Wednesday, 5 October 2011
SCOUSE GRIT by Luca Veste
Luca's back with...
Shooter lit his fourth ciggy of the hour. He’d just finished telling me how he got the name Shooter when the phone had started ringing and we had got ready to go to the house. The voice on the other end of the phone had told us to sit tight though. Which meant we were still stuck in the fuckin’ van, arses numb, bored shitless and damn tired. Stared at the house, completely dark. No one awake in there probably. All nice and cosy in warm beds. Fuckers. Hoped it wouldn’t be called off, I was growin’ more pissed off with them by the minute.
I wanted to smoke, but I’d given up the week before, so I unwrapped a piece of some nicorette gum and started chewing. Tasted like someone had ground up tobacco and mixed it with sugar. Fuckin’ horrible man.
“Why don’t ya ‘ave a proper smoke kid, ‘stead of chewin’ on that shit. You givin’ up again ya puff?” Shooter laughs to himself a little.
“I’m thinkin’ of me health aren’t I Shooter. Wanna be around when me kids are older.” I replied, feelin’ good about meself in the process.
Shooter laughed a little harder. Kinda pissed me off a bit, but I didn’t dare let that show. I’ve heard stories about Shooter’s temper. Rumour is, he once bit someones nose clean off, but I wasn’t sure if that actually happened. How do you bite a nose off, isn’t there a bone and stuff in it? Anyway, I wasn’t takin’ any chances. I like my nose where it is.
“Look kid.” Shooter says once he’s stopped laughin’. “They say it takes 10 years off yer life, well, the way I look at it, who the fuck wants to live ‘til der 80 anyway? Sat in some shitty nursin’ ‘ome in yer own piss and shit. Not fer me kid. Rather not worry bout that.”
He had me on that one I suppose. Still, I’m shit scared of dying young. And these days sixty is too young in my eyes. That’d mean I was almost halfway through me life now and that’s just shite. Shooter is a lot closer to sixty than me, must be fifty odd by now. Wasn’t about to ask him how old he was though.
“Yeah, you’re probably right. But still, the missus doesn’t like it, won’t let me smoke round the baby so seemed like the perfect time to do it, ya know?” I says. “Fuckin’ hard though, won’t lie to ya.”
It went silent for a while, checked the time again. It’d be getting light soon. Didn’t look like we’d be doin’ anythin’ tonight. Shooter had finished smokin’ by now and was staring at the house through the windshield.
“Can’t we stick the radio on or somethin’ Shooter, fuckin’ bored sat here.”
“Nah kid. Don’t want to bring attention to ourselves do we? Only shite on at this time anyway.”
“Well, I need somethin’ to keep me awake. I’m knackered and all we’re doin’ is sittin’ here”
“Phone’ll be ringin’ any minute kid. Just sit tight and don’t worry about it.”
I snorted to meself and tried not to think about me bed at home. Could be laid out next to our Shell by now, instead of sat ‘ere. Mind you, the new baby keeps me up at night anyways, so not like I’d be gettin’ sleep anyhow probably.
“How many kids did you say you had Shooter?” I says, tryin’ to get a conversation started.
“Four kids. Nine grandkids an’ all.”
“Bet dey keep you feelin’ young eh”
“You think I’m old kid, think I’m too old to being doin’ this or somethin’?”
I gulped. I mean actually gulped. I never realised that was an actual thing people did. But the way Shooter had asked that question, made me more scared than if he’d taken the 10 inch knife I knew he kept in his old black leather jacket and put it to my throat. That’s how quickly Shooter can turn. Damn.
“No Shooter, course not man. Just sayin’ ya know…ya got nine grandkids, good for the health and that.”
“Relax kid, I’m just jokin’ with ya. They keep me young yeah, but this job keeps me younger ya know. Even with young ‘uns like you comin’ on board all the time, I’m still the man Connolly comes to if he needs somethin’ doin’ right. I’m fifty-five this year an’ I feel less than forty. I smoke forty a day an’ can still outrun the bizzies anytime I want. I carry a knife I’ve not ‘ad to use in a long time and a baseball bat that’s just for show. People we deal with, know me face and Lived ‘round Speke me whole life an’ worked for Connolly for most of it. Make enough money to get by quite nicely, probably even buy a nice ‘ouse out Formby way. But I’ll never leave me roots. Keeps me sane livin’ ‘round ‘ere. Gotta nice 3 bed ‘ouse, a missus who cooks me tea every day and me kids all five minutes walk away. So, fifty-five this year…reckon I can do another five years of this shit and retire with enough dough to enjoy meself fer a few more years. Alls good kid. Alls good.”
The phone rang again then. Finally time to go to work. We got out the van, took the bats out from underneath the seats we were sittin’ on and walked to the house.
Similar to some other book reviewers/bloggers, I'm a frustrated writer at heart. Working on a full length novel featuring the character 'Shooter' amongst others... My blog is here (http://guiltyconscienceblog.blogspot.com) reviews, interviews and other stuff. I'm a mature student studying Criminology and Psychology. From Liverpool and The Wirral, half Italian (hence the name) married and with two children...both girls.