Take on Cliff

 

Not even the threat of having to go for the weekly shop with his Mum could ruin Cliff’s afternoon as he had his rather dapper new Walkman with all his favourite songs on one cassette.   Aha were massaging Cliff’s ears as he patiently followed his Mum by reading his fave music and TV magazine Have a gawp.

The comic strip Mucker’s luck was engrossing Cliff as Grabber had challenged Mucker to a daring trolley race.  Cliff closed his eyes as Mucker’s trolley with it’s wobbly wheel was whizzing past the corner.  Oh how he wished he could be like Mucker.  A cheeky good hearted rascal who was loved by all the girls.

A huge pencil drawn hand emerged out of the cauliflowers and tapped a startled Cliff on the shoulder.  It’s finger beckoned Cliff to follow as he jumped into the chest freezer of fish fingers.  Suddenly Cliff was a pencil drawing himself although his t-shirt was admittedly tight as it showed off his manly beer gut.

That was forgotten about as Mucker gave Cliff a cheeky wink as the pair danced merrily away although Cliff had all the moves of a awkward Uncle at the family wedding.  However the big race was on with the dastardly Grabber hunting high and low for Cliff and Mucker as they legged it around the corners of the cartoon frame.

It was perfect timing as they jumped into the next frame with Cliff squeezed into the trolley with a gasping Mucker jumping on top as the gun started.  As the trolley’s raced around the corner Grabber stupidly tried to barge Cliff and Mucker off the road.  The weight of Cliff saw Grabber crash off the road with Cliff letting a huge chuckle as they came first in the race.

Poor old Mucker fell out as a yelling Cliff couldn’t stop the trolley as it hit a rock sending a flying Cliff soaring into the air and out of the pages.

There was a huge scream as the Citizen Cliff family spluttered on their tea with Granny almost fainting as Cliff flew out headfirst of the television.

‘You stupid boy,’ Cliff’s Dad yelled.  ‘You’ve scared the living daylights out of your Mum and Granny.’

‘But the son always shines on TV,’ Cliff gurned.

Cliff’s Dad  smiled like a medieval torturer as he lightly tapped the demon slipper against the palm of his hand.  ‘Something else will be shining boy,’ and with that a sobbing Cliff was given ten of the best before being sent to his room.

 

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Flying High

Caitlin Firth



Moaning softly Caitlin forced her eyes open as the extra two minutes in bed had turned into twenty. Not that it mattered much as Caitlin hated the early morning shift for Rapido airlines.  Somehow Caitlin staggered out of bed as the annoying chirpy voice of the inane local radio DJ was violently switched over to Shaun Keavney’s breakfast show on BBC six music.

A shower was what was needed as the cold water made her gasp and suddenly jolted her brain awake as though an electric charge had been set her awake.
‘Oh for feck’s sake!’ Caitlin swore as the temperature of the water now hit lava level.
Somehow Caitlin had managed to get herself back on track as she pulled on her tights and fixed her uniform.
‘Christ I look like a fecking Nazi in this uniform,’ Caitlin thought as she carefully fixed the Rapido scarf that she had to wear. At least it was early morning so not many people would see her escaping to her car.
Although Caitlin was already behind time she quickly made up for that as she sped through Allerton road. Even though it was the longer route Caitlin took the detour that took in Garston shore with the early morning sun weakly shining on the Mersey.

‘Are you and Cal going away next weekend?’ Vanessa asked Caitlin in Spanish.

‘Ce,’ Caitlin smiled. ‘We’re off to Ibiza the quiet part.’

Vanessa laughed as Calam wasn’t exactly the type to be into the clubbing part of Ibiza.
‘Come on Jed we’ll be all right once we’re up in the air.’

Caitlin raised her eyebrows as a trembling Jed who looked like a grizzly bear in the prime of his life stumbled onto the plane as though he was being forced into a crate.

‘I’m not sure about this,’ Jed stammered. ‘I’ve got a bad feeling.’
‘We’re here now,’ Maggie whispered. ‘It’s just like being on a bus.’

‘Are you okay?’ Caitlin said smiling sweetly.

‘He’s just nervous about flying.’

‘Oh right,’ Caitlin replied. ‘Is there any part of it that you don’t particularly like?’
‘All of it.’
‘Would it help if you sat by where we sit?’ Caitlin asked. ‘You can see at first hand at what we do which might put you more at ease.’
Jed nodded as Caitlin ushered him to the nearby seat.
‘Once we’re up in the air it should be a straightforward flight. I’ve done this route regularly and we’ve had no problems.’  Caitlin said although she didn’t mention the time when the plane had been struck by lightening.
With the passengers all on board and sat down it was time for the air safety instructions. Normally it didn’t bother Caitlin but upon seeing a ever increasing sweating Jed who looked more like a guilty defendent being presented with the extra evidence to prove his guilt tried to speed the instructions up.

