This was runner-up in Joe Hunters’ Fixers action short competition in March 2010.
The way Gallance felt, he could’ve put holes in all these scumbags the minute he’d set eyes on them. But being a pro’, and not wanting to tempt fate, he’d given them the respect their actions had merited, albeit begrudgingly. They’d not earned his respect as such, but their sheer evil rep’ had warranted a cautious approach. And besides, he didn’t wanna piss three months surveillance down the drain.
Gang rape is such a primal act, but Gallance wasn’t even sure cavemen would have stooped so low. The poor victim being just a piece of meat to be chewed and spat out by the pack of baying animals; or in this case, Carlos and his cronies.
Gallance shook the torturous images and accompanying screams from his mind.
Time for focus.
Time to act.
He took out his pocket binoculars and – call it instinct if you will – the first face he saw was Carlos. He was gesticulating to the throng of fuckwits before him, his goatee twisting with his face as he spewed bullshit, his gold incisor flashing with each sneer.
Gallance flicked the binocs’ around the attentive group, recognising most of them… Mido, Two Shots and Dogger Dave… to name a few. Good… four out of his five targets, the rest were hangers on. But if they got in the way then they’d know about it. However one question still nagged Gallance: where the fuck was Granite? So-called because of his formidable fists and chin, the giant of a man should’ve been there. Gallance was adaptable and knew that no plan, however meticulous its detail, was perfect. So Granite had a reprieve, for now.
His vantage point was a quiet foothill with a backdrop of the sun disappearing behind The West Pennines, a hundred metres high above the decrepit farmhouse. He could see reservoirs dotted about in the distance; nature’s beauty unaware of the invading poison therein. The wind howled in his ears as if Mother Nature Herself was geeing him up to cleanse and protect Her beauty. He checked his Hi-Power Browning 9mm; his right hand and loyal friend. It’s 13 round magazine, as they say, unlucky for some.
Moving down through the woods now, stopping every twenty or so paces behind a tree to reassess, head pivoting, eyes darting, Browning pointing up clutched two-handed tight to his chest.
Forty metres now – within shooting range. He could hear their voices carrying in the wind as he eased forward, careful the crunches of foliage underfoot didn’t betray him. He rolled down his dual-hat balaclava.
They wouldn’t expect him as they planned their next armed blag away from the buzz of the city. No expense spared on this mission, he’d already bugged Carlos’s Subaru, hence his discovery of this meeting place miles from their mutual patch in gun capital of the North, Manchester.
Thirty metres and closing – Browning pointed leading the way, the falling dusk his ally. He saw them retreat from the wooden veranda into the ramshackle farmhouse.
Good. Contained. His ‘reccy’ of the house yesterday would now come in handy.
Movement on the veranda. He halted, side-stepped, turned, seeking sanctuary behind a sycamore’s trunk. He heard a trickling sound and sneaked a look. It was Dogger Dave taking a leak. His cock was tiny, but Gallance was a good shot.
Tempting, very tempting, but he needed to be closer before any shots were fired. He hadn’t felt the need for a silencer out here and didn’t like using them anyway as they made the Browning more cumbersome. Dogger Dave had a handgun protruding from his belt buckle. Gallance considered his options.
He stooped and withdrew his Boar Hunter knife, its nine inch blade winking at him in the fading light as if to confirm the right choice of weapon. The pissing sound became a trickle. Dogger Dave was still vulnerable, both hands shaking his tiddler.
Gallance took aim then the Boar Hunter cut through the air with a whoosh. It caught Dogger Dave in the throat and he dropped like a bag of shit onto the decking. As usual the Browning led the way and within seconds Gallance stared down at his blood-gurgling prey whose eyes still managed to muster surprise at Gallance’s presence.
A quick scan of his surroundings and he crouched and withdrew the Boar Hunter from Dogger Dave’s throat with a squelch. The rapist wheezed and wriggled, his cock still exposed like a discarded Cheesy Wotsit. Pathetic. How could something so small cause so much damage? Gallance eased the knife into Dogger Dave’s heart, stopping all movement, preventing many future crimes.
After wiping the blade on the dead man’s jeans, Gallance slipped the blade into its sheath, strapped above his right ankle under his combat pants, and reverted to stealth-mode.
Emanating laughter. Good. They hadn’t heard their friend’s demise. Complacency: the silent enemy of man.
With his back against the farmhouse’s rugged, stone wall beside a broken front window, Browning at the ready, he leaned slightly to peek inside. A snapshot… the room illuminated by a powerful Dragon Lamp… Carlos holding a map as he explained some master-plan, while sitting on an old tweed-style armchair… Mido and Two Shots standing either side…. three others squashed onto a matching settee. A hint of cannabis smoke drifted out through the hole in the window. Gallance smiled knowing the effects of the depressant.
His smile swiftly uncurled when he spotted Mido fiddling with the Uzi sub-machine gun that hung from his neck, thus making him the priority target.
