War Crimes Part 4 – A Far-Right Terrorist Hate Crime

Blown Periphery, Going Postal

This is fiction. Any resemblance to any persons living or dead is coincidental. The events outlined have never to my knowledge occurred.

The legal organisation does not exist outside of this story. There may be others whose activities are just as questionable as this fictional account of one man’s persecution and the terrible, fictional repercussions. Some of the locations are real.

This is dedicated to Thames Valley Police who in 2004, allowed two women to die and badly wounded family members to be denied medical aid after a shooting at a family barbecue. This was because Thames Valley Police conducted a safety assessment that was more about protecting its officers, than members of society the Force was supposed to serve. It took 67 minutes before police officers entered the property and 87 minutes before paramedics were allowed in to treat the casualties.

Source Stewart Payne Daily Telegraph 7th October 2004. Telegraph

For the next few months throughout the winter, Edge spent a great deal of time in the public library conducting research. He had exhausted and largely met a dead end with IHAT. Their ongoing investigation on him was progressing with glacial slowness. He was interviewed again by the Investigation “Pod” and once again refused to make any comment.

“You’re going to have to say something sooner or later, Staff Edge.” He stubbornly maintained silence, saving it for his court appearance, whenever that would be. But it was as though the investigator had read his mind.

“You do realise that you’re not going to have your day in court. It will be a closed hearing, no press, no public. You don’t even have to attend. Whichever way you look at it, you’re fucked.”

So Edge moved his research into the law firm that had initiated the claims against him, The Community Legal Notaries. The organisation had a flashy website and he spent hours trawling through the organisation and its purpose, or rather its Common Purpose. The Community Legal Notaries (CLN) operated under the umbrella of the Human Rights Act and was acting on behalf of “victims” of the Iraq War, Afghanistan, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. What was strikingly absent were any investigations into socialist regimes such as Venezuela, China, Zimbabwe and an unending list of National Socialist failed states. CLN, the website proudly boasted, acts in several cases arising out of the alleged unlawful actions of the UK armed forces in Afghanistan. These cases cover a wide range of issues and are presently being litigated in the Administrative Court. CLN also has cases arising out of the alleged unlawful actions of multinational companies in Africa.”

The organisation boasted that it did these things by actively seeking-out the victims and the oppressed in whichever countries these acts had taken place. The CLN was actively soliciting for “victims” in Iraq and Afghanistan, flying them to the UK, accommodating them in London hotels and charging this to the MoD or more specifically, the English taxpayer.

“Bastards!” Edge said from his corner of the library. An elderly lady doing research into Tarot cards glanced sharply at him from over her computer screen.

“Sorry.”

Edge looked into the history of CLN and found out that the company had been set up in 1999 during the reign of terror by a Mr Ron Gleam a lawyer who specialises in employment and human rights law. Mr Gleam was a darling of the Guardian and the Left and there were many images of him hobnobbing with the Labour Leader, the ubiquitous head of Freedom and La Liberte International. Ron Gleam was also a donor to the Labour Party.

“Naturally,” Edge agreed.

Ron Gleam was an unlikely champion of freedom. He had an owlish face, extremely trendy spectacles with a pink tint, an Armani suit and a ponytail. In the next few days Edged decided on what he was going to do. He made a new will with a local solicitor, who if she was surprised, hid it well. Edge visited the former heroin addict up the lane and had a cup of tea with her.

“I’m going away again,” he told her.

“Oh, how long this time?”

“Permanently.”

She stared at him, “What about your house?”

“It’s all taken care of, in due course.”

“And you want me to look after your cat.”

“I can take him to a refuge.”

“No. I’ve grown rather attached to him. They said their goodbyes, but he couldn’t bear to see the cat’s disapproving stare as it looked into his soul.

“I hope you’re not going to do anything silly, Mr Edge.”

He smiled sadly, “I already have. Bye, Monty. I’ll miss you in my own way.”

*

Around 500 people go missing in the UK every single day. Edge became one of those who chose to. Because he had operated within the darker regions of the deep state, he knew just how much the state despised and distrusted its own citizens. He knew the levels of state surveillance and how it was conducted and more importantly he knew how to avoid it and disappear. He knew the limitations of surveillance cameras and how the state hated the cash economy. Cash gives people freedom. Cash prevents the state from making an individual a non-person.