Now came the Spanish instructions with the male voice sounding like someone from the Fast Show’s Channel nine with a very overdramatic ‘BRACE!!! BRACE!!! BRACE!!!’
Despite the safety advice coming to a end, Jed’s arse had completely gone that his eyes were painfully closed as though awaiting the guard’s touch to take him to his execution.

‘Sir, can you turn your mobile off,’ Caitlin asked a young lad. It was another pet hate that every flight they had to get some idiot to turn off their device.
‘I have got it switched off.’
‘No you haven’t,’ Caitlin replied. ‘I can see the screen.’
‘Why have I got to switch it off?’
Caitlin bit her lip at the stroppiness of it. ‘Because it interferes with the flight controls.’
‘JUST SWITCH IT OFF SOFT LAD!’ Jed screamed furiously as though he was ready to use all his fear and anxiety by pummelling the lad if he disobeyed him.
It was switched off so quickly that the ashen-faced lad almost dropped it as he slunk back in his seat to avoid the vicious glare of Jed.
‘This is your Captain Matt Law speaking,’ came a casual Mancunian drawl over the intercom. ‘We are now due to take off and we should be arriving at Barcelona approximately ten thirty am Spanish time. Cabin crew please prepare to take off.  Passengers sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight.’
As Caitlin fastened her seat belt the engines roared into life with a vicious scream as it now raced upwards with the force bracing Caitlin’s neck back. She always loved this ‘whoose,’ part as the plane soared upwards with Liverpool starting to look small. There was the familiar beeps of the plane as it soared ever higher.
Jed was sweating profusely with every little shudder making him whimper. Indeed his nails were clutched into the hand rest.
‘Not long now,’ Caitlin smiled.
‘Are we meant to go down like that?’ Jed cried.
‘Yeah it’s fine,’ Caitlin replied. ‘He’s just turning the plane.’
More beeps came as instructions came for the cabin crew to get ready to undo their belt.
‘This is your Captain Matt Law speaking. A nice smooth takeoff if I must say so myself. We are currently cruising thirty five thousand feet and we will be shortly be approaching France. The weather might take a bit of a turn but rest assured it’s nice and warm in sunny Barcelona. I shall be keeping you updated later.’
With the plane cruising comfortably the crew got ready with the trolley. A wry smile broke out on Caitlin’s face as Vanessa appeared to get the arseholes who just wouldn’t stop ordering food and in particular alcohol.

Is that it?’ Vanessa said her head ready to explode.

‘Oh and some cheese and onion Pringles for Nigel’

‘I say what about a brandy,’ chimed in Freddie.

‘I’d love a brandy,’ someone shouted.

‘Okay who wants a brandy?’

‘One, two, three,’ Caitlin thought as she saw the red mist engulfing Vanessa’s eyes.
‘Your going to have to make this your last order because other people want food and drink.’

‘I say,’ Bruce said rather offended at the outburst. ‘I really don’t like your tone.’

‘You have already ordered about fifteen lagers, eight gin and tonics, eighteen packets of Pringles, and now you want brandy.  This is not your personal trolley .’

‘Here, here,’ Someone cried.

‘You tell them girl,’ Another shouted as Vanessa actually got a round of applause.

Bruce reddened. ‘Well we are on a stag do.’

‘Why I’m I surprised,’ Caitlin thought.

‘How many brandies and then that’s it?’

‘Say five,’ Bruce said as he saw another hand go up. ‘Six, seven,’

‘I’d be careful if I was you,’ Caitlin thought. Luckily Bruce didn’t ask for anymore although one of the group despite having a face of a gargoyle and the charm of George Osborne thought that Vanessa and Caitlin fancied him.  Somehow he still thought he was onto something as he tried to give the pair his mobile number.

The pair whispered conspiratorial in Catalan about the rugger union stag do group with a few jokes cracked at their expense. One or two of them might be able to speak Spanish but Caitlin was certain they wouldn’t know a word of Catalan.

‘How much longer?’ Jed groaned.

‘We’re nearly an hour into the journey,’ Caitlin replied.

‘I don’t like the look of those clouds.’

‘Don’t worry we’ll be flying above them so it should be fine,’ Caitlin said. ‘Do you want anything to eat or drink?’

‘No ta,’ Jed said as the plane started to shake with a couple of beeps instructing one of the crew to attend the cabin. ‘Why’s the plane shaking?’

‘It’s only a mild bit of turbulence,’ Caitlin said. ‘Just think of it as when you are in a car on a bumpy road. That’s all it is.’

‘You seem to be taking an interest in him.’ Vanessa observed.

‘He’s a nervous flyer so I’m just trying to make it as comfortable as possible.’

‘Anyhow how is Gaz?’

