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The Debt

by  Flashy

Posted: Thursday, September 1, 2005
Word Count: 3917
Summary: Bad news for an infamous gang leader.

Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.

The garage lockup was in a quiet deserted back street far out of the way; no one did, or would want to bother Ames or any of his crew. No one in his or her right mind anyway.

Five men were in the workshop, yet only four were part of a seemingly close-knit group; these four were positioned leaning or standing, all with deadpan dangerous expressions.

The fifth man dishevelled and bruised about the face sat at a table, encircled by the other four; he didn’t have their energy, menace or confidence, his expression said the opposite, one of confusion and abject loss, his hands were spread palm down on top of the table. All their eyes were fixed on him.

This was a game.

Waiting was part of it, one of the four men was at a workbench brewing up, he whistled jovially smirking at the captive, he was the most dangerous of the four, but this to him was just another day of work. Today’s events and what might happen? Well this kind of thing came with the job.

“Cuppa tea, mate?”


“I said do you want a cuppa tea?” he motioned cupping his hand, tipping it towards his mouth.

“Oh! Yeah! Ok yeah please.” Replied the man still looking lost and bemused.

“Milk and sugar?”


“Milk and Sugar, you know sweet and milky like me or black and strong like Karl over there,” he raised a cup in the direction of a huge sullen West Indian standing by the door.

“No thanks…I mean yes, black and very strong please,” he replied eyeing Karl and his other colleagues pensively.

“No problem squire coming right up, you know I’d do you a fry up if someone hadn’t forgot to do the weekly shop.”

He looked at his colleagues with playful accusation, they shrugged, they were long tired of his repeated repartee and exchanged glances when he wasn’t looking.

“I like to see a condemned man eat a hearty meal before he goes,” he continued, his laughing causing the man to look panic stricken, “ steady matey, I was only joking squire, I mean you never know in this game, who am I to say,” he’d seen this situation more than a few times, he had pretty good idea what was going to happen.

He bought over the tea and placed it in front of the man and sat down opposite him.

“Won’t be long now,” he said cheerily, the man raised his head, and a forlorn defeat was in his eyes. “ What I mean is squire, it won’t be long until our boss arrives, will it Colin?” he now motioned to a squat pit bull like man standing next to a Ford van, who barely nodded if even tilting his head.

“See your misery is nearly over Trev, all right if i call you Trev?” he asked politely.

“Yeah! Yeah I don’t see why not, you haven’t got a ciggie have you mate …I’m gasping?”

“Nah, bad for your health mate. Very bad for your health.” The cheeky grin was now replaced by a gritted snarl.

Trevor looked away.

“Sorry about the jokes Trevor, the puns or whatever, but it isn’t often we catch a fucking undercover plod mate…an illusive ghost screw…a fucking stealth pig… and one called Trevor? Would you Adam and Eve it? I take it Trevor is actually your real name?”

Trevor looked back…and pleaded.

“No, no my name is actually James, no idea why they picked Trevor…listen if you let me go I’ll say I know nothing, I’ll say I was suspected and made a run for it. My superiors will understand and buy that, and no harm is done eh?”

“ Hah! Hah! Well James, Trevor or whatever, and my name IS Brian by the way, that isn’t for me to say is it? Mr Ames wants to say a few things and I imagine he wants to hear a few things from you, and then…well like I say, who I am to say?”

A horn beeped outside the lockup. Karl walked over and opened up the lockup’s garage doors and beckoned in the vehicle from outside, a huge Landrover jeep. It manoeuvred in slowly and parked. Doors opened and men got out.

And then there were eight in the room. One standing out from the rest, bizarrely naked and tattooed to his waist. Grey Joggers, socks and trainers his only attire. Here was five foot seven of bristling fury; this was Stanley Ames…the governor. One of the other occupants of the Landrover handed him a matching tracksuit jacket.

“Sorry about my gear lads, I’ve got a wedding today, so I had to chuck this shit on quickly, her indoors would’ve castrated me if I wore the wedding flute and whistle down here.” Ames put the jacket on; he was seemingly in good humour today.

“Don’t worry boss, you look fine the way you are.” Replied Brian laughing.

“I didn’t say I was fucking worried, did I Brian?”

But he wasn’t…in good humour that is.

“No…no boss…I was just saying like.” Mumbled Brian.

“Well don’t fucking say, you fucking lemon.”

“Ok, ok boss, I apologise.”

Ames Guffawed, a brutal growl rather than a laugh.

“I’m pulling your fucking chain Brian, you dopey cunt. I’m having a fucking laugh for fuck sake Brian, don’t you remember Joe Pesci in ‘The Goodfellas,’ …you really fucking worry me sometimes…yes you fucking do.”

