Monday, 30 December 2013

New Year

New Year's Eve always seems to be the most disappointing time of the year. It is always built up by the media and by people to be this fantastic event - so much depending on it, how you spend the evening will be how you spend the rest of the year...

Rubbish!

In fact more than rubbish, completely and unutterably wrong! 

The only time anyone has been more wrong is Fred when he told me I needed to give up drinking and smoking. 

New Year's Eve has never been anything short of a drunken extravaganza designed to make bar and club owners rich and everyone else short of sleep the next day and a lot poorer to boot. 

Every year I hear people in cafes and bars and on the street and even in the off-licence talking about what they are doing for New Year's Eve and who they are doing it with - unsurprisingly some of these conversations involved a level of detail that no self-respecting eavesdropper would be comfortable hearing. Around the millennium it was almost unbearable to hear such hype that turned out to be nothing more than a doubly impressive let down.

In all honesty I try and ignore New Year, New Year's day often brings me a lot of profitable work so on the eve, getting to bed early and stuffing my ears with as much cotton wool as I can find has always been my common practice.

Now this has always proved to be somewhat difficult. There are many factors that always seem to conspire to make me stay up to see the clock change from 11:59 to 12:00 (as though I had never done that before). Most of these come in the form of, yes, you've guessed it - Frederick J. Barlow.

Fred has this horrible habit of thinking that I am lonely, that I am need of being kept cheerful on this most irritating of nights. Even worse than that is Harry Lee, yes Harry informs me continually that New Year's Eve is the perfect time to, and I quote "get Fred into bed and then let him down gently in the morning". What I don't understand is why Harry thinks I want to get Fred into bed, let alone let him down gently. I've never done anything gently in my whole life, I'm not about to start on New Year's Day.

That's the other thing that gets me about New Year, this idea that people's will power will somehow be greater at this point in the year than at any other time so they decide to create a resolution to do something... why the significance of the changing of the year? Why not when Spring becomes Summer? Or when Wednesday becomes Thursday (or Monday if you have managed to get yourself hospitalized and lost a few days in an unconscious state).

The only thing that has ever made New Year's Eve remotely fun was the time that Ryan turned up at 11pm telling me he knew where Kevin Metis was and that if I was quick I could shoot him in the knee caps and no one would ever know it was me...ah now that was a fun night - and no one ever did know I shot him in the shin and made him lose a toe the stiletto of the woman he was trying to seduce.

However it is now 10pm and I can hear footsteps on the stairs. It will be Fred coming to tell me that his girlfriend is no longer his and how he needs to drown his sorrows with me. If only I thought ahead every year I could go to somewhere remote and quite, like a monastery and not be disturbed, however I am not sure they would let me bring my guns or whiskey with me, so on balance that probably isn't the best idea.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas

Christmas happens to be one of my most favourite times of year. Not because the run up to Christmas is very busy for me with people wanting people followed to find out where money is being spent and why spouses don't come home after office Christmas parties, but because there is a certain level of peace and harmony that seems to fall over the city.

Yes, homes get broken into on Christmas eve of the richer element and have their presents stolen, there are drunken brawls and drunken drivers galore and A&E is not where I want to step foot given the number of incredible Christmas related injuries that occur, but none of this seems to have any effect on dampening my spirit.

Even Fred and Harry are less annoying at this time of year. We don't fight or scream or have any form of exciting adventures, we sit down to a nice meal together with Ryan and spend two days in peace and harmony

That is until I wake up and find the frozen pipes in my apartment, no food in the fridge, Harry has gone out of town with his latest conquest, Ryan has wound up in prison and Fred... Fred is sat with his girlfriend and her family in one of the large townhouses on the other side of the city having the middle class Christmas he loves so much.

Christmas is my favourite time of year because I get to have the peace and quiet of my place all to my self, the phone doesn't ring, no one bursts in unexpectedly and tries to rescue me for dangers untold and most importantly, no one tries to drink from the bottles I have stored up for the day except for me.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Catsuits

Catsuits are something are extremely useful in my line of work. They are aerodynamic, don't snag or get caught on things when you are throwing yourself around in a gunfight.

They are easy to clean and if I do get covered with blood - no one can tell if it has stained or not because the black leather hides it well!

There doesn't seem to really be any downside to a proper full leather catsuit except for the name...

Have you ever tried to search for a practical, every day catsuit? No? Well that isn't all that surprising. In fact I imagine I am one of the few people that would be looking for a catsuit that doesn't involved the search word "sexy" or "dance".

Worse still is when you are trying on several catsuits that you have had delivered and Harry Lee walks into your office. Granted changing in my apartment with the door to my office open probably wasn't the best idea in the world, but still Harry did not have to stand there for five minutes staring before he announced his presence.