‘Ah I’ve dumped him,’ Vanessa said her forehead frowning. ‘I’m not putting up with his drinking and broken promises.’

‘Good for you,’ Caitlin said.

‘How are you getting on in Breaking Bad?’

‘I’ve just finished the part where Jesse’s girlfriend is dying of an overdose.’ Caitlin said excitedly. ‘Swear to God I couldn’t believe that Walt left her like that.’
The loud humdrum sound of the engines continued to drone on as Caitlin casually looked out of the window with the white fluffy clouds blowing below the plane. Looking out across the ocean of sky relaxed Caitlin who felt the massaging comfort of flying. It was a chance to switch off and no matter how many flights she had undertaken Caitlin always found it theraputic.
At first Caitlin was too much in her own world to take much notice of the gasps from the passengers as sparks could be seen flashing from one of the engines. However it was the sound of the engine that didn’t sound right that tapped her on the shoulder to get her attention. Indeed it sounded like the bass or lead guitar player had suddenly stopped playing.
Everything suddenly felt like a weird dream as Caitlin tried to regain her senses which couldn’t quite believe that the plane was now in trouble. A loud moan emanated as the airbus plane promptly descended eight thousand feet without warning that made Caitlin feel as though she was on the big dipper. Her stomach had felt that giddy excitement as it leapt up and then swiftly back down.

Screams broke out most notably from Jed with a few wits shouting ‘I love you!’ without realising the seriousness of the situation as they started to laugh. Another smart arse cried ‘Hey love open up the bottle of champagne. If we are going to go down then we might as well do it in style.’

That bravado quickly ended as the plane started to shake with the seat belt sign flashing on as the oxygen masks flew down.

Laughs now turned to cries and sobs with a sombre graveyard silence amongst the passengers as the low off-key noise of the planes remaining engine continued to drone on.

Caitlin and Vanessa along with their fellow cabin crew tried to remain calm as they helped the passengers put on their oxygen mask. With the emergency lights the only illumination it was an eerie feeling of walking into the woods at Halloween when it was twilight.

It was hard comforting Jed especially as Caitlin was now scared. This was the first time that she had felt trapped in the air with the stone cold sober awareness of her own mortality.

‘Matt and the crew are good pilots so we are in safe hands,’ Caitlin said as she somehow managed to resist the surging burning anger of frightened frustration building up inside her.

‘We are going to die, we are going to die,’ Jed repeatedly moaned as though he was praying. ‘I knew we shouldn’t have flown.’

‘Jed listen to me,’ Caitlin smiled. ‘We will be okay. Just listen to our instructions and I’m sure the Captain will be giving us some information soon.’

On cue came the dulcet tone of the Captain Matt Law who spoke as though the plane was a bike that had just suffered a minor puncture.

‘This is your Captain Matt Law speaking.’ ‘Due to a minor fault with two of the plane engines we are going to have make, a slight detour to Toulouse Blagnac airport. Be rest assured that the other engine is working fine but it will be a bit of a bumpy ride as we come into land. There will be more details as we approach Toulouse airport. Please be as comfortable as you can be, listen and obey any instructions by the cabin crew. Please note we will shortly be making a small descent. I will be speaking to you all shortly. Cabin crew please prepare to land and listen to further instructions from me.’
With that Caitlin swiftly went back to her seat with the funeral hum of the remaining engine and the shadowy dark aisles that were weakly illuminated by the emergency light.
Vanessa and Caitlin looked on anxiously as a grim faced Andrea listened to the Captain as he informed them that two of the engines had failed.Furthermore they were going to have make an emergency landing in not so perfect conditions.

‘We will be approaching gusty winds and rain so get ready for a not so perfect landing.’  Andrea whispered to the cabin crew.

Caitlin gulped as soon as she heard that. Upon seeing Jed she somehow forced a smile and somehow managed to force a lie that everything was going smoothly and that they would be safely landing soon.
‘Ladies and gentlemen this is your Captain Matt Law speaking.’ ‘We are shortly approaching Toulouse airport so make sure you seatbelt is fastened.’ ‘Can cabin crew please prepare for landing.’
More beeps came as Caitlin obediently carried out her duties as the plane started to shake. This though was just the appetiser as people started to wail in unison as the airbus now started to rattle violently that they thought that they were on a rollercoaster.
A low moaning noise wailed as though the plane was crying out a distress call as it descended quickly as it appeared to be a battle between the outside elements and Matt Law’s crew.
With Vanessa and Harry looking pale with the tango orange tan of Pam turning more white than a bucket of whitewash Caitlin thought that this was it. Looking out of the window the sky was grey as the plane continued to shake like a dice inside a cup this was not how she wanted to die.
Caitlin wanted to pass away aged a hundred peacefully in her sleep surrounded by relatives. Not in a flying tin waiting to hit the ground with screaming passengers. How was it was going to go? Would she pass out or would Caitlin feel the intense pain and sudden blackness as her life was snuffed out?
It alarmed and frightened Caitlin that everything would suddenly be nothing. No more feelings, thoughts, or dreams. All Caitlin could think of was of her Mum, Dad, and her older brother’s nephews and nieces. Then came Calam. No longer would Caitlin enjoy that gooey feeling of being with Calam. To feel love and enjoyment that life brought.  Plus she wouldn’t get the chance to finish Breaking Bad or enjoy her Mum’s cooking.