The Annual Local Area Labour Force Survey, 2001/02, Office for National Statistics noted that by ethnicity, the unemployment rates for males was 20% for Bangladeshi immigrants, 16% for Pakistani, 15% and 14% for Black Africans and Black Caribbean’s respectively. The statistic for indigenous White Males was 5%. What do you think those figures are likely to be now, fifteen years later? The statistic for homelessness was that 37% of those declared homeless were White British and the rate for Bangladeshi males was 1%. You may wonder why the most unproductive sector of society has the lowest homelessness rate by ethnicity.

In a country that professes to care for “Our Boys,” one in four of the homeless are former members of the Armed Forces. Some might speculate that councils and the government are prioritising homing those who offer the least to society at the expense of the most productive and people who have risked their lives and freedom for their country. Some councils give ex-prisoners a higher priority for finding accommodation than former Service personnel. I’m sure there is no correlation, but just remember that the next time your local councillor comes touting for your vote.

He stole three very popular types of Ford cars of the same make and colour from London, Southampton and Birmingham. He changed the number plates and stashed the cars in different southern cities, choosing areas of high immigration that he knew were virtual no-go areas for the police.

That spring, Edge was operating with the absolute basics of kit to support and sustain survival. He maintained personal hygiene by slipping into swimming pools and leisure centres at busy times. He paid particular attention to foot and oral hygiene. Unfortunately he continued to be plagued with cluster headaches and was existing on a steady flow of painkillers. Only codeine-based painkillers seemed to give him respite. In the world of the homeless, the drug takers were the worst, desperate and with no sense of morality. One night, two, driven by desperation tried to rob him. They came to wish they hadn’t. He could slip in and out of various personas simply by changing clothes and walking with a different gait or deportment. On the second week he hit pay dirt outside the City of London offices of Community Legal Notaries. He saw Ron Gleam leave the offices and hail a taxi. Edge had already stolen a bicycle and followed the taxi through the rush hour traffic to Paddington Station. It was exhausting and he alienated a large number of drivers in the 3.5 mile frenetic pedal through London to Paddington Station.

He lost the lawyer in the scrum inside the station but decided to move his area of operations to West London. Five days later he clocked Gleam and followed him to platform 5 for the train to Oxford. He purchased a first-class ticket and got in the same carriage as Gleam, slightly underdressed, much like a wealthy musician who didn’t care. Gleam changed at Twyford and he didn’t notice the scruffy individual who walked with the confidence of a man who deserved to travel first class to Henley-on-Thames. It was pointless trying to follow Gleam from the station, but Edge now knew the type of Bentley that Gleam drove. He moved very much upmarket in his area of operations, and he would have to work very hard to remain unnoticed.

Once Edge had traced Gleam to his large, walled and gated house that backed onto the Thames, he conducted a thorough recce of the property, its security and the area. Edge concluded that the best security was offered by the house’s area and exclusivity. Now he knew where Gleam lived. He knew all about his family his associates and fellow travellers. He understood his influence and the protection that the establishment and the deep state provided the lawyer with. He worked out angles, hides, infiltration and exfiltration routes. He timed and recorded the position and angles of the sun. He filled multiple exercise books with notes and tactical maps. That December, Edge retrieved and activated one of his three identities he had constructed in a previous life, because he knew that surveillance over the winter would be impossible. He grew and dyed his hair and beard grey, and rented an apartment in the Algarve for four months. He worked on his fitness and body strength throughout the mellow months of the Portuguese winter. He fished, canoed, ran and swam. By the spring, Edge was tougher than an old saddle, almost as brown. This could have been his golden opportunity of a new life. He had access to money and a simple but satisfying alternative life. Instead he chose retribution and he had slipped seamlessly into acute, mental illness and was tortured by headaches.

*

It was an unseasonably warm and balmy May Bank Holiday, late morning in the Thames Valley. A gentle but firm breeze swayed the willows on the river banks and the water meadows. The matriarchal moorhens were taking their broods up and down and across the river. Their passage was marked by gentle wakes as the fluffy, little birds followed mum like gunboats following a destroyer. The ducks had lost most of their early offspring due to bad parenting and voracious predators. Their second and third broods would fare better.

A keen pair of rowers in a skiff pulled hard up current and nodded to the man on a sit-on lawnmower, who was giving his sloping paddock down to the river its second cut of the year. The man with the tinted glasses and the ponytail, avoided the soft ground near the bank, just up from the boathouse. The mower chugged back up the gentle slope, the driver ducking to avoid the bright green, willow fronds.

