Jake heard the words but they didn’t sink in. Did squashed nose just say that HE had to kill the Russian?
“I can’t kill anyone, I’m just a kid, I can’t do it, I won’t do it!”
For the first time, the Quiet Man walked forward very slowly and sat on the floor beside Jake. Even though Jake was on a chair and Quiet man was on the floor, he was at the same height as Jake.
This guy really was enormous!
He spoke quietly but precisely.
“Yes you can Jake and yes you will, you see the alternative is just too nasty to contemplate. We mentioned about your Dad didn’t we, well that’s quite easy; he will be shot in both knees at close range. He won’t die from this, oh no, he’ll probably pass out with the pain but he won’t die. His knees will explode as the bullets hit them, no amount of surgery will be able to save his legs, they will have to be amputated from above the knee. He’ll be a cripple for the rest of his life your Mum will have to attend to his every need, that’s if she’s able to what with only having one hand!”
Jake was terrified, Quiet Man spoke with such conviction that Jake believed every word he said.
Squashed Nose produced a half bottle whiskey from his inside pocket.
“Here Jake take a swig of this, help you calm yourself then we’ll crack on with the plan”
Jake took the bottle, removed the screw top and gulped down a large mouthful. It had the desired effect; he took a deep breath and softly said “OK”.
Quiet Man stood up and resumed his place at the back of the arches.
Squashed Nose continued.
“Ok, where were we? Oh yes, you’re gonna kill the Russian. We know you’ve never done anything like this before Jake but it’s easy, you’ve been to the Fair right Jake?”
“Well you’ve obviously shot an air rifle then, you know at ducks or tin cans, well it’s exactly the same, you point the gun at the target and fire”
Karate Kid took something out of his pocket and gave it to Squashed Nose. It was a hand gun!
Squashed Nose handled it gently as though it was a fine piece of art.
“This Jake is a Glock 19, my favourite hand gun. Did you know that it’s also the choice of most of the American Police? It takes 9 millimetre bullets Jake, the same as the old Luger from the Second World War. But do you know what I really like about this gun Jake?”
“It’s so fucking easy to use, you just point it and shoot, this one holds fifteen rounds, so you can shoot 15 fucking times, even for you Jake that’s a walk in the park. Fifteen rounds will take you twenty seconds; imagine how much damage you can do in twenty seconds Jake. You haven’t got to worry about cocking it or safety catches, just point and shoot over and over again”
He handed Jake the gun.
Jake was surprised how light it was, he’d always thought they were supposed to be quite heavy.
Squashed Nose almost read his mind.
“Light isn’t it Jake, that’s another thing I like about the Glock, weighs only five hundred grams Jake, bit heavier when fully loaded but still lighter than most, point it at me Jake and pull the trigger go on give it a go!”
Reluctantly Jake pointed the gun at Squashed Nose and squeezed the trigger, it clicked.
“You see Jake, easy peasy, you’re a natural!”
Squashed Nose took the gun from Jake and handed it back to Karate Kid.
“Ok Jake that’s enough for today, you’ll meet us here again tomorrow night an hour before you start work, we’ll go through the rest of the plan then. Understand?”
“Yes I understand”
“Now before you go, my friend would like to have a final word”
The Quiet man walked forward and stood very close next to Jake. He was a good ten inches taller and Jake had to strain his neck to look up to him. Once again he spoke quietly but firmly and his words had a “matter of fact” tone to them.
“Jake, don’t think about running or talking to anyone about this, for the next twenty four hours your house will be watched, your family followed wherever they go, one slip up Jake and I’ll be very annoyed and when I get annoyed I tend to go a bit crazy. So you’ll be a good boy won’t you Jake?”
Jake once again was terrified by this guy, the other two he seemed to be able to deal with but Quiet Man was something different, he had an “aura” about him that just said “dangerous”.
“I’ll be a good boy!”
Squashed nose threw over an envelope and Jake caught it.
“Another two grand Jake as promised, more after the job’s done!”
Jake walked out of the railway arch, it was dark now and cold, he felt as though someone had just punched him in the stomach, he ached and felt sick. He ran home hoping to make it in time before he made a mess in his trousers!