Even the silly things of not being able to go to gigs, enjoy a bar of chocolate or sticky toffee pudding came to mind.  Miserably Caitlin felt gutted that she wouldn’t get to see MGMT who were performing in Manchester.
Caitlin wondered if her soul would view her body and her Parents, family, and Calam before leaving this world? No it was just going to be dark and nothing.
The plane moaned like the titanic about to go down as Matt instructed the crew to prepare for an emergency landing.
‘Ladies and gentlemen this is your Captain Matt Law speaking. We are approaching Toulouse airport and we are about to land. Cabin crew we are about to land.’
However this was going to be a battle as the plane made a turn and then went up and then down shaking ever more as Matt and his crew tried to get the plane into position. More cries broke out with people even hugging each other as the plane swooped towards the nearby buildings before rising back up.
‘BRACE, BRACE, BRACE!’ The automated computer yelled before the theatrical Spanish voice frantically shouted ‘BRACE!!!!! BRACE!!!!!! BRACE!!!!!!!!!!!!’
‘What a way to go,’ Caitlin thought miserably. ‘The last words that I hear will be some manic Spanish eejit screaming brace.’
It was too late to pull out as the plane descended to land as it shook ever more violently that Caitlin wished that if her life was going to end it would do so now. The ground was getting ever closer as Caitlin closed her eyes wincing as she expected to hear a loud bang of the nose of the plane violently hitting the ground.
Everybody was violently thrown about with Caitlin feeling a rag doll in the clutches of a Staffordshire bull terrier.  It was coming the moment was coming when everything would be turning black.  Caitlin closed her eyes and tried to ignore the crying going on in the background.  Jed was whimpering as he mumbled for the hundreth time that he shouldn’t have got on the plane.

There was the loud piercing wailing of the remaining engine as the plane lurched up again and shook so violently that at one point Caitlin thought the plane was going to land on its side.  Somehow the pilots managed to steady the airbus as it started to circle to prepare to land again.

Once again the plane shook as the gale force winds battered the plane like a giants fist as it did its best to send the airbus to the ground.  Like a groggy boxer on it’s last legs Matt and his co-pilots tried to steady itself as they again attempted to make another descent.
More wails broke out as the plane started to shudder that Caitlin just wished that this torture would end even if meant that her life was snuffed out.  Jed was clutching the arm rest whilst sweating as though he was in a Mickey Mouse costume in a sauna.
‘BRACE!!!!  BRACE!!!  BRACE!!!’  Screamed the automated computer as the plane shook violently as the plane made another attempt at descending.  Yet again the plane was shaking with the pilots attempting to straighten the plane.  Caitlin gulped and knew it was too late now as Matt started a sharp descent that it was as a rough as a ale house clearance at a Sunday league match.

This was it thought Caitlin as the wail of the plane with the ground starting to look more close.  Closing her eyes Caitlin tried to think about her family and hoped that she wouldn’t think of anything silly as her final thoughts.
‘BANG!   BANG!  BANG!  BANG!’
Screams broke out as Caitlin waited to feel pain or of her life being snuffed it.  However it was the sound of wheels hitting the tarmac as it raced down the runway before getting ready to taxi.  Fire engines raced towards the plane as a huge round of applause broke out for the crew.

‘Ladies and gentlemen I apologise for the rough landing but it is a bit wild out there.  Please stay in your seats and await further safety instructions.’
Caitlin could feel the colour returning to her cheeks as she smiled confidently at Jed as if to say that she hadn’t been petrified.  It did seem to take eternity but eventually they managed to herd the passengers off.  Despit their lives being in danger it still didn’t stop the wally who demanded to take their overhead bag with them when instructed to simply leave the plane.
Although Caitlin had made light of it to her family and Calam it secretly brought a warm glow that she was able to ring them and hear their voices.  No more would she moan at her Mum always telling her to eat properly or roll her eyes as Calam managed to find an obscure South American football match.  Well not for a while at least but the hugs when she eventually got home and the week after when Caitlin visited her family in Belfast was the best feeling in the world.

A bad hand

 

‘It is one thirty this Saturday afternoon on the 3rd March 1973. The headlines this lunchtime. Terry Lamont the Camden Wanderers and England International footballer has been arrested by Metropolitan Police over allegations of handling counterfeit money.’ Crackled the radio as the desk sergeant nonchalant chomped on his corn beef sandwich. He was still reeling from the shock of having to lock up one of his footballing heroes that Terry’s pleas to be let out fell on deaf ears.