The only thing that would have made the whole situation worse would have been Fred having walked in as well. Fortunately he didn't, though Harry irrupting and all his extremely helpful comments did make up my mind on one thing...

...though practical for my line of work, I don't think I could cope with Fred and Harry's continuous comments...

...maybe I should look into flight suits instead - at least then it wouldn't unzip all the way down the front...

Monday, 9 December 2013

12 Days of Christmas Reprise

On the first day of Christmas, the city gave to me, all the shreds of Fred's dignity.

On the second day of Christmas, the city gave to me, two gunshot wounds and all the shreds of Fred's dignity.

On the third day of Christmas, the city gave to me, three nights in hospital, two gunshot wounds and all the shreds of Fred's dignity.

On the fourth day of Christmas, the city gave to me, four weeks without heat, three nights in hospital, two gunshot wounds and all the shreds of Fred's dignity.

On the fifth day of Christmas, the city gave to me, five new enemies, four weeks without heat, three nights in hospital, two gunshot wounds and all the shreds of his dignity.

On the sixth day of Christmas, the city gave to me, six life-threatening situations, five new enemies, four weeks without heat, three nights in hospital, two gunshot wounds and all the shreds of his dignity.

On the seventh day of Christmas, the city gave to me, seven faulty firearms, six life-threatening situations, five new enemies, four weeks without heat, three nights in hospital, two gunshot wounds and all the shreds of his dignity.

On the eighth day of Christmas, the city gave to me, eight irritating clients, seven faulty firearms, six life-threatening situations, five new enemies, four weeks without heat, three nights in hospital, two gunshot wounds and all the shreds of his dignity.

On the ninth day of Christmas, the city gave to me, nine deadbeat boyfriends, eight irritating clients, seven faulty firearms, six life-threatening situations, five new enemies, four weeks without heat, three nights in hospital, two gunshot wounds and all the shreds of his dignity.

On the tenth day of Christmas, the city gave to me, ten packs of cigarettes, nine deadbeat boyfriends, eight irritating clients, seven faulty firearms, six life-threatening situations, five new enemies, four weeks without heat, three nights in hospital, two gunshot wounds and all the shreds of his dignity.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, the city gave to me, eleven day's at Harry's, ten packs of cigarettes, nine deadbeat boyfriends, eight irritating clients, seven faulty firearms, six life-threatening situations, five new enemies, four weeks without heat, three nights in hospital, two gunshot wounds and all the shreds of his dignity.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the city gave to me, twelve bitter arguments, eleven day's at Harry's, ten packs of cigarettes, nine deadbeat boyfriends, eight irritating clients, seven faulty firearms, six life-threatening situations, five new enemies, four weeks without heat, three nights in hospital, two gunshot wounds and all the shreds of his dignity.


It's nice to see that at least the city and Fred can agree on one thing...

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Murder in the First - Day 1

There are few days when I get time to myself, to enjoy life, to drink whiskey, read a good book, listen to good music - all without being disturbed. Today was not one of those days, no matter how much it looked like it would be when I woke up.

I woke up to a very cold and crisp morning, the city was covered in a light frost that sparkled in the early morning sun and made me wish that I had better heating in my apartment. I didn't care how many people were inspired to poetry by the sight - I cared about the fact that I had no running water and was at risk of having my apartment flooded again by burst pipes.

So after making sure there wasn't frost on the inside of my windows, and hitting the boiler a few times to make sure it was working, I was able to get up to find that I didn't have time to get dressed before Laurel and Hardy showed up to ruin my day. When I say showed up, I mean both Fred and Harry were already sat in my office looking at their watches and ignoring the fact that they could see their breath.

Now I am sure there are women out there who would welcome the sight of seeing these two annoyances first thing in the morning, I am however not one of them. As I was still in my night attire, that is more revealing than I would have liked at this point in time, Fred's eyes were firmly fixed on my legs. Harry chose to look out of the window instead. After trading the standard pleasantries such as "Get out", "What the hell are you doing here?" and "Fred, stop staring at my legs." and the threats of violence and arrest for the relevant sides of the arguments, I discovered why I'd been paid a visit by the gruesome twosome so early in the morning. Ryan, Fred's younger brother that wasn't so good at staying on the right side of the law, was in trouble.

I have always liked Ryan, he's a lot of fun and fairly harmless, even if he doesn't have the best judgement when it comes to his life choices - though I am hardly one to talk.

