This is a continuation of a short story I started recently. It has some adult themes, if you are feeling a little sensitive. In part one Paige and Mia found some Euros and a gun in a bag of old clothes they’d lifted from outside a charity shop….
‘We need to give it back.’
Paige, who had spent the last thirty minutes walking in a clockwise circle around the perimeter of the arch, stopped. ‘What “it”?’
‘Everything. Like we never touched it.’
Paige looked at the gun, still pointing at her, or so it seemed. ‘Why?’ She knew Mia was right. The money and the gun were linked. Had to be. Stood to reason. Same black sack held them both. Like they both accidentally got put in some twat’s recycling.
‘They’ll do us.’ Mia’s voice was flat, but Paige knew she was resolute. Only, she’d not do it. Had to be Paige. She was the doer. Things only got done cos Paige wanted them done. She walked to the bed and stared at the bundles of notes. Sodding Euros. Clever Alice would change them only word would get out. The girls had Euros. And whoever was meant to get them would be here, quick as Bazza’s ferret on dog night. No, they all had to go back.
Paige hacked a globule of phlegm and rolled it round her tongue before lashing it against the bricks. ‘Get the bag.’ She began stuffing the bundles into the briefcase. She wished she’d picked the lock. Could’ve. She was good at locks. Now, whoever got the briefcase would know it’d been gone through. ‘Don’t matter,’ she mumbled, before she realised she said it out loud.
She looked across at Mia who held the ripped bag. They’d not use that again. Shit.
‘Use the laundry.’ They had a checkered hold-all they used every fortnight when they went to Lady May’s Centre to use their washing machine. No one would know it was theirs. Would they?
Mia looked unsure but a glare had her scurrying to find it.
By the time Paige had sorted out the briefcase and jammed the broken lock shut, Mia had the laundry bag full of the rancid clothes. All that remained…
‘Pick it up.’
Mia looked terrified, backing away.
‘You dropped it.’ Paige kicked the bag that had held the gun towards the retreating Mia. She began to whimper.
Paige hated the sight of it, equally terrified, but her fear hid behind anger. ‘Pick. The. Fucker. Up.’
Mia began to shake, first her head and then her whole body.
Paige’s remaining self-control snapped and in two long strides she had a handful of Mia’s hair in her right fist, her left clattering Mia’s exposed ear. She dragged her sobbing friend to the gun and forced her head towards the floor, twisting as she did so. The sounds coming from Mia became more animal-like, more desperate.
Finally Mia’s dirt-ingrained fingers searched for the gun. Shaking so much, Paige feared she’d kill them both, she snagged it up and dropped it into its bag. Having managed that Mia’s fingers lost grip and the gun and bag dropped back to the concrete, while Mia’s whole body went limp, slumping to her knees, like she expected to be executed and almost pulling Paige with her.
Paige let go of the hair and stared at the bag. You’d not know it held a gun, not if you’d not seen it before. Holding her breath and feeling a burn of acid in her throat, she picked it off the floor and dropped it hurriedly in the laundry, zipping the top tight.
Better now she squatted in from of the frozen Mia. ‘I’m sorry, okay? Let’s get this gone.’ She stood but Mia didn’t move. Using her free hand she dug into Mia’s nearest armpit and yanked her to her feet. ‘Go.’ She pushed her to the metal sheet that acted as their door, following her out into the sickly yellow glow of the street lamp.
While Paige kicked the screen shut and pushed the concrete back in place Mia stumbled to the wall on the far side of the alley and leant her back against it. When Paige turned and took in Mia’s face, she knew she was close to collapse. It had happened once before, when a punter went too far and Mia’s screams had brought Paige running. Turning a trick was what Mia did. Did it good too. On account of being white and pretty and small. Not threatening. Not like her. No punter did anything Paige didn’t want and walk away with his bollocks working. She beaten the crap out of the guys, soaking his shirt in blood and so reorganising his nose it looked like someone had sown his ear on his face. Mia had watched and then had some sort of attack which terrified Paige.
‘You want to stay here, Six?’
It took Mia a moment to work out what Paige said. By way of response she walked past her and back inside the arch. When Paige checked, she’d lain down on the bedding and curled up like a foetus. Paige pushed the sheet back, hefted the bag over her shoulder and made for the High Street.