‘Calm down will you,’ Chris snapped.

‘I’ve got a game to get to,’ Terry shouted.

‘Face facts your not going anywhere apart from Holloway.’

‘That’s not bleeding funny!’

‘Oi!’ Don snarled as he slapped back the grill. ‘Keep the noise down. We’ll let you know when your brief arrives.’

‘Come on you’ve charged me.’ Terry shouted. ‘At least let me go the game and I’ll come straight back after the match.’

Don laughed loudly as he slammed the grill shut but not before telling Terry that he had a match to go to.

‘I don’t need a brief!’ Terry yelled. ‘I’ve watched Z cars so I know what happens. Let’s get it out of the way.’

‘Relax Terry,’ Chris sighed. ‘The club will bail you out as they always do. Me and the rest of the lads could be facing a stretch.’

‘You don’t understand,’ Terry snapped. ‘The boss will be going off his rocker if I don’t show.’

‘I think your way past being in the shit,’ Chris said as Terry continued to kick the door. ‘So stop kicking that bleeding door because your starting to do my bloody head in.’

Terry gave it one last smack before throwing himself on the nearby bed. It wasn’t so much the trouble that he was going to be in with his boss and wife but that heavy lead feeling at being forced to miss playing football. All he wanted was to just hear that loud thud of a leather boot hitting the ball and pitting his wits against the defender. Out there on the pitch Terry was free from all the hassle of life. Nothing beat the sensation of playing football and the sense of belonging that came with being part of the team pitting their wits against the opposition. It was even better when it was worthy foes like Liverpool or Leeds to test yourself against the best.

Plus with a North London derby against Spurs was a added spice which made missing the match even more that he just wanted to scream and take out his frustration on the wall as though he had been dealt a shit hand at poker.

‘Ignore them,’ Chris said as another copper taunted Terry that Camden were getting beat by Tottenham.

‘Your brief Terry,’ the Sergeant sighed.

‘About bleeding time,’ Terry said as he jumped off his bed to be taken to one of the interview rooms.

‘First things first Terry, what have you said to the Police?’

‘I haven’t had a chance to say anything,’ Terry replied. ‘They’ve come up with some shit about me laundering Mickey Mouse money but I don’t know nothing about that.’

‘So you haven’t said anything?’

‘I haven’t had a bleeding chance,’ Terry sighed. ‘I wouldn’t mind but the Rozzer’s nicked us yesterday and banged me up without charging me until today. They only did it because that pig Don wanted me to miss the match against Spurs!’

‘Terry the Police just can’t hole you up for that long without charging you. They said that they only arrested you this morning.’

‘Bullshit,’ Terry snapped. ‘Ask Chris. They dragged us in claiming they needed to search the flat but that pig Don told me he was doing it so I couldn’t play today.’

‘Forget about missing the match,’ Rory said. ‘Let’s get down to business and just tell me the truth because if you don’t it will only mean I can’t do my job properly. What have you got to do with this counterfeit money?’

‘I swear to God and on Sarah’s life that I don’t know anything about any funny money,’ Terry cried earnestly. ‘I was at Chris’s playing cards and for once I was about to walk away with the winnings when the filth came knocking and arrested us.’

‘Only this could happen to you,’ Rory sighed.

‘Tell me about it,’ Terry nodded at the harshness of it. ‘To rub it in that Don even took my money off me.’

‘You do realise you are in serious trouble?’

‘I know the boss is going to have my balls on a plate.’ Terry said. ‘How’s Sarah?’

‘Worried out of her mind that you had been beaten up but she’s okay.’ Rory replied. ‘These charges are serious and don’t lie to me but I do know you have money problems so it’s best if you tell me now if there is any substance in this.’

‘Jesus fucking Christ!’ Terry swore. ‘Don’t be swallowing that pony from the filth. I am telling the truth Rory they only nicked me so that I couldn’t play today. If anyone should be nicked is the filth that kidnapped me.’

‘The Police say that this is a undercover operation and that your a suspect in helping launder this counterfeit money.’

‘As if!’ Terry scoffed as he folded his arms defiantly.

‘You are looking at a long jail sentence if the Police make this stick.’

‘Bloody hell Rory if your not going to believe me then what chance have I got?’ Terry snapped. ‘The only readies I handle are the real McCoy. Although I did use Monopoly notes once if that counts until the boss put a stop to it.’

‘Why would he do that?’ Rory asked regretting it instantly.

‘We were using it as chips for real money,’ Terry said as though he was explaining to a thick kid. ‘I was doing all right until I landed on Hatchet’s Mayfair.’

