I blame Guy Ritchie.
Him and all the other wankers who tried to cash in, churning out about one new badass gangster flick a week. And, y’know, the kids watch that shit and they start thinking about just how cool life would be once they’d start, say, peddling dope, working their way up the food chain and how it’s all a laugh, with rolls of quid in the pockets and maybe a brawl here and some awesome gun-toting there, wearing smart clothes and laying serious peter all day long.
Me, I’d tie the buggers to a chair and force-feed them romantic comedies till they get all fagotty, shrieking like a little girl even at the sight of a gun on the News.
The worst of these turd-for-brains come up with some kind of master plan. They’ve heard of someone who is mates with someone who knows a guy who had been talking about that warehouse down in Essex that’s filled to the rafters with pills. In and out, grab some bags, sell the shit, use the money to buy more bags from a dealer who’s connected and within a year you’ve got fifty pairs of trainers and more pussy than you could wave your dick at.
But whatever the plan is – before they’ve finished thinking about it, the boss already knows all about it, because those kids can’t keep their bloody trap shut and Mr. Rat, Fink and Bastard have made a call, for they think they’ll get a golden star next to their name in the big black book of bad boys.
The boss then phones the muscle. I answer my mobile and hear:
“Get your arse down to the storage. Ray and Freddy got themselves a son of a bitch who tried to fuck me and I want the fucker done and dropped dead in the middle of his shit-housing estate. I want everyone to see the ugly face of crime and I want him to wear it.”
That’s pretty harsh and I tell him so. He’ll have none of that.
“It’s the third lousy dickhead to try in less than a month and I want that fucking fuck fucking done or I’m up your fucking ass.”
He sure has a way with words.
So I drive to Essex in my Ford. A five year old Fiesta is all I can afford after eight years in the business. I enter the warehouse and see that guy dangling handcuffed from a hook, looking like something that has dropped from the table at McDonald’s. Ray and Fred have already been over him like the wrath of God with brass knuckles and a baton. Next to the kid lies a hammer. His kneecaps are gone. So are his teeth. I take a good look at the mess that once was a boy and feel sick to the bone.
“They’re getting younger and younger.” Ray says.
I’ve never liked Ray. Or anyone else I work with. You don’t make friends with these guys. I chat with them but I never talk. They know fuck-all about me, because once they do, they’d use it against me the minute they’d get a free pint and a bag of salted chips for it.
“How old do you think he his? Fourteen?” Ray looks at the shapeless pile of flesh like it’s an unknown Rembrandt. “Ready for the finishing touch, pal?”
I grab the blade so hard, my knuckles turn white. A bit shaky I walk up to the kid. Speak into his ear:
“Couldn’t you just go to school, get a job, do the decent thing? How many times have I told you this ain’t like in one of those fucking films of yours?”
He looks at me with the eye that’s just half swollen shut.
“I’m sorry, big bro’.” There are foamy red bubbles on his lips.
“Me too, little bro’. Me too.”
I step behind him. So, when I slit his throat, he will not see how I don’t even shed a tear for him.
Not here, not now, not in our line of business.
It’s not like we were in the movies, after all.