“Sorry boss I was…”

“Leave it.” Replied Ames lifting his hand in disdain. “You’re annoying me now. For fuck sake has no got a sense of humour these days? ”

The atmosphere had now noticeably changed from calm and cold to electrically sinister, Brian wasn’t so cocky now, his big mouth temporarily but firmly clamped. He was now standing like the rest of the gang, rigid both in fear and in respect for their boss Stan the man. Brian’s eyes lifted trying to register a message with the captive to stand, but no too late.

“Anyway a very good morning to you Boys…nice to see a bit a respect from my own lads at least.” Continued Ames, he was now almost prowling around the room like a caged cat waiting to strike out.

“Morning Stan,” replied six voices in unison.

“Yeah I like a little bit of respect, it means all my years of hard work does mean something. But no don’t you get up will you plod. No you just sit on your fat pig arse, you can disrespect me all you fucking want… I don’t fucking care.”

What wasn’t good a minute ago, was now ten times worse for James, he could feel the centre room spinning like a whirlpool, sucking him in. Ames a cross between a pitbull and a gorilla stood behind the hapless policeman slyly grimacing rather than grinning. James could almost feel this thug’s stare burning onto his neck and could feel this man’s desire to cave the back of his skull in. Ames then turned and gave his best fearsome and almost accusing look at Brian.

“You know I hate bad news Brian… I really do, a dad shouldn’t get bad news on his daughter’s wedding day, should he Brian?”

“No boss…but I thought we’d better let you know…considering like. Terrible it’s on Caroline’s special day though.”

“Don’t worry on that score my son, people who know me, know I insist on bad news direct and fast. Just like the fucking Don… Ha! Ha!”

Everyone laughed except the policeman.

Ames turned back to sitting man, and then moved around and sat on the chair Brian had vacated opposite James, who was still looking down.

“Hello Trevor…you enjoying your tea son?”

“Would you like a cup Guv?” Asked Brian nervously.

“No thanks Bri, I’m Fine,”

“No problem boss honest.”

“NO… No Brian I need to yap with Trev here, it is Trevor isn’t it?” He asked the sitting man.

“James boss, his name is James.” Replied Brian.

Ames sighed heavily, now immensely irritated.

“Thank you Brian, but can we let him speak! You know you don’t half talk a lot when you’re nervous Brian.” Ames gave a withering look at his henchman to shut up and then turned back to the policeman. “James it is then.”

Ames then beckoned Karl over and whispered in his ear never once taking his eyes off the policeman. Karl nodded and walked back to his place, and Ames attention reverted back to the policeman.

“Talk to me James and tell me the truth, I’ve been called out to work on my daughter’s wedding day. My wife is giving me nuclear grief in my ear…so I’m not in a good mood, so please for fuck sake tell me the whole fucking truth.”

The policeman finally looked up and directly into the eyes of Ames and shrugged.

“Can I have a cigarette first Mr Ames?”

Ames laughed.

“Course you can my son for that front… course you can. Listen I understand you’re nervous, but unfortunately with this chat, well we got to move it along…I got a family of itching foot tapping women desperate to see my baby girl get married understand? Light him up will you Colin and pronto.”

He took his first draw on the cigarette, wondering if it would be his last. Ames piercing stare was on him and wasn’t going to leave him.

“Ok Mr Ames, can we get whatever this is going to be over with?”

“Good, we’ll start with your name shall we and little bit of background about you and your mates, then you can tell me why the fuck you’re here.”

He took another draw on the cigarette and then began.

“Fine, I’ll be straight with you. My name is James Glover… just a plain old detective constable. As you already know I’m working undercover. My bosses only assigned me to come here fish a bit… I’m not here for any particular reason; my guess is my superiors are just nosey; they want to know what you’re up to. This assignment was only for a few weeks maybe a month or two at most. I was just visiting really…in and out without being noticed or really missed.”

Ames looked at him in a lacklustre cynical manner; no he was a man not known for his patience.

“Visiting are you? Who the fuck gave out that fucking invitation? That’s what I want to know.”


“Later, we’ll talk later on that matter… your intro was a bit scant my friend, a bit lacking in some respects and some of it is already old or obvious news. Now for reasons which will become clear later I need a bit more personal stuff…background I believe I said.”

Glover looked at him momentarily, puzzled.

“I’m thirty two, is that the stuff what you want?”

“You got it in one son, the very basics and I want more of it. So come on lets have it.” Ames beckoned with his hand.

Glover nodded.

“Ok, I’ve been with the force for twelve years, I live in Folkestone with my wife Ann, I’ve been married eight years and have two girls Tina and Kristy.” He stopped and looked at Ames.

“Oh don’t let me stop you, you keep going, you’re on a roll now my son.”

They now both nodded in understanding.

“I grew up around here and didn’t leave with my parents until I was fifteen, I have two sisters Gill and Pat, one lives in Nottingham the other in Crewe. Both are married with kids.”

