A dark fire.

After an arsonist fire in an apartment block, a boy is left in total despair with no family, nothing. but things are about to get worse...

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1. Beginning

It was a dark summers evening, it seemed as though the sun had been swallowed by a dark cloud. A building if you can call a pile of rubble 'a building' lay in ruins with smoke still leaving the newly burned down tower block. It was arson anyone could clearly see that yet the police still said, that 'Even' in the middle of London they had to throw a full blown investigation the fat policeman had chuckled as he said “not to unlike CSI.” I hadn't seen the funny side to his comment I had just lost my Father, My Mother and My Baby sister to that fire and he was telling me that the police had to act like some actors off of a stupid television program that hadn't been watched by youngsters like me since 2013. Maybe it’s just me but that is not really that funny.

I sat huddled in a corner of the police station, it was white, cleanand smelling too much like sterilised air, there were many Police in their black and white suits looking smart. Some just sitting down, drinking what I suspected to be coffee but could not see from this distance. I spotted a spider spinning its pale see-through elastic-like web up in the corner of the waiting room the police station had sterilised air yet they had missed a spider spinning a cob web. I was Cold, Hungry and almost forgotten about. I had been told to wait before I could give my account of what had happened. I had already been in this corner for two hours listening to the bustle of many conversations at once. I never had really liked police that much, too many people getting paid to beat people up was the way I saw it. Of course I understood that the police were there to protect and I also knew that the system was sound and it worked but it always seemed like there was still too many criminals out there for the police to really have been doing such a great job.

As I sat in the straight backed plastic fold up chair, I started to think back to the fire, I had seen the Boy light the match and drop it on to the wet tarmac it had caught fire straight away, I could have stopped Him!! I had three choices and in my opinion had chosen the worst one of the three, I could have:

Warned all the people on the floor I was on and set off the nearest fire alarm.

Ran up to my flat warned my mum and dad and made a run for it.

Or just save myself.

I bet you can guess what I did, I made a run for it hoping to get a phone so I could ring the fire brigade, I hadn't made it as far as the phone bit. I had made a run for it got out of the tower block and across the road that was it. By the time I got across the road it was already starting to crumble.  I heard screams and then the tower block had fully covered in fire.

I woke suddenly "sorry sleepy-head!" the fat policeman was back and he was shaking me softly he smiled kindly at me, "it's time for you to explain what you know about what's happened and then you can go home to your mum and dad." I scowled at him and replied hotly "Yeah I can go back to my burned down Tower block flat and me and my two parents who somehow haven't magically been killed by the fire, can all sit down and watch CSI.” His face changed as his brain processed all this then he looked at me with sympathy “Kid I’m sorry about your parents” he said slowly “this must be a terrible time for you and I made it worse with that stupid comment about CSI look, how about me and you go and get an ice-cream and we can talk about what’s happened and we can try sort out where you’re going to be living now you have no guardians. What’s your name kid?” I had brightened up when he mentioned ice-cream even though he was treating me like a kid. I love ice cream I've loved it since I was a kid but I wasn’t sure if I could let this policeman buy me off with an ice cream why was he so interested about my story? I knew it was his job to find out what had happened to the tower block but he needn’t spend his own money on me just to find out what had happened

