Ghostie Gorman―the evil looking little albino twat―is hunched over in the corner of the derelict warehouse, sifting through the contents of Bruce’s bag with his boney white skeleton fingers. He’s only visible in the dark because of the small flashlight he holds. He’s lit up like a fuckin Jack-O-Lantern on Halloween. His pale face, bathed in light, looks like it could be floating in the shittin dark. His gang pals hang around here and there, but it’s too dark to properly see where the rats are exactly. There’s broken glass covering the floor in some areas near him, that much he can see.
It’s abandoned, the warehouse, and there is no noise but there own. Bruce is propped up against one of the cement pillars in the middle of the empty room. His leg is killing him―right at the point above the knee from the kick Ghostie’s pal Lexo laid on him with his metal-toed boot―so he sits with both legs splayed out, easing the ache. The collar of the light-colored faux fur frock coat he’s wearing digs into his neck and shoulders, but he doesn’t want to let his head hang down and risk letting Ghostie out of his line of sight, lest the prick fuck-up his other knee. So he sits, hunched over and glowering.
The frock was Carole’s. Carole’s frock. Carole. He just wanted to be close to her again. Nothing else he did would bring her back.
“Ah knew ah had seen him fae somewhaire.” It’s Estelle, the slag Bruce had been interrogating at HQ only a week ago. He can tell it’s her only from her voice: shrill, nasal, and absolutely rancid with asininity. She thinks she’s got the upper hand because she’s seen him in a difficult situation. She thinks the tables have turned. Wrong! He’s collected so much shite on her he could put her away if he wanted to. And he would, as soon as he got out of this spunk-hole.
“Pretty, for a manky laddie!” Someone shouts, and then there’s a sharp pain to his crotch that shakes his whole body right to his fingertips, rattling his brain. He covers himself with his hands, his fingers kneading the material of the skirt he wears over the fishnets he found in Carole’s wardrobe.
If they think a kick to the balls will make him scream, they’ve got another thing coming. He’s a motherfuckering Detective Inspector , basically. He’s had a lot worse than a few bruises.
“Nice one Ocky!”
Ocky. He’s been kicked by scrawny grasser Ocky.
“The thing is boys...and girls,” it’s Alex ‘Lexo’ Setterington talking now, the one who fucked up Bruce’s knee. “We have tae go aw the wey wi this pig. Ye know what that means.”
“Ye cannae waste a pig man,” another guy, Bruce thinks his name might be Liddell, is saying. There’s a nervous giggle from Estelle, the fuckin cow. She thinks those cunts are joking.
“Ah don’t want nowt tae dae wi this,” she says, putting her hands on her hips.
“Dinnae be daft Lexo,” Liddell’s saying now, “ye cannae waste a pig. End of. That’s it fucked eftir that.” Another voice cuts in, gasping and frightened.
“It’s nae fuckin joke...c’moan boys...ye cannae kill the boy...no a polis-man…” Ocky’s scared voice makes him sound younger than he is. Then again, he isn’t that old to begin with. Barely out of High School age, like. What does he want to do? Kick him in the bloody balls again?
“You shut yir fuckin grassin wee mouth, we’ll see tae you later. We know aw aboot you pal,” Ghostie Gorman speaks up finally, looking up from the handbag.
Carole’s handbag. Bruce got it for her, a birthday present.
Bruce can sense Ocky trembling and he doesn’t even need to look. He’s been staring Ghostie the whole time, scared to look away like a child staring at the cracked-open door of their bedroom closet at night to make sure nothing crawls out.
“Ah’m no a grass…” Ocky pleads, but it’s no use as far as Bruce can tell. Ghostie’s a fucking nutcase. The force has been trying to put him down for years, there’s no way the skinny prick would risk his entire criminal fortune on one laddie. Especially a grassing laddie. Poor Ocky, always between a rock and a hard place.