“Don’t stop mate, I love hearing about other people’s families.”

“My parents both retired have since moved to Maidenhead…look I need to know why you need this info, I mean we’re getting down to family pets next…you did say you were pushed for time Mr Ames.”

“I did say that,” replied a sombre Ames, “but there’s a difference between doing things quickly and rushing things my good friend, and that’s very important in my business, especially when I’ve got sneaky fucking screws running around sticking their nose’s in.”

“Mr Ames I understand that, but nothing has been jeopardised by me being here. I’ve been here barely two weeks, I know nothing and don’t even know what I was supposed to be looking for…I implore you, you can let me go and I’ll say I ran because I was suspected, everything will return to as it was before.”

“Oh good! I’m so fucking relieved to hear that James, but forgive me if I remain a tad sceptical at least for the moment.” Ames then beckoned to one of the men who’d arrived with him in the Landrover, the man tall elegant, well tailored perhaps in his late fifties. “ Henry, does all what James says here compute?”

The man referred to a notepad in his hands for a few moments. “ Yes Mr Ames, Detective constable Glover appears to be telling the truth, although I think he’s been a bit economical so far.”

“OH! Has he missed out a few important details Henry…relevant details? I do wonder what?” replied Ames mockingly.

“Yes Mr Ames indeed he has, the most important being the young lady he visits in Dover twice a month.”

“Oh yeah, the lovely Stephanie…how did you or rather how could you forget her James?”

There was hushed pause.

James then looked coldly at Ames, causing a smirk to appear on the villain’s face. “I didn’t forget her Mr Ames, she’s just nothing to do with this.”

“Wrong my son, I need to know everything about you and you’re little life, I need you to tell me every little detail, because I need to know if you can be trusted. So she is everything to do with this.”

“I don’t understand, if you’re going to kill me, why do you need all this…and you know so much already, how do you know about Stephanie?”

“Your life is not in danger Mr Glover…that is as long as you help us that is.” Replied the Lawyer.

Ames took over again.

“I’ve been telling porkpies or little white lies to you, James we’ve known about you since day one, and so my Lawyer and good, good friend H has been collecting everything he can about you since you arrived. Meanwhile we’ve kept our eye on you, just making sure you behaved…see we we’re hoping to catch you talking to a certain someone.”


Ames sighed.

“You’re fucking Informant pal. I need to know if someone on my side has given you and your mates the nod to come in. A pity really that Brian sussed you out and blew his trumpet, I was hoping if we let you play, you’d lead us to him.”

“I don’t have a contact Mr Ames, I’m on my own I can assure you. Everyone else involved in this operation is on the outside.”

“How many?”

“I dunno, perhaps ten? No… I think a lot less.”

“Ten or less eh? So you’re saying you’re here entirely on speculation?”

“My remit was to observe and integrate.”

Ames now went silent; he was thinking…then he looked at his lawyer for advice.

“H what do you think?”

“I think he’s telling the truth Mr Ames,” replied the lawyer instantly. “There is absolutely nothing major the police can suspect you of at the moment.”

“So he’s just fishing like he says?”

“Yes, my personal feeling is they’ve brought him here thinking he wouldn’t be known, plus he knows this neck of the woods…useful when you need a good fast driver, which he is apparently.”

“So I hear…we’re always looking for good drivers, and the Old Bill knows that as well. But we haven’t got round to testing his driving metal yet thank fucking god!”

Ames now looked at James; he was weighing up several possibilities. He sighed taking a deep lung full of the stale oily workshop air. When he resolved whatever thoughts, issues that were conflicting in his mind, he spoke with the full signature Stanley Ames menace.

“Plod, I can’t express how much I really want to do you in…right now and here. Suffice to say though, my educated and very astute pal Henry has told me that’s not the way for an aspiring cultured businessman like myself to react. Henry has convinced me that you’re better to us alive, and in fact doing you in will bring us nothing but fucking substantial grief.”

“Listen to your lawyer Mr Ames, I can go and nothing will have happened today.”

Ames laughed at this.

“You’d like that wouldn’t you? But no my son, you stay here and carry on your game… and guess what? We’re going to give you bits and pieces to tell your boss, just enough so they keep you here, nothing major of course but you’re going to tell them about rumours and smokescreens. The beauty is when you go home to base; you’ll be collecting real information for me… and I think you know the kind of info I mean, and how good it’s got to be.”

Glover shook his head.

“I won’t …the answer to that is no.” Glover responded defiantly.

Again Ames snorted.

“Nah! The fact is you will James…because if you don’t we’ll hurt so hard you in every conceivable way without even touching a hair on your piggy chin, chin.”

The Lawyer chipped in.

“Mr Glover we have so much more information on you than what you’ve actually given us, and trust me we will utilise it if we have to. For example, you don’t really have to have an imagination to visualise what we could do with your lady friend and your wife. I’m no betting man but I’m pretty sure Mrs Glover isn’t aware of the younger…prettier lady in Dover.”


