Sunday, 17 July 2011

A SHORT BREAK by Keith Gingell

Welcome back to TK'n'C regular, Keith Gingell with the masterful...

A Short Break

Another day by the pool. Gets a bit boring sometimes, but I got to admit this Tenerife winter sun’s pretty fucking handsome. I mean, 24 degrees in February: can’t be bad. I been here a week now, I go back the day after tomorrow. Quite liked it really. Might inquire about getting a drum down here, but then again, that’d be pushing it a bit.

I did me homework before coming here; sussed things out, like. I thought Tenerife was a good idea, take a cheap week self-catering: be a tourist on a budget – blend in. Flying out of Manchester was a nice touch, I thought.

It’s worked out pretty well. Better than I expected. I hooked up with a bit of tit called Karen, from Salford. She must be about twenty years younger than me, but that didn’t seem to bother her. Not really my type, but it gave us both something to do. All she wanted was cock for a week, and I needed to pass the time. I’m no fucking chef, and what she likes to eat ain’t on sale in Tescos, so we’ve been dining out every night.

She’s a bit curious, when we were in bed she kept asking me how I got me scars. I told her I was in a car accident, but then she saw this little star shaped one just under my right nipple. ‘What’s that, chuck?’ she said.

‘Got shot by some bloke called Dirty Barry from Bermondsey,’ I told her.

She just laughed. ‘Nah you didn’t. You’re not as tough as you look.’ Then she licked it. ‘All better,’ she says. I tell yer, there's nothing like the truth when you don’t want someone to believe yer.

We had some nice evenings, the food’s pretty good round here. So are the bars. One night was bit shitty though. Some fucking monkey-face from Liverpool, pissed-up on euro-a-pint San Miguel tried to wind me up. Kept coming up asking Karen why she was with some old Cockney. She can handle herself, I have to say that. I thought she was going to bottle him. I managed to settle things down though. I bought him a couple of beers, we were best mates after that. He even came and sat at our table. While he was there, I clocked his wrist band. He was staying at a hotel just around the corner from ours.

‘I dunno how you stayed so calm,’ Karen said after we left the bar.

‘He’s just had a few too many. Nothing to get worried about gal. Getting angry don’t solve nothing,’ I told her. Funny thing is, a couple of days later, when Karen was out shopping with her mates, she saw the scouser hobbling around on crutches. She said his face looked like he’d run into a wall.

‘Prob’ly fell down stairs,’ I said.

Karen’s with a different tour company to me, so she went home this morning. I give her a good farewelling last night. She wants to meet up when I get back. No fucking chance. Her leaving early was very handy. Tomorrow, I got things to do: no need for excuses.


I’m on this little green and white island-hopper bouncing around in the air over Lanzarote before it comes into land. It’s the early morning flight out of Tenerife. I booked a return trip the day after I arrived: paid cash. Mostly, it’s full of Spanish locals doing business, but there’s this English couple in front of me going on about how beautiful the volcanoes are. Fuck the volcanoes, I’m thinking.

I don’t have any luggage and there’s no passport controls, so once we’re on the ground, it don’t take long before I’m outside getting into a maroon and white Merc. I ask the taxi-driver to take me Costa Teguise. Twenty minutes later, I’m standing outside a hotel opposite the Las Cucharas shopping centre. It’s still early, but the sun’s bright and I need my shades. Most of the shops are shut. I lean against a wall and check the map I Googled last week. I know where I need to go.

A ten minute stroll up Calle de las Acacias takes me to where I want to be, a little place called Bar Escondrijo. It’s closed, but the doors are open and the tables and chairs are outside. I can hear the bloke I’ve come to see inside mopping the floor. I sit at a table near the doors, in the shade of some sort of palm tree, and wait.

It takes a few minutes before the geezer inside sees me. ‘We’re closed mate,’ he shouts.

I look at him, but he don’t recognise me. ‘What? Even for Jesse James?’ The mopping stops.

Bob-the-knob-Swales comes over to the table, still with his mop in his mitt. He’s got on this black T-shirt with “DILLIGAF” written in white across his tits. The look on his boat says he does. He’s put on a lot of weight. He stands there for nearly a minute, scratching his shaved skull. ‘Long time no see, Jess,’ He says.