Rory shook his head. ‘Back to business. So you knew nothing about this money until the Police raid and they held you without charging you until later today?’

Terry nodded as though he was glad that the penny dropped.

‘Well I’m sure if that’s the case then they can’t have much of a case against you. So just take me through the timeline so that I’ve got a picture of what happened.’

It was much later after Terry had given Rory a detailed account of what had happened before Don turned up with Owen ready to question Terry and his mates.

‘Missed a great game Terry,’ Don cackled. ‘We beat your boy’s two-nil. It’s nice to say that I helped Spurs win a game.’

‘Yeah?’ Terry sneered. ‘It’s normally the ref’s that normally help them win.’

‘Still full of lip then I see.’

‘Well it is a bit fat after that punch you gave me.’

‘Terry,’ Rory warned. ‘Can we start the interview please.’

‘Certainly. How do you know Chris Marsh?’

‘He’s a mate,’ Terry replied. ‘I just popped over for a friendly game of cards. That ain’t against the law is it?’

‘What about the counterfeit money what we found on you?’

‘I didn’t have any counterfeit money apart…’

Rory quickly interjected. ‘I don’t recall of being informed that Mr Lamont had any money on his person.’

‘We know you’ve been involved in laundering this counterfeit money.’ Don smirked. ‘Chris has told us everything. How your heavily in debt and you ended up getting involved with this caper. Best to tell the truth.’

Terry’s eyeballs glared furiously as the sudden surge of rage hit him like a naked flame hitting the fuel. ‘You cheeky bastard! The truth? What about you lot kidnapping me so that I couldn’t play today? ‘

‘Terry keep calm,’ Rory said. ‘What proof have you got that Mr Lamont has any involvement with this counterfeit money?’

‘We’ve got witness statements.’

‘Jackanory!’ Terry hit back. ‘Chris ain’t a grass and I bet if there are any witness statements it will be written in crayon.’

‘Well we would like to see these witness statements DI Green,’ Rory replied. ‘I would say that Terry just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. For your sake I would drop these ludicrous charges or start providing strong evidence that Mr Lamont has got some involvement.’

Don though continued to persist although he wasn’t used to being put in his place by one of the best briefs of the country. The evidence was badly flawed that even at that point Rory was confident that they charge would be beaten as Terry was granted bail.

Feeling tired and relieved Terry stepped outside only to be confronted by the bright lights of the flashing cameras of the photographers who had been waiting outside for him.

‘Terry is it true that your part of some major firm laundering counterfeit money?’

‘Can you tell us if you’ve been charged Terry?’

‘Mr Lamont will not be answering any questions,’ Rory said as he helped bundle a hapless Terry into a car like a fugitive. ‘We will be releasing a press statement in the morning.’

‘Bloody hell,’ Terry said as the driver threw a blanket over his head to evade any pictures being taken of him. ‘Anyone would think I robbed the bank of England.’

Due to the press being camped outside of Terry’s the club had quickly arranged a safe house for their star player. By now the tiredness had engulfed Terry’s brain like a fog that he could feel himself nodding off despite the heavy aches of his bruises.

‘Best to get some shuteye,’ Rory said just before Terry left the car. ‘We’ll have a chat on Monday although it will probably be a bit later on in the week when we will have a better idea of what we are up against.’

Terry was too weary to protest his innocence and just about managed a nod. He just hoped that Sarah wasn’t going to give him a hard time.

‘Well look what the cat has just dragged in?’ Sarah shouted as soon the front door was shut.

‘Not now Sarah,’ Terry sighed. ‘I’m cheese crackered.’

‘Oh I’m so sorry,’ Sarah said mockingly with her hands on her hips. ‘You go missing and then I find out that you got nicked by the filth for handling counterfeit money. I was out of my bloody mind last night thinking that you had got duffed up.’

‘I’m sorry but it wasn’t as if the filth would let me go.’ Terry replied rubbing his head. ‘Can we talk about this tomorrow?’

‘No we can’t,’ Sarah snapped. ‘What the hell have you done now? You best not have got involved in any stupid scams.’

‘I have done nothing wrong apart from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.’ Terry hit back. ‘All I was doing was playing cards at Chris’s…’

Sarah’s eyes bulged in complete fury as Terry winced at dropping his guard. ‘You were gambling? After what you told me? You’ve got yourself into hock and got yourself involved in this caper. You soft bastard!’

‘The filth kidnapped me so that I couldn’t play in the game against Spurs.’ Terry yelled. ‘I would not get involved in anything like that.’

‘Liar!’ Sarah cried as she stormed off slamming doors before coming back with a blanket and a pillow. ‘You’re kipping on the sofa!’

Terry sighed although he was secretly relieved when he heard Sarah storming upstairs as it least it meant he could have some peace.

End of part two. Next week Terry has to face the wrath of his boss.