 “My name’s Jason” I replied cautiously “Well Jason what d'you say to a nice steaming hot ice cream?” He chuckled. “And my name is Paddy Oxford.” I looked at him confused and it must have registered in Paddy's mind because he suddenly said "that 'hot ice-cream' has confused you,hasn’t, it? See it's a joke me and the lads have the way the government is acting changing everything to be safe an' all hypothetically speaking we'll probably have hot ice creams next, because brain freeze 'is harmful'." "Ohh" I chuckled, it was actually funny because the government were really messing up systems and stuff. "Would you really take me to get an ice cream? Because like you don't have to and I guess I am an orphan now." he looked at me with me with a one eyebrow up one eyebrow down face like my dad used to do. Used to do I hated the sound of that why didn't I alert them? Paddy opened his mouth and said "Son why would I invite you if I wasn't really going to bring you? You've just lost your parents you could do with some cheering up." I smiled gratefully at him "When are we leaving Paddy?" that made him smile, “Give me a minute while I go retrieve my keys and then we can go down to the nearest ice cream shop.” He walked away and I watched him fade into the distance. I was sure he wasn’t coming that was why five minutes later I was surprised to have him sitting beside me “all the ice cream shops are closed and it’s time for me to go home, but I’ve asked the boss if I can take you home to my wife so you can stay the night with us, and he’s said yes. So you’re coming with me to wherever you want to get dinner.” I looked at him quizzically “Really?” I asked. He nodded and smiled at me “Yeah so kiddo where d’you wanna eat?” “If it’s not too expensive can I get a kebab special?” I asked, expecting his kind act to melt away and be replaced with a stony ‘NO’ but once again he surprised me “Yeah we can go to the chippers down the road who do the best kebabs in London and they also do the best chip butties in the world.” “Yeah, yeah” I teased.

Two minutes later we were sitting in a mini cooper with leather seats it was a very comfortable seat. the car swerved very suddenly and turned into an alley, at the end of the alley was a shop its sign over the door said @KebabaSpecialGoGo® Paddy said “Were here do u want to go and Order I have something to do, so just Order yourself whatever you want and tell the man behind the counter to ‘put it on Paddy Oxford’s tab’.” “Thank You” I replied. I opened the door and stepped out of the car and then to walk up to the door of the shop with the sign above it. As I got up to the door I heard Paddy’s car starting to pull off I turned around and waved he opened his window and shouted “its half eight I’ll be back around nine see you then Jason.” “Ok.” I called after him.

As I walked inside I could see something was wrong straight away from the start the light bulb behind the counter had been smashed and none of the cookers were on. The chef or owner of the shop was sitting on a chair whimpering like a dog that hasn’t been fed. As I turned around a bat came smashing straight into my face and I blacked out. It was as simple as that. Blacked out. Into an oblivion.

When I came to I was tied to a chair with my hands behind my back and the boy from the fire was pacing up and down in front of me “ah you’re awake at last “His snide voice rang in my ears and I didn’t like the sound of it. “I've seen you before somewhere haven’t I? Where was it?” he asked I didn’t answer, he picked up his bat and brought it down on my legs hard. “Ow!” I cried out in pain. He raised it up again “So you do have a tongue, start answering my questions or this bat will start to come down real fast” he said threateningly “o-ok” I spluttered “so where have I seen you before?” “At the Broadwater flats where you started the fire” I replied. “Ahh” The boy replied knowingly “not the most ingenious of my plans but oh well it got the job done”I lurched forward but didn’t get very far, he brought the bat back down on my knees “you’re not going to escape so there’s no point trying.” He said, “From the look on your face I’m guessing the way I phrased that probably upset you who got hurt in the fire was it your Girlfriend?” he teased “No !!” I roared “You murdered my parents and my baby sister who did nothing wrong to you” “True” he replied he seemed to chew on the words letting me hurt even more then he said “True, they never did anything to me but I had no choice but to burn the block down” he threw the bat away and got down on his knees he looked imploringly into my eyes “Honestly… I'm not evil I'm just under obligation to do evil things … Help me please” He whispered…

