Sunday, December 11, 2005

Chapter Three

George hangs up the phone, his face ablaze with anger, he tosses, almost juggles, the Precious Thing. He is standing in his shop, he's not much of an art dealer really, more a slightly sleazy 'Antiques and Collectables' dealer. His shop is a little tired, and little dusty, the few nice pieces he still has are hanging on the back wall, behind his desk. On his desk are two glasses, neither empty, a decanter of something golden and a blotter - not much else.

George growls; "You prat, you'd be better off with a Cadbury Cream egg than this worthless piece of shit. Did you really expect to fool me with this?"

"It's the one she gave me, it's in the box she gave me it in, it's the only one I've seen. How do you know it's not real?"

"Derrr, because I've handled it a hundred times - I've appraised it, valued it, fucking coveted it for ten long years you stupid arse. The real one has a mark on the inside, just in there, behind the figure - this one doesn't! It's crap, rubbish, shit, merde, fake - am I making myself clear, thicko?"

Mr Pyre is still smiling, sitting as he does on stage - with the back of his chair in front of him - arms crossed over the top of it, "George, back the bloody truck up a moment, it's taken me weeks to convince that stupid moo to entrust that to me - it's gotta be the real deal, gotta be. Why would she give me a fake?"

Shouting, "I'm not falling for that, she didn't - did she? You had the fake made to palm off on me - and I'm not going to wear that, you hear? You won't be able to pass it off to anyone else - it's too recognisable, so what are you planning to do with it?"

Mr Pyre dismounts the chair and stands, his back to the shop window, the sun has set and it's getting dark outside, "You're not listening, George, that's it - that's the thing SHE GAVE ME - I'm not trying to rip you off, that's what she bloody well gave me, there's no copy - that's bloody it!"

George idly chucks the Precious Thing to Mr Pyre, who catches it easily and turns it in the palm of his hand before placing it softly back in the inlaid box. He raises an eyebrow and turns his back on George "Who the fuck does have it then?"

"I don't fucking know, but it sure as hell ain't me!"

George is close behind Mr Pyre now, very close, his hot breath on his neck, his voice loud in his ears.

"No, there we agree, I don't have it and nor do you. So that's about it really, isn't it."

George takes a step back, reaches for the decanter on his desk, he's thinking of taking a swing at Mr Pyre - but he's too late, too slow.

The blow that Mr Pyre aims at his kidney, takes him completely by surprise, lifts him off his feet briefly, takes the wind from him.

George falls to the floor, gasping for breath.

Mr Pyre stands over him, still smiling, "That wasn't a nice thing you thought just then, was it George, you were going to hit me with that - weren't you?"

George is still on the floor, his mouth is open and he can't speak - can't get his breath.

Mr Pyre drops to his haunches, "So, where is it then? No, no, don't waste your breath trying to answer, it is a rhetorical question George…"

Standing again, Mr Pyre presses the heel of his right foot down onto Georges' head, "I don't have it, she doesn't have it, you don't have it - not many people left really are there?". Mr Pyre rolls Georges' head slightly as he lifts his foot off.

Mr Pyre turns to the shop door and slides the bolt over, pulls down the blind, turns off the lights - George is starting to wriggle into a seated position with his back to his desk, labouring for air. "H, ho, how do we get it back?, If he's got it?" George gasps.

"'We', there's no more 'We' George. Not any more, this little 'partnership' is dissolved. I'm going solo now."

Mr Pyres' shoe crashes into the side of Georges' head. The second kick lands squarely on his jaw and he starts to black out.

The shop is completely dark now, but that changes as he leaves for the airport. Mr Pyres' car is outside and as it pulls away quietly, the flames are reflected in the dark glass and the dark metallic paint.

(click to see bigger)

All things considered, it hadn't gone so badly, shame about George of course, but 'that's life'. It's a short drive to Manchester Airport, his bags were packed anyway - he hadn't planned to stick around, just take the cash and go.

The radio is playing in the car as he turns into the multi-storey, he won't be able to get the tune out of his head for the rest of the day - 'Suddenly I See'.

Mr Pyre makes his way to the Lufthansa check-in desk, he already has a one-way ticket for Portugals' Faro Airport. The flight is busy and there's a queue and then another at security - where he passes through the metal detector and shows the soles of his shoes to the guard. It's quite a walk to the gate, he spots one of his bags - the burning cross he painted clearly visible as the snake of baggage carts is towed to the plane.

The news is playing on a monitor by the gate, "Fire at an antiques shop in Bramhall, three tenders in attendance…".

Mr Pyre looks up and sees the flames and the excitement portrayed on the screen, another smile, another eyebrow. He buys a paper from the newsagent, and a vodka and tonic from the bar, and stares out of the glass as the bags are loaded onto the plane.

By Martin

Illustration by Clair.


Blogger lucy pepper said...

a rip roaring rollicking romp of a read, if you ask me!

8:31 PM  
Blogger Ana Vicente Ferreira said...

that's good... this just keeps getting better!

8:44 PM  
Blogger Clare said...


How effing great is this?


9:04 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

Thank you both, Dani Dan Dan deserves more than a little credit though - she spent a very nice Sunday reading your foregoing and stopping me from being darn stupid!

9:12 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Martin - you were bloody quick off the mark. I suppose that you had some idea of what you were going to write.

I've only just read the first three chapters, and made some notes ready for the next exciting episode (?).

You've left me in a bit of a quandry now. I will need a few days to think it out, but I'll try to get Chap 4 up by the weekend.

I am not very professional with the old quill, but I'll do my best!

Can I cheat a little, and ask if anyone out there has any suggestions?
My scream for "HELP ME!" echoes around the still smouldering ruins of the shop as George drags his badly beaten and scorched body painfully into the bushes. He looks back at the firemen still damping down what is left of his once thriving business. The last thing he remembers before passing out is the flashing blue lights of the police cars and ambulance.

See how easily I get carried away? Must stop and think!

9:39 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Martin, that's really great.
The plot thickens but it is really plausible!
Well done!
Go, Keith, go!

11:35 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Oh my! An exciting switch of scene leaving us with a real cliff hanger. Wonderful.

1:01 AM  
Anonymous Robin said...

A flash-back, dancing around the time-line that's brilliant!

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Wendy said...

Keith...maybe we could leave old George smouldering, and flip back to poor old Alma with a gun-barrel up her nose..??? Or My Pyre arriving in Portugal.....

8:44 PM  
Blogger Hugo said...

Wow Martin - very quick. I like it.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

Two things

1) Thank you
2) She's in Lisbon - Mr Pyre is headed for Faro!

He he he...

10:06 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:29 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Cocked the last comment up didn't I!

You're dead right Martin, I've done the rough draft for the next chapter, now I've just got to polish it up a bit. Got to keep up with the PROFESSIONAL writers haven't we?.

Where's Faro? Does anybody we know live there?

11:33 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Wendy - Dont worry, my chapter is devoted to Alma's plight. I'll leave Zoe to deal with poor old George and Mr Pyre.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous digger said...

woooo.... Lisbon, Faro, sun, sea, sangria, sardines, sex & Alma!!
in that order please ;-)

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Faro is near Lagos.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

Thank you Claire!

10:38 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Crystal Clair!
Well done!

12:16 AM  
Blogger Clair said...

Thank you :)

11:25 AM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

This is a feast. drool drool. I like the way Martin does that change of scene, and adds a bit more about that nasty man's character.

Great drama, Clair.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

Sorry, Thank you Clair

(too many eeee's)


9:53 AM  

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