Mark and Rab have just murdered someone and as they are busy disposing of the evidence Mark meets an old flame who is now a Policewoman. And then the spaceships turn up...
When people talk about that day now, its so strange, they sort of talk around the spaceships. It’s not like a Kennedy thing, or Diana or 9/11, it’s more like something we’re all a bit embarassed about. Like when a car beeps and we smile and wave and then realise the person wasn’t really beeping at us? A bit like that.
All three of us ran down the stairs and out into the street. There was no noise; no thunderous interstellar engines, no deep bassy humming setting my fillings on edge, just the ship, hanging in the sky, silent and shiny. In that moment, infinite possibilities stretched out across a million parallel earths. Were these good guys aliens here to cure cancer? Or were they going to go the traditional route of eating us? Was there perhaps some sort of dodgy extra-terrestrial sat-nav at work, and this was all a hilarious misunderstanding?
I stood, staring open mouthed, Rab however, was clearly much more practical than myself.
“Right. Lets get back to the flat and dump that body sharpish. No one is going to give a flying fuck what we’re doing right now. We could leave it at a bus stop and no one would care.”
He was of course, absolutely right. Except about the bus stop. We should probably still try and hide the body, anything else would just be a bit too cocky.
“Then we should get down to Curry’s and nab a couple of widescreen tellies before the real hardcore looting starts.”
“Eh hello!” said Laura “Policewoman standing right here.”
“Aye fine, we’ll get ye some straighteners and a Wii Fit, but lets get a shuffle on eh?”
It’s difficult to know whether or not Rab genuinely meant that to be funny or whether he thought Laura might appreciate some freshly looted electrical equipment. Either way, it didn’t play well. Laura cuffed him to a car door.
“Are ye kiddin?” said Rab “Get these aff me right now.”
When it became clear this wasn’t going to happen, Rab smashed the car door window and triumphantly opened the locked door before realising this made no difference to his predicament. Except that now there was a really annoying car alarm going off in his confused, angry face.
“You’re lucky I’ve only got the one set. I need to get down to the station.”
“Will you let him go if we promise not to steal anything?”
“And do you promise not to brutally dismember anyone else as well?”
Oh. Right. That.
While I tried to come up with an explanation that didn’t sound too creepy, Laura was already halfway down the street. I realised I was actually going to have to run after her.
“Aye quick! Get the keys!” said Rab.
As I ran, wheezing and spluttering, Laura sprinting off ahead looking lovely, I was momentarily transported back to happier days in
. High School PE
“What? What do you want me to say Mark? ‘Glad we bumped into one another I’m hoping we can stay friends’.”
In romantic movies that sort of half jokey quip might illicit a smile. Laura looked like she might banjo me.
“Look, your gorilla’s right, people are going to start going nuts. I need to get back to my mums.”
She looked at me sadly.
“Who was that in there?” she asked.
Now really wasn’t the time to start trying to explain that situation.
“Just…someone I used to know.”
“Like me then.” said Laura.
And then she ran off.
By the time I’d got back, Rab had already released himself from the handcuffs.
“Just had to break a few fingers.” he said. “So, while yer burds oot the way, back to operation deid body.”
“What’s the point?” I asked “She’s seen it anyway.”
“And do ye want it humming up yer hoose? Railways nearby, I say we grab the bags and roll him ontae the track, bish bosh.”
I could see there was no reasoning with Rab that didn’t involve me ending up in severe pain. Perverting the cause of justice was only going to add a few more years onto the life sentence anyway. Assuming of course that the spaceships didn’t just blow everyone up. At this point, what did I have to lose? I stomped sullenly back up the stairs to the flat.
Fifteen horrifying minutes later, we stood in the living room with half a dozen bulging binbags.
“Have you got a wheelbarrow?”
“I live up a close with no garden Rab. No I don’t have a wheelbarrow.”
“We’re jist gonnae need to roll em doon the street then.”
“What about the wheelie bin? We could use that.”
“Noo yer talkin!”
Downstairs, my bin was already stuffed with a fortnight full of pizza boxes and pot noodle slime, the detritus of dinner for one.
“Gonnae need tae shift these bags oot first or the big chap here won’t fit in.”
Strangely, what I recall about all of this was a feeling not of revulsion, but of tremendous inconvenience; the injustice of having to do something over again; I’d carefully put all these bags in the bin already, and now just because we’d killed a man and collected him up in binbags, I was going to have to do it again when we got back from disposing of his body.
“What’s all this?”
It was wee Mrs McLatchie, standing in her doorway looking unimpressed.
“What are you taking all those bags out the wheelie for? It’s collection tomorrow.”
“Bit of trouble with Mark’s dug Mrs McLatchie.” said Rab, gesturing to the dripping binbags.
“Oh. Was it not well?”
Some blood plopped out of the bag and splashed incriminatingly onto Mrs McLatchie’s nice clean stairs.
“Naw. Naw it exploded.”
“Aye. Ate a whole box of sherbert dib dabs. Totally exploded. Poor wee fucker.”
Mrs McLatchie fixed Rab with a very penetrating stare.
“Well you better get all them binbags back in the wheelie when you’re finished. It’s collection tomorrow. And I’m not having rats.”
It took a good five minutes to manoeuvre all the bags down to the railway verge at the bottom of the street. Normally you would have to wait for nightfall for such covert activity, certainly on my street. But no one saw us. There were people, some even smiled, but everyone, everywhere was looking up as we squeezed through the hole in the fence. The bloody bags rolled and tumbled down the verge like inappropriate Easter eggs.
“Yasss!” cheered Rab “Mine got across both tracks! Unlucky.”
I half heartedly tried to roll one of mine towards the tunnel, perhaps hoping that this would somehow disguise the crime, but it got jammed against a discarded sofa on the way down.
“Right. Five spot.” said Rab, claiming his winnings from a bet we never made about who would be best at rolling bags of discarded corpse across a railway line.
“Okay, you get back to the flat, mop up, get the kettle on” said Rab “And I’ll go get us a nice new telly.”
“Aye.” I sighed. “See if there’s any playstations going as well.”
The police sirens continued to howl, the trains with returning commuters clattered over the blood on the tracks and in the distance smoke rose from the first of the fires.
It all seemed so safe and tranquil…
to be continued...