Paddy turned the corner going over the strange boy’s conversation in his head. He seemed to be really shocked at the thought that someone else would buy him an ice cream or meal. ‘Maybe it’s because he can see I'm a policeman the boy will get used to me after a while’ he took a sharp left and parked the car opening the door and stepping out on to the pavement he had been assigned a job to do there had been a group of boys troubling a shopkeeper and Paddy’s boss had sent him down to check out what was going on. He closed the door behind him and central locked it with a button on his keys ‘now the real fun starts’ he thought to himself he could see the group of lads who were disrupting the shopkeeper as he neared the shop one of the youths shouted “you orrite mate walk on the other path can’t you see were busy” “fat hooligan” another muttered. Paddy just kept walking towards them slowly he pulled out his badge and said “hello hellohello” “what have we here? A bunch of decrepit teenagers causing hassle and disrupting the peace of this neighbourhood, one of you youths wanna tell me what you’ve been doing and why you’re hassling this shopkeeper?” “Officer were sorry to bother you but that shopkeeper there has offensively, told us to get out because we are a bunch of white ugly b*****ds” “Excuse me??” questioned Paddy “sorry it's just exactly what he said” the youth replied meekly. "What is your name kid?" Paddy questioned. "Alex Malkin, Sir" he smiled at paddy as he said this “well Alex should you not be at home at this time? And, are you related to Darius Malkin who created the new energy system?” “I'm staying over at Dylan's house. Yes sir he is my father.” Alex had nodded at another kid when he had said Dylan. “Alex I suggest you don’t get into any more trouble your father would not be too happy to find that you've to go to prison.” Paddy turned towards the kid named Dylan. “do you usually go around terrorising shopkeepers?” “No sir” they had all changed their attitudes at the mention of prison “but he did say those things, we just wanted a bottle of Coke and some Mentos” Dylan added quickly. “well then I’d like an apology written out for the shopkeeper from all four of you. Now run home quickly before I decide to give you all a Caution” and they did run as fast as their legs could carry them away from Paddy. Next Paddy turned to the shopkeeper “I'm giving you a caution for racism and swearing at the four youths so what’s your name?” “Abdi Mocoro, Officer” Paddy jotted this down and sent a report back to head-quarters “good evening Abdi” “Good evening officer” Abdi replied and walked back inside.  Paddy walked back to his car smiling. Then suddenly he noticed a scratch up the side of his car and a letter on his bonnet. Shock registered on his face he ran over to the letter and ripped off the envelope;

Bad Puppies must be punished‼ And you are a very bad Puppy. Do not move there is a gun pointed right at your head. From the master.

 

I look at the boy incredulously “will you untie me first?” I ask. “Anything just help me I need help the master is scary he treats us like puppies and just asking you for help will result in  a punishment if he finds out, and he will find out he always does. But help me. PLEASE.” I turn away shadowed with questions.. who could this master be? Why was Paddy taking so long? Was this another trick? I turn back to him “Ok but first I need something to eat” “hey Baba Go-go” the boy calls “bring the boy some food” he turns back to me “seeing as were going to be together much longer I'm going to have to know your name don’t you think?” I think of a name quicker then I had done with Paddy “My name’s Jack what’s yours?” He nods his head “Yeah I thought wolf said it began with J I thought he said Jake or Jason but Jack is cool, mine it tiger that’s my code name the real name is Charlie.” He says. “who is wolf?” I say panicky thinking of Paddy  suddenly the owner of the shop walks in with a kebab special he cowers from tiger hands me the box and slips out. I hadn't eaten since the night before so I attacked the chips and kebab. “I think his real name is Paddy Troxford or something” Charlie went on. My stomach lurched as he said this. Him and Paddy worked together what was I getting myself into? I finished the food quickly and asked for a drink I was handed a can of a drink I was unfamiliar with; Cidona™ I gulped it down quickly finally I was nourished “right let’s get to business” I say..

 

Paddy stopped there right where he was one foot off the pavement with the letter still in his hand. A car beeped its horn in the near distance, A bee buzzed by his eye and landed on his ear a bead of sweat rolled down his face. To Paddy it seemed as though time had come to a halt. He daren’t even twitch his eyebrow his phone started to vibrate and in the distance there was the sound of breaking glass and a distant sound of a tinkling of a shop bell. Whoever was trying to ring Paddy was being very persistent; they still hadn't hung up. Paddy reached down very slowly to his pocket took out his phone, he brought it out and read the number: Unknown he pressed the answer button and brought it up to his ear;

