Sunday, 23 May 2010

Ch. 2 : WHERE HAVE ALL THE COWBOYS GONE?


The sound of Gene’s snakeskin boots echoed through the empty corridors of the Fenchurch mothership. Clip-Clop. Clip-Clop. Slowly, and steadily like the ticking of a clock, although the clock on the wall no longer worked, telling the time for Trumpton, having stopped recently. Its fingers were stuck and it was permanently 4 o’clock. As he walked past the reception desk he nodded and smiled at Viv, continuing down the dimly lit corridor and through the doors into the main office, grimacing at Skelton, hurling abuse at Ray Carling, making a derogatory remark at Shaz (the Plonk). Entering the office of DCI Hunt, he sat down, laid back in his chair,hands clasped behind his head, feet on the desk and waited for his colleague, and pain in the derriere, DI Drake, to arrive, teetering along in her red Wizard of Oz shoes.

Only she didn’t arrive. Not any more. No she was probably somewhere over the rainbow with the Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow. There was no sign of Ray, Chris, Shaz , or Viv. In fact Gene Hunt was all alone.

“All by my bloody self” he commented. It had been like this for weeks now, if not months. Day in, day out. There had been a brief spell where he had been run off his feet and in desparate need of professional backup but it had been hard work doing it alone, trying to teach all these newbies the rules of modern policing – according to Gene Hunt. None of them had lasted. None of them had shown potential – not like his old team.

That last one had been a real beauty, Gene reflected, barging into his office like some nonce, waffling on about something call an I-Phone. What the hell was that when it was at home? The nonce had proceeded to show him but he wasn’t impressed. You couldn’t beat a good old fashioned radio, to rely on for professional backup and to get the footie scores.

Gene gazed around at the empty desks. Another long day lay ahead. He really wanted, no needed,to see some action today.

He felt thirsty and desparate for a drink after that disgusting plastic breakfast earlier. Opening his desk drawer he was disappointed to see two empty bottles of scotch. That came as no surprise – there was little else to do these days other than drink to pass the time and forget the past.

It was then he noticed the silver square object and pulled it out. Ha – it was the nonce’s wonderous gadget. The I-phone, along with various leads and a set of small ear-phones. Putting them in his ears, he randomly pressed a button, not having the faintest idea what he was doing and was instantly deafened.

“Arrgh...what the Bastard Bollocks is that crap?” He yanked the ear-phones out thinking he would be permanently deaf, and started to fiddle with the I-Phone, which was highly sensitive to his fingers and it was flashing through applications quickly. Gene suddenly realised that when he touched the screen it changed. Genius! After a little play he found the volume control and put the ear-phones back in once more. That was better, some pleasant gentle music. He lay back in his seat and tried to relax. Surprisingly he recognised some of the tracks, and was rather pleased with himself. They were classical, not that he knew much about composers but he had heard these on adverts on the TV mainly for bread and cigars. He could murder a big one at that moment.

“Wonder if there’s any Herb Alpert?” Gene continued to press the screen. He found a list of what appeared to be more songs, and then the screen flicked quickly and before his very eyes he saw the word OASIS, and, as if by magic “This Guy’s in love with you” started playing.

“The dogs bollocks!”.

Gene leaned back again, listening to the song. This wasn’t entirely Herbie boy on his own – some other bastards where trying to ruin it, but the words of the song cut deep into the heart of him, and his mind started wandering, dreaming, wishing things had been so so different.

When the song finished, Gene brought his hands to his face, and held them there for a few seconds before laying his head on the desk. By coincidence the next track was the one he had slow-danced to, the night he had held Bolly so close and the memories came flooding back. At that moment it all got too much, and once more Gene ripped the ear-phones out and threw the gadget in temper across his office, where it came to a halt on the floor by the door.

It was no good. He couldn’t take any more. Enough was enough. It was time. Time for some action.

Standing up he walked to the door, “Take that, you bastard!” he said stamping on the I-phone once more, it’s screen already smashed through the earlier impact. “You’re messing with my head, and nobody messes with the Gene Genie!”.

Slamming his office door behind him, he suddenly felt a little peckish and wondered if there was anything lying around he could eat. First call was Shaz’s desk. Women’s fluctuating hormones always guaranteed a chocolate stash somewhere. Sure enough, in her top drawer were two Yorkie bars. Gene placed them in his pocket and noticed the piece of paper. He picked it up and looked at it. He had to admit he even missed the Plonk and her dreamy head in the cloud ways. He stuffed her doodles of stars in his pocket with the chocolate.

As he moved along he stopped at Chris Skelton’s desk. Bloody Chris Skelton and the Plonk were well suited, a pair together. Both dippy. What had that all been about with Chris, Gene wondered. Detective Constable Skelton daring to question the rules of policing of the Gene Genie. Who the hell did he think he was? Gene noticed something glistening on the desk next to an empty Harmony Hairspray can amongst the scattered paperwork. Bloody ponce with his girl’s haircut.

