Sample excerpt

Warning: Contains strong language and expressions of racism

Copyright strictly reserved by Albert Clack

The flats are tatty-looking grey blocks bordering a car park occupied by crappy old bangers, the only sort of motors people can afford around here. The bins stink of fuck-knows-what, and there are three, no four, mangy mongrel dogs scavenging around them. The walls of Simmons House are decorated with fading graffiti like, 'Jesus loves you,' 'Taylor Jenkins is a slag,' and 'Keep Britain White.' The slogans on Macauley House are a bit cleverer, but not much: 'If you're reading this you've arrived in hell, ' and 'You don't have to be mad to live here, but it helps'.

Once the sad twats with their rosettes have gone inside you set about gaining entry for yourself. The bell-pushes on the rectangular metal plate beside the door number from one to 64. You've always imagined your lucky number's seven, so you press it. A female Indian voice asks, "Who is it?" You say, "Delivering leaflets, can I come in please?" She mumbles and buzzes the door open.No sign of the canvassers. You push the bike inside the ground-floor lobby, lean it up against the wall, leave it quietly ticking over. That's the riskiest bit. In a sink like this, some bit of pond-life might nick it. Better be quick.

You take the lift to the top floor, get out, wait, listen. There's nothing but a mysterious humming noise and an intermittent clunking. Must be lovely to live here, you think. Refocus. Quietly work your way downstairs, flight-by-flight, floor-by-floor. They must have started at the bottom and be working their way up. Silly sods, they want to run the country yet they can't work out that it's easier to take the lift to the top and walk down. Any teenage paper-boy knows that. It smells of dried-up urine and stale cheese in here. The piss you can understand, but what the fuck's the cheese about?

From somewhere down below you can hear a woman talking. You walk down as far as the fourth-floor landing, stop, pretend to look at your phone. She's talking to an old white man who's holding his front door wide open. "Do you think we might be able to rely on your vote?" she's asking. "You're telling me you can," he says. "Bloody Muslims, coming over here, telling us what we gotta do in our own country. It's about time somebody like you got in and packed 'em all off back to Paki-bloody-stan."

You ignore this cheerful cockney banter and, having satisfied yourself that Marshall isn't on this level, carry on quietly down to the floor below. And there he is, having a lot less luck than his colleague upstairs. A large middle-aged black woman has half-opened her door. She's saying, "We don't need racists like you round here. Get out of my face." And she slams the door.

You slide the weapon out from the jacket's inside pocket and point it at him. You hope the bastard will recognise you just before he dies, so he'll know why this is happening, even though it's only going to be a momentary flash of understanding before his lights go out for ever. He turns around and you see his face.

To be up this close. Fucking amazing. "Long time, no see," you say. "Know who I am?" He doesn't. You push up the goggles and pull down the scarf so he can see your face, and now he recognises you and you savour the terror, just hold him there, frozen like a statue. He's shitting himself. You're loving it.

Steady your aim at his chest, wait five seconds to enjoy the feeling, squeeze the trigger, just a single round, down he goes, his eyes not believing what's happening. The bang is deafening in the enclosed space. You take the time to step forward and put another one in the prick's head, just to make sure.

You pull the goggles back over your eyes, pull the scarf back up, scuttle down the stairs, brandishing the gun so the bloke with a rosette who gets in your way steps back a bit sharpish, puts his hands up. Roar out of that nasty, smelly, dog-infested quadrangle like a bat out of hell before the fuckers have a chance to recover from the shock and start trying to remember anything about you.

Copyright strictly reserved by Albert Clack


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