Monday, 7 May 2012

Greed - eBook Sample



Chapter 1

How did I get here? 32 years old standing over a dead body, covered in someone else’s blood with a grin on my face and feeling pretty pleased with myself. I used to be a good person, did all my exams in school, got a degree, and worked my way up the career ladder. I even bagged myself a beautiful wife who once loved me more than anything else in the world until one day something popped in my head. Something made that red mist fall in front of my eyes. Life became a blur. I started to lose control and all because I was greedy and wanted more. Why is it that us human beings want more? Why is money the thing that makes us do things, changes the people we are just so we can get our hands on that little bit more? You might be thinking that’s not you, but it’s the person I’ve become today, Josh Bennett. I look like the normal average guy. I eat cornflakes for breakfast and like two sugars in my coffee, I lie to my wife Lucinda every day when she thinks I’m off to work for a top blue-chip company in central London. I drive a six Series BMW worth forty-five grand and like to listen and sing to the cheesy pop songs when they come on the radio.

It all started not so long ago when I was out with friends. The three of us usually went out on a Saturday night to let our hair down and de-stress from the industrious working lives we all lead to make an honest living.

We have a set routine when we go out, start at Frank’s house with beers and have the occasional sniff if it’s available. Then head out to a few bars drinking as much as we can before entering a feisty night club after a twenty-minute battle with the door staff on why we shouldn’t have to queue to get in.

I had too much to drink and did a lot of drugs. We got into a little fight because Frank accidentally pinched some girl’s arse with her boyfriend looking and eventually we all got thrown out.

I was walking home alone through the streets of East London Greenwich. I hear a strange noise coming from a dark alley. It sounded like someone or something was in pain.

I make my way down the alley, and in the distance, I can just make out two figures standing over what I assume is a third. The person on the floor is moving but not making much noise, being drunk I stumble slightly and my foot slides across the floor making a scraping sound.

Without any warning one of the figures run at me and throw me onto the ground with a thud and knock the wind out of me. I gasp for breath whilst my diaphragm goes into spasm with the impact and eventually settles, and my breathing is comfortable again.

As I try to get back to my feet, I get knocked to the floor with a blow to the left side of my head opening a cut instantly. As this happened, I flinched holding the wound when another blow took the wind out of me again, a shot straight to the ribs with some sort of bat, and I even felt a rib crack, the force was like I was being hit by a car at 50 mph. I lay on the floor and took the blows of the bat and yelped in pain.

Both guys were standing over me, I decided to play dead from this time just to help prevent any further blows as I don’t think I could take much more. I hear one of them say.

‘Do you think he saw anything?’

‘Probably he’s quite close. We need to get rid of him and that other body.’ Said the other. ‘Moody we need to be more careful, he could have been a copper!’ I lay there as still as I can when I feel another sharp blow to the head, I yelp out again and it all goes black.

When I came too I remembered what had happened, I was sat upright in a chair with my hands tied behind my back and the pain hits me like someone has injected sulphuric acid into my brain and all the organs in my body. I look around the room, my head feeling a little fuzzy and blurry. I notice that I’m in some sort of cellar or basement of a pub or nightclub. I could see barrels of beer with pumps attached, and the air smelt of stale lager and cigarettes. There is the thumping of music in the background and people laughing and chatting. Not really sure what to do, whether it was a good idea or not, I shout out at the top of my voice.

‘Help!’ And waited for a minute or two and shouted ‘help’ again. The door to the cellar creaks open and in walks a tall well-built guy around six-foot tall, blues jeans on and a tight white t-shirt. He had dark-brown hair with an attempted style to it. His face looked rough and was unshaven.

‘Why don’t you shut up’ He said shouting at me. I decide to keep my mouth shut and not anger this guy.

‘I wouldn’t try to be brave little man?’ I still remain silent, and he walks up close to me almost his face touching mine.

‘We need to ask you a few things, and you’re going to answer us, understand?’ Then left the room slamming the door behind him.

