“Police Ko” by Bradford Middleton
Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays.
This week, Bradford Middleton is in the pot business in Brighton.
by Bradford Middleton
Kemptown, Brighton, UK
Jack had been living the good life for a long while but still hadn’t made it out of the day-to-day dealings his position demanded of him. It may not have seemed like a good life to some, but being of his kind in this town—the South Coast’s hedonistic destination of choice—and with an abundance of full-time crazies regularly knocking at his door or making his phone beep, it was a place he felt like a king. Whenever he entered one of his neighborhood bars he heard his name whispered with a reverence usually reserved for the retired pop star who lived nearby. He was the man involved in every weed deal within a three mile area; he was the main man, the dealer, and it was his life.
It had been a regular Tuesday for Jack and people had come and gone at regular intervals. Most had stayed to at least share a joint with him, and if it hadn’t been for the huge quantity of coffee he had drunk he would have been a little bit drowsy, if not pretty stoned. He only sold good gear but his habit of smoking lots of it everyday meant he had a ridiculously high tolerance, even for his own stuff. As with most Tuesdays, his last visitor—at least the one who came every week at the same time and hung out for a while—was Dolores. She was an attractive, red-headed, middle-aged woman with a body to die for; a nice firm body that just cried out to be touched. Jack had got lucky a few times and he never objected when she demanded, claiming to be too stoned to move, to spend the night. There were occasionally late night callers but it was the depths of winter out there and Jack kind of hoped that the weather would put off any possible interruptions to this visit. Whatever it was between Jack and Dolores was definitely mutual, and it was one of the few moments of his otherwise chaotic life that he looked forward too.
Dolores, as always, arrived at ten p.m. on her way home from her part-time job at the supermarket, and as usual she had changed from her uniform into more casual attire. They sat and listened to music, all manner of weird material from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry to Scottish folk music to Sun Ra and beyond to the stars, as they took turns rolling joint, after joint, after joint. They were all smoked out and around one a.m. they finally decided to just curl up on the sofa and sleep there.
The night passed without incident, and Jack was deep in the middle of a great night’s sleep when something caught his ear. Something worrying perhaps, something that sounded like it was intended for him, but what could it be? Then it all became apparent, immediately and somewhat terrifyingly apparent.
Jack’s sofa sat in the middle of his living room and the room was full of bags of weed—huge, beyond any pot heads’ wildest dreams kind of huge, and not much else. Except now his door had caved in and the room was full of armed police dressed in full riot gear. As soon as Jack realized, through his haze of narcotic indulgence, what had happened, he panicked. And that, as he was to discover, was the worst thing he could do. Pushing himself up on the sofa, he suddenly looked down to see a red light illuminate his chest. The next thing he felt was something of indescribable pain, a single bullet straight into his chest, piercing his heart en route. He died instantly and Dolores began screaming.
“What have you done?” she screamed as a marksman caught her in his view finder and delivered another fatal blow. The two bodies collapsed on each other and blood poured from their wounds.
“Get that scum out of here,” the busiest policeman in town announced to one of his minions; Phil Murray was head of the town’s police narcotics department and he’d finally got his man, after years of tracking, watching, bribing, and cajoling. At last he could tell his boss some good news, at last he had got Jack off the streets.
The next day Jack missed a few deliveries, and by lunchtime the junkies were beginning to jig with addiction and the pot crowd had been scared off by the police line. It was time to look for someone new.
BRADFORD MIDDLETON lives in Brighton on England’s south-coast having come of age in the depths of south-east London. He began writing at the age of 36 and now has over 200 unique publications by a whole host of different websites/ magazines/ small presses. His debut chapbook was published last year by Crisis Chronicles Press and his new one was recently published by Holy & Intoxicated Press. He also has a novel out through New Pulp Press entitled Dive which no one has read because they fear it will send them mad. He occasionally tweets @beatnikbraduk.
Would you like to submit a story to the Mondays Are Murder series? Here are the guidelines:
—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should be set in a distinct location of any neighborhood in any city, anywhere in the world, but it should be a story that could only be set in the neighborhood you chose.
—Include the neighborhood, city, state, and country next to your byline.
—Your story should be Noir. What is Noir? We’ll know it when we see it.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—Accepted submissions are typically published 6–8 months after their notification date and will be edited for cohesion and to conform to our house style.
—E-mail your submission to [email protected]. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
Posted: Dec 12, 2016