Full House – The Terry Lamont Story

It’s Life on Mars meets Roy of the Rovers in this 1970’s football crime caper. Terry Lamont is a true football great. An elegant midfielder with skill, vision, and pace he dodges brutal tackles on mud soaked pitches with the ease of Vaslav Nijinsky.

Like all geniuses, Terry has a flaw, namely gambling. Unfortunately Terry is not a particularly good gambler and is quickly in hock to the West London villain Harry ‘The Gent.’ To add to Terry’s woes he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time as he ends up in trouble with the law. So much so that his club Camden Wanderers want shot of him.

Can Terry get himself out of trouble with the law and convince the Camden to give him another chance? More importantly and to protect his precious knees, can Terry find the money what he owes Harry? Also will his ex manager Vincent stop hassling him to call him. Find out in this 1970’s football caper Full House.

Wrong place, wrong time

‘I’ll raise you twenty,’

‘I’m out,’ Lenny replied.

Terry could feel that hidden thrill coursing through his veins like a virus. His hand was pretty strong that he just wanted to enjoy that ecstatic hit of winning. Of course he could be wrong and Chris could have a Royal or a straight flush but Terry was sure he was bluffing. Besides the thrill of the unknown and making that calculated gamble saw Terry meet Chris and raise him another twenty.

‘Splashing the bleeding cash aren’t we?’ Chris laughed. ‘You’re luck can’t keep going.’

‘It ain’t luck mate,’ Terry smiled. ‘I just know how to play cards.’

‘Give over,’ Chris scoffed. ‘The only game you know how to play is snap.’

‘I think you should have walked away when you had the chance,’ Rod said as he raised the pair up to fifty.

By now the nerves were twitching as Rod sat there pan face like a piece of granite stone. So much so that Terry wondered if he should have took his winnings. After all Camden were playing their London rivals Spurs tomorrow.

The early Friday morning sun weakly shone through as Terry casually met the pot. He was in too deep now to just walk away and besides his hand was just too good to back out of. Terry’s mind was already working out the few hundred pounds that he could potentially walk away with.

‘Okay,’ Chris said. ‘Let’s see what you’ve got.’ As he now showed his hand to be a flush with the King, four, eight, ten, and Jack of spades.

‘Three of a kind,’ Rod grunted.

The sudden surge of his heart rising and thumping furiously made Terry feel extremely high as he held his cards excitedly.

‘What you got Terry? Two pairs?’

The slow click of the card of one Queen, then two, then three, and finally the fourth made Chris look like one of the many hapless goalkeepers that Terry had rounded and scored.

‘You jammy bastard!’ Chris sighed as Terry laughed as he scooped away his winnings. ‘That’s me out.’

‘And me,’ came the replies around the table.

Terry glanced at his watch. Maybe it was just as well as he was expected for morning training at eleven.

‘Well I’d best make tracks and get some shuteye before training.’

‘Any of that money going to make it’s way to Harry?’ Chris asked. ‘He’s been asking after you, you know.’

‘Of course it is,’ Terry said with as much sincerity as a kid promising his Mum he wouldn’t go mad spending all his pocket money in the sweet shop. ‘Although I am on a lucky streak and you do have to take advantage of it don’t you?’

BANG! BANG! BANG!

There was a look of bewilderment amongst the group which changed to one of alarm as it sounded like a battering ram was smashing the door.

‘What the fuck?’ Chris shouted as he raced over only to be knocked straight to the floor.

Panic broke out as Rod threw a punch at one of the burly men who had stormed in only to join Chris on the floor. In the meantime Terry was trying to edge his way to the back entrance to the fire escape of the kitchen only to feel a large whack at the back of his head as he saw a yellow flash.

‘Not the legs!’ Terry screamed as he curled up in a ball.

‘Get on the fucking ground,’ a large hulk of a man screamed. ‘We’re the Sweeney Todd and we haven’t had our dinner.’

‘I am on the floor,’ Terry winced as he suffered another kick to his ribs.

‘Don’t get fucking smart me with sunshine!’

‘What the fuck is this about?’ Chris asked despite being in pain.

‘I don’t know we thought we’d pop round for a cup of tea and a friendly chat,’ Don sneered. ‘It’s a fucking raid you dipstick.’

‘You can’t burst in here like this,’ Terry cried indignant. ‘We’ve got rights. This ain’t some tin pot country.’

Don paused feeling slightly amused at the cheek of who he felt were low life.

‘That’s right,’ Chris wheezed as he suffered another kick. ‘We’ve got rights.’

‘Where’s your warrant?’ Terry said as he instantly regretted his bravado.

Feeling outraged Don grabbed hold of a petrified Terry as he pinned him up against the wall.

‘What did you say you little scrot?’

‘I was only, you know, you’ve got to show us a warrant.’

