Thursday, 11 August 2011

Thursday @ 3 - "Upping the Ante"

OK - the last couple of weeks I've been pre-occupied with 'life' in general and DIY in particular, so you've had 'recycled' stories in this 'Thursday@3' slot.

Today, however, I'm striving to get back on track and thanks to writer Adrian Magson, who 'Tweeted' me the opening words by way of inspiration, here's this week's offering! (New readers may benefit from reading through 'A DIRTY JOB' for the initial appearance on these pages of the main character)

Like the earlier story, I've overshot the usual 300-word limit, but again it comes in at exactly 333, so it still fits the criteria - sort of!

So, with Mr Magson's words in italics, here you go! (and comments will be gratefully received if you find yourself disposed so to do!)


This bloke came in and said I was to pick up the van from the warehouse. I swear I didn’t know about no guns.”

Strachan watched the live feed on his phone. The grainy image did not conceal the sweat and tears mingling into random cerise lines coursing down McGarrick’s face. Some of his wounds were a result of the high-speed chase, or rather the culmination of it, through the backstreets of Camden. The rest were what might best be described as ‘inducements’ to talk.

A voice called for him to go back to the beginning. McGarrick’s initial tardiness was rewarded with further ‘encouragement’, described in the guttural sounds emanating from behind his pursed lips.

Strachan’s fist involuntarily clenched in response. McGarrick coughed up more blood and slightly lifted his head, his one good eye staring towards the camera while the other lay sheathed behind the swollen folds of skin that once used to form an eyelid.

“I’ll ‘ave the lot of you,” he stuttered in mock defiance. “Bloody police brutality, that’s what this is!”

Strachan lifted the phone to speak.

“Another hour, then finish it,” he said quietly. He paused, taking one last look at McGarrick, in character to the end, then shut off his phone. Pulling the SIM card out, he ground it under his boot before turning back to rest on the railings of Vauxhall Bridge. He looked like any tourist taking in the view of Thames House, the ‘public’ face of MI5, as he toyed with the phone, then casually let it slip from his fingers and plunge into the murky depths.

The newspaper hoardings were full of yesterday’s assassination in Downing Street and before long they’d be announcing the demise of one of the ringleaders, but the lads in the cells had no idea what they were dealing with; just following orders. Like McGarrick.

Counter intelligence had a way of screwing up people’s lives and not for the first time Strachan wondered just whose side he was actually on.


  1. Wow - I didn't expect this. Nice. Short, sharp and very descriptive. Particularly liked the '...sweat and tears mingling into random cerise lines' and '...swollen folds of skin that once used to form an eyelid.'
    Good stuff, Sue!

  2. This is very mpressive Sue. I loved it. Thanks

  3. I've overshot the usual 300-word limit...

    You talk like that is a bad thing. I can't help but go over the limit. Except this week when I was four words under.

    Great writing!

  4. BB - the weekly word-count being 300 means every word has to count. It's amazing how that forces you to look at different ways of saying the same thing!

    Thanks for looking in and leaving a comment :-)