What felt like hours later he returned and had another guy with him, this guy was short and fat, well dressed in a black pin-stripe suit, nice silk orange tie and a white shirt.

‘This is the guy we found snooping around’ said the taller guy.

‘Interesting’ said the short guy shaking his head.

‘Fuck!!! What are we going to do? We can’t have this guy walking the streets now he’ll go straight to the police, as soon as we let him go.’

‘Yes very true, ok kill him but keep it humane the last thing we need is evidence scattered all over this room.’ Insisted the shorter guy, he cleared his throat and walked out with the door slamming behind him. I just starred at this guy for a minute, and he glared back at me.

‘What’s happening?’ I asked nervously.

‘Not much, don’t worry this will only hurt for a second.’ Putting a cold blade to my throat, fear struck through my body. Is this it? Is this how I’m meant to die in this shitty cellar, with a slit throat? As an attempt to try to save my skin, I start to beg. ‘Please don’t kill me please, I have a wife I really don’t want to die I’ll do anything you name it and I’ll do it please?’

‘Shut it little man!’ He screamed in my face with a little bit of spit spraying over me. I felt this sudden rush of adrenaline and anger run through my body, it was pure survival. I didn’t want to die. I twist and turn my body frantically and the chair fell over banging my head on the floor.

‘Untie me you bastard, untie me now and I’ll do anything absolutely anything.’ I was literally begging for my life and burst into tears.

 There was a loud noise and the short guy walked back into the room, grabbed the tall guy by the throat.

‘Don’t kill this guy we could use him for some work.’ 

‘I think we just need to get rid of him he’s too risky.’

‘Think about it, you have another job on tonight and could do with his help.’ I heard him say.

‘Ok’ said the tall guy reluctantly. He came over to me held the cold blade to my throat grabbed my hair and yanked my head back pressing the blade firmly on my skin.

‘Now listen to me, I’m going to throw you a lifeline. If you don’t cooperate with me next time this blade goes in understand?’ I struggle to get the words out of my mouth but manage a pitiful.

‘Yes.’ He pulled me up to my feet and untied my hands from behind my back.

The short guy got up close, so close I could smell the stale smell of tobacco and whisky on his breath,

‘So what do we have here?’ Pulling my wallet out of my pocket he then took out my driving licence.

‘32 Sudeley Street, nice place? Tell you what don’t answer that, I’ll go and see it for myself, and who’s this?’ pulling out a picture of my wife in her underwear. ‘She is fine my friend.’

‘Look guys what is it you want me to do? I’ll do anything please don’t hurt my wife please.’

‘This is the deal, I need you to go with my mate Jimmy here’ glancing over to the tall guy. ‘You will work with him tonight. You need to clean yourself up and breathe a word of any of this to anyone then you know what the alternative option is.’

‘Yeah I suppose’ not having a clue what it was I would be doing but I knew it wasn’t going to be legal. He then turned and walked out the door throwing my wallet onto the floor and shouted.

‘Jimmy, go and finish the job I’m paying you for and if this guy doesn’t cooperate or tries anything, then kill him.’

Jimmy came over to me,

‘You heard the man, if you try anything I will actually kill you, understand?’

‘Yes yes, I get it!’ I looked him square in the eye. Feeling brave I said back to him, ‘If you hurt my wife I’ll kill you!’

‘Ha ha. Keep that attitude and you’ll fit well round here mate.’ I picked up my wallet off the floor and Jimmy handed me a bag.

‘Put these on and clean yourself up. The last thing we need is you bringing any attention to yourself covered in blood.’ So I took the bag and did exactly that and Jimmy left the room to get on with things.

About 30 minutes later Jimmy returned with a pint of lager and handed it to me.

‘Don’t think I’m soft because I’m not but thought you could do with this to help settle you a little.’ Without saying a word I took the pint glass and guzzled half of the pint. It felt good, I could feel it trickling down through my insides, beer has never tasted this good.

 ‘Right follow me! We have got a long night ahead of us.’ I followed Jimmy through the door up the stairs and into a bar.