‘You don’t look very happy to see me, Bob.’

‘Yeah, well, it’s bit of a shock, innit?’

‘Don’t worry, I’m just having a bit of a break. Thought I’d come and see yer while I’m here. See how business is.’

‘It’s alright. Yeah. Bit quiet, but I’m getting along alright.’

‘That’s good, Bob.’

‘You staying on the island?’

‘Yeah, the hotel down the road. Flew in last night.’

‘You’re out early.’

‘You know me, Bob. Always was an early riser. Yer gonna get me a drink?’

‘Yeah, right. You’d better come inside. If the punters see you sitting there they’ll think I’m open.’

I sit by the bar and look around. ‘Nice place you bought with Jack Petit’s cash.’

Bob nearly drops the bottle of Dorada he’s pouring out for me. ‘You still working for him?’

‘Nah, nah.’ I shake me head. I smile to make it look more kosher. ‘I got out. I started on me own, I'm legit now. He didn’t like it, but he couldn't do much about it. I know too much.’

Bob blows out his breath, like a ton weight's been lifted off him. ‘So, you’re just here on holiday then?’

‘Yeah, that’s what I said, didn’t I? Thought I’d have a look round. Take a leaf out of your book. You know, set something up here. Also, I wanted to give you a word of warning.’


‘Word’s out, Jack’s getting impatient for his money. You know he set up five other blokes here and on Tenerife. Apparently, three of ‘em are behind. I hope one’s not you. I wouldn’t want to see an old mate get hurt.’

‘Things have been a bit slack, Jess, but I’m gonna send him something as soon as I can. If you see him when you get back, tell him that won’t yer.’

‘Yeah, I understand. I’ll see what I can do. Anything for a mate.’

‘Thanks Jess, that’s real good of you.’

‘Can I use your Bog? I need a tom-tit.’

‘Yes mate. Door’s on the right.’

I go inside and hang about for a while, then flush the toilet. I yell through the closed door. ‘Bob, come here, the fucking bog’s blocked, there’s water every-fucking-where.’

I hear him outside. ‘Fucking tourists. They never read the signs. They’re always flushing paper down the bowl.’

Bob pushes the door open; I’m standing behind it. As he comes in I grab him by his fat neck and slam his face against the tiles, a couple break and bits of ‘em stick in his skin and into one of his eyes. He goes down. I push his head over the toilet bowl and before he comes round and starts to struggle, I have the ceramic knife I brought especially for this occasion sticking in his jugular. I hold him while he bleeds out down the toilet. Sounds like somebody’s having a long piss. Not a drop goes on the floor. Even though I say it myself, it’s very neat job.

Just to convince the other fuckers on the islands that Jack Petit really does want his money, I get a bottle of Bacardi 151 from behind the bar and pour it all over Bob-the-knob's head. Using his lighter, I set fire to him. I watch to make sure the fire don’t get out of control. Takes ten minutes for Bob to burn out. When he’s done, he looks like a suckling pig – all he needs is an apple in his fucking face.

I close the bog door and stroll out the bar. It’s quarter to nine in the morning, there’s no one about. By three, I'll be just another tourist by the pool in Tenerife and tomorrow afternoon I’ll be on a train to Euston.

BIO:I have been writing fiction for about five years, firstly as a hobby, but now I am getting serious about it. I have stories published in Volumes 3 and 4 of Radgepacket and one in the, newly released, Volume 5. I also have a couple of stories on the Radgepacket website.


  1. Jesse's a well-rounded psycho, with a dream job to boot - killing in the sun!

    'Nice' work, Keith.

  2. Excellent Keith.

    Although, as a Scouser I should be offended, haha!

    Well done man, great story.

  3. Decent story. Good characterisation.

  4. Second the kudos on characterization -- like the whole first part with the girl in it, who doesn't even figure in the story, really, but hey, as they say, there's always a girl in the picture. Great tone, great detail, no waste. Hat's off.

  5. Thank you everybody for reading this. I am very pleased it was so well recieved. Special thanks to Lilly for posting it.