Authors: Mark Bredenbeck
Tags: #thriller, #detective, #crime fiction, #new zealand, #gangs, #dunedin
boy...Good boooy!” The handler praised his dog ruffling his neck
and putting him back on the lead. "He's all yours Mike," he said
crouched at the base of the bush and peered under. A bloodied and
torn leg confronted him, twitching slightly as he stared at it.
"Out you come then, let’s see you".
fucking dog away from me man", the body attached to the leg said
"The dogs on
the lead..., if you didn't run you wouldn't have met him. I'm sure
he's a very nice dog..., usually." Bridger smiled to himself; this
was always the outcome when they deployed a police dog to locate an
offender. This man was no different; it was hard to be tough in the
presence of sharp teeth.
The leg moved
a little, then uncurled into the light revealing three big puncture
wounds oozing blood and a few small tears in the flesh, not so bad
looking in the light, but Bridger knew most of the damage would be
below the surface, mentally and physically.
followed the leg slowly from the bush, then a head appeared last,
the face attached to the head had tears and snot staining its
cheeks but was unmistakably that of Tama Wilson. It seemed that
their luck had just changed.
Bridger sat on
one side of the table in the small stuffy room; across from him
Tama Wilson was slouching arrogantly in the chair, his bandaged leg
placed awkwardly in front of him, small spots of blood seeping
through the white of the dressings. It had taken two hours
for the doctor to sort out his leg and declare him fit enough to be
interviewed, Tama had only just stopped snivelling. He had seen
plenty of supposed hard men cry in his time so he had no sympathy
Off to the
side of the table between them, an ominous black box housing
digital recording equipment sat silently.
The search of
Tama's house had not found the weapon used to shoot the shopkeeper
the previous evening. It was a small setback but one that Bridger
hoped would not matter if Tama were willing to cooperate.
Detective Wright gets back with your cup of water we will start the
interview. You do understand why you are here don't you Tama?”
Bridger said, trying to build a rapport.
shrugged his shoulders.
"We need to
ask you some questions about last night". He did not let on exactly
what it was he wanted to know, let Tama fill in the gaps, he might
let something slip. Bridger looked Tama in the eye waiting for some
sort of reply.
"Fuck you, why
did you need the dog and guns for if you just wanted to ask me some
questions? You've gone and fucked up my leg now, I'm gonna make a
complaint to my lawyer, you's are gonna get done for what you did".
Tama had regained some of his confidence now that the painkillers
had kicked in.
Not quite the
rapport he was hoping for, but before Bridger could reply Becky
came in with a cup of water for Tama. Placing the cup in front of
him, she sat down next to Bridger.
let’s get on with it", Bridger said, pushing record on the machine
next to him. He began reading the preamble off the cue card in
front of him. Clarifying Tama's name and details as well as his
rights while under arrest and during the interview.
to speak with a lawyer then said nothing for the entire interview.
He was sitting petulantly, arms crossed, rolling his eyes
occasionally and sniggering under his breath as Bridger described
the incident in as much detail as possible in an attempt to appeal
to his rational side, if he had one.
tried a different tact and had asked Tama about 'The Gang' and what
he knew about Joseph Kingi. Bridger had seen a slight change in his
demeanour at the mention of this name, a look of fear had flickered
across his eyes. Not much, but it told him that Tama Wilson knew
more than he was letting on. They were looking in the right
silent, smirking to himself.
concluded and they were none the wiser about how Tama's
fingerprints came to be on the cans found near the stolen car and
what his involvement was with the robbery and shooting.
It was not a
real castle, just a ruin really; originally built for the seventh
son of Captain William Cargill, one of Dunedin's founding fathers.
His son's name was Edward Bowes Cargill, a prominent businessman
and one time Mayor of Dunedin. Construction began in 1876 and it
was a grand building in its day, built out of poured concrete, it
had parapets similar to a castle. 'The Cliffs' was its actual name
but the locals referred to it as 'Cargill's Castle', a name that
has stuck right through its decline into the ruin it is today.
below what was left of the grey concrete wall at the front of the
building, the sun was shining on his face, and his t-shirt was
stuck to his skin with drying sweat. It had been ten minutes and
his breathing had only just returned to normal.
bloody cigarettes, his mother always said it was a filthy habit;
his stepfather did not give two shits either way and regularly
stole from his pack. He could really feel the heaviness in his
where he sat, high on the cliffs edge, trying to slow his
breathing, he could see the cold Pacific Ocean as it washed up on
St Clair beach far below. A few surfers were braving the spring
temperatures and riding their boards just off the rocky point, down
by the council run salt-water hot pools.
realised then that he had never been to those pools before. He
could not even remember the last time he had even swam in the
ocean. He lived so close to the ocean all his life, but he felt he
did not belong there.
at his watch again, he noted the time. Tama had not shown up, but
he was only a little concerned, he knew his friend would be here
back against the cold concrete, being at the castle always brought
back memories of childhood adventures, imaginary games shared
between the innocent minds of the children they once were. He and
Tama had discovered it a long time ago, not long after they were
old enough to roam the neighbourhood on their own. Not that there
seemed to be any specific age it happened, no one was usually
around to stop them and those that were never seemed to care. His
mother was always at work, trying to earn money to support him and
his useless stepfather.
they had felt brave enough to leave the street they lived on and
embark on an adventure into the big bad world. Back then it had
seemed that they walked for hours before stumbling across the
ruins, but now that they were older it was only a few blocks from
home, just on the other side of the golf course.
before it started to happen, although if Martin was honest it was
probably already happening to Tama. He remembered Tama was always
crying, never wanting to be at Martin's house. Tama had it worse
than Martin; his parents were violent drunks in those days, the
worst of the violence only stopping when his father went to jail.