The music was loud and full of people dancing, drinking, chatting, etc. With no idea I was down there. One girl checked me out as I walk past and winked at me. A tall leggy blonde, big breasted, big blue eyes and pink lipstick. She looked like a dirty porn star. I blanked her completely with no interest at all.

We finally got outside and it was nice to breathe in the fresh air, my head still hurt and my ribs were killing me, I was finding it quite difficult to actually walk. Jimmy pulled a car key out of his pocket and clicked open a black Vauxhall Vectra next to us.

‘This is my work car’ he said as he was getting in, I was contemplating on legging it down the road, but knew I couldn’t get very far with the amount of pain I’m in plus they both knew where I lived and that fat bastard has seen my wife and would probably want an excuse to go and pay her a visit.

I followed Jimmy into his car and sat in the front passenger seat. The car absolutely stunk of cigarettes, looking around it was filthy full of rubbish and shit, I just I hope this is a short journey. I just want to get home to my wife.

About twenty minutes later we pulled up outside a grotty looking bar. It was just on the outskirts of East London. Jimmy pulled up the handbrake and turned to me.

‘This is where we just sit and wait,’ in a slow croaky whisper.

‘Mind if I open the window, it stinks in here?’

‘It’s probably the dead body in the boot! Doesn’t take too long before they start to smell.’ Jimmy said with a chuckle.  I just stared at him with disbelief.

‘Just kidding’ he said, ‘we’re more careful than that, Police can smell a body a mile off.’ I ignored him and just focused my sight on a street lamp outside just to try to get my mind away from the evil sitting next to me.

‘I’m waiting for a short fat guy, my intelligence team told me he’s in an England football top, bald head, short and fat in that bar over there’ pointing to another grotty looking bar about one hundred yards down the road. I stared at him trying to work out what actually goes on in that head of his.

‘Who are you people?’

‘All in good time my friend’ he whispered to me looking very pleased with himself.

‘Sorry I really don’t think I can be any part of this.’ I undid my seatbelt and made a move to leave.

‘Sorry fella, but I can’t let you go, you heard what the boss said at the bar, try anything and I get to kill you, remember?’ Grinning from ear to ear, it was like he was enjoying the power.

‘But I’m just not cut out for this, especially if you’re going to do what I think you’re going to do.’

‘Fella!’ He shouted, ‘you don’t have much choice, we know where you live if you walk now, you die and so does that pretty little wife of yours. So sit back relax and learn something.’ I just sat there in silence. I’m being held against my will for the first time in my life and all I wanted to do was go home. It was about four o’clock in the morning, Lucinda my wife was going to be wondering where I am. I’m tired and my whole body aches. This is the last place I wanted to be.

‘Look fella there he is’ pointing in the direction of this short fat looking guy with an England football shirt on. ‘This guy is a rapist’ he said ‘and I’m getting twenty large ones to take him down’ smiling looking very pleased with himself.

Jimmy started the engine of the car and slowly drove up the road towards this fat guy who was staggering across the pavement. He then turned and walked down an alleyway and appeared as though he was taking a piss. Jimmy stopped the car, ran up behind the guy and sprayed something in his face, the fat guy immediately dropped to the floor like nothing I’ve ever seen before. He then dragged the guy over to the car and pulled him onto the back seat, ran round, jumped back behind the wheel and off we drove down the road. Jimmy looked at me and smiled,

‘This is the fun part.’ And off we went.

It was now ten to five in the morning and we have pulled up next to a large lake, I had no idea where we were. Jimmy got out the car and said,

‘Follow me.’ He opened the rear door and pulled the fat guy out of the car, still not moving.

‘Is he dead?’ I asked

‘Yeah, he died instantly.’

‘How is he dead?’ I asked.

‘Can’t tell you that yet mate, right what I need you to do is slit his throat. It’s not going to be as bad as you think but it has to be done ok.’ He pulled a blade from the boot of the car which looked like a carving knife.

