Sorry about the long wait on chapter four everyone, it has been a rough week/few days. I have to write a blog about it soon, but I want it to be of honesty and not from a personal anger on the subject. Anyway lets get into it, tell me what you think about the way this has turned.
Till next time, Keep smiling
The Stubborn Australian
The bright lights of the city flashed by as Patrick rode in the back seat of his father’s police cruiser, it had become a regular ride along since he was seven. Looking through the car window, he watched as people cluttered the sidewalks on a summer’s evening. It had become a favourite thing to do with his father, spending Saturday night’s patrolling the inner city streets. Tonight was no different than any other night they have had in the past seven years, they had stopped at a burger shop for dinner and shake, and now returning for the final route before heading home for the evening. Or so he thought.
“I just need to make a stop up ahead Patty,” His dad spoke through the barred barrier. “While I am out, keep your head down and listen to your walkman, okay.”
“Okay,” Patrick replied.
As the cruiser turned down a darkened lane and into an opened area in between what appeared to be run-down apartment buildings. Each building had its own fire escape ladder leading down the brick face, stopping above the ground, a big dumpster bin placed close by, possibly for young kids to jump from them onto the ladder. Patrick pulled his headphones over his ears, listening to his favourite band play through his cassettes.
As lights flashed down the lane, his dad nodded to his partner. A man that has stood beside his father since before he could remember. To him, he always knew him as Uncle Donny, a regular at the family gatherings, with a new young blonde hanging off his arm every time. When he was younger Patrick, never paid attention to the girls he would bring, but now as a fourteen-year-old, these women caught his eyes.
“……. How great are these performers.” Cindy nudged him,
“Oh yes, it is a wonderful play.” He responded, not allowing her to notice the boredom coming from within. He hated musicals, the pain-inducing throb of people breaking into song over every instance within a play killed a brain cell every minute, he believed. Staring at the characters running around on the local theatre’s stage, he watched one of the leads, a blonde. Her youthful looks stood out amongst the grey-haired and wrinkled cast members who took up most of the stage.
He continued to be fixated on her slim form, the rhythm in her steps and the beautiful tone in her voice. One he wished he had, his mother had wanted him to be in the church choir. He lasted a little while, out of the kindness of the pastor. When complaints flooded in about the tone-deaf boy sounding like a cat being murdered singing on Sunday morning, he was asked to leave. The young girl, lead the team to break out in song again as his eyes faded away.
Patrick watched as his father and Uncle Donny exited the car, walking towards four other men, for a time they all looked locked in an argument, the music pulsing through his ears blocked any words they said from him. The vehicle’s light behind them dancing with their movement, one man had left to walk behind the car. Behind the headlights, he could see a figure being pulled and pushed. He watched as his father fronted the new person in the group, from his angle it looked like his hands were tied behind his back, and something covered his face, but every now and again a flash of light emitted from his chest, a reflection from the car hitting what he assumed to be a metal object. Patrick watched, leaning forward, his face and hands up against the cage.
Donny stepped forward removing the fabric from the man’s head, his father was face to face with this man, squinting to avoid too much light flooding his iris, he could make out the man’s face. The look of fear made Patrick squirm in his seat, why would the man be afraid? His dad was a cop, he had sworn an oath to protect. His father turned to talk to the others, as he did the same flash of light, which he had seen from the other man now bounced from his father’s chest. As this new revelation was being cross-examined within his young mind, Patrick watched as his father, punched the victim until he was left wriggling about on the concrete laneway.
His father turned from the man and walked towards Patrick, behind him he could see the men pulling out their guns and each taking a shot. His eyes wide, and his breathing erratic he couldn’t pull himself to look away. He wanted to run, the echoes of the gunshots rang through his ears, the music no longer able to contain the events of what had just happened, he was trapped, and the door to the cruiser only opening from the outside. It was too late now, his father had entered the car.
The sound of applause rang through the small theatre, awakening him from the past, Patrick turned to his wife, who had tears of joy streaming down her cheeks. Her applause alone would have been enough for the whole production team, he thought. He waited for her to move away from the seating towards the foyer, as she has done in the past she waits for the cast members to greet the fans of the show. A part he wishes, that he could walk away from, knowing his wife wouldn’t be too happy about this could only mean he was going to stay.
The young blonde cast member, made her entrance through the side ‘staff only’ door, a few hoots and hollas followed by more clapping embraced her as she received congratulatory comments and a few bouquets of flowers from those waiting. Patrick watched her move through the crowd, slowly coming towards him. Just as he had hoped for when Uncle Donny, brought his girlfriends around all those years ago.
The squeal his wife let out, nearly sent him through the roof, the actress was now in a strong embrace with his wife. Had they known each other before now he questioned himself.
“Patrick, this is Dianne Harlowe. We used to work together.” Cindy said, a smile spreading from one ear to the other.
“Nice to meet you.” He replied his hand stretched out to shake hers.
“And, you,” Diane responded greeting his hand, before turning to face Cindy and continue their reunion catch-up.
“I’ll just wait for you outside.” He said, his wife nodded without flinching in her own conversation.
The cool air felt refreshing compared to inside the theatre, Patrick moved along the well-lit footpath as cars passed by on their way to the line-up of fast food restaurants that clogged up the end of the street. Approaching an empty bench seat he looked back towards the lights, that highlighted the building, a desperate hope that Cindy had finished talking. The sitter would need to be relieved within the hour, and they were yet to eat. Taking a seat his hands cupped in front of his knees as he leaned forward, his gaze aimed at his hands, but to him, they were not even there, the world around him was not in his presence.
“I thought I told you not to look, son.” Patrick’s father said, looking at him with eyes that could pierce even the most hardened soul.
“Yes Sir, I am sorry” Patrick paused, not knowing what to do or where to go, “Sir,” he said, his eyes wide with a fear he had never known before.
“Son, there comes a time in life where we must take justice into our own hands.” Patrick nodded.
“This man,” his father pointed to the alleyway they had backed out of moments before, Uncle Donny was now driving the car, his silence made Patrick all the more nervous.
“He was going to destroy everything we have, son” Pausing long enough to seem like he was reflecting back on what he had done, though Patrick couldn’t be sure.
“Your mother cannot hear a word about this son, it would destroy her, and you don’t want to be the reason behind that do you?” He looked at Patrick his eyes beckoning him to respond.
“No, Sir.” He replied. “I promise I won’t say a word, Sir.”
“That’s good Pat.” He said smiling,
Patrick looked up from his position, his wife was still nowhere to be seen. Taking a deep breath, he looked at his phone. The time feeling like a heavy weight on him had moved ten minutes in what seemed to be longer. Glancing back at the entrance, he resisted the urge to get up and confront the women about his urgent desire to be fed before returning home. Less feeding the monster that would develop if he interrupted his wife in mid-conversation. Rising from the seat, he looked up and down the footpath, the tiled pavement lay bare, only those few remaining within the theatre, dared to step onto them before turning around the building down into the darkened carpark. His mind repeating the words his father had said when his wife exited the building.
“Time is ticking, we need to eat,” Cindy said, he looked at her as if he hadn’t noticed the time.
“This, we do my love,” Patrick replied, as his mind ticked over the words again.
‘We must take justice into our own hands.’