The boom of the rifle made the lead oarswoman of the skiff miss her stroke. The flattening .308 round hit the mower driver in the centre of the parietal bone, slightly left of the tied ponytail and exited out of the right eye. Ron Gleam’s skull split open like a melon and brain matter spread up the sloping lawn in a pinkish-grey fan. His body slumped forward and the Yamaha mower assumed a gently turning course, heading back down to the river. The mower tipped into the water and the body pitched into the river, a dark stain moving down-current from the ruined head. The body and accompanying stain rotated and headed inexorably towards the weir. The screaming from the house started a few minutes later.

He moved position immediately after the shot, a slower moving bush against the hedge on the flood meadow. His green coverall purchased from a market stall selling military clothing, was festooned with jute and hessian strips, cut from bags purchased at a garden centre. And just like Just William, his face was streaked with burned cork and slimy mud. The burned cork was aromatic and kept the midges at bay. He munched on some fruit and nut chocolate to help the tablets go down and waited. He had been waiting for days, mainly immobile and moving position at night. Twenty minutes later he heard the sirens.

Here was his chance. By the time Thames Valley Police had conducted their safety assessment and moved in, he could have dumped his rifle, clothes and ammunition in the deepest part of the river and have been in Reading, waiting for a train back to Devon. But his anger was burning out his soul, so he waited. Florescent jackets started to move in the properties the other side of the river. An hour later a fallow deer and calf approached to within twelve feet of where he was hiding, the mother sniffing the air cautiously. Their simple beauty made him screw his eyes shut. He watched the pair sadly, until the helicopter caused them to disappear into the undergrowth, their white tails bobbing insolently.

There were three crew inside the Eurocopter that swept in from the east, its rotor downwash shaking the trees and dappling the surface of the river. It flew slowly north to south above the river, the infra-red camera in the pod under the fuselage scanning the cover in the water meadows. The helicopter was a force multiplier, which was a primary threat. He wouldn’t stand a chance while the helicopter remained over the combat area, because he now considered himself to be at war.

The observer in the left hand seat glanced over the trees and hedges with a pair of powerful binoculars. There was a loud bang from the bottom of the door and his left thigh exploded in a welter of blood and debris. The cockpit was filled with gore and screaming, the pilot snatched on the cyclic and the nose went down as the helicopter clawed for safety behind the houses. The operator in the rear cabin glanced into the scene from hell that was the cockpit.

“Get him straight to hospital!” he yelled at the pilot and had the presence of mind and discipline to attempt to tie a tourniquet fashioned from the strap of his daysack, around the screaming observer’s thigh.

The man in the meadows didn’t bother to watch the retreating helicopter. He was on the move down to the river. He waded into the strong flow, holding the camouflaged rifle above his head, his powerful legs kicking him towards the opposite bank. In five minutes he was in his secondary position, where he could watch the water meadows and most of the westerly bank. He could hear vehicles and movement behind him from the houses, but knew that the threat wouldn’t be from this direction for some time. An hour later he saw the riot van moving off the road behind the hedges. A few minutes later, the four police marksmen and their spotters pushed through the hedge, spread in a line, about ten metres apart. They were wearing dark blue boiler suits, baseball caps and high quality body armour.

He grinned to himself. Obviously they had missed the lesson on why things are seen. Shape, shine, silhouette, spacing, movement pattern and thermal IR signature. He needed to tie as many up as possible. He thought about the humiliation and laughter in the police station, of someone trying to have a piss, the difficulty, the pain and the hand pushing into the back, against the urinal in mid-flow. The first round at these new targets blew off the man’s kneecap second from the right and the second round fired less than a second later hit the marksman third from the left, dead centre of the front ceramic plate of his body armour. The first policeman folded, the second flew backwards as though he was attached to a speeding car. The energy of the disintegrating round spalled upwards, but the ceramic plate dissipated the energy of the flattening round and kept the policeman alive. The purple bruise on the centre of his chest lasted for eight weeks. But one of them was switched on and the cracks of rapidly fired rounds passed dangerously close to his position.

He broke cover and headed for the dense, beech hedge that surrounded a property, wriggling through the thick roots at the base of the hedge. Two more rounds cracked past, merely worryingly close. As he tracked up the hedge, a policeman in a florescent jacket appeared round the corner of the very nice house. He fired from the hip and a chunk of brickwork atomised the brickwork close to the copper’s shoulder. The florescent jacket disappeared back round the corner and he risked a look.

They hadn’t pushed the cordon that far back yet, and behind the blue and white tape closing the road, he saw a film crew hiding behind their van, the camera and sound equipment abandoned in the process of being set up. Coppers were one thing, so-called journalists from the BBC were another. He destroyed the camera with one shot and the windscreen of the van with the second. As he sprinted for the next property, he rammed in a clip on the run.

