feeney and the cbh.
Feeney weaved a little. Wavered a little. His blue eyes wandered about a little. Feeney confidently raised the new schooner to his lips and drank mightily of it.
He then withdrew the glass, took a breath, and continued the argument.
‘ Round the block mate, jus’ once. She goes like a fucken bomb. ‘
Scoresby withstood a heavy bump from a fellow who had misread his approach to the crowded bar and then considered risking his life to appease his friend Feeney. Whose new car was parked outside.
‘ It’ll be no worries mate! Jus’ see how she goes. Sheeza little beauty!‘
A sharp commotion distracted them for a moment, and Scoresby turned to see a youth deliver his forehead abruptly to another’s nose. The sudden blow sounded like someone had thrown an apple down onto concrete.
Both of them then looked at him, not quite kindly.
To his left a table and all the glasses upon it collapsed under the weight of a woman who was sleeping there and an ironic cheer accompanied her attempt to swim away from the broken glass and spilt beer.
‘ OK. I’ll be back in a minute. ‘ Scoresby said as he finished his rum and left for the toilet.
Where he came upon the recipient of the headbutt standing at a bloodied sink as he attempted to squeeze shut the deep laceration that saddled his nose. A group of about five howling youths were engaged in some type of unimaginable competition in one of the stalls.
Pools of liquid lay about the floor. Suspiciously wet and wadded paper had been hurled onto the mirrors where it stuck, seeping bodily fluids.
Feeney remained standfast at the bar, a fresh schooner in his hand.
He had placed his car keys on the bartop and was regarding them with a sense of gratified satisfaction. He was content. He placed his free hand on top of them to stop them moving around.
He was absolutely rottenly drunk.
‘ Ok then. You set? ‘ asked Scoresby, who had returned via the saloon in order to avoid a vicious fight between one of the security men and a patron with a questionable attitude.
Feeney emptied his glass as a security man suddenly appeared through the adjoining doors with a struggling miscreant firmly headlocked. This arrangement effectively enabled him to proceed through the bar and out via the swinging doors that led to the footpath without any superfluous effort, as he used his captive’s head to both part the crowds and crack open the heavy doors.
And upon reaching the cooler airs of the evening, he deposited the patron face first onto the concrete, and Scoresby, for the second time that evening, heard the apple hitting the concrete.
‘ Where’s the car? ‘ He asked as they skirted around a hysterical girl huddled over the body of her boyfriend. More blood there seeping out from under his head.
Feeney’s answered unintelligibly enough and suddenly veered off the footpath and into the path of a patrolling Police car. Fortunately however they were distracted by the shriekings from the girl and they left him to pick himself up off the road and regain the footpath.
Feeney couldn’t find his car, then the car door, his car keys, the key that fitted the door, or the hole that fitted the key.
But notwithstanding these tiresome difficulties he eventually obtained entry to the car and fell gracefully into the front seat, from where he hospitably offered Scoresby similar accommodation.
‘ I think I’ll give it a miss old son. ‘ muttered Scoresby, now fully sober and awash with misgivings.
‘ Whassamattermate ? Gutless? ‘ chortled the drunk as he groped around in the car’s interior looking for God knows what.
Scoresby recognized the nature behind the name but as he leant into the car to take away the keys he was pushed away by his friend and had the car door slammed on him, forcefully.
So he stood there in the half lit street listening to the muted curses coming from within the vehicle as Feeney fought the uncooperative limbs that would not let him put the key in the ignition and start the thing. However gradually, and through the processes of elimination, he found the slot, switched on the lights, turned on the ignition, and left the curb.
‘ Check this out! ‘ He shouted through the closed window, his face joyfully lit.
And Feeney left him in a surprisingly well-coordinated drop clutch racing start as he wound the car up and bullocked down the darkened street, towards the first distant corner. Which he successfully rounded, then he rocketed along the next stretch and towards the second corner. Which he managed to turn, despite the rubbery screams that could have only come from the two wheels still in touch with the bitumen.
It happened that . . .
A large roadside electricity substation relay box stood on the grassy strip that bordered the road about thirty feet around Feeney’s last corner. Fifteen thousand local residents depended upon it for an uninterrupted supply of power to their homes and businesses, and although the hour was late there were many windows warmly lit.
In fact in Flat 14b in this very street one Mr. Jacolb Faulk was two moves from checkmate in his Radio Short-wave game of chess with an opponent in Brazil he had not beaten in fifty – five years.
In number 32 groundfloor, Mrs. Emily Lassiter had just awoken in fright and switched on her bedside light as an intruder slid over her windowsill.
– and in number 55b Larry Phillips, 72 years old and lucky tonight, was visiting a lady friend and with the assistance of a mildly erotic bedside video, was fast approaching that intimate moment that must never be interrupted.
When Scoresby was a boy his father used to read him stories of warfare and in one of them he had explained with harrowing thoroughness the terrifying howl of a divebombing Stuka at maximum speed and at the minimal height they need to successfully deploy their bombs.
He was later to marvel that a fifteen-year-old Holden with Feeney at the wheel and with one hundred and fifty thousand miles on the clock could achieve the same effect.
First he heard the guttural tearing scream of a haemerrhoging engine as the car swept along the final straight at maximum speed, then the high pitched moaning squeal of tearing rubber as he attacked the corner,
– Then a large bump –
– a moments silence – bar the whistling of some strange wind,
and finally a massive crumping BANG, that echoed away ominously amongst the suddenly darkened streets and buildings.
Now thoroughly alarmed, Scoresby walked quickly around the corner and towards a noisy fizzing sound. Doors and windows opened. Many, MANY people came out of their flats and houses and stood about on the footpath, some had torches. A siren sounded a little distance away.
Mrs. Lassiter’s scream slowly faded as the panicked intruder fled, Larry limped out and the checkmate didn’t transmit.
Feeney’s new car meanwhile was embedded deep into the steel side of the substation box, which was giving off a fountain of sparks and fizzing internally. A small wisp of smoke curled out from under the car bonnet and rose slowly up past the open driver’s side door.
– and two hundred feet down the road, standing half hidden behind a large coral tree and illuminated from time to time by the lights of passing cars, was Feeney, with some other innocent onlookers.
Watching the carnage.