“Lexo’s right,” Ghostie sighs, like it’s any skin off his nose, “this cunt knows the score. Knows what we did and what our faces look like. All he has to do is feel in the mood to do a little polis-work and that’s us down, locked away like common criminals.” His pale brows lift a good two inches when he masquerades a faux-pout. The act itself makes the albino look like a fuckin clown floating in the dark. Bruce wants to say YES YOU ARE BLOODY FUCKIN CUNTIN COMMON CRIMINALS but, fortunately, his self-preservation instinct wins the internal battle and he stays silent.
“Deid cunts tell nae tales,” Lexo’s mocking voice continues. “We can torch this place wi the cunt in it. Or what’s left ay the cunt in it.”
Bruce can hear them moving about but it’s too dark to see anything more than the occasional dark, blurred figure. But he still keeps an eye on Ghostie Gorman, who is still looking through the handbag―Carole’s!―with the small pocket flashlight.
There’s a sharp light in his eyes and everything fades to white until the brightness starts to ebb away. He blinks. He looks up at them. Yes, there’s the four of them, the same four, plus Estelle and Ocky. Liddell is holding an old anglepoise lamp in his face.
Ghostie is still mincing around the handbag.
Stop. Don’t touch it. It’s her’s. It belongs to her. You don’t deserve to touch it with your filthy shite-covered skeleton hands.
Bruce is starting to get control back over his body, evening out his breath, which he hadn’t noticed he’d been holding. His face is throbbing and sore, his eyes still water, but he’s thinking again. He sees them. The lamp no longer bothers him. The group of criminals stare down at his unflinching gaze.
He sees them.
“Look at him, what a fuckin fool,” Ghostie Gorman spits. He then smiles, and produces a wrap of charlie―not just any cocaine, this is Bruce’s highest quality stash―and starts rubbing it on his gums. “High grade mate, high grade. Took it oot ay yir bag thaire. Nab it fae Detective Sergeant duty, aye?”
Bruce says nothing.
“Should’ve joining the polis maself!” He laughs, and the others chorus him.
Bruce looks to Ocky, then at Estelle. Her face is pinched and angry. She looks at him as if she’s blaming him for putting her in this position. Ghostie catches the exchange, sputtering out a chuckle.
“Like this bird here, dae ye? Sexy eh?” He pulls Estelle to him and kisses her, pushing his tongue into her mouth. She’s stiff for a moment, then eventually complies. In a situation like this, it’s best to give in to what Ghostie wants, Bruce supposes, eying the gun in the albino’s jean’s pocket. He stops and turns to Bruce. Estelle rubs her lips and turns away.
“That’s me gittin intae practice for the World Cup. Ah went tae this French restaurant last summer there. Ye like French grub?”
“Not bothered,” Bruce tells him, then continues to look around the warehouse when Ghostie enters a spiel on French cuisine. There’s one door about six feet behind the pillar he’s leaning against. Wooden. Probably unlocked. The chances of him getting up and running out that way are essentially impossibly narrow. He wouldn’t get far on his busted knee, and even if he could, a bullet from Ghostie’s gun would put him down. There’s a window, about five meters behind Estelle, but it’s boarded up and Bruce doesn’t know how many stories high they are. The only thing he has going for him is that backup is on their way. That’s the only thing going for him. His hope at rescue is dampened a bit by how useless he knows the force to truly be. Without him, it’ll take them forever to get anything done.
He just needs to stall them. The one-sided conversation has somehow segwayed from French food to Ghostie’s mob.
“You think your band of misfits impresses me,” Bruce sneers, shaking his head, “it doesnae.”
“Shut yir fuck―” Liddell starts, putting the lamp down and moving forward.
Ghostie raises his hand,
“Shut up. Let the cunt speak.”
Bruce looks around at them all, then back at Ghostie.
“Ah know you mate. You hide in the mob. You are one shiting cunt. Me and you then,” he stares at his cold, cold eyes, “Ah’d take any one ay yis in a sqaure go! Fuckin shitin cunts!” He snarls.
