Chapter 15 The road to Auchterderran

1K 34 0

Chapter 15 The road to Auchterderran

Simon Fairfax's friend or colleague was a big hairy man whom it would have been grossly insulting to gorillas to compare with a gorilla. He and Simon between them bundled Christopher quickly and efficiently into the sleek black car. There was no chance to call for help, to try and run back into the building, or to attract attention in any way whatsoever. There was no sign of the policemen who had been all over the place only minutes before. It was the stuff of Christopher's nightmares.

Simon's accomplice drove off down the hospital drive somewhat more speedily than Christopher had driven up it in the police car, but after that he settled down to a steady pace which presumably he thought would not attract anyone's attention.

'Where are we going?' said Christopher.

'Where do you want to go?' said Simon Fairfax, beside him in the back seat while the big hairy man drove. Simon gave a false and chilling smile, flashing his teeth as, Christopher imagined, a crocodile might have done under similar circumstances.

'Home,' said Christopher.

'I don't think that's an option at the moment - is it, Feroze?' said Simon cheerfully. 'We were thinking more in terms of a friendly drive up to an old mineshaft we know near Auchterderran, and then a friendly conversation, and then after that we would take you home. Providing the conversation goes as we would like it go, that is. Right, Feroze?'

'Right, Mr Fairfax,' said Feroze, giving a grin over his shoulder that was if anything slightly more unnerving than Simon's smile. He had a kind of quasi-American accent which Christopher thought he might have acquired by watching too many gangster movies.

'Feroze isn't very happy right now,' said Simon. He glanced sideways at Christopher. 'Aren't you going to ask me why?'

'Why?' said Christopher, not really wanting to know.

'His friend got shot in the street when he was just trying to attract your attention. The American killed him. But you've led a charmed life until now, haven't you?'

'Nothing to do with me,' said Christopher. 'I'm just an innocent bystander in all this.'

'There's no such thing,' said Simon.

'You're not with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs at all, are you?' said Christopher. He wasn't sure if he should be saying anything, but his nerves were too jangled to let him sit in stony silence while they drove him towards his doom.

'Not at this precise moment, no,' said Simon, his smile broadening. 'I do sometimes feel as if I worked for them, the amount of tax I have to pay. But I'm not officially employed by them, no.'

'Have you ever been?' said Christopher rashly.

'Not as such,' said Simon.

There was a silence.

'Do you mind if I just call home on my mobile?' said Christopher politely. 'They might be worrying about me - they didn't know I was going to have to come to the hospital.'

'Better not,' said Simon. 'Let's see your mobile - I have an interest in technological developments.'

Christopher fumbled around in his jacket pocket, not really intending to hand over his mobile but feeling to see if he had anything useful on him, such as a flick-knife, a small pistol or even a plastic fork to jam in Simon's eye.

'I don't have it,' he lied.

'Oh, dear, Christopher, some are born to lie and others have lying thrust upon them and don't do it very convincingly,' said Simon. He delved into the pocket, extracted the mobile, glanced at it scornfully, then wound down the window and threw it out.

Crime in the CommunityWhere stories live. Discover now