This is one from the archives that I just dug out and anglicised. Hope it gets you into the spirit!
I was really pissed off at first. The guy didn't even have a credit card on him, just a bit of cash - all of 70 quid - and his iPhone, of course. Spent most of an evening, patiently watching this table of blokes from the other side of the pub, as they got drunker and drunker, biding my time, because they were all the stockbroker/lawyer types, I thought it'd be worth it. Even when they started calling out to the girl behind the bar, I didn't say a thing and I don't like it when people talk to a Lady like that, I really don't. But I didn't want a fight. I'd been down on my luck for a while, needed more cash. Wasn't sure I was going to score this time, but, as I said, I was a bit desperate, and so I hung around, waiting and watching and then, at last, they decided to call it a day, most of them went off in a cab, quick like, out the pub and into the waiting car, so there wasn't much I could do, but then I realised that this one guy was still waiting for his, leaning up against the wall of the pub, smoking. I'd thought I was scoring a credit card at least, he looked the type. The only guy in the whole pub who didn't have a credit card and I picked him. Said he'd lost it that day.
Still, I had his iPhone and I hadn't got one of my own. I don't have a clue when it comes to modern technology. I can just about manage email and google, but I'm not even that great with Facebook, don't really get it, though I knew enough about stuff to know that the police would try and track it, so I switched it off and put it in the back of a drawer for a while.
Got it out for the first time this morning. It's been six months so I reckon that's enough time. They'll have given up on it by now, won't they? It was quite interesting, it had his Facebook stuff on there for anyone – or me, anyway! - to see. Made me feel a bit weird at first; there were all these pictures of him with his kids and his wife, or out with his mates. I didn't know he had kids - not that it would have made much difference anyway. It's not as if I didn't ask him nicely at first - I'm not an ogre, I always ask nicely to begin with, and if he'd just handed it all over, I'd probably have left it at that. But he didn't, so it got messy, and it was his fault.
And when I looked a bit more at the pictures I stopped feeling weird about it anyway. This guy had it coming to him really. He'd got all these photos of himself up, to show everybody what a rich git he was. Pictures of him on holiday in Thailand, sitting on an elephant with a a bunch of flowers round his neck, on holiday in New York with the statue of Liberty, standing in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris, the Leaning Tower in Spain, skiing in the snow, water skiing at some fancypants resort. Loads of pictures of him sitting in posh restaurants, eating posh nosh and drinking champagne; pictures of him in what must have been his house – this huge, pretentious place out in the country somewhere. And in all the pictures he looks like he's stepped straight out of a car ad - all ironed T shirts and levis and thick blonde hair, arms bulging with gym muscles. Huh. Those muscles might have looked good, but they didn't do much for him when he found himself up against me, did they! Well, that'll teach him. It did teach him, in fact. Life's not meant to be perfect, not like that.
But looking at those pictures of his house made me think. They were just pictures of his family at Christmas, but you know, there were all these iPods, and laptops and stuff just lying around. There'd be rich pickings in a place like that. You get some people who have their houses booby trapped to the gills, but then, out in the country, people often think they don't need to worry about stuff like that. I looked at his profile and saw that the stupid git had actually put the name of his village on Facebook as well, so I thought I might as well check it out, it wasn't that far away. I was still short of cash and didn't have much to do, so thought I'd come out tonight.
So that's where I'm heading now. I'm not planning on working exactly, I'll probably just cruise round the area and see what it looks like. It's a good idea to get to know a place before I start working in it anyway. It's handy you know, just in case I have to make a quick getaway. I wouldn't want to get lost with the cops behind me - drive up a dead end and find I couldn't get out again.
So it turns out he lived in this small village, all Ye Olde this and Ye Olde that, Holly Bush Lane, Ivy Corner. Cor blimey, it's really the sort of place that screams Bank Managers, or Rich Scurvy Lawyers at you. Some little cottages but a load of big houses as well, too posh for numbers, all with names, you know. It's hard to see in the dark, though there's a bright, full moon shining so I can just make out the name of this one yeah, this one's called Daisy Cottage, then there's, let's see, Ivy House next door and The Rectory next door to that. Ah, here's Copse Lodge – that looks like his place, though of course it's hard to see much with the moon behind the house and there's no lights on. Wonder if the wife and kids moved, or if they're in bed already, watching their big screen TVs or playing on their iPods or whatever it is that kids play on nowadays. Big front lawn, an old bird table, looks like some late flowers still blooming. Big, square, up and down Tudor sort of place, with the white walls and black wood bits all slanted across it, though I'd bet a fiver it's all fake. Probably quite a bit of it is fake around here.
Some of the houses have thatched roofs, with flowers and big hedges and it's all meant to look really countrified, but then they've got a bloody great jaguar sitting out the front. It's the sort of place where you know all the kids are probably off at private schools, all smarmy in their little smarmy uniforms, their iPods in their ears.
There's a pub and I can see lights, but there's not much noise. Not like the Red Lion back where I kip, which is all Nirvana thudding out, and puddles of beer and piss out the front, hookers and their guys hanging around, the hookers all eyes and tits, their guys all shadowed faces. This is all Ye Olde Flickering Fire and Candlelight and more food than drink, bet they don't even have a fruit machine.
Nah, I have a feeling that these places are probably all wired straight to the Police station, not sure it's worth me hanging around, it's too quiet for me.