Bruce can see that this pushes the right buttons in their spastic psychology. They are shocked. Laughing, incredulous, but taken aback. They know that they are going to have to work for what they thought would just be sport. To have to put themselves on the line in some way. He’s cracked their fucking code and is challenging them to prove to him that they are what they think themselves to be. Ghostie sneers and goes:
“Right, this cunt dies. Ah’m takin um.”
“Lit’s jist fuckin dae the cunt now n stoap fuckin aboot,” Lexo says.
“Naw. Ah want him.” Ghostie looks at Bruce and laughs loudly. “You die,” he says softly.
He signals for the others to depart, and they do, filing out tentatively. The last out, Ocky, flicks a switch next to the door and the overhead light come on, flickering and making strange noises, but blinding. He sends Bruce a quick pained look, and then disappears out the door. Ghostie follows after them, and locks the wooden door with a key he had in his pocket.
“The key to the house of love,” he smiles, putting it back in his pocket.
Bruce stills his shaking form before Ghostie can see.
He’s locked in the room.
Ghostie Gorman is here with him.
Bruce gulps, shifting into a more comfortable position and plucking back up the anger he runs on.
It’s just Bruce and him, the fuckin donkey. The rage bubbles up hot, like magma out of a fuckin volcano.
Bruce lifts himself up, using the cement pillar for support, ignoring the burning pain in his knee THE SHITTIN FUCKIN KNEE and runs at Ghostie, toppling him over. They’re on the hard ground and he gets in a few good jabs, right below the eye socket, on the lip, the nose, before Ghostie flips him over and catches him in the face with a bony fist so hard he sees stars.
After that, Bruce can’t fight back. The punches keep raining down and he feels weak and broken. Hurt. Pain. It shouldn’t have been like this. The albino prick is laughing, and the fear is here now, cold as ice. Bruce realizes he’s got nothing left to give, he just goes static. Ghostie grasps a fistful of his wavy brown hair―now soaked through with grime and blood―and slams his head back onto the concrete floor. His vision erupts, light that isn’t really there dancing across his vision and black spots crowding his peripheral. His face whips to the side when Ghostie back-hands him viciously, the rings on his skeletal fingers cutting into Bruce’s cheek. Bruce chokes on his own blood and he can’t breathe and there are more digging blows and his arms feel so heavy that he can’t even fuckin well lift them to hit back or block him.
Bruce is alone.
Back-up isn’t here.
“Ah’ve always fuckin hated cops,” Ghostie explains. He’s straddling him, and has both of Bruce’s wrists in one hand above his head, the other around his neck, pressing down. “Not in the normal way everybody hates cops. Ah’ve eywis hated the cunts in a special wey. You’re different though sweetheart. You can be saved. Ah’m gonna make an honest woman out of ye!” He yanks Bruce’s head up by his hair, looking at him in the eye. His long tongue licks his lips.
“Fuckin wide poof polis!” He smiles. “Now it’s time for you to learn something…” He sticks his tongue in Bruce’s mouth. Bruce can taste it―the saliva, the blood. Bruce gags, drawing his head back, but Ghostie keeps a firm grip on his hair and probes for a while. Bruce tries to sit up, to get his hands free so that he can kick Ghostie in the fuckin face and be done with it. The albino pulls away.
“Sexy! Whoa hoah! You thought ye could take me, ya fuckin sick poof! Ye liked that, eh sexy,” he pants softly. “Ye liked it, eh?”
“Get the fuck off me.” Bruce grates out coldly, struggling again against the restraint of his wrists. Ghostie reaches around and digs his free hand into his fucked-up knee. The pain stabs like knives and Bruce lets out a strangled shout, breathing harshly.
“Fuckin whore. You love it,” Ghostie smirks, returning his hand to Bruce’s throat and squeezing, just enough to be uncomfortable.
He will not scream.
Back-up will be here soon.
He knows it.
It has to be.
“Fuck. You.” He bites out. Ghostie laughs.
“Oh, laddie you are mistaken. I’m gonna be fuckin you .”
Bruce inhales through his nose, pressing his lips together. He can feel― taste ―the blood running down his face. He’s going to fuckin kill this albino prick.
