Flight to the night... (22/01/2007 16:59)
Were I Jack Bauer , CTU agent, trained killer and all round hard ass, I might have leaped out of the window as an explosion tore through the room I had just left.
Were I Jack Bauer, I would have caught hold of a broken drainpipe at the last second and swung round the side of the building.
Were I Jack Bauer, I would narrowly have escaped being shot by the terrorists/police/my colleagues whilst in flight, drawn my side arm/Knife/empty biro tube and have taken out my foes, before landing comfortably in the dust below, rolling forward into an alert crouch before disappearing rapidly into the shadows undetected.
Unfortunately I am not Jack Bauer, and so I tentatively exited the window, made use of the fire escape and descended slowly to the second storey, before slipping on a greasy step and landing in an uncomfortable heap on the dry hard ground below my window.
By this time, the police had made it to my window and were staring down at me laughing as I limped off, very detected into the night. I knew they wouldn’t follow immediately, as I had left an open bottle of tequila on the window ledge. They weren’t going anywhere till they had disposed of that particular piece of evidence. I had bought myself some time in which to give a quick roundup of events so far. Convenient? I think so…
As I ran on in the night, quickly covering the scrubland between the stadium and the shanty town, my mind ran through the events I had just been part of, quickly editing them for an audience who had read the previous story but might still need their memories refreshed, while still telling enough of the back-story to interest new readers. We know our plot devices here in Noir land…
So, having discovered in my office, upon waking, the dead body of my Boss, and being fully aware that I was the last person to see him alive (as I was present whilst he was killed, but unconscious and therefore without alibi), I had fled the police that had turned up to investigate the smell. Added to this a mysterious voice on the answer phone who is out to get me for reasons unknown (the voice, not the answer phone) and the odd blackouts I keep having which cause time to jump on at huge leaps without me understanding why I am confused as anyone.
To alleviate some of this confusion, see the previous entry (http://www.managerleague.com/blogperma.pl?id=363) and work backwards…
Anyway, so you find me once again, after a few weeks hiatus (for which I cannot account but apologise for) fleeing from the police. I know I have two friends in the whole of Patalonia who could help me. One is Calabras, my first choice yet injury prone goal scoring machine. He may be on the way out soon, at 34 an older squad member, but still loyal. Then there is the mysterious Delores – an enigma, but one with so far good intentions. She’s my only lead…
Stumbling over the scrub, kicking up dust as I limp, I realise I am running away with little thought what I may be running towards. The shanty is a dangerous place for a manager of the local football team to be. Will they hide me thanks to good service, or lynch me because we didn’t finish above third. This uncertainty concerned me, but then I heard the pursuit of the police and the barking of bloodthirsty police dogs and knew for a certainty that one bottle of tequila doesn’t keep a police department off your back for long. I gained the shanty and disappeared into the shadows.
As the streets became more narrow and the houses more imposing I pulled my collar up around my face and my hat low over my brow. The wind whipped at my coat, flapping it against my legs. I made my way to a central square, putting the sounds of pursuit behind me.
But where had I to go from here? It was only a matter of time before the police barricaded off the streets and found me. I needed shelter, a place they wouldn’t look for a football manager on the run for murder…
Then a thought struck me like a bat to the back of the head. It wasn’t long before I realised that it had coincided with a different type of bat striking me to the back of the head. I saw stars and felt my legs buckled. A voice rang out
“We lost 3-0 in the playoffs to beboki, esse – what were you thinking?” it said, before kicking me swiftly in the stomach. I doubled up, wondering if it was the voice or a foot that had struck me. I felt a hand go through my pockets, raiding them.
“I need recompense, esse,” continued the voice, “your ticket prices are so high, when we loose like that you should pay us.’ Finding my wallet, the rifling stopped. I heard feet beat a retreat into the night.
I felt despair, nothing but all consuming despair. I needed to get to safety, but without my wallet, I had no money, id, or anything. Luckily I still had the gun, so if the worst came to the worst, I could blow my brains out. Then I wondered why I hadn’t used the gun on the mugger. Ah well, mental note for next time – gun beats bat (not in a literal sense – gun shoots bat works better I suppose).
At the memory of the bat, the thought I had had, which had been waiting patiently to the left whilst the mugging took place, hoping like a reserved beauty at an 18th century ball that the gallant hussar that was my mind would rest it’s steely eyes upon it once more and ask it to dance. That simile might be a bit long. Oh well…
Delores had said something about the Blanco Bar, in the fourth district. That was my one chance, my one possibility to gain the safety of the Blanco Bar, ask for Benny and tell him Delores sent me. Then I could work on my plan to flee the country form there. I stood up on wobbly legs, cast a glance around me and saw a sign for the fourth district. Once again, my luck was holding and furnishing me with these lucky coincidences. I wondered briefly if maybe this had something to do with Jungian theories but there wasn’t time to get into that.
I followed the sign down a narrow, winding ally, hiding my face from passers by who had no interest in strangers in long coats moving shiftily through the gloom. My way lighted only by gas lamps casting spots of light on the pavement, it wasn’t long before I saw a blue neon sigh flashing above a building. “Blanco Bar” it said over and over and over again. (Actually, it said “Bl nco Ba ” as two of the letters were broken). I made straight for it.
Reaching the door and finding it locked I knocked heavily three times.
“Wadda ya want?” asked the door. Then I realised a speaking hatch had opened and directed my attention towards it.
“The answer to the question of life, the universe and everything” I said grandly for reasons unknown.
“Piss off, everyone knows you are supposed to ask for the question which fits the answer to the question of life the universe and everything. I’m not having any more of you jokers in tonight.”
“Alright, alright” I said “I’m here to see Benny”
“Benny doesn’t see people”
“Is he blind?”
“No it’s a figure of speech. Now beat it” I considered this for a moment. I had one chance, to get through this door. I had tried wit, asking for Benny, in short all my usual repertoire. I had but one last resort.
I pulled out my gun and poked it through the speaking hatch. It came into contact with a fleshy nose and I could see one fearful eye peering over the barrel.
“Let’s be nice. Please may I see Benny?” I asked “and before you answer, consider that I have not had a wonderful night so far and am liable to take things out on you”
The eye looked to one side and I heard a latch click. The door swung inwards and noise sprang out.
I stepped through the doorway…
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