of sight. When they got into the gully, they could follow it
uphill and come out near another road and from there they would
make their way to the castle.

He indicated
to Tama where he intended to go and then moved quickly over the
rear lawn crouching as he moved. Clambering over the fence he
ducked down behind a bush, he could see a couple of police officers
in Tama's back yard; they were watching the rear windows in case
somebody tried to climb out. With their eyes focused on and
scanning the windows, they would not be expecting anyone behind
them. They had about three metres to cross in open ground before
they could drop out of sight. Tama had made it over the fence and
was crouching behind him.

"Come on Star
let’s get the fuck out of here", he whispered urgently.

stood up simultaneously and made a dash for the safety of the


Bridger had
hoped they would find Tama at home sleeping it off, high on the
excess and excitement of the previous night. He wanted things to
progress quickly; moving quicker meant that you caught people off
guard, less time for them to get their story straight;
unfortunately, this morning luck was not on their side. The house
clearing team had reported that the house was empty. The fact that
he was not in the house might mean that he was hiding out somewhere
though, scared of getting caught, and that might mean that his
hunch was right and he was involved in the robbery and murder of
the shop keeper.

"He's over the
back fence, heading into the gully". The urgent shout came from the
rear of the house.

made to run down the side of the house but thought better of it as
a big burly police officer holding on to an equally big dog
launched himself into action. The dog, sensing some excitement and
the possibility of biting someone, was in front and pulling the
handler by the lead around his neck.

followed in their wake, he reached the rear yard in time to see the
hairy beast leap over the back fence with the agility of a cat and
tear off into the undergrowth.

Before the
handler had time to clear the fence a scream erupted from somewhere
in the gully below them. A male voice yelling 'Get the fuck off
me..., get it off ' followed the scream. The source of the
commotion was not visible but by the sound of the frightened pain
of the voice, the dog had found its intended target.

one for the dog, he thought, smiling.

climbed over the fence and followed the handler into the
undergrowth, small branches catching at his shirtsleeves as he made
his way further down the gully.

Coming out
into a small clearing he caught sight of the dogs rear end, it had
his head buried under a small bush and seemed to be ripping it from
side to side as his tail wagged excitedly. As Bridger got closer,
he could hear a small whimper coming from somewhere in front of the
dog, near the fangs.

Leave! Leave!” The dog handler shouted the command and the dog
reacted instantly, its head emerging from the shadows. It had its
mouth open panting, its blood-covered teeth clearly visible. The
dog looked to have a maniacal grin on its face, as if it was in
ecstasy and not just having another day at work.

BOOK: Wasted Lives, a Detective Mike Bridger novel
7.53Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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