The adrenalin was surging through his system and he realised he was enjoying himself too much. The leylandii was hard work through to the next property. As he skirted another extremely nice house, a yummy mummy came out of the French doors onto the patio. They both stared at each other and she opened her mouth to scream.

“Ssssshhhhhh,” he said putting a finger to his lips, “Go back inside. There’s a bit of an incident going on.”

She needed no second bidding, scooping the child as she fled indoors. He transited three more properties heading north with the river on his right. He could clearly hear sounds of pursuit coming from behind and sirens and flashing blue lights from the other side of the river. Soon there was the sound of a second helicopter and he was glad to reach the cool shade and the mud under the boat house.

He reached for the air tank, buoyancy compensation device and weight belt from where he had stashed it three nights before. He kitted up, checked the regulator and gently pushed out into the middle of the river. The current caught him and with judicious juggling of the buoyancy setting, he drifted with the current, about four feet below the surface. Sadly, he let Father Thames claim the rifle plus remaining ammunition and re-adjusted buoyancy. The coolness became coldness as he swept on his way towards the sea.

He left the river in the woods south of Medmenham. He stripped off the ghillie suit and the dry suit and placed all of it including the scuba kit in the dry suit, then slipped it back into the river. He had an enormous piss against a tree bole. It hurt. He was wearing lightweight trousers and jacket and put back on his wet boots with a dry pair of socks. By the time he reached the car parked in Marlow, it was as though the entire Thames Valley Police Service had been called-up. He was glad to reach the M4 and headed towards London.

*

Very heavily armed units of the Devon and Cornwall Police raided a property south of Bideford three days later. The cottage was empty, but a police spokeswoman said they were searching for a Mr Mark Edge, a former soldier with a history of violent offences, who was also being investigated for war crimes committed in Iraq, specifically the murder of an unarmed man. They showed the mug shot of Edge taken following his arrest for assault the previous New Year. The split forehead, crudely sutured made him look totally thuggish, like a typical neo-Nazi. Both the BBC and Sky News covered the police statement as lead news item.

“Following additional information from Devon and Cornwall police, Thames Valley Police have announced that the shooting incident at Ruger-on Thames on May 3rd is now being treated as terrorism.

I’d like to thank the police officers at the scene for the heroic and professional way they responded to this incident – as we have seen on a number of occasions in recent years – unfortunately the prominent human rights lawyer, Ron Gleam was murdered with a high velocity rifle. Despite an extensive gun battle, no other members of the public were injured.

My thoughts are with the two officers who have sustained life changing injuries.

As the police have said, this is a timely reminder that the threat from Far Right terrorism in the UK remains severe. The perpetrator is still at large, however, the police, together with the security services, are doing everything they can to protect the public and they already have an enhanced policing plan to keep the public safe, including a crackdown on hate crime on the internet..

It is important we are all alert but not alarmed. Please report anything suspicious to police confidentially on the information hotline, the number is at the bottom of the screen. In an emergency always call 999.

Terrorists who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life will never succeed. This country stands more united than ever and Far Right hatred will never sow division in our society.” (Thanks Quiet Man).

Mr Edge, the spokeswoman went on to say, also had a history of right-wing extremist views and an obsession with the Nazi Party. They came to this conclusion because of the 765 books and magazines found in the property, they came across Das Reich by Max Hastings and Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe in WW2 by Philip Caplan. Mr Edge was extremely dangerous and without morality as he had murdered prominent Lawyer Ron Gleam and shot and maimed two police officers, during a desperate shoot-out. There was speculation that Mr Edge had drowned in the River Thames, although no body had as yet been found.

*

On 25th May, a small, hired sailboat was found adrift, five kilometres off the coast of the Algarve. The boat had been hired by an Englishman for four hours, but by the evening neither the Englishman nor the boat returned to Faro. Three days later a body washed ashore near Huelva in Spain. The local police were called and made a cursory search of the body, where a passport and other documentation was found. They had been protected from the sea in waterproof bags in the man’s pockets. His name was Mark Edge and the British Consulate was informed. A forensic team and representatives of the Police Service flew out to Spain and conducted a thorough autopsy.