I wind the windows down and all I can hear are the engine of my car and the wheels whispering along the road, the wind in the trees. There goes some bird, an owl or something maybe. It doesn't half pong though. There's a really strong whiff of manure in the air and something else – an old mossy, stoney smell, maybe it's the smell of rotting money. This place is beginning to give me the creeps actually. In one sense, you think you could mug someone out here and they could scream blue murder and nobody would hear, or come even if they did, because they wouldn't want to get caught up in anything that might get their clothes dirty. On the other hand, it's the sort of place where the head guy at Scotland Yard probably hangs out, probably sitting there in the pub with his wife and daughters, having a nice meal of Pasta-something-or-other and talking about Opera or their latest Hockey game or something. No, there's not much point in hanging around. Think I'll just go back, find a MacDonald's, if you get them in these parts. If I go now, I might catch that new show on telly.
That's the good thing about this iPhone of his. It's got a sat nav on it, so I can just follow that, don't need to go reading any maps or anything like that.
I put the address in and that little whirly thing goes round and round for a bit and then the Google Lady finds my house and starts talking to me, all robotic lah-de-dah. “Drive down Main Street, turn left onto the Ablah-de-blah.”
It's great, this sat nav, thing. Never had one before, but it means I can just drive along and think my own thoughts, look around a bit - not that I can see much now I'm out of the village, as it's pretty dark, in spite of the moon. There are no street lights round here, it's just little narrow roads and high hedges so I have to use my full beamers. Funny, I didn't think I came this way, but maybe this is a better route.
Bloody hell, the petrol light's just gone on. That probably gives me another twenty odd minutes before I run out. Took an hour to drive out here, I'll have to fill up before I get home, but I should be hitting Aylesbury soon, I reckon, or I think there were another couple of little towns that should have a petrol station.
Oh come on! Still, more little dark lanes, winding between higher and higher hedges, now there are are trees both sides, the trunks looming, gleaming like silver zombie bodies in the lights of the headlights – oh God, what am I doing, getting all poetic? And now the wind is picking up, sending leaves scuttling across the paths, slapping onto the windscreen, and it's getting darker, where's that bloody moon when you need it? Shit, I'm going to have to pull over, check the Sat Nav, see if it can take me to a petrol station instead.
For ****'s sake! I must have got it wrong, it wasn't even taking me home! Somewhere called Roadsend instead. Probably driven miles out of my way now. Okay, search for petrol stations, Thank god there's one just ten minutes drive away, should just about make it.
Staring down at the map, seeing the little blue ball that is me, is reassuring, though heaven knows why. I guess it's just good to know that someone knows where I am, even if it is just a bloody satellite somewhere up there, past the trees and the clouds, out in the blackness of the night. There's another little ball thing now, a grey one, showing up on the same road where my blue one sits. Unlike mine, it's moving though, coming closer up behind – what the bloody hell is it?
Better get going. Back onto the road, moving fast, put my foot down, come on little Sat nav Lady, get me to a petrol station, okay?
“Continue on Dread Road for half a mile, then take a left at Sinking Street.”
God these roads have weird names. Still, I don't care just so long as I get to civilisation and a petrol station soon. Don't like the way it's getting darker. Really don't want to be stranded out here for the night. The moon's gone now, covered by thick clouds. It's getting much colder as well, hands feeling stiff on the windscreen. Times like this I wish I had the RAC or something, but I can't risk calling anyone like that. Should have paid my bloody road tax.
“Take the next right onto Revenge Lane.”
Really don't like the names of these places, what happened to all those Holly Bush Lanes and Ivy Corners? That little grey dot on the sat nav is catching up with me, almost level, which is really weird as there are no lights behind me, can't see a bloomin' thing.
Ah, at least I can see something ahead now, great big stone gateposts rising up in front, looks more like the entrance to a grand property or a park or something. Can't be right, can it?
“Continue straight ahead onto Roadsend.”
Oh for bloody bloody. The Sat nav's bloody reverted again.
A great gust of wind shakes the car, sending the leaves blustering through the air, and then, when they clear, the clouds have blown away and so I can see, all around me, the silver silhouettes of headstones, shining like iced teeth in the light of the moon.
It's a graveyard. I'm in a graveyard.
I hate graveyards at the best of times, but I really don't like this now on this cold, black night, with a moaning wind whipping dead leaves across the windscreen, and bollocks only knows where I am. The car's really struggling as well. I need to turn round get out of here, but the petrol light's winking on and off on and off, and, Bloody Hell, now the engine's groaning and now it's dying and that's it. Turn off the engine, turn it back on again but there's no sound.
I'm sweating now, in spite of the cold. Do I spend the night here, wait till it gets light?
There's a knocking on the window and my heart slams in my ribs, but it just looks like some bloke and I've got my knife. The window's jammed so I have to open the door.
"Good Evening. You look like you could do with some help.” It sounds like he's laughing, but I can't see his face, he's got a hoodie on. Who on earth would be out on a night like this – and in a graveyard?
"Too bloody right I could do with some help. Who the Bloody Hell, are you?” I can hear my voice shaking, though I'm trying my best to keep it still, so I get to my feet. My height is usually enough to intimidate people, but turns out he's just about as tall as me when he stands up straight. The wind is blowing sharp and I can feel ice in the air. It's started to rain and the air smells of damp earth, deep earth, rotting vegetation.
"Don't you recognise me, Kevin? We met a few months ago."
Kevin? Who the bloody hell is it? Where did I meet him? How does he know my name?
What with all the darkness and the rain, I can't make him out at all. And then the rain slows and the moon's back, shining down, right on the figure so that I can see it – so I can see the billowing cloak, the gleam of bone where its face should be and the grinning teeth of the jaw. And I see its eyes - eyes that are oddly familiar – eyes that I have seen recently on the internet, smiling up at me from various photographs; eyes that I saw in reality a few months before, begging for mercy from a bloody face. But now those eyes are cold and merciless as the wind that comes shrieking around me.
Then I see the bone of the figure's arms as it raises something in the air; and I see the glint of moonlight on a curving metal blade as it comes slicing down towards me and the gaping, hungry mouth of the fresh dug grave lying at my feet.