I’m loitering on the corner of Glan Morfa and Brenig Lane, just kind of minding my own business, when a gruff voice addresses me from behind.
“Smith. The very man I’ve been looking for.”
I turn and find Dirty Barry’s fat, gross face leering at me. Shit. This is all I need. “What seems to be the trouble, officer?”
He pulls open his lapel an inch, flashing the butt of a forty-four nestled in a shoulder holster. “Let’s you and me take a walk.”
Someone once asked why they call him Dirty Barry, and he only laughed. In truth, it must have been a rhetorical question – either that or the dude who posed it had no nose. Dirty Barry’s ripe odour is enough to make you gag when he gets up close and personal. The son of a bitch hates his wife, so he works every minute of overtime he can get his grubby little paws on to avoid going home and being around her. Thus never gets chance to take a shower.
As well as dirty in the foul-smelling sense, he’s also dirty in the corruption stakes. He takes pay-offs, hands out beatings. Rumour is he once even killed a guy, acting on orders handed down by Cheesy John, owner of the biggest dairy farm this side of Aberaeron. Judging by the fact he’s carrying a piece, I’m starting to worry I could be next on his list.
Who the fuck did I upset this time? I wrack my brain trying to think who I might have pissed off so much they’d want me dead. There was the pants incident, but that’s all blown over now. I sold out, abandoned my principles and took the money; blew it all on a wild weekend in Colwyn Bay.
Or maybe it’s the esteemed Doctor Roberts, General Practitioner and local bigwig; he’s made it all too clear he’s not happy with me ever since I wrote that article exposing his liking for Nazi fetishism. He’s certainly got the motive, plus the cash to stump up for a contract killing. But I made it more than obvious to Roberts that if anything happens to me, the beaver pics I have of his wife will get splashed all over the internet from here to Merthyr Tydfil. Call it an insurance policy.
Surely Roberts wouldn’t be this stupid? I guess I’m about to find out. Dirty Barry is jabbing me in the back with the muzzle of his gun and frogmarching me toward a dark alley, where I assume he’s planning to do the deed.
But there’s one thing Dirty Barry hasn’t counted on. See, this game is all about the numbers; if you don’t add up the numbers, then your number might just be up. Dirty Barry may have a forty-four, but I’m packing a thirty-eight, and three plus eight beats four plus four, any day of the week.
I perform a spin kick I learned from watching Monkey Magic, knocking Barry’s weapon from his hand. I draw down on him. I’m now holding all the aces. “On your knees, pig. Start talking. Who paid you to whack me?”
“Go fuck yourself,” Barry sneers.
I kick him in the ghoulies, a medium-weight hoof to the pods, and he crumples like an empty pack of cheese and onion.
“It was Mrs Roberts,” he gasps between distressed intakes of breath.
Mrs Roberts? Now there’s a turn up for the books. Not the evil doctor, but his nympho wife, who once spread her legs for my camera, one rainy afternoon in May. She knows I still have the pictures, and she knows damn well they’ll turn up in highly public places if the Roberts’ make a move against me. What the hell is she playing at?
The plot thickens. Guess I better go see Mrs Roberts and find out why the tempestuous bitch is trying to kill me.