It was concluded that the body had been in the water a matter of days and toxicology determined that death had occurred before the body had metabolised the vast amount of alcohol the deceased had drunk immediately prior to death. It was estimated that Mr Edge had consumed the best part of two bottles of wine and a bottle of brandy, as these empty bottles had been found in the abandoned boat. Cause of death was recorded as respiratory and cardiac depression due to excessive alcohol consumption and the shock of entering cold water. DNA samples obtained from his children confirmed that the deceased was Mark Edge. It was impossible to ascertain if the deceased had fallen overboard or had deliberately jumped into the water.

“Interesting to note that this chap was a dead man walking. He had historic damage to the frontal lobe of his brain and evidence of an old bleed.”

“But the bastard drank himself to death,” one of the policemen remarked bitterly, “No justice for Mr Gleam or my maimed colleagues.”

“He would have suffered from severe headaches…”

“Good.”

“And it is possible that the nature of this injury may have affected his reasoning and emotional outlook.”

Almost a year to the day later, that she had accosted Edge in the middle of doing some hedging around his property, the prematurely old lady noticed a flashy car driving up the lane towards her property, the last one on the right. The car stopped and a well-dressed, professional looking woman stepped out. She glanced at the mud disdainfully and walked towards the front door. The old woman opened it before the woman tried to ring the bell, which didn’t work anyway.

“Are you Ms Cynthia Penrith?”

“Yes.”

The woman held up a briefcase, “In which case I have some news that may surprise you. I represent a firm of solicitors in Barnstaple, here is my card. May I come in?”

Well over three hours later, the solicitor had left and the old lady was reading some documents and a letter that had been in an envelope with a wax seal. It was the last will and testament of Mr Mark Edge, together with a letter. Actually it was more like a synopsis of his life, why he did what he had done and why he had left all his worldly goods to an ex-junkie whose name he didn’t even know.

Mr Mark Edge had been well-off in his own right and an estimate put his property at over 250K. The will had been contested unsuccessfully by his ex-wife and the house and savings were for Cynthia to do with as she wished. But it was the last lines that made her dab her eyes.

I didn’t want to take my own life, but if I went into the British Prison System, I would have been conveniently dead in a matter of weeks. If I had killed myself in Britain, I would have been cremated and erased from history. I wanted the police force and judiciary of a foreign country to be involved so that the British State could not delete me, like an old Soviet photograph. To be honest. I just couldn’t stand the headaches any longer.

I have asked to be buried in Sagres, among the cork trees where my spirit can smell the Atlantic. The Portuguese, are still a decent, honourable people and I’m sure they will respect my wishes. The donation to the local church and orphanage will help. If you’re passing, pop up to the cemetery and look me up. Make sure you’ve had a drink. Sometimes people like me are just born in the wrong time.

Use the money wisely, but enjoy it. Don’t waste it all on a bloody cats’ home or spoil Monty. He’s a selfish, furry little shit, but he does like you putting your hand under his chin and rubbing his jowls. It makes him dribble.

My old RSM said that I would make a fuck-up of my life. He was right wasn’t he? Spend the money on you. Have a good rest of your life and stay away from heroin. And for fuck’s sake get some dental implants and do something with your fucking hair.

“Oh God, Monty,” she said to the tabby that had perched his arse on her kitchen table, “He was such a bloody, silly boy.”

She bent forward, trying not to cry on the documents. The cat moved forward and gently head-butted her forehead.

Or there is the alternative ending that Madame Périphérique forced me to write at Ruger point…

He left the river in the woods south of Medmenham. He stripped off the ghillie suit and the dry suit and placed all of it including the scuba kit in the dry suit, then slipped it back into the river. He had an enormous piss against a tree bole. He was wearing lightweight trousers and jacket and put back on his wet boots with a dry pair of socks. By the time he reached the car parked in Marlow, it was as though the entire Thames Valley Police Service had been called-up. He was glad to reach the M4 and headed towards London.

*

In the Headquarters of the Thames Valley Police at Kidlington in Oxford, the task force team were desperately trying to ascertain who would want to murder Ron Gleam with a high velocity hunting rifle, who had the necessary training and the means and who had the motive. With despair the police team had a list of over two hundred suspects. Thirty-seven of them had no satisfactory alibi.

“Wasn’t exactly popular, our Ron, was he?” an acerbic, old-school DI observed, chewing on yet another piece of nicotine gum. He picked up a file and began to thumb through it, “Unless you’re a subscriber to the Guardian. Could it have been the RAF Harrier pilot who killed the newly-married couple, who just happened to be travelling in the back of the Taliban tour bus? Or the Royal Marine who shot the child, (who was actually seventeen), who just happened to be wearing a suicide vest? Or this walking horseman of the apocalypse who shot a totally innocent bomb maker from half-a-mile and monstrously failed to issue a verbal warning.”

