Rex is a burglar who rob people's houses and sell items to antique shop. He has a girlfriend who is on benefits so he helps her out with the money. The girl has a child from another man who is a drug addict and he always pesters her for money.


6. Chapter Six

Whoever was driving the grey car certainly didn’t think much of road safety.  This madman was going through town weaving in and out of traffic like he was riding a bumper car at the fair.  There was a few times when Rex thought that he should stop following him because of Vanya’s safety.  But the consequences of leaving her to the designs of the kidnapper could eventually be fatal.  Who knows what crazy paedophile had got her.  There was a moment in the centre of town when Rex got up really close to the car, and Vanya looked at him through the rear view window.

Then a dustbin lorry blocked the road.  The grey car stopped, reversed a hundred yards and disappeared down a side street.  Rex knew that a crossroad was coming up so he put his foot down.  Sure enough, the grey car was stopped at the traffic lights a couple of cars in front of him.  He stopped his car and got out and ran up to the grey car.  The lights were changing.  He opened the back door and grabbed Vanya.  It was the momentum of the car going forward that brought Vanya out of the car and into the safety of Rex’s arms.  The grey car drove off like the Devil himself and Rex and Vanya walked back to their car.

“Who took you?  Did you know him?” asked Rex.

“I don’t know him,” answered Vanya.

Rex knew she was a tough little cookie and even now she wasn’t even crying.

“What did he look like?”

“He had a grey suit on,” she replied.

Could it be him, the man in the brothel?  Of course, there were plenty of men wearing grey suits walking about or driving cars, but it just could be.  He took Vanya to Cash Convertors and had her come with him into the shop.  He didn’t want to chance leaving her in the car.  They gave him one hundred pounds for the TV and fifty for the DVD player.  Next he went to the jewellers.  He got a thousand pounds for all the jewellery.  When they came out of the jeweller’s the rain began to fall.  It was one of those summer showers when the sun continued to shine through the pouring rain.  They hurried to the car.

“Those things you sold, were they yours?  Only, that TV in your room is a bit small,” said Vanya.

“That’s what I do; I buy things from people cheaply and sell them for more money.”

“A thousand pounds is a lot of money.”

Rex started the car.  “I know it’s a lot of money, but I don’t make much profit.”


Edgar sat in the kitchen half reading the paper.  His mind was on whether Francis would turn up for work or not.  Maria was doing the washing up and Satan was eating from his bowl.  He checked his watch again – 9.00 a.m. on the dot.  Suddenly the buzzer sounded throughout the kitchen.  Maria looked at her watch and Satan stopped eating for a couple of seconds.

“That’s Francis Edgar,” said Maria.  She dried her hands on her apron.  “I’ll let him by the gate.”

“As soon as I’m sure he’s settled, I’ll give him a key for the gate,” said Edgar.  He sipped from a cup of coffee and watched Maria go out the door.

A couple of minutes later Maria and Francis came into the kitchen.  Maria offered him a cup of coffee which he accepted.  He sat at the table with Edgar.

“I’m glad to see you’re well, Mr. Blenkensop,” said Francis.

“Thank you.  Please, call me Edgar.  Now Francis, I’m not coming out today or for quite a while into the future, so I’ll tell you what needs doing.”

“Maria, this coffee is delicious.  Is it Colombian?” said Francis, turning from Edgar to Maria.

“I don’t know.  Comes from jar.”  She carried on drying the plates with the tea towel, facing the other way from them.

“As I was saying,” went on Edgar, “I’ll tell you what needs doing.  Today I want you to edge all the grass.  You’ll find -”

“Hey, Maria, I’ve got some Colombian coffee at home, I’ll bring some in tomorrow and you can taste it, it’s fantastic.  Once you’ve tasted Colombian you’ll never drink anything else.”


“Well, you’d better go out there and start work now,” said Edgar.

“Right,” said Francis.  They both watched him as he went out.  Thirty minutes later Edgar decided to go to his room for a lie down.  But before he went he locked the dog flap, effectively locking Satan in, he didn’t want Satan attacking Francis in the garden.

When Edgar had left, Maria sat down at the table and drank a coffee.  Though she had only been up five hours, she felt exhausted.  Then she heard someone tapping on the window.  She looked and saw Francis.  With an exhausted sigh she got up and opened the window.

“Sorry to trouble you, Maria,” began Francis, “but I saw you through the window and noticed you looked depressed.  Is there anything I can do?”

