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The Gormandizer

Chester Clock and Bridge

The famous clock and bridge in Chester that features in The Sound of Sirens

 

The Gormandizer

 

 

The killer woke early, and breakfasted well. Busy day ahead. Bacon, eggs, toast and coffee. Dismantled and cleaned the weapon. Clicked it together, took a shower. Backed the car out of the garage, and headed for town

 

Always arrive early, a mantra that always served well. Drove past the bank. No parking spaces. Round the block, and again, and again. Finally, a free space, immediately opposite. The perfect spot. Slip neatly in, before it’s nabbed. Engine off, relax, there is no hurry, pay at the meter. One hour ticket, plenty of time. Value for money.

 

Buzz the window half way own. Balmy air drifts through the cabin. Glance back at the Bank. People coming and going about their daily business. Three in, two out, two in, four out. Commerce in action. Normal bank in normal town.

 

Reach into the footwell, feel into the bag. Slip the weapon out and caress it on the lap. Smooth and powerful, sleek, feminine, and deadly, Smith & Wesson .45 made in Springfield, Massachusetts. American engineering. Solidly reliable, tried and tested. Screw on the silencer, push, twist and click. Easy-peasy. Not silent, but nor will it sound like a rifle shot.

 

Raise the pistol and balance it on the rim of the half open window. Slight adjustment. Buzz down, buzz up, spot on. Line up the weapon on the doorway. No one on the path, quiet day at the bank. Movement inside, people are coming out. A tall guy flanked by two attractive young women. A good looking guy at that, such a pity, such a waste.

 

Target approaching, down the steps, laughing and joking in the sunshine. Happy day in happy town. Squeeze the trigger. Gentle yet firm. It has to be gentle and firm. No jerky movement, no rush. Gentle, yet unalterable. No second thoughts. Headshot. Always a headshot. Headshots are fatal 80% of the time.

 

Phut! One gone.

Always fire twice.

Never rely on a single shot.

Phut!

Two gone.

Target down.

Women screaming, blood on the steps, blood on the women, blood on the mind.

 

Start the car, ease from the parking space. Pandemonium in the corner of the eye. Don’t speed, don’t dawdle, don’t draw attention. People are running towards the path to the bank, as the killer is driving away, oblivious to the commotion.

The killer is hungry. Murder is a hungry business, a greedy business. Time for home. Time for lunch.

 

Spaghetti Bolognese left over from yesterday. Always make far more than necessary. You never know when hunger might strike.

A nice morning’s work, a profitable morning, a satisfying morning.

Doorbell blasts through the house.

‘Damn!’

A decent lunch interrupted.

Go to the door, pull it open.

Two guys standing there, the long and short, dopey and the sucker.

Pound to a penny the sucker's the boss.

Sucker speaks.

Right again.

 

‘Mrs Gorman?’

‘Yes.’

‘I’m Inspector Randall, this is PC Hurst.’

 

Lanky nods, and leers. Lanky leers for a living.

 

‘No problem is there? I haven’t failed to pay my taxes, have I?’

‘There’s been an incident in town, ma'am.’

‘An incident? What kind of incident?’

‘It’s your husband, ma'am, I’m afraid he’s been shot.’

‘Shot! What! How is he?’

‘I’m sorry to tell you, ma'am, he’s dead.'

'Dead?!'

'Yes, we’ll need you to identify the body.’

Grasp the doorframe, breath heavily, colour drains from the face. A tear appears and rolls down the cheek.

It’s a talent.

Feigns unsteadyness. Pulls out the embroidery. Sniffs and snivels. Eyes water.

'Will you be all right, ma'am?'

Sniffs again, goes to speak, but says nothing. 

‘We’ll send a female officer for you this afternoon ma'am, at 2 o’clock.’

Nod appreciatively, retreat inside, close the door.

Watch the car cruise down the street.

Peace and quiet.

Return to the meal.

Still warm, identifying corpses is a hungry business, a greedy business, best to top up.

 

The sound of the letterbox reverberates through the house.

Clang and then clang again.

It is the weekly freebie newspaper.

Excellent.

The killer is waiting for the freebie paper, and especially page twenty-eight.

It's always on page twenty-eight.

Spread the paper beside the food, find the column, scan down.

 

No, no, no, and no.

Yes!

Perfect. Could hardly be better.

Successful businessman enjoys shopping in New York and sailing in Caribbean seeks an attractive women 28-35 to share the finer things in life.

 

Just perfect. Aged 28-35. 

Almost perfect.

Slightly outside the range, but no one would ever know.

 

‘Come in number six,’ the killer whispers, as she loads the dishwasher.

Musn’t be greedy must we, we’ll stop at six, but didn’t we promise that after number five?

 

Mustn’t be greedy!

But why not?

Greed is good, so saith the Michael Douglas character in Wall Street, and he was right.

Greed is good.

Can you have too much good food, too much fine wine, too much money, too much power, too much sex?

Of course not.

Greed really is good.

Good for the soul.

 

She thought back to her childhood.

Her father would chastise her for eating too many chocolates.

‘You mustn’t be greedy,’ he’d say. ‘You don’t want to be a greedy-guts.’

 

But I do, you see, because I adore it.

 

She scans the advertisement one more time.

‘Prepare to be gormandized,’ she whispers, as she smiles to herself, and lifts the phone.  

 

© TrackerDog Media 2013