They’d soon be suspicious of Dogger Dave’s absence so Gallance took a deep composing breath. He had enough shit on these pretenders to get them a ten stretch apiece… not nearly enough…
He briefly replayed the cine film he’d formed in his mind of how this damn thing would play out. Creative Visualisation: something Major Spears had engrained in him. ‘Know your aim as well as you know your own good woman, but always be prepared for the worst and adapt accordingly, as some women will stab you in the back,’ the Major had said in his own inimitable way.
He kicked the rickety door in and faced another snapshot of six startled faces. Before Mido could blink he dropped in slow motion as the 9mm bullet entered his forehead, the Uzi clattering on the stone floor. The three on the settee near on shit themselves as Gallance surged forward, manically pointing the Browning at moving targets. Bizarrely the three seated men’s wincing-back-weight tipped the settee backwards and six legs wiggled in the air. Carlos legged it into an adjacent room and Two Shots reached inside his jacket.
Gallance popped a slug into Two Shots midriff and he keeled over, a look of disbelief flashed across his once smug face. ‘One shot…’ said Gallance.
One of the three settee boys charged at Gallance who pistol-whipped him to the floor in an instant. The other two ran out of the front door. Sensible move.
Gallance turned back to Two Shots who was staggering about like a pissed up zombie. He cracked another bullet into his forehead. ‘Two Shots…’ He then stepped over the dead zombie and headed for the next room where Carlos had fled.
He entered, Browning primed, senses heightened. A swift sweep of this much darker room revealed nothing. He checked behind in case the settee boys had had an unexpected surge of spunk. They hadn’t. The third one had bottled it too. A noise of furniture scraping alerted him and his eyes pierced the gloom spotting a wooden door at the far end.
Gallance edged over and pushed the barrel of the Browning against the door, easing it open before stepping back. This room wasn’t as dim as the previous one, fading light still radiated through a generous window to the right, casting shifting shapes on the disused furniture within.
Gallance was greeted by three loud cracks from what he guessed was a revolver, the door frame splintering. He returned fire twice and stooped into a forward roll which took him into an alcove to the left. Chunks of plaster were blasted off the wall in front of him as Carlos chanced his arm again.
“Who the fuck are you, man?”
“That a Type 26 revolver you got there, Carlos?”
“Huh? What the fuck…?”
“A six-shooter…one round left, Carlos.”
“That’s all I need, dickhead. You’re a dead man walking, fucking with us… you hear me?”
Gallance knew he could now take a quick glance and what he saw confirmed his suspicions. Protruding from behind a wardrobe in the corner was a crude Japanese revolver based on the Smith and Wesson. He knew its rate of fire was low and the alignment was poor.
But Gallance wasn’t stupid and tried to extract that last bullet by goading. “One round, Carlos…a shit shot and a shit gun…”
The sudden punch hit Gallance on the temple. A sharp flash in his mind’s eye then his head bounced off the wall. He collapsed onto the wooden floor, the Browning clunking out of reach.
In a daze, Gallance felt himself being lifted up by the throat. The constricting pain jolted him from his stupor. The rape victim remained at the forefront of his mind, spurring him on. He opened his eyes and saw Granite’s glaring back, his huge forehead rushing toward Gallance.
“Ha-haaah, you’re fucked now, you prick!” shouted Carlos emerging from the shadows.
Despite his waning strength, Gallance raised his left knee into Granite’s balls. The head-butt still impacted, glancing off his cheek. Granite grunted and released his grip enough for Gallance to scramble free. He looked up and saw Carlos sneering over him, pointing the cheap revolver, gold tooth sparkling.
“Can’t miss from ‘ere now can I, dead man?”
Gallance froze on the floor. He’d fucked up big time. Complacency: the silent enemy of man…
“But first let’s see who this cheeky bastard is…” Carlos leaned down to remove Gallance’s balaclava.
Gallance withdrew the Boar Hunter and jabbed it upwards into the head rapist’s crotch, the scream was vintage falsetto. The sixth bullet from the crap gun hit Granite in the shoulder and the giant staggered back. Gallance retrieved his Browning as Carlos danced around like a pimp on acid.
Granite wiped the blood oozing from his right shoulder as if it was a bee sting and thundered forward. Gallance shot him in the belly and he buckled. Carlos tried to dance out of the doorway, but Gallance blocked his path, shoving him back.
“Pleeease, man… I’ve got cash…” Carlos said, pathetically clutching his cut cock.
Gallance took off his balaclava.
The gangster’s eyebrows nearly hit the timber beams above. “YOU?”
“Yes, it’s me… Gallance…” he said, before stopping Carlos’ heartbeat with a bullet.
Granite surged forward arms out-stretched, brick-fists swinging, and Gallance backed-up firing his last volley of shots until the big man collapsed atop of him with a thud, those dark eyes finally closing. He rocked the twenty stone corpse off his aching, blood-stained body, stood up and took in a calming breath.
Outside the farmhouse he took out his mobile phone and dialled the number. There would be no fee for this mission, but it meant more than any before.
Her relief was tangible and he fought to suppress his emotions.
“I love you, too…” said Gallance.