The word ‘depressed’ went through Maria like a bolt.  But she didn’t feel depressed.  A little tired, maybe, but certainly not depressed.  “I’m okay,” she said.

“I’ve got just the thing to pick you up,” he said jubilantly.

She closed the window as he walked around. 

“You sit down,” he commanded.

With a sigh that bordered on irritation, she sat down at the table.  He came up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders and began massaging them.

“No,” she said, moving away slightly.

“What’s the matter am I being too rough?”

“No, it’s just that I don’t like massage now,” she explained.

“Come on, it’ll do you good,” he insisted, starting to massage her shoulders again.

She gave in and just relaxed as his fingers probed into the muscles of her shoulders.  He really knows how to soothe a person, she thought.  But she was under no illusion, she’d declined his initial offer but he had insisted.

“Where are you from, Maria?”

She felt so relaxed she didn’t feel like talking.  His curiosity annoyed her but she hid it well when she answered.  “I was born in and grew up in Malta.”

“I’ve been to Malta on holiday.  Nice place.  Have you got a boyfriend?”

At that moment Maria hated him.  Why was he doing this to her?  Couldn’t he see that she didn’t want a boyfriend?  She was happy as she was housekeeper and nurse.

“I haven’t got a boyfriend and not want one,” she said.

“A beautiful woman like you should have a boyfriend.”

Now she wanted to slap him.  How dare he say such a thing.  “My shoulders are fine now, you can stop now.”

Then she felt a wet kiss on the back of her neck.  “What you doing?” she stood up abruptly and faced him.  He leaned in to kiss her on the mouth but she leaned away.  “I think you should go to work now.”

“I’m sorry, I’m moving too quickly for you,” he said jerkily.

She went over to the other side of the kitchen and leaning against the sink, she looked at him with fury in her eyes.  “Go now please.”

He shook his head and sauntered off in the direction of the door.  Just then Satan came in.  Seeing Francis, he began to growl.

“That’s enough, Satan,” she shouted.

Francis slunk out the door.  Satan still growled.  She looked at her watch.  It was time to clean Eddie’s room and make the bed.  Forty minutes later she returned to the kitchen to make Eddie a pot of tea.  He wanted to have it out on the bench.  She looked through the kitchen window and saw the kitchen garden in all its summer glory.  There were all the vegetables growing in rows and the peaceful looking greenhouse as a backdrop.  Then he came out of the greenhouse, saw her looking and waved.  She looked down, avoiding the sight of him.  From the corner of her eye she thought she saw him walking towards the kitchen door.  Oh, not again.  What does the fool want this time?

“Maria, could you show me where the toilet is please?” he asked, poking his head into the kitchen. 

“Of course, follow me.”

He followed her into the main corridor.  “There!”  She opened a door on the right.

“Can I ask you,” she began, before he could disappear into the toilet, “do not mud in on your boots.  Take off boots in kitchen.  Important now it rains.”

“Of course, Maria.”

He was looking at her in that way again, the way that made her feel uncomfortable inside.  She felt his eyes go over her mouth, breasts and hips.  He went into the toilet.  She went back to the kitchen.  She was surprised to see Eddie there.

“I just wondered, could you change that tea for coffee?  A pot of coffee?  I had tea for breakfast and quite forgot,” said Eddie.

Maria smiled at him.  “Coffee coming up.”

Just then Francis entered the kitchen.  He walked out not bothering to look at Eddie or Maria.  Eddie then left the kitchen, going back to his bench outside.


Rex and Vanya sat on the sofa in the front room.  His dad, Harold, sat on his armchair.  The three of them were watching TV.  Mum was in the kitchen slaving away at preparing tonight’s meal.  It was Sunday evening and Carol was out with her fiancé, Tim Beeds.  They were going to return later for the family meal and Tim was the guest.

“Have you met this Tim fellow yet?” asked Rex.

Dad rubbed his flabby chin and shook his head.

“Who’s Tim,” asked Vanya quietly.

“He’s Carol’s partner.  There getting married soon.  He’s coming to dinner tonight.  So you can meet him,” said Rex.  “You wait here, Vanya, I’m going to see mum.”

The small kitchen was steamy and hot.  Mum was looking in the oven at the roast beef.  The four rings of the cooker were being used for pans of vegetables.

“Have you met this Tim chap yet?”