“Hello?” Paddy stuttered “Very good- you reacted better than I expected. You can move wolf I hope you still have the boy somewhere ? I told you he has a very good potential I don’t want his mind being corrupted by the wrong people tell me you have him in a  base or safe-house somewhere?” Came a deep gruffly voice from the phone. “I do master Jason is in one of my own Bases. I was just returning to him now.” Paddy replied “Jason ?! who is Jason tell me you have the right boy now I told you his name is Luke why have you picked up a boy named Jason!” “master you gave me a picture you never said a name. He told me his name is Jason.” “He is crafty, I’ll give him that at least he knows not to trust anyone now get back to him as quick as possible he mustn’t escape‼”

 

“where in London are we ?! I don’t know this street.” “ London ? We’re not in London anymore. The sedative he gave you must have been stronger than I expected. What do u remember since you got into the car?” “we –” I stop now that he mentioned it all I remember is that the seats were comfy and then the conversation outside the chippers. I had been sedated no wonder I hadn’t been able to move when the Baseball-bat™ came towards me “Oh right, well then where the heck are we ?” “we’re in Ireland now and in a very bad part of it to wolf brought me here, said he had to go back to England to collect some stuff and sort out something for the police not that he was doing it for the police he did it to find out the name of the man who created the new energy system; Darius Malkin’s kid no doubt he is going to be kidnapped by the master for some money or something. Anyway that was yesterday he told me he would be back around 10 with you then he’d go over to kidnap the kid he’ll be back soon so we need to escape before then but it’s not exactly prison; it’s easy to get out but it away from the master that we are trying to get.” “We’re in Ireland ?” I ask shocked. “I have never been out of England before my dad did not like me to travel he taught me everything about protecting myself he taught me to drive, to fly a helicopter to fly an aeroplane , to ride a boat ,to canoe, to sail, to abseil, to rock-climb and to fire every type of gun but he never let me go to a different country it was as though he was protecting me but he was more likely just not letting me because he never wanted me to have fun. He has prepared me very well for this though. Do you have any black clothes?” “yes I have three pairs of black jeans and two  black hoodies and two balaclavas!” “right bring them in with lots of ice packs” “Ok, Here” he threw me a pair of dark jogging bottoms and a black designer hoodie I tried them on and they fit perfectly. “what about the ice packs?” I question. “there out in the kitchen freezer why do you need ice packs?” “well its dark outside and this  master sounds clever so he will have cameras that detect heat so, we need ice packs to rub over are faces and stuff down are trousers and jumpers.” “I'm am not freezing myself just because you think it will help” “well then you can stay here and suffer the consequence of letting me get away, because I'm leaving if you want my help then you would want to start acting mature.”  I say quietly then turn around and walk out to the kitchen. “ok I'm coming ill freeze my body heat please don’t leave me” he gasps. We stuff are hoodies and trousers with ice packs and leave quickly.

 

Paddy swerves around yet another corned and blasts the horn. He angrily mutters an indistinctive swearword. “Do this wolf, do that and I'm the one he shouts at always. Tiger can do no wrong like a cub but me I have to deal with everything and play the part of a Policeman too and now if he escapes it’ll be my fault and then if he doesn’t escape then it’ll be my fault for making it to difficult because the master wants to prove the boy’s intelligence I can’t wait to retire this job is getting to much and the government are copping on to all that’s been happening its only a matter of time…” Paddy says to himself another cars pulls out to fast and Paddy has to skid so as not to hit it. “I hate these Irish drivers they have no idea how to drive Jesus I need a break I'm talking to myself and all now..” finally Paddy turns down the alleyway and checks the time and notices that it is quarter to nine “ great now I've to wait fifteen minutes as well and I’ll go in and tiger will have beat the boy up or something knowing him” he takes a step out of the car and walks over to an off license he walks inside and buys himself a doughnut  leaving a tip with  for the shopkeeper “god bless ya “ the Dubliner says and Paddy leaves the shop h e walks back to the car enjoying the sweetness of the bun. He checks the time five past nine. Then he walks into ‘@KebabaSpecialGoGo®’

“hurry on Charlie or do you want us to be caught” “no sorry it’s just your so fast and my feet hurt, anyway where are we actually going? “well I'm going towards the city but then I don’t actually know I've heard that  Galway city is a nice place so we might get a bus into their “ “what about money?” Charlie asks 

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