Monday 1 – Tuesday 2 January 2018
Detective Sergeant James tilted the box from side to side and watched as the finger rolled each way. She’d seen a lot in her years of service, but never a severed finger. She found it quite amusing, and hid a minute smile.
‘So, Mr Hennessey, you’re sure you don’t know who this belongs to,’ she quizzed Brian Hennessey again.
‘How many times, DS James, do I need to repeat myself? No, I don’t know who it belongs to. No, I don’t know where it came from. No, I don’t know who sent it to me. And no, I don’t know why it was sent to me. Can we move on from that? Please?’
She handed the box to her partner, who looked at it with disgust.
‘DC Lubowski, bag this as evidence. Thank you.’
Lubowski cautiously took the box with a gloved hand and looked distastefully at its contents as he fumbled with his free hand in his coat pocket for an evidence bag.
‘You want them bagged separately, ma’am?’
She looked at her DC as if he were an imbecile. ‘Seriously? You have to ask me that?’
Hennessey continued to look between the two of them like he was watching a tennis match.
James turned her attention back to Hennessey. ‘Okay then, Mr Hennessey, if you could just go through the events leading up to the parcel delivery for me. I need to establish a timeline. And if you can think of anyone who would do something like this, I’d like their names.’
‘If I can think of anyone who’d do something like this? What, or rather who do you think I am?’
‘Do you really want to play that game with me, Mr Hennessey? I don’t think there’s a copper around who doesn’t know your file by heart.’
Hennessey thought better of replying to DS James, choosing to consider her previous request with the solemnity it deserved.
‘The list, DS James, is extensive.’
‘Not well liked then, sir?’
‘I’ve made many enemies in my line of business.’
‘You’d better start writing down their names then, Mr Hennessey. The sooner I get what I want, the sooner I’ll leave you in peace to – conduct your business.’ She handed Hennessey her pen and a piece of paper from her police notebook.
‘I’m going to need more paper than this.’
* * * * *
Caroline screamed. ‘They cut off your finger?’
All Anthony could do was nod helplessly. The pain was excruciating and the painkillers weren’t helping at all.
‘We need to get you to the hospital.’
‘No,’ he mumbled through the painkiller induced fog that had settled in his brain. ‘No hospitals.’
Caroline cringed at the sight of the blood-soaked bandage that Ciaran, Jeremy and Brennan had fixed to Anthony’s hand.
‘I don’t care what you say, Anthony, I’m taking you to the A and E department. I’m not having you die from blood loss while I’m around.’
She slid her hand under his right arm, and lifted him from the bedroom floor.
‘You could help me a little here, you know. It’s a bit difficult to haul your hundred kilo arse up off the floor. You’re dead weight. Move your arse.’
He squirmed around on the floor, flailing his legs around to get some balance. Realising it was a futile effort, Caroline lowered him to the floor, resting him against the bed.
‘Right, you sit there. I’m calling an ambulance.’ She didn’t wait for his incoherent response, pulling her mobile phone from her pocket, and dialling triple nine. Anthony only made out the odd word, here and there, before passing out once again.
* * * * *
‘Why haven’t we heard from him yet?’ Brennan paced the length of the van in the petrol station car park.
‘I don’t know. For the umpteenth time, I don’t fucking know. He’ll contact us when he contacts us. Just fucking calm down and wait. There’s nothing we can do until he calls. Okay?’ Jeremy snapped. The incident with Anthony had unsettled him. He’d been assured that the jobs they were doing wouldn’t see anyone get hurt, but here was Anthony Groban, the boss’s right hand man, fingerless because Dmitri Korsakov had a grudge.
‘I’m giving him five more minutes,’ Brennan replied.
‘And then what? What are you going to do?’
‘I’m going home. You can do the job by yourself . . . or find someone else to be your sidekick because I’m not having an inch of any work that sees some guy get his finger cut off as a message to your buddy boss.’
Jeremy was by Brennan’s side in a flash, his hand around Brennan’s throat, squeezing tightly as he spoke.
‘You’ll fucking wait here until Hennessey calls. You’ll do the job, and then you can fuck off. But you are not leaving me on my own for this one. It’s going to take the three of us to do it, and you’re sticking around.’
In the van, out of the cold wind, Ciaran sneered at what he was witnessing outside. Brennan had it coming to him. Ciaran was glad that Jeremy had snapped. He’d seen it only once before, between Jeremy and Anthony, and he’d decided he’d never wanted to be on the end of Jeremy dealing out anything other than praise. The man was downright terrifying.
Brennan’s feet dangled three or four inches from the ground, and he struggled to draw breath. Jeremy gave one last powerful squeeze of Brennan’s throat and then dropped him back to the ground.
‘Got it?’ he asked once more.
‘Yep.’ His voice gravelly, Brennan was barely able to reply. He gasped for breath. He wanted to strike out at Jeremy, but this incident had caught him off guard. He’d never seen this side of Jeremy, and he’d known him for twelve years.
As if on cue, Jeremy’s mobile phone rang. He pulled it from his coat pocket and looked at the screen.
‘It’s him,’ he said, and walked away from Brennan and the van to take the call. Brennan watched from the side of the van.
‘Fucker, I’ll have you.’
‘Good luck with that,’ Ciaran called through the window. Brennan glared at the younger man. He’d forgotten Ciaran was even in the van.
‘Shut your fucking face, you pussy,’ Brennan snapped.
‘I’m not the one who was dancing in air because Jeremy caned my arse.’ Ciaran’s sarcasm was nothing compared to Jeremy’s strength.
‘Bold reply, Brennan. I’m so terrified of you right now.’
Brennan reached for the door handle. Sensing that he was about to get his arse kicked, Ciaran slammed his hand down on the door lock, and held up his middle finger to Brennan’s red face.
‘You’ll keep, you little fucker,’ Brennan barked.
‘Let’s go,’ Jeremy called as he strode back towards the van. ‘We’ve got our instructions.’
. . . To be continued . . .