‘I can’t do that!’ There was no way, I’m not that sort of person, part of me wanted to put the blade in Jimmy, I hated the situation he’s put me in. Knowing I’m not going to have a choice in this I started to get scared, my whole body was shacking. I felt sick to the stomach at the thought of carrying this out. I then felt something touch my shoulder, it was Jimmy and he has a sawn off shot gun pointing at me with a look in his eyes he was enjoying every second.

‘Look fella, if you don’t do this I will blow the brains out of that head of yours. This guy is a filthy rapist and he deserves everything he gets. He’s dead anyway, won’t feel a thing. Now hurry the fuck up we are running out of time.’ I grunted, took the blade from Jimmy, knelt down next to the fat guy, rolled him onto his back and placed my hand on his forehead. Jimmy then nudged me and handed me a pair of rubber gloves.

‘You’ll need these’ he said with a smile. I couldn’t believe I was doing this, never thought I’d get to the point in my life where I would do this to someone. I kept repeating in my head - Just remember this is to save my life and more importantly to save my wife’s life after this then life would all go back to normal.

I took the blade, rested it against the fat guy’s neck, took a deep breath then quickly and sharply cut the flesh. I was surprised how easily this was done and hardly any blood.

All of a sudden I felt shameful,  I sat down on the grass and started to sob, this could be someone’s dad or someone’s son what have I done? Jimmy looked at me and strangely put his hand on my shoulder. I jumped up and started to push him and shouted at him.

‘You! You! Made me do this, you bastard, how? Why?’ I was hysterical and emotional. Jimmy slapped me across the face hard, my cheek burned. Then shouted.

‘Pull yourself together, I was the same as you the first time I did something like this. We don’t have much time, we need to get rid of the body.’

‘Why was it necessary to mutilate him like this?’ I asked.

‘It’s the client’s requirement, as evidence that he is dead.’ Jimmy explained as though it was normality.

Jimmy then pulled out his mobile phone and took a picture of me next to the dead body.

‘Fuck, why did you do that?’ I shouted Jimmy smiled at me.

‘You’re definitely not going to the police now are you?’

‘Fuck, fuck, fuck this is entrapment.’ How can I have been so stupid?

Jimmy then placed the body and the remains in the car, pulled a can of petrol from the boot and poured petrol all over the inside of the car. He then lit a cigarette, took two large drags from it and with no warning at all threw it into the car. With a loud thud the car went up in flames, the heat from it was so intense I had to run to get away from it. Jimmy stood there for a second and smiled, I could hear the crackling of the fat guy’s body cooking in the heat.

‘Ok’ I said, ‘How are we going to get out of here now?’

‘Like I said’ said Jimmy, ‘that car was my work car and not technically mine, stolen in fact. I have other arrangements for us to get back to town, don’t worry and follow me.’ We walked for approximately three miles without saying a word, Jimmy then turned to me.

‘You did well tonight’ I wasn’t sure whether to take that as a compliment or not, I just beheaded someone and was in shock from all that I had witnessed.

We eventually got to a row of parked cars. Jimmy pulled another car key from his pocket and unlocked a silver Mercedes SL350.

‘Now this is my car’ looking all smug and very pleased with himself.

‘Fucking fantastic, can you take me home please?’ Not actually giving a shit about what car he had at this point, I don’t think Jimmy liked my sarcasm either.

We headed towards London and Jimmy dropped me off where they originally beat the shit out of me.

‘This is where I’m stopping mate.’ Said Jimmy. I jumped out the car and just before I shut the door I looked him in the eyes.

‘We’re not mates and never will be,’ slamming the door behind me. Jimmy then wound down the window,

‘See you soon friend’ and drove off. I took a deep breath and headed for home, all I could think about was the possibility of getting caught, what had just happened and what will Lucinda think of me if she ever found out about this. My head was bowed down and I was feeling extremely sorry for myself. I didn’t feel ready to go home but with the sun pretty much coming up I didn’t really have much choice so I headed for home.

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