Vincent Mitchell returns in this follow-up to Retribution...
I’d gotten a brief text message telling me that the episode in The Grey Mare in Bowden, involving Ralph Perkins, had been cleaned up without a hitch. The landlord, George, had assured the ‘team’ that both he and his regulars had seen nothing. Perkins’s girlfriend, whore, prossie, whatever you want to call her, had been picked up soon after she’d left the pub and advised, with a decent cash incentive, to keep her mouth shut and disappear. It turned out that she wasn’t from the area either, taking the advice, and the money, willingly. If only everything in life was so easy and simple. Maybe we should all be paedophiles, rapists, murderers, prostitutes or just general scrounging low life’s and our lives would be just as simple... but, I’m drifting again.
* * *
I was sat in the vault of The Royal Oak Hotel, a pint of Stella in front of me, reading through the details of Gerald Butterworth, now known as Donald Whitefoot. The information I had received included an in-depth and graphic report on him plus a small collection of photos, one of which was only a couple of days old. There was also a syringe containing anaesthetic. I’d requested this for what I had planned, and just in case of a struggle.
I’d just drained the last of my pint when the front door opened and in he walked. Gerald, Donald, whatever, it didn’t really matter to me anymore what their names were. They were my quarry and I had a job to do. I waited for him to order a drink and made my way to the bar.
“Pint of Stella, please. Oh, sorry mate, have you been served?”
“Huh? Oh, yeah, don’t worry mate. I’m already on,”
“Ok, cheers pal.” I handed over a fiver to the barman and got less change than I’d wished for.
I made my way back over to my seat, sat and watched his every move. He didn’t sit with anyone, although he let on to a couple of older men, probably his kind. I left it for around ten minutes before I got up with my pint and made my way over to where he was sat. In the report I’d received, there was a section about his background, his interests and activities. He’d been a keen runner and was regularly seen jogging round Chorlton Park. As the park wasn’t too far from the local school you can probably work out the times he went jogging.
“Hi, erm sorry to bother you mate but I can’t help but think that I know you from somewhere.” What was that look on his face, concern, guilt?
“No, don’t think so. You’ve just seen me at the bar, maybe that was it.”
“No, no. It was before then. Where do I know you……oh, yeah that’s it. You’re a regular down the park aren’t you?” Alarm, now?
“Yes, I’ve seen you jogging down there. I run there as well. Vinny Mitchell.” I offered my hand. It didn’t matter that I’d given him my name as he wasn’t going to be around to tell anyone.
His face relaxed as he shook my hand. “Donald Whitefoot.”
“Join you?” I pointed at the empty stool at his table. “It’s always better to have a beer with someone, isn’t it?”
He nodded yes and took a drink from his pint.
We chatted for a while: how long he’d lived in the area, age, jobs - that kind of stuff and, oh, what a lying fucker he was!
“Any kids Donald?”
“Erm…yeah. I’ve got two daughters but they live with their mother down south. Don’t really see them that much. It was a messy split, you know?”
Yes I do know, I thought to myself. The man had both sexually and physically abused his daughters from an early age. It was all in his report.
“What about you?”
“Yes, well he died fourteen months and eight days ago, so….not really. But I still have him here.” I pointed to my chest.
“Sorry about that, it must have been hard,”
“You’ll never know. Erm, do you want a beer? I’ve had two so I’m just having a juice or something,”
“Please, yes, a…err a pint of lager thanks. That’d be great,”
We had another five or six drinks together and he was now on the wrong side of sober. All through the conversation I’d been subconsciously touching the syringe in my jacket pocket. I had enough anaesthetic to knock this guy out for fifteen minutes or so, so I had to get him into my car and away pretty quick.
Drunkenly, Donald excused himself. “You’ll have to excuse me. I need the toilet.”
I watched him walk, stagger, back from the toilet and smiled at him.
“Come on Donald, I’ll give you a lift home. Can’t let you walk home like that, there are some bad people out there who’d love to take advantage of you in that state.”
“Hey Vinny, you’re a good mate. Thanks. We’ll have to meet up again…..”
I wasn’t really listening but didn’t stop him going on with himself. Let him enjoy his last minutes, I thought.