“And that’s only the tip of the iceberg plod, because we’ve got such a vivid and nasty imagination.” Sneered Ames. “ Plus you forgot to mention your little drug habit, we could have a ball with that little bit of info.”

The lawyer again came in.

“This is a lucrative proposition Mr Glover, not a no win situation, as you continue to get paid by your employers, Mr Ames will reward for any information that we can use. I urge you to accept, it would be most unpleasant for you if you didn’t.”

Again there was a pause; Glover stressed to breaking point, pushed his fingers through his greasy hair.

“I need to think…you’ll have to let me think.” He gasped in a hushed whisper.

“Yes indeed you think about it Mr Glover, and if I can just say Mr Ames isn’t usually this sympathetic, so think of that while you cogitate.”

Ames grunted with disdain.

“You’re all mine now son, just face it? You’ve got a debt to pay, be thankful I’m being very nice in letting you pay me back this way. But you have a think by all means.” He turned to his lawyer. “ Henry if you’d be so kind, could you take young James with you, get him cleaned up, feed him and really explain what all this means! Take Pete and Albert with you, I’ve got one or two things to tidy up here.”

“Certainly Mr Ames… my pleasure. I’ll either ring you this evening or tomorrow morning, if that’s ok?”

“Better make it late tomorrow H, God knows what I’ll be like after tonight.” Ames took one last look at Glover. “Good job I was in a mellow frame of mind today…probably for my sake as well as yours. Now go with H and listen to him, he’s a very intelligent man. This won’t be forever plod and if you’re clever you’ll benefit. Now if you don’t mind get out of my fucking sight!”

Glover got slowly to his feet and the four men left the lockup, and soon a vehicle was heard driving away, Ames, Colin, Karl and Brian were left. Ames looked cheerily at Brian clasping his hands together.

“I think its time for that cuppa now Bri, this hasn’t been such a disastrous morning after all.” Ames stood up.

Brian smiled, he was it appeared back in favour.

“No problem boss, this bad news day could turn out to be a good news day after all.” Brian turned towards the workbench with the kettle on.

Ames nodded to Karl, who walked over to the Landrover.

“Yeah, it should have been Brian, but Plod wasn’t the bad news I got this morning. We always had that particular situation under control.”

“Really?” Replied Brian filling up the kettle. “I thought he was ok at first, but Gerry luckily drives to Kent a lot, recognised him or thought he did. Saw him in uniform at docks one day, so we put some questions to him and he made a run for it…stupid cunt.”

“Good old Gerry I’ll have to spot him a drink or two next time I see him. But as it happens we have a screw on the payroll in Dover, he told us to be on the lookout for this geezer.”

“Oh! Right! Do you think he’s working by himself then boss?”

“Yeah, I do now. But I was convinced there was other bad news coming saying otherwise, and sure enough it did this morning, but not the news I expected and nothing to do with him.”

“Blimey, what actually was the bad news then Guv?”

Karl and Colin moved to either side of their boss forming a semi circle around Brian.

“ Well surprise, surprise Brian… it was you, you and your fucking big nervous mouth.” Growled Ames. “ But not the Old Bill’s grass like I thought, no it was about you…apparently you’ve been giving our friends the Peterson family all the latest gossip, haven’t you Brian?”

Brian froze on the spot without turning.

“Not the Peterson’s Bri! Christ sake, please say you haven’t.” This was Karl speaking for the first time, there was real intent of menace in his voice.

“Yeah Karl, he done a naughty thing and got into debt with them. And instead of coming to us to get help…well what he did was… well least said I think on that score.” This was Colin.

“I second that Colin.” Replied Ames.

Brian slowly turned around, and dropped both the cups he had in his hands. Before him stood Ames, Karl and Colin each with crowbar in their hands. He made a tentative move to escape, but they blocked him.

“Aww! No Stan you can’t be serious.” He pleaded. “I told them nothing.”

“Oh yes you did Brian, and I’m deadly serious you know I am, you know I can’t tolerate this kind of shit. You gotta go my son, this is a debt that can’t be repaid.”

They moved slowly but deliberately closer. Brian backed up against the bench trapped.

“Come on Stan…Karl…Colin give us a chance lads.” He was almost whining. “I thought we were old mates?”

“You’re right Bri,” said Colin mockingly. “ We your mates should have done you a fry up this morning, but I forgot to do the fucking weekly shop, didn’t I?”

“ Tut! Tut! A condemned man should always have hearty meal Colin, shame on you.” Replied Ames.

“Yeah shame on me boss, I am so very ashamed. Sorry Brian.”

“Not laughing or joking now are you Brian? I’m going to miss your sense of humour…but not that much.” Said Karl.

And then they really closed in on him.