A quick note.
For clarity I have changed Jean’s dead hubbie’s name. He was Robert (Rob) and with Bobs – Bobbies etc it was all a bit confusing. He is now James (Jim).
I have finished this story my end. So, you can either stick with the serialisation or – if you would prefer – drop me a note with an email address and I can send you Word document that you can either read on your computer etc or send to kindle with the free app from Amazon, which is a brilliant free download.
Jean was delighted, she threw her arms around Carl and hugged him. He was shocked at the heat on her skin. He pushed her away and looked into her eyes, they were a bit bloodshot and watery looking. He didn’t say anything, didn’t want to sound like his mum, but even he could tell that Jean wasn’t well. They needed to get a move on.
“Right, so Paul and Sonja will be with the cars by now. I’ll go down and see what I can do with that SUV, and you two be ready.”
Jean smiled at him, this was normally her job in the family, sorting things out, giving orders. It irritated the life out of Lesley, but it was amusing to see Carl taking charge. He was speaking again, “I don’t expect it’ll have any sort of audible alarm, they don’t tend to these days, so I might have to just rely on brute force and throw a brick through the window. One way or another I’ll cause a fuss and get those blokes out into the car park.
“Don’t get caught Carl, please, don’t. These are not our people, we don’t need all this, it’s all down to your bloody aunty.”
Carl wrapped his arm round his mum’s shoulders. “Don’t worry, I’ll throw a brick and run and then meet you out in the road. All of us into the cars and away. It’s going to be fine.” Lesley shook her head, he saw the glint of tears in her eyes. She shouldn’t have come, then again none of them should be in this mess really, least of all Rima and Paul who were only trying to find a place of safety. Was it true? What his mum had told him over and over, ‘Aunty Jean attracts trouble. She always has.’
He pulled the door closed behind him and went quietly back downstairs. The youth on duty at the reception desk was nowhere to be seen. Probably in the back room stuffing his face with instant curry and noodles by the smell of the place.
He left by the front door, turned at the corner and then again. The big four-wheel drive vehicle was parked tightly up against the fence. He walked around the three sides which were accessible, tried the doors, which were locked of course. He needed a noise, loud and alarming and he needed it to be obvious immediately where it was coming from, to bring the blokes running.
He peered through the wire fence. Next door was yet another abandoned building and in the corner, were some broken pallets, a collection of paint tins, and an old office chair.
He jogged along the fence and clambered over the gate. The pallet wood was too rotten and feeble to do any good. He could throw the chair and it may break a window but just as easily it could bounce off. He hefted the nearest of the three industrial sized tins. It was empty. The second one was heavier, he pried off the lid, it was half full of green paint with a thick skin formed on the top. He lifted a third one and hissed out a ‘Yes’. It was very weighty. He shook it and felt the paint slosh heavily from side to side.
The wire handle dug into his sore hands but he didn’t need to carry it far. When he reached the gate, he was stuck for a moment, but the staples holding the metal were rusty and weak. It was relatively easy to pull a corner away from the post and push the tin through, away from where he needed to land. He shinned back over the wobbling gate, dropped down and bent to retrieve the can. The rumble of an engine and the sound of tyres splashing through puddles on the tarmac road, had him ducking back behind the gate post.
He waited, the paint can was on the narrow carriageway. Was it so far out that the car would hit it? Nothing he could do but wait, and hope the driver had his wits about him. But, what if he stopped? A huge can of paint and no-one around, maybe he would be tempted to investigate. Carl realised that he would have been better to have brazened it out, just carried on walking.
Where was it? It should have passed by now. He leaned out in time to see the car slow and turn into the hotel car park.
He scrambled to his knees and then to his feet, mumbling “Oh bloody marvellous, that’s just soddin’ perfect.” He scuttled to the corner and watched as the new vehicle pulled alongside the SUV. He muttered, “Why? Why?” He could see no other option but to carry on, and this new car would just be collateral damage. “I hope you’re insured mate.” He mumbled under his breath as he turned and went back to retrieve the paint can.
Back in the room Jean and Lesley were ready, standing by the door. Lesley leaned against the wall her eyes closed, mouth turned down in irritation, but Jean was sure when it came to the moment to act she would do the right thing. As for herself, she was wound tight, listening for the mayhem to start. The thumping in her head and the ache in her limbs had been pushed away by the surge of adrenalin. In her mind she went over, again and again what she would say to the women locked in the room along the corridor. She had the pass key in her hand, Paul’s number keyed in ready so that she could call him instantly, both to let them know they needed the cars but also, if Rima, was disbelieving to let her speak to her husband.
When the door vibrated with the crash of knocking both women jumped in shock. Lesley grabbed out at Jean’s arm. She hissed at her, “Don’t answer it. For God’s sake Jean, don’t open that door.”
Jean shook her off, turned the knob.
“Bob, what the hell are you doing here?”