We got to the car and I thumbed the key fob to open the central locking. Donald got in and put on his seat belt, unaware that I had taken the syringe out of my pocket. I lowered myself in, turned to him, pushed the needle into his neck and administered the drug. He turned to me, his eyes wide, and was about to say something when the anaesthetic kicked in. His eyelids were getting too heavy for him to keep open and his head fell back onto the headrest.
“Pleasant dreams Donald: they’ll be your last.”
* * *
It was dark and chilly and the country lane was deserted. The rope was tied to the tow-bar on the back of my car and securely round the ankles of Donald: a rope also secured his wrists to his ankles so he couldn’t protect his face. He’d been out for about twenty minutes: the booze probably making the anaesthetic last longer. I kicked him in the ribs and he began to stir.
“Wh…wh…what’s...g...g...goin…on? W…w...where am I? ”
I got back in the car, started the engine and absolutely floored it. I was on a straight stretch for about a mile and tried to keep an eye on him, through the rear view mirror. The darkness was almost absolute but I could just make him out in the slight red hue offered by my back lights. He seemed to be going in a pretty straight line until I started gently swerving the car, making him roll over and over.
I stopped the car about three hundred yards short of a right hand bend and got out, the engine still running. The rope was thirty feet in length so took me roughly fifteen strides to get to him. What greeted me was hideous. Where his nose should have been was just a dark hole, a flap of skin, which must have been the remainder of his nose, stuck to his forehead. The teeth that he had left were plainly visible as his lips had been ripped away by the road as well.
“Ready for some more, you sick fuck?”
A murmur of something, probably a plea of “please don’t” came from him.
“It’s way too late for that, Donald, or should I call you Gerald. You know, it doesn’t really matter what I call you, ‘cos you’re fucked pal. You’re straight on your way to hell.”
I walked back to the car, put it in gear and gunned it. There were three sharp bends ahead of me and I got the car travelling as fast as I could. In the rear view I could see his body being violently thrown from one side of the road to the other. On the last bend there was a chevron sign, warning of a particularly sharp right bend. I’d driven this stretch of road before and knew I could take it at around fifty, but on this occasion I went for it at sixty plus.
I almost lost it as I took the bend but, as I checked the rear view mirror, I could just make out that Gerald had indeed lost it: well half of it. There was still something attached to the rope but I couldn’t tell what it was. I brought the car to a halt, got out and slowly made my way along the rope. As I got to the end I realised that the top half of Gerald must have been somewhere back down the road. All that was left of him were his legs and hips and a mangled mess. Things were beginning to shock me less these days. I walked back to the car, unhooked the rope from the tow-bar, and got back behind the wheel. I took my mobile from my pocket and sent my message.
‘Roadkill. Job done’
I turned the car around and drove past the bottom half of Gerald Butterworth, his legs illuminated by the moon that had now broken through the clouds. It’s not often you see that in the road, I thought to myself. I drove on further, my headlights finding the rest of his body mangled around the chevron sign on the bad bend.
“Only what you deserved.”
At that point, my phone buzzed.
‘We’re on our way.’
* * *
So, what can I say? I’m getting better at this, almost getting to a point where I’m enjoying it. Yes, I’m probably a serial killer, if that’s what you want to call me. I know that, but I’m doing the public a service, a service that the police and the government can’t provide. I’ll be in touch in the near fut…oh, hang on.”
The screen on my mobile lit up, ‘Altrincham, Cheshire.’
“Oh well, work is work and Altrincham’s not too far away. Well, I’ll be in touch as soon as I can. Don’t forget though, I’ve got victims two and three to tell you about and I’m sure you’d love to hear about them, if you can stomach it. But, for the time being, take care: you don’t know who’s out there.”
Born in Manchester, England, but now living in Crieff, Scotland with his wife and two daughters. Wrote some years ago but has recently been inspired to write again by an old friend (Col Bury) and the beauty that surrounds him in Scotland. Always reading - when not entertaining his girls and working - crime and horror…and now writing. Has had numerous pieces of fiction listed on Thrillers, Killers ‘n’ Chillers, A Twist Of Noir and he blogs at davidbarberfiction.blogspot.com/