It’s the anger that he’s known his entire life that gives him enough strength to twist just enough out of Ghostie’s grasp to reach deep into the albnio’s jean’s pocket and pull out the keys to the door. The anger he holds towards his incompetent coworkers―that spunk-bag Toal, dumb-as-rocks Gus, that whiny cow Amanda-fuckin-Drummond ―gives him the will and the sheer determination and spite to take Ghostie’s keys and slash the jagged side right through the prick’s face.
There’s blood falling down on him like rain, and for once, it wasn’t his.
Ghostie howls, clutching at his face with both hands. They keys hit the floor somewhere. Bruce takes the opportunity, knocking Ghostie off him with a jab to the temple from his elbow. The policeman rolls to the side, searching in the flickering fluorescent lighting and the filth for the keys.
Where are the keys.
Where are they.
He hears Ghostie behind him.
The panic rises like a fuckin tsunami, destroying all logical thought processes.
WHERE ARE THEY
He gets to his bare feet the moment his bruised hands land on the metal keys. He looks around―Ghostie’s still kneeling in his own blood, a hand on his face―he has enough time. He has enough time to get out the door, get somewhere safe, tell HQ who was involved, lock the cunts up.
He has time.
He’s at the door, the key in the lock.
He has the door a crack open when a loud BOOM engulfs the room, reverberating off of the cement walls and shaking him to the core. He falls to the floor―something… Then he feels it.
How does that make you feel?
The white hot agony is choking him, squeezing the life out of him. He can’t pinpoint where, exactly. Everything hurts.
“Yer ah muthafuckin shittin cunt, ya hear?!” Ghostie’s got another fistful of Bruce’s hair and is screaming in his ear. “Yer gonnae fuckin regret that!” The albino’s got him by his ankles, dragging him away from the open door.
He was so close.
Bruce can’t say anything, his lips are pressed together tightly. He can’t open his mouth or he’ll scream.
It hurts .
He will not scream.
Ghostie’s dragged him back a safe distance away from the door. He’s lying next to the cement pillar, trying not to vomit. He thinks it’s his leg, the one kicked in by Lexo. He doesn’t want to look, doesn’t want to see what Ghostie’s done to him.
The albino kneels next to him, the slash of torn, jagged flesh across his face a stark contrast to the rest of his white self. Without warning, he gets a hand under Bruce’s knee and lifts it up. Bruce throws his head back and growls through gritted teeth, drawing in ragged breath after breath after breath.
“See, tha’s wit happens to whores who donnae do as they’re told,” Ghostie says, lifting his damaged leg up further. “Look, cunt.”
He wants it to stop, so he looks.
His knee is gone. In it’s place, a bloody massacre. He can see bone sticking out, and a river of red still pours down his leg to his bare foot. Without warning, Ghostie drops his leg to the ground. This time, a strangled sob escapes Bruce’s lips.
He won’t scream.
He won’t beg.
“Well, since ye won’t be runnin away anytime soon,” Ghostie grins, “let me help ye with those, yeah? C’mon, luv.” The albino’s skinny, skeleton-like fingers grasp the end of Carole’s skirt and yank until it’s at Bruce’s ankles. “Nice legs,” he muses, pulling the fishnets down next. Bruce gasps when the stockings catch on his knee, reaches out behind him until it finds purchase on the cement pillar, and tries to drag himself away. “Ah ah ah,” Ghostie tuts, pressing a thumb into his knee.
It hurts so much that he wouldn’t be able to scream even if he wanted to. The pain latches onto every nerve in his body, choking his breath, stopping his heart. He lies there, mouth open in a silent scream, eyes wide and cheeks tear-stained.
“Don’t try anything again, yeah?” Ghostie says, like he’s telling off a child for eating a cookie before dinner.
He won’t scream.
He won’t beg.
Ghostie’s on him, whispering disgusting praise in his ear and taking away Carole’s clothes. It’s when he feels him , a hardness against his thigh and moving up, that he snaps.
“Please, please. Please don’t―” Bruce sobs, hot burning tears collecting behind his eyes.
