Under New ManagementMature

Welcome to the Outside of my comfort zone. This isn't usually my type of story, but i had a flash of inspiration after a real life event in my town (please read the author guidance! :) )

14th December, 2008

It was a Sunday, just a Sunday.

It was cold, hey, welcome to Britain. It's always cold. 

In the small town of Elder Ridge, population of about 30,000, the town centre was heaving with Christmas shoppers. Parents tearing from shop to shop, desperately looking for the cheapest thing on offer. 

Through the lake of shoppers, two men walked in sync with each other. One, who was known locally as Skete, had a hood that swallowed his face in shadows, which was good, because he wasn't the most attractive person, his features were ratty, and gnarled. His hair was incredibly thin and white for a person of twenty.

His friend, Garth, was the complete contrast. He was tall, and built. His face was dull and blank.

  "Fuck this," Snarled Skete, "Why can't Tiger get his own crack?"

At this, Garth swung a thick fist into Skete's shoulder.

  "Keep your bastard voice down, and you know why,"

'Tiger', was another of their group. He had been caught with a bag of marijuana a few months earlier and was standing trial for it today. No serious deal, he'd be home by six, about £80 down. His sister had asked Skete and Garth to get him a rock or so to chill him out when he got back. He could be vicious.

They turned a corner, down a small alley, which ran behind the road front shops. It led to a dim dead end, lit only by the white light flooding from the sky above, and an orange barred light which was on all day.

There were four shops on the front, but it was the one at the end of the alley that Skete and Garth were heading for. 

The door to 'Elder Ridge Quality Kitchens and Bathroom Fittings' was dirty, stained and heavily bolted on the inside. It had a small hole in the middle, about the size of a finger tip.

Skete knocked four times. After about 20 seconds, a figure appeared in the hole, one blood shot eye peered through.

  "Can I help you?" A deep, cracking voice came.

"We're here for some bathroom faucets," Answered Garth.

There came a deep grunt from behind the door, the eye disappeared, and the fourteen or so locks that held the rotted door shut were slowly unbolted.

Skete and Garth stepped inside, they had been here before plenty. 

In reality, the shop hadn't been a conventional shop in years. It sold something, but it wasn't kitchens.

It was a crack den. The shop front always displayed a 'Closed' sign, with a covered window.

The man was called Barry, he made sure the shop stayed out of the public eye, he was a vicious, sadistic and repulsive man, with an odour that was reminiscent of a rotting corpse who wore bad aftershave.

"Come through," He said. The two men followed without question. 

They left the grotty entryway and went into a room which was next to the actual shop front. The air was thick and acrid with smoke, which had slowly yellowed the walls and stained the floor.

The room had four people in it. Two were passed out on the floor, another was sitting in the corner, shivering slightly with a cigarette in his mouth which was filled with tobacco and crack.

The other was in the corner. He looked fairly healthy, apart from rotted teeth and a racking cough. Tayen M'X was the dealer, he was not a big user. He got high and rich off of ruining the lives of others.

He was reading the newspaper, and put it down and got up from the grotty armchair he was sitting on and greeted Skete and Garth.

  "Ay't boys," He said, "How's my boy Tiger doin'?" 

"He's good," Answered Skete, "Got caught handling the other week, standing for it today. He wants a few rocks to chill him out,"

Tayen sucked his teeth and reached for a small bag on a foot stool nearby.

"Three rocks, 45," He said, handing Skete the bag.

Skete sighed.

"We only got 40 on us, will that do?"

"Nah boy, 45 or you hand it back, you get me?" Tayen said, suddenly tensing his body.

Skete was in trouble, he'd get it on the nose if he couldn't get Tayen down. Tiger would need the three, but wouldn't go higher than 40 if he was here.

"Look man, what if we give you 40 now, you give us the rock and Tiger will give you the rest next next time-" Garth tried to reason.

"Listen brother, I had 'nuff people fuck me about. You get me? So give me the 45 or get the fuck out-"

At that moment, a loud noise erupted from the shop front. A crash, then yelling.

  "Police, stop!"

"Fuck man!" Tayen yelled, "You fuckin' brought the blues here!"

Skete wanted to reason, but the police were in the shop, and were getting closer, they had to run. They ran out the room and into the corridor. The shop door splintered a split second after Garth and Skete passed. Tayen was tackled to the ground and koshed round the head with a baton.

Barry had already flown out the door, leaving the bolts unlocked, and the door ajar. That was a godsend. Skete sailed through, buth Garth pushed the door back with such force that the grotte handle came loose and fell to the floor.

They bolted out the alley, with the police behind them. They were kitted out with a baton, bullet proof armour and helmets, and a deadly looking rifle.

They were drug squad, and if Skete and Garth didn't fly they would go down for a long time.

Elder Ridge town centre was built on two levels, the shops were on the ground level, and an open air car park was built above it, with a staircase and a lift to reach it.

The stairs weren't the logical choice. But the two entrances had been quickly barricaded, and the only other logical exit was the spiral road up to the car park. 

The centre was in chaos, people screamed, mums and dads tried to cover their children from the happenings around them. Seniors stayed still, and shop owners watched from behind closed doors.

Skete scrambled up the stairs, with Garth lagging a few feet behind him, his bulky frame not helping.

The car park was full of empty cars, a mother with a pushchair and a teenage son dived behind a Corsa as Skete and Garth ran past them.

Skete choked a cry of anguish as he saw the armoured police march from the road, onto the car park. They were trapped.

Garth dropped to his knees, put his hands on his head and closed his eyes.

"Mate, come on!" Skete panted, but Garth was smart. Giving himself willingly may help him lower his 7 year jail sentence, "Fuck you!"

He stumbled backwards, to back of the car park. He glanced over the balcony to the centre below. People stared up in awe.

Skete's brain had gone into overload. Adrenalin fuelled through him as the wall of police came closer. Garth was dragged to his feet and cuffed.

"Fuck you all! Mother fuckers!" Skete yelled, floods of tears flying wildly as he racked from side to side.

"Skete, come on man, give it up!" Garth yelled, as one of the police koshed him in an attempt to shut him up. But Garth's words were useless, Skete had given up hope. Image of his family flashed through his head, and Tiger. Tiger.

Skete reached into his pocket, and in a few split seconds he pulled a pistol and fired three shots. The bullets skewered off, tearing through a policeman's neck, slicing his jugular, spraying blood in a horrific fountain for a few seconds before becoming a steady stream, the man fell as the second bullet hit another's shoulder and the other whizzed harmlessly into the sky.

The shots caused a ripple of screams from below. It took a few moments for the squad to realise what had happened, and when they did, each rifle was trained on the death spots of Skete's body, and a hail of bullets launched, turning Skete into a bloody mess. 

The force threw him backwards, over the chipped blue railings, and dropping him with a gruesome splat onto the pavement below. Garth screamed in chorus with the people below as the officers disabled their guns and dropped them to their sides. He wriggled free from the shocked officer's grasp, and smashed his face onto the gravel.

Still screaming and sobbing over his dead friend, he was hauled to his feet and taken away.




The End

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