He picked it up – Shaz’s engagement ring. The one she had given back to Chris. Well no use in leaving it lying around for tea-leaves to nick, thought Gene slipping it into his pocket. He might just be able to pawn it in return for a new set of wheels. The thought of the dead Quattro brought him to tears.

And as for Carling’s desk. Untidy bastard. It was littered with empty fag packets, half eaten takeaways and something sticky in a plastic bag he didn’t even want to contemplate. He picked up a card for what appeared to be a Massage Parlour which read “The Black Cat Club” . It had a silouhette of a Black Cat on the front, with the name “Maggie” scrawled on the back with a blue bic biro, along with a local phone number.

“Hmm. Might come in handy one of these lonely nights” Gene thought putting the card in his inside pocket next to his shooter. Mind you, you couldn’t be too careful. He might pick up more than he bargained for at one of them places from some slapper. He considered the alternative, what was that thing they had all tried? “Speed Dating”. Some of the tarts had had more baggage than Heathrow. No. He wasn’t really interested at the moment. Not after Bolly.

He turned to the desk facing him. It was empty. Not a single piece of paper, or filing tray. All that remained was the telephone, and the name sign “DI Drake”. Gene ran his fingers slowly over it, almost caressing it, feeling that tug of raw emotion pulling deep within. He considered putting that in his pocket too although it was a bit big and he was in no mood for wisecracks from any more birds saying asking those immortal words “Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?”.

It was as though DI Drake had never existed. Or Ray, Chris and Shaz. Poor old Viv. And what about the bloody Boy Wonder? Sam Tyler. Bolly’s bloody fixation got on his nerves. He pulled out one of the drawers at her desk perishing the thought of what else she might have had stuffed away. Low and behold – another piece of jewellery – this time a St.Christopher necklace. Not the St. Christopher bloody Skelton variety. Gene thought it was his lucky day.

Placing that in his pocket along with the other treasures he had collected, he stood for a few moments at the main door, glancing back at his own office, deep in thought. This wasn’t an office any more. It was Hell with fluorescent lighting.

He was no longer Gary Cooper, Al Pacino, or Marlon Brando. . He was on his own and he needed to fit in. Where had all his cowboys gone?

Suddenly he knew what he had to do.

Walking back to his own room once more, he picked up a brochure from his desk. Slamming the door behind him, he strided through the main office one more time like John Wayne, without so much as a backward glance.

It was almost high noon and Gene Hunt needed to see a man about a motor.

Music: Where Have All the Cowboys Gone? - Paula Cole

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Ch 1 : DREAMS


It was a hot and humid August night when the dreams started again. He was falling deeper and deeper into the black hole. Reaching out into the dark, there was nothing to cling to. He prepared himself for hitting rock bottom, which would be the end. He was sinking, helpless, further and further into the mire of quicksand, unable to move, limbs like lead. He tried to cry out, yet he had no tongue, no voice, no face. There was nobody around to hear him.

She appeared suddenly, above him, as if by magic. She was looking deep into the tunnel, watching over him, smiling. He had seen her before somewhere. Her beauty was outstanding and he thought he had arrived in Heaven. She looked almost ethereal and angelic as she smiled and extended her arm to assist him, and pull him towards her, to rescue him from this eternal pit. Her eyes seemed to pierce right through his very soul.

"Come to me, Gene" she cried.

Yet he couldn't quite make her grasp. Her arm was slippery, and he was crying, pleading with her to take him, but when he looked again, her face had contorted and she had turned into a She-Devil, glowing red against the night sky, complete with horns, fangs and talons, biting and clawing at him. Behind her he could see a building, an old dilapidated place, gloomy and miserable, a rat-infested hole. Twisted and deformed faces of gargolyes and monsters peered down at him, shouting, laughing, tormenting. Then a fog came down and he was on a street surrounded by hags and prostitutes. His body, already battered and bruised and torn to shreds , was pushed from behind with an enormous force, as his Guardian Angel/She-Devil let out a blood-curling cry, baring her sharp even teeth as she pushed him further and further backwards and he tumbled down deep, deep, on the road to Hell...



Gene Hunt awoke suddenly with a startled cry, and in a hot sweat, to the sounds of thunder crashing outside. Lightening flashed through the living room, and he realised it was yet another nightmare, one of many that had plagued him for so long. A bad bad dream. It wasn't real.



Running his hand through his hair, and rubbing his eyes he squinted in the dark, his sight becoming accustomed to the light. This was real, Alex's flat above Luigi's. Only it wasn't hers any more. She wasn't here. It was no longer Luigi's - he had upped and gone long ago.



He was alone. Bloody Billy No Mates.



He peered at his watch. It was 4am. He felt bloody rough. Noticing the empty whisky bottle tossed aside on the floor he knew why. It helped - the drink. It helped to ease the pain and to forget, temporarily. He hated being awake, and now he hated being asleep. Would he ever be free?