“Well I think it is him, Edge. He has form.” A female DI opined, “And what’s wrong with the Guardian?”

“Just one snag. Former Staff Sergeant Edge hasn’t been seen since February last year.”

He headed for the door.

“Where the hell are you going?”

“I’m making a conscious effort to kill myself with a real cigarette, after all this nicotine gum.”

*

On 25th May, a small, hired sailboat was found adrift, five kilometres off the coast of the Algarve. The boat had been hired by an Englishman for four hours, but by the evening neither the Englishman nor the boat returned to Faro. Three days later a money belt and document pouch washed ashore near Huelva in Spain. The local police were called and made a cursory search of the items, where a passport and other documentation was found.

It was early evening and the crickets were revving up to full chorus before the night. The breeze from the sea was cool, blowing away the oppressive afternoon. The man sat down on the bench next to Edge.

“Did they find it?”

The man nodded. He seemed much younger than Edge, but he was slightly older, “I watched the policewoman pick it up from the beach. The documents were soaked, faded but still legible. They had been in a lobster pot for the past couple of weeks, so they looked the part.”

“Will they fall for it?” Edge asked. His face was slanted to one side, as though the left hand side of his face was slipping downhill.

“Don’t know, mate.”

“Thanks for taking the shot for me.”

To the man’s horror and sadness, he saw a lazy tear roll down the slanting face, “No worries. The bastard had nailed me as well. Besides, I’m a better shot than you ever were.”

“Bollocks! What you doing now?”

“I’ve been working for a couple of American firms. Protecting oil workers mostly. Bunch of fucking cowboys. Are you going to get better, Edgie?”

“Physio recons so. The doctors think it was caused, or started when I head-butted that bastard who was shagging Moira.”

“See that fucking temper of yours,” he stood up to leave.

“Come back please. Sometime eh, Morrison?”

“Christmas. Promise. That’s if the fucking Septics haven’t got me killed. You got someone looking after you?”

“Yes, nice lady. Less complicated than British women. More realistic in their outlook.”

“Then make sure you don’t fuck it up this time, Edgie.”

*

Almost eight years to the day that she had accosted Edge in the middle of doing some hedging around his property, the prematurely old lady noticed a flashy car driving up the lane towards her property, the last one on the right. The car stopped and a well-dressed, professional looking woman stepped out. She glanced at the mud disdainfully and walked towards the front door. The old woman opened it before the woman tried to ring the bell, which didn’t work anyway.

“Are you Ms Cynthia Penrith?”

“Yes.”

The woman held up a briefcase, “In which case I have some news that may surprise you. I represent a firm of solicitors in Barnstaple, here is my card. May I come in?”

Well over three hours later, the solicitor had left and the old lady was reading some documents and a letter that had been in an envelope with a wax seal. It was the last will and testament of Mr Mark Edge, together with a letter. Actually it was more like a synopsis of his life, why he did what he had done and why he had left all his worldly goods to an ex-junkie whose name he didn’t even know.

Mr Mark Edge had been well-off in his own right and an estimate put his property at over 250K. The will had been contested unsuccessfully by his ex-wife and the house and savings were for Cynthia to do with as she wished. But it was the last lines that made her dab her eyes.

I didn’t want to take my own life, but if I went into the British Prison System, I would have been conveniently dead in a matter of weeks. If I had killed myself in Britain, I would have been cremated and erased from history. I’ve decided to commit myself to the ocean so that the British State could not delete me, like an old Soviet photograph. To be honest. I just couldn’t stand the headaches any longer.

Use the money wisely, but enjoy it. Don’t waste it all on a bloody cats’ home or spoil Monty. He’s a selfish, furry little shit, but he does like you putting your hand under his chin and rubbing his jowls. It makes him dribble.

My old RSM said that I would make a fuck-up of my life. He was right wasn’t he? Spend the money on you. Have a good rest of your life and stay away from heroin. You should be able to have a good retirement. And for fuck’s sake get some dental implants and do something with your fucking hair.

“Oh God, Monty,” she said to the tabby that had perched his arse on her kitchen table. The cat was older, distinguished with a grey beard and jowls. Now he walked slightly stiffly, but the white scar still ran from his right eye to his nose, “He was such a bloody, silly boy.”

She bent forward, trying not to cry on the documents. The cat moved forward and gently head-butted her forehead.

© Blown Periphery

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