“No.  But knowing Carol’s choice of men, he’ll be no good,” said mum, closing the oven door.  “It’ll be ready in ten minutes.”

They both heard the front door slam.  Carol came into the kitchen, following close behind was Tim. Mum and Rex looked at him.  He wasn’t grossly overweight, but he was plump.  He looked constrained in his black suit and white shirt and tie.  His thick neck seemed to be applying pressure upwards to make his eyes slightly bulge out.  His mouth was a thick lipped crease that looked like a vagina enticing his long penis of a nose to perform intercourse.  All in all, he looked strained and explosive.

“By God you’re cooking up a storm here, lady.  It all smells divine,” he said, over Carol’s shoulder.

“Thank you, Tim.  Dinner will be ready in five minutes,” announced mum.

“Come on, everybody to the dining room table,” shouted Carol.

“Listen to the bossy cow,” joked Tim, as Carol went to the front room to tell dad.

They all sat at the table, including Vanya who sat next to Rex.  Mum brought the joint of beef in and placed it on the table in front of dad.  The empty plates were already in front of each person. Tim sat next to Carol, opposite Rex and Vanya. Dad began to carve the beef as mum brought in the dishes of vegetables.

“This really is a great feast we’re having,” said Tim.  He noisily breathed in the smells and exhaled them.

“Mum’s a good cook,” said Carol.

“I’m not a fool woman, I can see she’s a great cook,” said Tim, sarcastically.

“I was just saying -.”

“Well don’t say.”

Pretty soon the beef was distributed as well as the vegetables, and everybody tucked in.

“So you’re planning to marry, Carol?” said Rex.

“Yes.  I’m going to finally make an honest woman of her.”

“In your dreams,” said Carol, jokingly.

“When it comes to you my dear, it isn’t dreams it’s nightmares.” he laughed.

“Where are you going to live?” asked Rex.

“Where we going to live button?” said Tim, laughing and looking at Carol at the same time.

“We’ll find somewhere,” she answered.

“Doesn’t seem to be well thought out, if you ask me,” said Rex.

“We could always have a room here, can’t we mum?” said Carol.  “All we need is a bed, isn’t that so darling?”

Tim gave a queer laugh and pulled a face.  “I don’t mind giving her one in bed, that’s okay, but sleeping with the sow – she snores like a pig.”  He laughed again.

“Don’t call my sister a sow,” warned Rex.

“Calm down, I’m only having a joke, aren’t I button?” said Tim, looking at Carol.

Carol smiled, but it wasn’t convincing.

“What d’you think, mum, dad?  You haven’t said much,” appealed Rex.

“Carol’s a grown-up, she knows what she’s doing,” said mum.

“I can smell shit,” said dad.

Now they all could smell it.  Rex looked around and saw Ronnie doing one near the door.

“It’s that bloody cat again, Ronnie,” said Rex.

Tim made a face of disgust and looked at the culprit.  Ronnie, now finished, slinked off out the door through the cay flap.

“I’m sorry folks, for Ronnie,” apologized mum.  “He’s not well.”

“Good job I’m a quick eater,” said Tim.  He placed his knife and fork on a clean plate and dabbed his lips with a napkin.  “You didn’t warn me about your shity cat, darling.  Boy what a honk,” said Tim, laughing.

Rex felt sorry for Harold and Vanya, who were still eating their meal.  Harold gave up eating, and soon, so did Vanya.

“Well,” began mum, “everybody has finished.”  She got up and started collecting the plates.

“Any sweet?” asked Tim.

“Tim, don’t be greedy,” said Carol, softly, but everybody heard it.

“Don’t call me greedy, you bitch,” said Tim.

“Shall we retire to the smoking room, gentlemen?” said Harold, getting up laboriously.

Everyone laughed and Tim, Rex and Carol, followed Harold into the front room.

“Well, that was a nice meal,” said Rex, sitting on the only other available armchair – Harold sat on the other.  Carol and Tim sat on the sofa.

“After all that food, trust you to ask for pudding,” said Carol, jokingly.

But Tim got angry.  “Shut your fucking mouth.”  He slapped Carol on the side of the head.

Rex was quick to intervene.  “Don’t hit my sister,” he warned.

“Or what?” goaded Tim, still angry with Carol.

“Or I’ll hit you,” said Rex.

“Come on then, let’s go outside,” shouted Tim, now standing.

Rex stood up also and made for the door, Tim close behind.

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