There was no way he could go back to sleep, so he turned on the TV, doubting anything was on at that hour. Standing up and flicking the remote control he suddenly felt very nauseous and wanting to throw up dashed to the bathroom, where he spilled the whole contents of his stomache, a mixture of the whole bottle of whisky and last night's vindaloo. Once his guts had settled he splashed his face with cold water, and went to reach for a towel. As he rubbed it to his face, he noticed the fragrance that lingered on the towel. It was her perfume. Alex's. Instantly he was overcome with a raw emotion, remembering the last time he had smelt it it on her. The last time he had seen her, and the last time he had been here in this flat. His heart ached and his stomache churned once more at the thought of what might have been.



"Oh Bols..Why...why did you have to go and leave me?" he sighed, but he knew why.



Maybe a bath would refresh him. He turned on the taps and started to run the water. He opened a bottle of pink rose scented bubble bath and poured it in, wriggling his nose at the scent.



"This will have to do, no Super Matey, I will smell like a bloody ponce in a puff''s parlour".



Stripping naked he got into the tub, resting his head as he submerged into the bubbles. There was no soap in the soap dish so he grabbed another plastic bottle this time it was purple and he soaped himself with Jasmine, Lavender and Ylang Ylang. He was surprised Posh-Knickers didn't bathe in champagne. He had visions of her being there with him, thinking of what could have happened if they hadn't been interrupted by the knock on the door.



"Get a grip Hunt - you are Gene Hunt, not some mamby pamby wimp. Get over it. It's time to move on" - he told himself once he had gotten out of the bath after a relaxing hour, his skin shrivelling up like an old man.



Retrieving a bic razor lying next to the sink he had a rough shave, getting a kick from thinking how Bolly must have used it to shave her legs, oh God, those long long legs...



A quick swill with something which he hoped was mouthwash but tasted like nat's piss and nearly took the lining of his throat he needed a splash of something. Glancing at the various lavish perfume bottles he opened one or two, one smelt like the opium den he had busted with Ray and Chris some years back. He didn't fancy Miss Dior already smelling too much like a girl, so he opted for the third, a purple bottle emblazened Poison. That was more like it - he splashed it on...mmm not bad. That'll keep the bastard demons away he thought.



His stomache rumbled venomously. He was starving. Must be time for breakfast. There would be no food in the flat but downstairs had been turned into some takeaway place now that Luigi had gone. He'd grab something on the way out.



It was as he went back into the living room to get his coat, he felt that wave of emotion again, remembering the time he and Alex had sat together on that very same black and white sofa. Nothing had changed. Everything was as it was. Gathering his coat he turned to put it on and caught his foot on something. It was a tin box. He was about to just dismiss it but curiosity got the better of him. If it was something that meant he had a connection with Bolly ...He picked it up and heard a rattle. Opening he discovered a gold chain, adjourned with a large cross.



He smirked. "no wonder I couldn't get in your Bolly-knickers, you must have been a good Catholic girl.." He held the crucifix in the palm of his hand and then pushed it into his coat pocket.



The television was still on he noticed.



"And that was the end of the Newsflash from ITN. We apologise for interrupting programmes but hope to bring you an update on the hour".



Gene switched the tv off. "More bollocks - who needs any more bad news. I have had enough to last me a lifetime. Time for brekkie, methinks".



Shutting the flat door he descended the stairs into the takeaway, the smell of food made his mouth water. It was quiet and only one or two early risers. Good. He went to the counter, glancing up at the menu with stupid sounding names only the Yanks could come up with.



"Morning Sir, can I help you?" a young fresh faced male assistant asked, his face all red and pimply.



"Bacon sarnie, leave the fat on, and lashings of good old Heinz's tomato sauce".



"McDonald's Egg and Bacon in a bun?".



"I don't bloody care whose farm it's come off, Ee Ay Ee Ay OO, just bring it over, that table by the door".



"Hey Matt have you heard the news..Can't believe it..." a young girl in a rather fetching uniform had just arrived and started talking to her colleague.



Gene was not happy - he wanted and needed food.



"Oi Mush, and don't forget a mug of tea, none of that Earl Grey puff stuff, make it PG , strong as a builders brew so it makes the spoon disintegrate, and if you don't get a move on I will make you disintegrate before my very eyes".



"Milk and Sugar?"



"Am Sweet enough Pal, sweet enough" and Gene devoured what would have to be his breakfast but wouldn't fill a fly in record time, something which resembled rubber, and swigged back the disgusting weak tea.



Leaving, he stood outside, glancing up at the sign above , the sign that once read "Luigis" and now read "McDonalds" Stupid yankee doodle idea - it'll never take off, Gene Hunt thought to himself as he walked along the deserted London street on his way to Fenchurch for the start of another day.