The drive was insignificant, silent, yet my mind was as busy as the environment slithering by outside the windows of the car. The world was mostly in darkness, purple and deep green, the only colours that my glazed eyes could perceive. If the environment could be perceived, the mood couldn’t. As passengers, Casey and I were statues, motionless and impassive. Alex moved his long arms only to steer the whispering vehicle through the cool night until we reached the suburban village of Gretton.
Gretton has always been an insignificant blot on a map. A pin prick on the surface of Great Britain, no more than that, sleepy, silent and ignorable. The sort of Village that held nothing underneath it’s bricks but sleeping middle class morons too busy worrying about the business of their neighbours than of the worrying business desecrating the country as a whole. In these sand coloured bricks parents imprisoned their children with ignorance, shielded them with sweets and fairy stories, and guarded them from knowledge.
The Village itself suited the night. The mismatched houses loomed eerily above the roads, their eclectic collections of trees cut angular and gothic silhouettes in the purple evil night. This was the perfect setting for violence. All good British violence had the mystique and danger of a rural environment. I thought of that film with Danny Dyer and Gillian Anderson, the name escapes my mind these days, the one where the farmer-type-dude got ass raped with a shotgun. It will come to me. I felt like Danny Dyer, torn, confused, angry. Terrified. Straightheads, that was the film, Straightheads.
Alex killed the lights and slowed to a crawl as we entered the cul-de-sac to where Bernstein probably sat supping brandy, smoking a cigar, petting his great dane, pick a cliché. The soft crunching of gravel may have given us away, a curtain twitched momentarily in the large windows of the red bricked house tucked away in the Corner. One light was on, glimmering from what I assumed was the sitting room, or a large parlour adorned with a large open hearth roaring contentedly. It was easy to hate villagers.
I had the gun, it felt cold in my hand, heavier than I expected, but intrusively alien to my arm. I was transfixed by its silence. The absolute power this instrument had over a human life, you would think it would flash and warn, or holler and hoot, or have something to give it’s devastating abilities away. But it was quiet, black and unnervingly innocent. It was an object, but it made my arm terrifying. Casey pushed me from behind to make me move towards the crimson door. I moved three steps before halting.
“What the fuck do we do?” I whispered.
` “Simple, we go in and fuck him up, leave and return as heroes.” Casey was staring determinedly at the house in front of us, her hair fluttered in the breeze. Stupid fucking girl. Sexy, intensely beautiful, but dumb as fuck if she thought for a second that I would buy into her gangster talk. She couldn’t fuck up a wet paper bag let alone fucking up a human being. As for returning as heroes, I didn’t feel very heroic. I felt like I was on the brink of murder. This wasn’t Assassin’s Creed, this was a frightened redhead boy standing with a gun not entirely sure he could hit the side of a bus with it.
“Casey shut up. Do we knock? Do we break in?” I let the question hang. The night did not answer, Casey was silent. Alex answered.
“Dude I have no idea, none of us are experienced assassin’s. I was hoping your bad ass would have a few ideas Cam.” His voice betrayed a note of strain.
“Dude, there’s a difference between handing some punks ass to him, and stealing into suburbia with a pistol and knives on political homicide.” I growled.
“That’s a big word, you been talking to fancy folk again?”
“Yes this is the time for jokes Alex.” A stillness followed my sarcastic remark, I couldn’t even hear the looming oaks rustling in the breeze.
“Ok look just try the door, if it don’t open then we will make the decision then.” Casey chimed in suddenly.
“Hardly think even here people leave their doors wide open for the world to tramp over their antique Persian fucking rugs Case.” Alex was rarely abrupt.
“Or we could stand here bickering like a bunch of fucking geriatric knitters.” Casey had her abrupt moments too. I kicked the gravel in annoyance, it occurred to me to scan the gravel driveway to check for witnesses, or other cars. Nothing. That scared me more. I lithely traipsed to the door with my arm outstretched to grip and twist the ornate fleur-de-lys brass handle, when the door began to open before me.
A croaky voice beckoned “Come in Cameron, we have been expecting you and your friends.”