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Game Plan - Chapter One

by  Prospero

Posted: Friday, May 4, 2007
Word Count: 1281
Summary: Chapter One of a crime/thriller novel
Related Works: Game Plan - Chapter Two • 

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

‘He’s in One, Boss.’
Detective Inspector Moody nodded and walked down the corridor towards the Interview Rooms. He walked faster as a smoke alarm started chirping and flung open the door of Interview One just as the alarm was strangled in mid-squawk. ‘Billy’ Kidd was standing on the table the cover of the alarm in one hand and a battery in the other. A uniformed policeman sitting at the desk facing the door, was trying to smoke. His hand was shaking so much he kept missing his mouth.
‘Get Taff to get us three coffees and and an ash tray would you Billy? And look in my desk. Bottom right-hand drawer. Hop down off there and I’ll give you the key’. Moody waited while Kidd climbed awkwardly down from the table. He’d ask about his bad back later. Right now he needed to get what he could before the poor sod on the other side of the table caved in completely.
As the door behind him closed, Moody lifted a cheap plastic chair from the stack in the corner, positioned it in front of the table, and sat down.
‘Can I get a fag?’
The man looked confused for a moment. Christ! thought Moody, he’s going into shock. I hope Billy thinks to to tell Taff to put plenty of sugar in those coffees.
‘I’ll get some in a minute, but I haven’t got any just now.’ Moody knew his only hope was to keep talking. Keep the man in the here and now, keep him away from what ever monster was crawling up the back of his neck and threatening to eat his sanity.
‘I keep trying to give ‘em up , but you know…’ Fuckin' ‘ell, George what are you saying? You almost started talking about the stresses of the job to some bloke who’s just seen his mate murdered. Get a fuckin' grip!
Behind him the Interview Room door opened and an almost full bottle of Johnny Walker ‘Red Label’ appeared over his shoulder.
‘This it, boss?’
‘Yeah. Cheers, Billy.’
‘I got some cups as well. Coffee’s on the way. Here, Dave’.
Stepping round Moody, Kidd put a grubby china mug in front of the uniformed man and twisting the cap off the bottle poured him a generous measure of the whiskey.
It was as though this simple gesture of kindness had thrown a switch, suddenly the man began to talk. Moody leaned over and switched on the tape-recorder.
‘We were out on the M3 just past Farnborough. We’d been playing snooker.’
Moody nodded. He wasn’t about to read the Riot Act right now over a bit of mostly harmless fun. Nicking red cars for speeding and then looking for a black car to ‘pot’ and score seven points. He knew most of the Traffic Division played the game now and then and that is why he drove a white car. Nick him and a ‘player’ would lose all his points for that shift.
‘Terry had got a couple of lads in a Mondeo and we was on the look out for a score when this Beamer went past like his arse was on fire. I called it in but he didn’t have no previous so we were just going slap his wrist as long as he didn’t give us any lip.’
Moody nodded again. The practice of letting offenders off with a caution if they pretended to be sorry and there was no alcohol involved wasn’t endorsed by any means, but it avoided a lot of tedious paper-work and anything that made the job easier…. As the man talked Moody found himself visualising the scene.

The BMW was doing well over the limit when it passed the police car parked on the little purpose-built rise just off the main carriageway. Dave Warren had been filling in the shift log sheet, but he chucked the clipboard into the back of the car and grabbed for his seat belt as Terry Mallet floored the accelerator. It was Beamer on Beamer but the police car was supercharged, and after a couple of miles was gaining on the black car ahead of them.
‘You, jammy bastard, Tel ’. Warren shook his head, pretending disgust. Eight points in less than half-an-hour. One more result tonight and they would win the Shift trophy and free beer after work on Friday.
‘Lights, camera, action.’
Now they were getting close Mallet wanted to see what effect the flashing lights and sirens would have on their quarry. Warren flicked on the ‘Christmas Tree’ and red and blue patterns criss-crossed the bonnet. The recently installed video camera began recording the car ahead flaring and darkening in time with the flashing of the police car’s headlights.

At first the Five series tried to pull away, but when it found the police car could keep pace it began to slow down. Eventually, the brake lights came on and the two cars came to rest in the shadow of an overbridge.
‘What’s the Great Bongo say?’ Mallet leaned across so he could see the small screen of the car’s wireless networked computer. ‘Sod all. Bugger’s gone on the blink again.’
‘No. I got ‘No Previous’ a minute ago, must be a dodgy connection.’ Warren reached around the screen to the rat’s nets of cable’s connecting it to the dashboard.
‘Yeah right. That heap of shit gave us ‘No Previous’ on the Mondeo, and that bugger has had two tickets in the last month. I’m going to have a word, Dave. You coming?’
‘Hang on, Tel, I‘ll be right with you.’
Warren bent his head to try and get a look at the cable that had just come loose. The car shifted as Mallet got out of his seat and Warren cursed. He had almost got the plug back in and now he had lost the connection again. From his cramped position up against the car’s dashboard he could just see Mallet’s wide back-side being flashed by the car’s headlights as he walked to where the other car was parked in the shadows under the bridge.
‘A little more to the left…got you, you bastard.’ Warren muttered to himself as his fingers fumbled out of sight amongst the tangle of cables. Then as the plug slipped into place, there was ping and blood-red letters were displayed on the screen. Warren read the message.
‘Fuckin hell! Terry!
Warren tried to get out of the car and then realised he still had his seat belt on. Up ahead he could see Mallet leaning on the driver’s-side door of the black car his head half inside the window. As he thrashed his way clear of the seat-belt and scrambled out of the car, Warren heard the black car’s engine suddenly start and rev hard. At the same time Mallet leaned further into the driver’s side window. Almost immediately the car started forward dragging Mallet with it and Warren began to run.

The race was lost from the start. But Warren ran it anyway. Mallet was dragged almost a hundred yards before he fell away from the rapidly accelerating car into the middle lane of the motorway. A camper van rammed a Golf into the central reservation barrier as it swerved to avoid Mallet who was rolling over and over in the road. Warren reached Mallet just as the door of the camper van opened and a middle-aged man scrambled down blood running from his broken nose.
‘Help, for God’s sake help. My wife…
Mallet was lying face down and Warren rolled him onto his back. The handle of a screwdriver was sticking out of the socket of his left eye. Somewhere, someone started screaming.