“Ye deserve all of this,” Ghostie whispers in his ear, cupping the side of his face in his sweaty palm. “Say it. Say ye deserve this.”
“Please no, please―”
“Say it!” Fingers dig into his knee.
“I-I-I deserve. This,” Bruce repeats, his voice cracking. “I deserve this.”
“Yeah ye do, cunt,” and he moves Bruce’s good leg to the side so he can fit in between his legs. “Fuck the police, ehehe.”
He feels like his insides are being torn apart. The pain is hot like fire, and dry like the fuckin desert. All the while Ghostie is grunting in his ear.
“ Fuck you’re fuckin―ugh!” Ghostie grunts, his hips stuttering. He feels something hot and wet inside of him and cries out, sobbing.
“Ssshhh… Ssshhh…” The albino presses his lips to Bruce’s, mixing the taste of blood and saliva again. Bruce opens his mouth to him, taking the albino by surprise. Ghostie slips in his tongue, and Bruce chokes back a gag until his tongue is in deep and then―
Bruce bites down on Ghostie Gorman’s long tongue, and feels it sever in two in his own mouth. Ghostie shrieks, falling backwards and clutching his mouth, now spilling over with blood. He leans back over the policeman, hand poised over his knee. Before he can do anything about it Bruce has a hand in Ghostie’s jean’s pocket and pulls out the gun.
It’s heavy and cold and slippery in his sweaty, shaking. blood-soaked hand. But he’s had the training, and the trigger pushes down easily against the weight of his index finger. The top of Ghostie’s head opens up and rains down on them like a fuckin fountain. Immediately the albino’s carcass slumps against Bruce’s own body. The entering wound in the neck spurts blood, covering the policeman’s face entirely. Bruce lets the gun slide from his hand and clatter to the floor. He turns his head to one side, gagging, and then vomiting. It’s a mixture of blood, stomach acid, and half a tongue. Ghostie’s body is too heavy and he’s too weak for him to push it off him.
The D.S. on duty are the first to arrive. He can only imagine what he looks like when they do. Naked except for a dark undershirt, beaten up, blood covering his face and staining his hair like fuckin Carrie, missing a shittin kneecap, lyin in a pool of blood and vomit, a dead mobster strewn across him.
The wooden door swings open, whacking the cement wall. It’s Lennox and Drummond. Both look stricken and pale, the blood gone from their faces. He doesn’t want them to see him like this , but he can’t turn his face away from them or he’ll look right into the glassy dead eyes of Gorman. So he stares at them until they break out of their stupor and rush over to him.
“Bruce, can you hear me?” Amanda’s voice is steady whereas Lennox stutters and flounders about. Must’ve had a bit of the ol’ charlie before he came here. Maybe that’s why they were late. He can’t speak. His throat is raw from blood and screaming and crying and his neck hurts too much to nod. He blinks. “Bruce―” She stops, turning on her knees to face Lennox. “Ray, take that off him.”
“We can’t―” Bruce doesn’t see what look Drummond gives him but it must’ve been shittin terrifying because next thing he knew, Lennox had heaved Gorman off of him. Bruce heaved a ragged breath. Both Lennox and Drummond took off their winter jackets to cover him.
Lennox calls HQ, speaking in a hushed tone. Bruce hates it. He knows what fuckin happened, he was fuckin there . He was there. He was still there when he closed his eyes, when he blinked. He could still feel the fingers digging into his flesh and the whispers in his ear. He choked on his breath again, fresh tears cascading down his face and leaving track marks through the blood. The noise must’ve alarmed Drummond because she jumped, and then looked back down at him.
“Bruce, Bruce it’s okay. We’re here now. It’s okay.” She says, reaching out and holding his bloody hand in hers. He wants to tear his hand away from her, the fuckin sow, and tell her to SHUT THE FUCK UP NOTHING’S OKAY NOT NOW AND NOT EVER AGAIN but his throat still hurts like the devil. She looks him in the eye and says, “Bruce, you’re safe now.” And he can’t help it, he squeezes her hand and won’t―can’t―let it go.