Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Ch 32: London Calling

“Gene?” a voice called out.

It was Father Daniel.

“Gene?” He shouted again before turning to Sister Mary Magdalene “Check the bedroom”.

The nun obeyed her instruction, checked the darkened bedroom before returning to Father Daniel. “No sign of him, and his coat’s gone.”. She then added

“Don’t panic Dan, he might have just nipped out?”

“What? At this time of the morning? It was 5.30am. No, maybe you’re right, perhaps he didn’t even come home, I mean we were out all night till late…”

“His bed’s been slept in – so he was here”.

“Oh Maggie. I got a bad feeling about this. We need to find him, and soon.”

“He can’t be far away Daniel, surely. Sister Mary looked out on to the street below. The street lights had just switched off. The pavements looked wet, littered with golden leaves, blowing in the early morning wind.

“I hate Autumn” She declared.

“What the hell’s this doing here?” Daniel kicked the fallen Christmas tree, and scattered and shattered baubles rolled along the carpet.

“Gene must have put it there….”

“Hell. That means he must have had the box out of the attic…..which means…”

“He read the letter” Sister Mary finished his sentence.

“and the rest.” Father Daniel rubbed his forehead whilst the nun picked up the Womble toy and held it close to her chest before sniffing it’s stale odour, as if inhaling another time.

“He’s probably just got upset maybe….” She added.

“No. There’s more to this I just know. The priest scanned the room for clues. Scattered newspapers, remnants of tinsel, nothing much. Then his eyes fell upon something stuck down the side of the sofa. It just looked like a piece of card. He pulled it out.
“What is it Dan?” Maggie asked seeing a strange look come over the priest’s face. He had gone quite pale.

“Christ. It’s this. He’s gone.”

“What is it? A letter , a goodbye note? What? Tell me?” She grabbed the card from Daniel’s hand.

“It looks like a wedding invitation.”
“Bloody read it correctly will you” Daniel was annoyed. He smashed his fist against the coffee table.
“….invited to attend the wedding of William and Catherine (Kate) on April 29th 2011…at…Westminster Abbey…..”2011?!”

“Shit. Yes. He can’t go. He can’t possibly go. It will all be ruined. Everything we have done, worked towards, destroyed with the drop of a hat.”

“We need to stop him then. He can’t be far Daniel”.

“This is Gene Hunt we are talking about Maggie, bloody unstoppable, unbreakable, you name it. I can’t believe it. After all what we have done. I won’t believe it.”

“Then we need to do something about it – we can’t just sit here and watch it happen”. Maggie suggested.

“How in God’s name had he got this invite. It doesn’t make sense.Attending a Royal Wedding for Christ’s sake, not Hunt of all people.”

“Maybe it was planted on him I don’t know do I?” Maggie said equally perturbed.

“Or given to him deliberately, under false pretencies. A red herring. Somebody else out there has an agenda. They too want to keep Gene. It’s blatently obvious. Christ Mary we got to find him”.

“Well maybe we could give him the benefit of the doubt, see if he returns today, and if not, then tomorrow we could start..”
“Tomorrow! Tomorrow is too late. Hell , the date….Mags what’s the bloody date?”

The nun looked at the calendar on the wall, flinching at the Page 3 girl semi clad, especially at this time of year.

“October 30th”. She looked at Daniel who looked back at her. They both froze.

“Fuck” they said in unison before Maggie spoke the obvious
“Tomorrow is Halloween”
“Exactly” Father Daniel replied
“The eve of All Souls”.
“Precisely. And the very reason we have got to get to Gene, before anybody else gets to him.”

They remained motionless for a few seconds before Daniel swung into action.
“Right. Now. We need to get a move on. We need to follow him to London.”
“I’ll check the train times, and make some sandwiches and a flask”.

“Forget it, Mags, no time, we haven’t got it, every single second counts. We’ll take the car”.
Quickly they grabbed coats, and keys and fled the black cat club, down the stairs and onto the pavement, yet the sight that met them made their hearts sink further into the myre.

“Christ, the car’s gone. The bloody car is gone . That’s all we need. What the hell do we do now? ”.

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