Friday, 22 May 2009



It hadn't gone to plan.

Terry looked at his brother Gerard who was sprawled on the floor with bits spilling out and looking like a kicked over rubbish bin. His face got paler as the floor got redder.

Gerard coughed and his lips went whore red. 'We fucked up,' he wheezed.

Terry nodded, his eyes were wet with tears. The clerks were safe behind their protective glass but keeping their heads down regardless. The customers were playing dead. The filth would be on their way and Gerard was bleeding out. To say they had 'fucked up' was an understatement.

As usual it had been big brother Gerard's idea. He was tired of being poor and there were fuck all jobs about, well ones they didn't mind doing. Gerard had laid down the rule that they wouldn't clean up for no one, leave that shit for the Poles. Neither had worked in years. And when they had worked it had been on building sites. Gerard's hatred for being told what to do had gotten them sacked from each and every one.

Gerard wanted the best things in life but didn't want to work or wait for them. It was that which had fuelled all of this. Gerard was tired of everything passing him by. The cars going by that he could never drive unless he stole them. The good-looking women passing him by that he could never touch unless it was non-consensual. Mainly it was life passing him by and life was going faster than any of the cars or the women.

Terry flashed a glance at the door. Just the normal gathering of filth out the front. The boys in blue that packed would be along in shy time. Terry wiped at his brow, not knowing what to do. His brother was dying at his feet. And it was he himself that had blasted that hole in him.

Terry had been positive that Gerard was going to put a bullet in that woman's head as he had tried to use her as leverage in convincing the manager to open up the door so that they could get into the back and gain access to the money. Terry didn't want anybody to die. He hadn't even wanted to do this. This was big-time, they were small-time. And so he had shot his brother in the gut with the sawed off.

Terry rubbed at his baby-face as he counted the years inside that he was racking up. He had done a small stretch before for burglary. That had been bad enough, three months. He'd barely gotten out with his arse in-tact and it wasn't from a lack of trying from the rapists on 'B' block. He'd be in for more than a ten-stretch for this attempted armed robbery. He wouldn't survive that.

Flashes of memories assaulted him like a back-alley beating. His Gran telling all her friends how dainty he looked when he had been around her flat as a boy. Other people had remarked on his feminine looks, a design of the face that was positively girly one camp bastard had cheekily remarked.

Gerard looked at him, reading his mind like some brothers can, he pleaded,
'Come with me, you know you won't get through a long stretch.' He coughed some more. His lips blowing red bubbles like a baby finding out what fun spit can be.

Terry's eyes went to stone. Selfish fucker as always. Couldn't do anything alone, always got to take little brother along for the ride no matter how many times the ride crashed. And this time he wanted him to trundle into death with him.

Terry's Adam's Apple was bobbing up and down in his throat. Terry dropped the sawed-off. He bent and picked up the revolver that Gerard had been brandishing. Prison would ruin him. He'd be a pretty boy bank-robber that would end up being passed about the bandits as a party favour.

He cocked the revolver and strode to the door. It was just the flat-foots malingering outside keeping the crowds back until the serious brigade turned up with the automatic weapons and their eyes hiding behind cross-hairs.

Terry opened the door, pointed the gun out and fired three shots at the nearest officer. One slug got the officer in the leg, one got lost in his chest and a third disappeared through his cheek.

Terry closed the door. Tossed the gun and lay down on the floor to a chorus of screams of dismay from both inside and outside the bank. He lay there waiting to be arrested. In prison they respected cop-killers. He wouldn't be sodomised. He would be put upon a pedestal rather than bent over one.

Terry didn't hear the final crack of thunder. The result of which tore away half his face. There was a clunk as Gerard dropped the sawed-off that he had managed to grab whilst his brother was blasting away. Both shells were spent.

Gerard smiled and breathed last. His brother would be his companion into the unknown after all.

Lee Hughes lives and works on the Isle of Man with his wife and two fish. He is currently putting the finishing touches to his first novel. His short fiction is to appear in the upcoming Cern Zoo: Nemonymous 9 by Megazanthus Press. Not to mention regular spots on TKnC.


  1. Excellent story, Lee. Liked that one a lot - even though I'm one of said filth (albeit ex), I felt myself sympathising with the protagonist.

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  3. You hit the target with that one, Lee.