Night-time delivery (fiction)

3 Conversations

It was raining. A steady drizzle which soaked everything. The sickly orange glow of street lamps, blurred by the downpour, made everything grey, turning a familier street into an alien landscape.


No glowing lights from the windows and no sounds of a T.V. The world was asleep. Nothing moved and no sound could be heard. Except for the whistling of the wind as it breathed through the lane...and one pair of footsteps.

The man walked,hunched into his rain mac wishing he was at home. Wishing he was still in his cosy warm bed and most of all wishing he'd said no.

Now because he hadn't he was walking down a street. In the rain. At four o'clock in the morning.

The sound of his steps echoed into the night bouncing off the walls of the houses either side. Houses that looked more than sinister in the orange glow of night. They seemed to be watching him as he passed. The windows eyes, the door a gaping mouth, the...He shook himself and laughed uneasily. They were only houses afterall.

The rain worsened becoming a raging monsoon which bounced off his mac and soaked into his unkempt greying hair. It dripped down the back of his neck.

He pulled his coat tighter around him and cursed silently. Why on earth had he said yes. Had he finally gone insane? Had the years finally taken their toll on his mind?

Of course he knew exactly why he'd said yes and it had nothing to do with loss of mind and everything to do with the £3000 he'd been offered.

At last he reached the bridge.

There was nobody there. The road streched across infront of him empty of life.

He walked to the middle and leaned on the railing settling in for a long wait.

He looked up at the sky. He could'nt see anything. Not a single star. But he looked anyway wanting to feel the rain on his face. He remembered a time not that long ago when there had been no rain for him. No rain, no houses, no streets, no...He shook himself again. He was trying to forget that time and he was not going to think about it now.

The sound of a car in the distance interrupted his thoughts and he turned towards it. A pair of headlights appeared in the distance and the sound became louder. He reached into his pocket for a packet of ciggeretts. His wife thought he had quit. But then his wife thought a lot of things.

He was lighting it as the car pulled alongside him, the glow lit his face. It looked haggered and worn made old by smoking and violence.

The cars window slid down with an electric buzz which sounded too loud. It was too dark to see the driver.

"George Halks?" the voice had no character, it could have belonged to anybody.

"Who else is it going to be at 4:00 in the morning?" he asked, attemting sarcasm to prove that he was in charge.

He wasn't sure who he was trying to prove it to. The man in the car..or himself.

"The package please Mr Halks" a hand appeared out of the window white and free of any adornment. Not even a watch.

George reached into his pocket and his fingers brushed the small paper wrapped package that had been there all day. Curiosity got the better of him.

"Look, I could have got you into some serious trouble if I'd handed this thing in, but I didn't. I think I have a right to know what's in it." he tried to sound casual but failed misreably. He really wanted to know what the damned thing was.

"I suggest that you give me the package Mr Halks" the voice barely changed. Barely...Except that now it held a note of menace which George did not miss.

"Okay, Okay, I was just curious" he grabbed the package, abandoning his tough guy facade, and put it into the mans hand.

"Curiosity killed the cat Mr Halks" there was no humore in his voice. George laughed. But the sound was strained and uneasy. He really didn't like this man. He couldn't say why.

There was a sound of movement from inside the car and George was suddenly afraid that he was about to drive off.

"Err when do I get paid" he asked arkwadly.

"You don't Mr Halks" He was about to protest when he relised too late that he was starring at the barrel of a gun.

His body was found the next morning by an old lady walking her dog. His wife found out the next day when it appeared on the news. Although she didn't know it was him until she was asked to identify the body.

"A man died in the early hours of yesterday night" the man had said "He was found with a cigerrete still clutched in his hand and a gunshot wound to the head." They always looked so smart and sounded so calm. "Police are still looking for suspects"

They wouldn't find any.

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