Thursday, October 13, 2011

Death Minus Zero by John Baker (Gollancz 1996)

He led them over to a Scorpio Auto on the other side of the car park. Blue job with black leather inside. Norman checked through the window to make sure there was some sound equipment inside. Using his bent coat hanger he had the thing open in about ninety seconds.

"How do you do that?" the youngest wigger asked.

 Norman locked the car again and fitted his wire hook down inside the window frame. He fiddled for a moment, said, "Now you try."

The youngest wigger took hold of the coat hanger and jiggled it about.

"Just about there," Norman said. "You feel the little lever inside? Don't pull so hard. That's right, you can feel it moving."

 "Yeah. I got it," the kid said.

 "OK," Norman told him. "Push the handle in and pull it up slowly."

The door of the Scorpio opened. "Easier than a can of sardines," Norman said. He told the eldest kid to get his bag from the BMW. When he brought it Norman shoved it in the back of the Scorpio. "And the Tina Turner tape," he said.

"I've got something else to teach you," he said to the youngest wigger.

"What's that?" The kid was eager to learn everything this character could show him.

"Put your back here," Norman said, pointing to the door of a VW Camper. "And hold the door handle with both hands."

The kid did as he was told.

Norman came over and stood in front of him. "You got hold of it with both hands?" Norman asked.

The kid nodded and Norman butted him hard in the face. The little wigger dropped like a stone. His friend ran off down the car park, putting about seventy yards between himself and Norman. "You're a fast learner," Norman told him. The little wigger was sitting on the concrete shaking his head from side to side.

 "That's the best lesson you've had today," Norman told him, retrieving his hundred and twenty pounds from the kid's pocket. "Don't forget it."

Norman left him there, got behind the wheel of the Scorpio and wired it to go. He waved to the elder wigger as he drove on past, slammed Tina into the tape deck, and stuck a chicken sandwich into his mouth.

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