We were gifted a car, none of old enough, but with Lewis’ police force on the road, one call to him and all would be forgotten and we would merrily be sent upon our way. We were also on DOF official business, and we were officially keeping our streets safe. Protected by status and politics we should have been jubilant about being able to tear up the streets in a brand new Mitsubishi Hero, but deep seated in my guts was an awful trepidation. A sickening pulse of conscience and questioning bit into my stomach, roiling around with anxiety and a fraught foreboding.
Alex was driving, heading into the purple black. He drove like a cautious man, occasionally clucking his tongue, one elbow upon the open window, massaging his temple with his free right hand staring glassily forward. Casey was sat behind us stonily silent, face unmoving like a carved rock. I was sat in the passenger seat, riding shotgun, my mind racing faster than the car, calculating, second guessing, contemplating, an invisible argument between the angel on my right and the devil on my left.
The Devil told the Angel it was only natural to be feeling a certain amount of inner turmoil, it is how all great deeds are done. Heroes killed and maimed before they were recognised as heroes. The Angel disagreed, she screamed and fought that we were crossing some intangible moral line. Once we crossed over we would never be able to come back. The Devil urged us forward. The Angel screamed for us to stop. Alex seemed to have heard the Angel in my head, swiftly he swerved the car into a lay by, covered one side ominous trees shuffling in the cool breeze. As the car stopped moving he jumped out the car and lit a cigarette. Without looking back at Casey I followed suit. We remained silent for thirty seconds before Alex spoke.
“Is there nothing about what we are doing that you question? Do you question nothing at all?” Alex sucked hard as the cigarette end burned bright orange, and began to dim. “Do you not question the morality of this in the slightest?”
“Yes Alex I question this.” I sucked hard too, the nicotine loaded smoke bit the back of my throat. “Have you ever fired a pistol before?” I stared at the road before us, I dared not look at Alex, his face may weaken my resolve. I was afraid that looking into his eyes would confirm every doubt I had in my mind. I told myself quietly that Bernstein needed to be quieted. This was sense, and this anxiety would be satiated when we had done as we were bid.
“Have I ever fired a pistol…are you fucking serious Cam? I don’t care about that. Your father the bastard.” Alex put his cigarette to his mouth again.
“My father? What the fuck has he got to do with this?”
“His history assignment on Idi Amin. How he put all those people to death if they opposed him. Is this not what we are doing? Where does this end? Your Dad said in class the other day that controlling the education system was a big part of the Nazi Parties modus operandum. Another way dictators control their subjects is by bastardising the media. Releasing awful propaganda, twisting incidents and situations to their own ends was common. Your fathers words, control the Media, Control the opposition, control the education, you have the seeds for a dictatorship. Look around Cam, what the fuck are we doing? I don’t care about how to fire a pissing pistol.” Alex sucked once more and threw his cigarette into the night. A car door slammed behind me and Casey’s footsteps clunked and scraped behind me.
“Are you serious Alex? You really want to compare Lewis to Hitler? This is fuck awful, this is slanderous. We have a job to do, lets get back in the car and let us get back to preserving this awesome way of life. Dirty work has to be done to keep streets clean.” She hissed and spat her way through her admonishment.
“Fuck you Casey I need a minute.”
“Fuck you Alex. Don’t make me call Lewis.”
“Cam control your girl before I smash her mouth in. I ain’t beyond it bruv.”
“Smash me in then prick.” Casey’s voice had hit an incredulous high pitch. Her ordinary dulcet tones emitted an inhuman screech as she provoked Alex. “Do you not remember how little power we had under the conservatives? Do you remember poring through the newspapers as everything was being taken from us? How can you forget the nonentities we were before DOF became our local party leaders? Us kids had fuck all.” Casey spoke at ninety miles an hour, it amazed me she had breath to spit all that our.
“Words recited like a complete drone Casey. No I don’t ever remember poring through newspapers even to glance at tits and cartoons. I was a fucking child. I still am a child, and this power you speak of? What power is that?” Alex lit another cigarette.
“We can make our own decisions, we are SOMEONE now.” More high pitched incredulity. The girl’s tone began to grate a little on my senses. Even my skin seemed adverse to her tone.
“Decisions? Do you practice at being a dumbfuck or is it a natural talent? Who’s decision is it to be driving to murder a man in his home? Who gave us the gun, the batons and the address? Who the fuck do you think you have become? You are NO’ONE. The police whistle up as we park our car, after driving underage and see us over a dead body with a smoking gun, do you think Lewis is going to come through and say “Sorry officer, I sent these young sports, it was my idea. Whoopsadaisy, here are my wrists please cuff me?”” Alex’ faux snooty accent was as humourous as it was poignant. In my head the Angel was sitting smugly with her arms folded and grunting serendipitously in agreement. The Devil was dignified in his silence.
“Fuck Alex, this guy is trying to tear everything down upon us. Lewis will hide us, he will give us a place to go. We are his warriors now. We promised not to fail him.” Casey was losing her ground, her mouth trying to buy her brain a little time. I threw my cigarette from my mouth and reached for my phone and began a text message to the one person in the world who could offer me a solution.
“Have you seen the size of his entourage? Those guys with muscles bigger than your entire body? If he really could hide us, would he not send one of those guys built to be his warriors? Think about it. Cameron is the over opinionated son of the biggest pain that Lewis has ever had in his ass. I am Rob’s son, another outspoken enemy of Lewis’, and you are a fucking nonentity that fakes an orgasm for Cam ever now and then. If we succeed he will be jubilant, if we fail we’re kites, and he will cut the fucking string on us.” Alex had a point, those massive guys with the cocky smiles and rippling biceps wouldn’t even need a pistol. They had arms like rocket launchers. My phone buzzed in my pocket ‘Do as you have been instructed I have an idea.’ An enigmatic message, but enough for me.
“I need to ring Lewis, this is fucked up.” Casey pulled out her phone. As quick as a cobra I snatched it from her and rammed it into my back pocket.
“You will do no such thing Casey.” I warned eyes flashing at her. “If we are going to do this we do it as a team, and every now and then everybody has a crisis of faith. You call Lewis you will get Alex killed. Don’t be a fucking fool for a minute and get back into the car.”
“Wha…Can…can I have my phone back?” Casey was dumbfounded wary of my aggression, and at a loss as to what she was to do. She was now phoneless in the dark with two aggressive teenage lads. My inner Devil bet that she knew this was the moment to shut up and sit still.
“When I have finished with Alex and we get back into the car.” At this she took a step backwards before huffily turning to the car and getting in the backseat again. When the door shut I leveled my gaze at Alex. “Dude you gotta calm down, now talk quietly.”
“You actually mean to go through with this?” Alex whispered with a similar high pitched incredulity that echoed Casey’s arguments a few moments ago, it nearly caused me to laugh.
“Alex shush. I am on the same page as you, this is wrong, and it doesn’t take a dickhead to realise that, but we have a problem. We don’t do it, return home and enjoy the last evening of our lives whilst Casey screams and cries. Or we go there and hope to fuck that my Dad gets us out of this.” The breeze whipped a fine hair across Alex’ fringe.
“Your Da…” Alex stopped as I waved my phone in front of his face with the text message still on the screen. He snatched the handset from me and his face became unreadable “Pfffft. It had better be a damned good plan.” Alex snapped my phone shut and handed it back to me before skulking back to the car.
“Remember Alex to drive us there carefully.” I needed to make sure we had as much time as possible.