He had no escape, it was no wonder Tama was as messed up as he was.
When his stepfather had started on him, it must have been
because he had grown bored with Tama and wanted to experience the
thrill of someone closer to home.
still burned in the pit of his stomach but it had long since turned
to hatred. He wanted to kill that sick predator that had taken his
innocence but he knew that it would destroy his mother. He did not
blame her, he had never told her about what went on so how would
she know. She just kept toiling away in the hope that her family
would be all right. The same story repeated itself throughout
his world, the plight of so many shielded by the need to
were starting to fall apart for him now; he could feel it slipping
away. Last night had probably sealed their fate; he would be
destined to a life in jail. Like so many others before them, it all
came down to a choice. Martin hated the fact he was in this life,
he only did the things that came naturally to him in order to
survive, to have what everyone else had, a normal life.
supposed to be his brother in arms, them against the world. He was
someone who had shared similar experiences and could relate to how
Martin felt he had more to offer to the world than what he
had given so far, the man had told him that it would happen. He
just had to wait. However, things were not going the right way. If
he could just get out, he would go to Auckland maybe and start a
new life where nobody knew where he had come from. He would be free
from people's knowing stares; the images of what he had lived
through reflected clearly in their eyes. These thoughts always gave
him a warm feeling, as if they were real; they were supposed to
happen, as if he could actually achieve them. He had spoken about
them with Tama often enough and at first he thought Tama had felt
he knew in his
heart that Tama would never go with him, despite all his talk. Tama
was going to hold him back, as much as he hated the idea he needed
to cut the connection and move on before his friend dragged him
even further from his desired life.
phone beeped in his pocket and Martin pulled it out, retrieving the
text message he saw it was from Joseph Kingi.
'T's bn pulld, he btr not tlk or I'll fkn kill
thought looking at the message in crude text speak. He hoped Tama
was in the right frame of mind to keep his mouth shut but he could
not be sure given the state he was in back at the house.
message had unnerved him, he had not really thought about Tama
being a grass, not seriously. He could not let that happen, he
wanted too much from his life to have it snatched away by Tama's
smiling face jumped into his head, poor simple Tama, he could not
be sure that Tama would have the mental strength to keep everything
to himself. He would let himself get confused, maybe say something
he did not want to, and then he would sink everyone with his
ineptitude. A sudden sadness washed over him.
knew this was the end of the line for Tama, Joseph was not going to
believe him whatever he said about his unplanned visit to the
police station, if they even let him out. Prison would not even be
a safe place given the fact that Joseph’s father controlled the
inside as well. He knew in his heart that he would never be able to
move on with Tama still hanging around his neck.
Sadly, he knew
what he had to do; it would be the kindest thing for Tama in the
end. He just hoped he would have the guts to do what he needed to
when the time came.
he would just have to wait and see if the police would release Tama
from his nightmare.
stood up and looked at the view before him, he would miss this
place, but he would never look back.
to let Tama go, Matthews was not going to let them keep him in the
station any longer than was necessary, the evidence just didn't
eventuate the way Bridger would have liked. He had argued the point
with Matthews, but had known that he was right, all they actually
had, were fingerprints on some cans found near to where they
located the stolen car. Without Tama admitting to anything, they
could not charge him and just to rub salt in the wounds the
Surveillance squad was out of town on another job and not available
to monitor his movement's once he left the Police station.
had darkened considerably since the morning's excitement, he knew
Tama was involved; it was the way he had reacted by trying to run
and then staying silent in the interview. If Tama were not
involved, he would have been protesting his innocence. His gut
instinct was screaming at him and he trusted his instincts, so he
was not happy as he entered the cellblock to tell him the good
you're looking for Wilson, he's in with his lawyer", a voice said
from behind a small partition wall. Steve 'the muscle' Kirkland
stuck his head around the side of the wall grinning, his large
muscular frame stretching his blue shirt almost to the point of
ripping, "I saw you come in on the CCTV monitor…, how's it going
Mike, it’s good to see you back".
just nodded as he took in the name of the lawyer on the prisoner
board next to Tama's name. The name read, 'J Little'.
was a lawyer with Jones Allen, a local firm who dealt with criminal
cases; they provided legal aid and were on the list that the Police
provided to anyone under arrest who did not have their own lawyer.
She was also Bridger's Achilles heel and she had shared a bed with
him on numerous occasions. He had not seen her since before he
found himself on leave.
The door to
the small interview room opened and she stepped out into the
confines of the charge room. She had her blonde hair tied back in a
ponytail and was wearing a smart, close fitting trouser suit.
Subtle perfume teased at Bridger's nostrils, her smell was one
thing he remembered and to his discomfort, he found himself getting
"Hi Mike, I
thought you were on leave". Jane smiled as she spoke but did not
let on there was anything else between them but professional
"They can't do
without me so I had to come back", Bridger said trying for a
lighter approach to hide his discomfort, aware of Steve watching
them both closely. "Have you spoken to Mr Wilson? I was just
about to release him".