‘Here’s my warrant,’ Don snarled as he thrusted a piece of paper right before Terry’s eyes. ‘Do you want me to shove it were the sun don’t shine?’

‘I’m going to put in a complaint against you,’ Terry said as he suffered another smack with his lip starting to rise like a Yorkshire pudding.

‘Are you?’ Don snapped angrily. ‘Well here’s something for you to complain about then.’

With that Don continued to kick poor old Terry like a football who cried out in pain. In the meantime the other members of the flying squad conducted a thorough search of the flat for the counterfeit money that Chris was storing.

‘Loads of Mickey Mouse money in the bedroom, Guv,’ Owen said as he came stunned to see the Camden Wanderer star player Terry Lamont being beaten up by his boss. ‘Is that Terry Lamont your jumping up and down on?’

Don paused with Terry grateful for the respite as the face suddenly registered that he had beaten up one of the most talented players that England had produced.

‘So it is,’ Don said surprised. ‘What the hell are you doing here?’

‘Visiting friends until you lot gate-crashed,’ Terry said feeling that the loud laughter meant he was out of the woods.

‘Sorry about this Terry we thought you were part of Chris’s firm,’ Owen said.

Terry tried not to look surprised as he knew it was Harry the Gent’s firm that ran this particular part of West London.

‘That’s okay,’ Terry said as he carefully fixed himself. ‘Now as much as it’s been nice meeting you all I’ve got to go. The big game tomorrow against Spurs and I need my rest before training.’

With that Terry walked with the confidence of a Hollywood movie star entering a premiere towards the front door.

‘Where do you think your going sunshine?’ Don barked incredulously at the continuing cheek of Terry Lamont.

‘Look I’ve got nothing to do with this caper and the boss will have my head on a plate if I show up late. Besides I can’t afford the fines.’

Don ignored Terry as he continued stare directly at him that he could feel himself shrivelling inside. ‘I know your playing Spurs tomorrow because I’m a big fan.’

There was a slight panic in Terry’s voice as there was still animosity over him picking Camden over Spurs or more precisely Camden prepared to pay off his gambling debts at the time.

‘Ah. Look I had no choice but to join Camden. The circumstances were purely out of my control.’

‘Relax Terry,’ Don said with the sincerity of Chopper Harris promising not to hack down the centre-forward he was marking. ‘I ain’t going to break your legs. Who do you think I am? One of your friends or something?’

‘Look,’ Terry said as he tried his best to barter his way out. ‘I know it’s a bit late in the day but I’m sure I can sort you and your mates a few tickets for the big game tomorrow.’

‘I’m a season ticket holder,’ Don replied coldly. ‘And besides which we don’t take kindly to big shots trying to bribe her Majesty’s Police force.’

‘Come off it that wasn’t a bribe,’ Terry protested.

‘Shut it and empty your pockets.’

Terry sighed loudly as he slowly pulled out the wad of cash that only a few minutes ago he had won with Don snatching the cash to inspect.

‘Now lads what do we have here?  A bundle of notes that don’t look like Mickey Mouse money.’

Upon seeing the greedy glint in Don’s eyes, Terry started to panic like a school kid being confronted by the school bully who had hold of his priceless football stickers.

‘That money ain’t mine,’  Terry said.  ‘I owe someone that money.’

‘Damn right it isn’t your dough,’ Don scoffed as he carefully put the money in his inside pocket.  ‘So kind of you to make a donation to the Police trust fund.’

The loud cackling laughter of Don’s sidekicks made Terry feel quite alone.  Hopefully they would now let him go whilst he would have to work out a way to pay Harry.

‘Can I go now?’

‘That’s right Terry,’ Chris cried.  ‘Leave your mates in the lurch!’

‘Don’t worry I’ll get you my brief to get you lot out.’

Unfortunately Terry could hear the loud whirring noise of Don’s brain working overtime as he grabbed hold of him by the arm.

‘I’ve got an idea lads,’ Don cried animatedly.  ‘Everybody knows Camden are not the same team without dear old Terry.  So let’s give Spurs a helping hand by keeping hold of Terry long enough that he won’t be able to play.’

‘Now hold on,’ Terry said appalled as he tried to break his arm free from Don’s grip.

‘Guv, we can’t keep hold of them for that long,’ Owen said.  ‘Camden will make sure Terry is released in time for the game.’

A frown broke out on Don’s face as the lines wrinkled his face like a pebble skimming a river.

‘You’re right,’ Don paused.  ‘Which is why we will throw them in the cells and officially charge them tomorrow morning then question the little toe rags later.’

‘Now hold on,’ Terry replied ‘You can’t do that.’

‘Shut up Terry, we can do whatever we like now let’s round these scrots and bung them in the cells until later.’

‘Nice one Terry,’ Chris grimaced as they were all frog marched to the waiting Police van outside.

End of part one.

Find out next week to find out what happens to Terry