A mundane thriller by Jason Coomey

It started like every other day since I’d been kicked off the force. I woke up, burned one out, pissed into all four corners of the bathroom, sat myself in front of a boiling hot cup of black coffee and thought to myself ‘Sugar is for pussies’. Just like every other day since I’d been kicked off the force by a man who drank his coffee sweet.

Nicole had been nagging me about calling over to hers to take a look at her fridge. I knew sweet fuck all about fridges but if there’s one thing I knew about women, it was that they liked it when you agreed to call over and take a look at their fridges.

The sky outside was the same shade of grey as a wise old man’s beard and helped make up my mind about wearing my favourite cotton vest — white, Pennys, 35% cotton. I wanted to look the part for Nicole so I grabbed my penknife — red, swiss made, multi purpose — tightened my velcro shoes and left the house.

The fridge scenario ended up being an utter disaster. Turned out Nicole didn’t even have a fridge. I don’t know, maybe it was the whiskey, maybe it was the crowded bar, maybe it was because I just wasn’t listening to her but somewhere along the line we got our wires crossed. Turns out she was pouring her heart out to me about some French guy who lived downstairs from her place and worked in the dairy section of the local supermarket. She had in fact been keeping her perishable (and many a time organic) goods in his fridge.

So I turn up at her house soaking wet in my shrinking vest, playing with my blunt and rusted knife, when this guy answers the door holding a carton of milk. He says something in French, I say something in ‘Fuck You’ and then we see who can shout the loudest and listen the least. Of course I eventually end up getting told fuck off - by Nicole. But I stabbed the son of a bitch’s milk carton before I left. There was milk all over the hall carpet. I laugh about it now but later Nicole would tell me that that was the moment she fell in love with me.

It wasn’t until I got home that I realised I had locked myself out of the house. As you do, I panicked immediately. Gripped by an intense fear of boredom, potential hunger and slight wind chill I began to sweat profusely. I had no phone, no money and had just burned my bridges for the day with Nicole. After what must have been ten minutes of intense leaning against a wall I began to come to my senses. I had my brains, my vest and my penknife. I slapped myself in the face and got on with it. My face hurt for about twenty minutes.

My plan was a simple one. First fashion a balaclava of sorts out of my vest. I reckoned the combination of a makeshift vest-balaclava and topless man with rusty red multi purpose penknife would be sure to strike terror into all but the darkest of hearts. And I didn’t want to terrorise just anyone, I wanted to terrorise one person in particular. That person was Sam Jennings the local locksmith.

This wasn’t the first time I’d locked myself out of the house and I knew that it wouldn’t be the last. But I’d be fucked if I was going to pay every time I needed Sam’s professional help. Did he take me for a fool? Plus he owed me one from that time I got too drunk to take Sally Long home with me and he went home with her instead. He knocked her up that night and ended up having to marry her. She recently filed for divorce and will probably end up taking him for everything he’s got, including his business. But he got the ride that night and for that — he still owes me.

I knew that when Sam closed up shop for lunch he never ate but instead went to lose his wife’s money at the bookies. He always exited via the back entrance of his shit-hole shop so I waited for him outside. I knew these details because this wasn’t the first time I planned on mugging Sam. I found some change in my pockets so I picked myself up a latte for while I waited. It wasn’t a great latte. In my mind I was running over the milky texture and perfect heat combination that make a great latte when Sam emerged from the shop. My position behind a big green bin with wheels was not very tactical. It was based primarily on the convenient disposal of my cardboard coffee cup. Because of this I was blind to the fact that I was not alone in waiting for Sam. By the time I had hurridly wrapped my now mis-shapen vest around my face two men in very leather jackets had already bundled him into the back of a white van.

That wasn’t good. I needed to get into my house. I ran after the van. The van stopped. The two men in the leather jackets got out and dragged me into the back. Sam was bound and gagged and looked at me with a mixture of terror and confusion. At that moment I knew that the vest-topless combo was a winner. Something hit me hard in the face and I don’t remember how hard I hit the floor.

Sam’s whining woke me up. At first I thought it was some kind of domestic animal looking for food or even worse, looking for affection. Instead it was this fully grown man acting like a baby. We were tied up in what must have been the main room of a shitty old community hall, I was pretty sure I saw some bingo books and a few merit badges on some of the tables. People had been molested here. There was a goal for five-a-side football stacked in the corner. I told Sam to stop whining because he was pissing me off. He didn’t stop whining. That should have worried me because it meant he was more afraid of these goons than he was of me. I couldn’t stop myself thinking about the fact there was only one five-a-side goal in the room. I mean what the fuck was the point?

I shouted for a while.

Eventually, surely it must have been after six, the two goons reappeared. They spoke to Sam in a language I didn’t understand. It sounded like maths. Sam was acting very dramatic, tears in his eyes, the whole lot. The goons untied Sam and sat him down in front of a computer. If I hadn’t been so bored I would have tried to pay attention to what was going on. Suddenly there was a lot of laughing and wouldn’t you know it, a new guy turned up. It was Nicole’s French neighbour. I recognised the milk stains on his jeans.

French Fridge guy smiled when he saw me. I was glad he remembered me but really there was only one thing on my mind. Did he know that I couldn’t remember his name? I’ve always been really bad with names. He whipped out a fancy knife of his own and started blabbing away to me like I actually gave a shit. His buddies were watching on and so was Sam. He was putting on a show for them. I noticed that one of the leather jacket guys had a gun. I couldn’t let him kill Sam, I didn’t know any other locksmiths and I hated using the internet. The French guy cut my face and laughed in French. I extended my right leg behind French guy’s left leg, bent my knee and hooked my foot between his legs, locking him in my grip. He went to stab my face with his right hand so I ducked my head under his right shoulder. Pushing up off the ground with my left leg while twisting my body backward I flipped the two of us right up in the air and crashed back down on top of him, shattering his spine.

I don’t really remember what happened next but Sam said it involved me getting my hands on a gun and rolling around on the floor a lot to shoot the other two guys. Sam also said I mocked the guy whose back I broke, something about crying over spilt milk, then I shot him in the face. In order to avoid any other awkward things in the future we burned the place to the ground before we headed back to mine and sorted out the door. I was in bed and asleep by eleven.

Nicole ended up calling me to help her install a new fridge about a week later. I let her do it herself because I’m an equal opportunities kind of a guy and I reckoned she was just being a lazy bitch.

This story is inspired by the Mel Gibson roll and shoot, Bruce Willis crawling, having a tv that’s too big and a sound system that’s too loud, intense inexplicable violence, intense and inexplicable (and depressing) ignorance toward women and having housemates who love to have a laugh at it for all the right reasons. Cheers bois!