Books written by Ray Sullivan

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Project: Evil - The Trade Convention part 2

           Brian wandered off, milling around crowded stall after crowded stall.  Every weapon possible was being demonstrated in the south hall, methods of torture in the north.  He noticed a large curtained off section in one corner which had attracted a large queue already.  Public sector man was stood near the front and he beckoned over to Brian to join him.

‘Wouldn’t that be pushing in?’ asked Brian, suddenly feeling foolish as he watched a group of Gold Digit’s henchmen walk up to the front of the queue and muscle in.  He joined public sector man in line, ignoring the grumbles from the other delegates who were now stood behind him, at least for the moment.  Public sector man held up a paper carrier bag proudly.
‘Steel toe-capped sandals,’ he declared, adding ‘I never thought I’d ever see a pair, let alone blag a free sample.’  Brian admired the deft leather-work and the craftsmanship.  Public sector man wasn’t finished; he pointed to his tie.  It’s Teflon coated.’  Brian felt confused.
‘The point is?’ he asked.
‘I never have to worry about it being correctly fastened; it will always slip down, no matter what happens.  In the public sector this will make a killing.’  Brian wasn’t sure that anyone in the public sector would actually feel the benefit of the innovation, based on his experience.  He decided to humour public sector man.
‘All you need now is Semtex coated leather elbow pads for your jacket,’ joked Brian.
‘That was so last year,’ replied public sector man, rolling his eyes.  Brian decided to ensure he sat at the opposite end of the table when in meetings with the guy from then on.
‘So, what’s all this about?’ he asked, nodding at the curtains.
‘Celebrity megalomaniac demonstration,’ replied public sector man, realizing that the queue end had reversed, becoming the front and leaving him and Brian almost at the back.  Brian shrugged, he’d worked out that this would flip several more times before the demonstration started; at least being near the end of the line meant he had a fifty-fifty chance of being near the front.
‘Who’s demonstrating?’ he asked, squinting to read the board at the end of the queue.  It had been at the front, and may well be again, but Brian couldn’t read it too well.
‘Don’t bother trying to read that, or in fact any other information.  They are pathological liars, by nature,’ said public sector man. ‘The rumour on the street is that Doktor Negatif himself will be presenting, he’s a very good presenter, apparently.  The trick is to sit close enough to see and hear him clearly, but don’t sit in the front row,’ he said, looking at his watch impatiently.
‘Because he engages with people on the front row, like a stand up comic?’ asked Brian.
‘No, because he’s likely to kill one or two on that row,’ answered public sector man, before changing tack slightly.  ‘Last time he presented, he juggled running chainsaws and henchmen,’ he said enthusiastically.
‘And henchmen what?’ asked Brian, irritated that public sector man had failed to finish his sentence.  Then, he realized, he hadn’t.  ‘Oh,’ he said, resolving to give the Doktor a miss.  Spotting a stall serving food, he decided to grab a bite to eat instead, so he departed swiftly, crossing the short distance to “Dodgy’s & Flaky’s Burger Bar”.
‘For yourself, or an enemy?’ asked the tall man behind the stall counter, flipping what Brian hoped was a burger.
‘Myself,’ answered Brian, confused.  The man pointed to his colleague to his right, flipping an apparently identical burger.
‘These are poisoned, you need him. I’m Dodgy, by the way,’ he said, introducing himself, extending his hand.
‘Is that your real name?’ asked Brian, avoiding shaking hands with the man openly cooking poisoned burgers – perhaps Daw’s advice needed to be extended beyond the delegates.  Dodgy shook his head.
‘Nah, just a nickname given me by the Inland Revenue, due to my attempts at dodging tax, in the days when I was a bad ‘un.  Now I stick to good old fashioned crime,’ he said, flipping the burger into a bun and sticking it under a heater element.  ‘Is there anyone you want to poison, perhaps give them a tummy bug?’ he asked, adding, ‘Because the kebab stall will do that for you.’  He laughed as he pulled the burger from under the heater and took a bite.  Brian shuffled across to the other man.
‘You must be Flaky,’ he said, eyeing the burger that Flaky had just turned.  It looked delicious, so he ordered it on the spot and within a minute found himself tucking in to a fantastic tasting quarter pounder.
‘Are you called Flaky because you’re a bit of a ducker and diver with the taxman too?’ he asked, chewing.  Flaky threw another burger onto the griddle while answering.
‘Not me, I haven’t the stomach for that sort of crime.  It’s because of my skin condition,’ he said, sticking his arms out to show Brian the flakes hanging off them.  Brian started to chew a little less enthusiastically as he saw some of the flakes drift down onto the griddle.  Flaky continued, stirring the skin flakes absent-mindedly into the burger juices, ‘This is what I like doing best, cooking.  Trouble is, catering’s a crowded market and the public aren’t too keen on homicidal maniacs making their food,’ he said nodding at Dodgy.  Dodgy acknowledged the compliment while flicking another burger into a bun.
‘I’m in the market for caterers, to join my project in the South Seas,’ said Brian, picking out a business card.  He held it out to Flaky, who showed a marked reluctance to take it off him, choosing instead to copy the details down while Brian held the card.
‘Can’t be too careful,’ said Flaky as he underlined Brian’s number on the pad, a sentiment clearly shared by Dodgy, who nodded approvingly at his colleague. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The characters, companies and places referred to in Project: Evil are fictitious and any resemblance to people, companies, businesses or places is entirely coincidental

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