Ryan has always been in some degree of trouble. Normally he would come to me directly for help with death threats, loan sharks or gambling debts, mainly to avoid lectures from Fred, but as it was Fred and Harry paying me a visit and not Ryan getting on the phone, it seemed that it might be something a little more serious than normal.

And when I say a little more serious than normal - it was a lot more serious and when I say it was a lot more serious, it's just about as serious as a situation could get.

There had been a murder committed overnight and it turned out that Ryan was the prime suspect. Fred and Harry were not investigating what happened, that honour belonged to Richard Ellis and Ross Turndune. However Fred couldn't believe that his brother was responsible, so as he couldn't interfere professionally he had come to me to help.

Ryan wasn't in custody yet, in fact no one knew where he was, he hadn't been since the murder had taken place and the victim hadn't even been identified yet either. There seemed to be an awful lot of work to do and not much that Fred and Harry could do to help without winding up being arrested.

I spent an hour listening to Fred protesting Ryan's innocence and Harry telling Fred I needed to go get dressed, before Harry managed to steer Fred out of my office and let me sit down and think about what I needed to do.

I needed to work out where Ryan was, work out who had been murdered, why they had been murdered, who had murdered them and if Ryan was really innocent - it wasn't a very long list of things to do really...but before I could do any of it, I really did need to get dressed.

Looking for the perfect Christmas present for Raven Siren fans? Look no further!  The Nicolette Mace books are now available in digital and paperback from Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Break in

I am not someone that is known to follow and uphold the law to the letter. I often find that it is restricting in so many ways, but I do appreciate that it is there for a reason. It separates the bad guys from the good guys and gives everyone the opportunity to choose which side of it they wish to be on; or if they want to jump between the two like I do.

When it comes to those who uphold and enforce the law, there should be no choice between good and bad and definitely no jumping back and forth between the two. Those in law enforcement should be impeachable bastions of honesty, justice and would sooner die than break the law that they serve. This is why I despise individuals like Gary Rogers, Richard Ellis and Ross Turndune as they have thrown aside all decency and loyalty when accepting money from criminal organisations whilst they are serving members of the police force.

Yes, another reason I find them so unbearable is the number of times they have tried to get Fred and Harry, but mostly Fred, fired.

Equally I find myself feeling the opposite of this vile repulsion when it does come to Fred and Harry, mostly because they have chosen life in the police and they do uphold the law without compromise - at least that's what I thought.

I spent an entire week coming home to my office and apartment to find things were not quite right. Yes the place was still decked out in the ridiculous decor that Fred and Harry had chosen when they had forced themselves upon me as house guests, but that wasn't what made it feel strange.

It felt as though someone had been there and had been moving things around as though they were looking for something. Items were not missing, but several things were not where I had left them as I had gone out earlier in the day.

I decided that the only way to find out if someone was coming into my place or if I was just becoming wildly paranoid, was to set up a surveillance point in the abandoned building across the street. The first thing I did was retrieve my sniper rifle from the super secret weapons stash and the second thing I did was break into the abandoned building.

I spent three nights not sleeping and watching my apartment through the sight of the sniper rifle without seeing anyone and I honestly began to think that I was possibly as crazy as most people assume I must be. But on the fourth night I was rewarded with someone breaking in.

Oh all the people I had thought it might be, Fred was the last person I would have named, though in hindsight, with the number of times I have broken into his place, I should have expected it. Never-the-less he stood there, as clear as day and began to carefully search my apartment. I would say I was speechless, but I was too angry with him to be speechless.

I picked up my phone and called Fred, I watched him look at his phone and answer, I then screamed at him down the phone for at least ten minutes before taking a breath and when all he did was laugh in response, I fired a warning shot through my window.

I should really start to think before shooting, especially when I am firing at Fred in my apartment...

I didn't hit him, but the bullet may have gone straight into my bathroom and shattered the toilet bowl. Now my apartment is flooded and I am having to stay at Fred's whilst the damage is being fixed - and when I say being fixed, waiting for me to have the money or leverage to blackmail someone into fixing it for me.

The worst part is, I still don't know what Fred was looking for or whether he was just breaking in and moving things to drive me up the wall.

Looking for the perfect Christmas present for Raven Siren fans? Look no further!  The Nicolette Mace books are now available in digital and paperback from Barnes and Noble. For more information about the Nicolette Mace universe please visit the wiki.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Cushions

Soft home furnishings have never been something that I have considered to be high on my priorities list. There are many theories that have been posited as to why this it - my mother was killed when I was just a girl, I never had a soft feminine influence in my life, my father was a private investigator, I never had nice things that I wanted to keep nice, that I am psychotic, I was never handed a Dunelm or John Lewis catalogue to leaf through...

Personally I don't think me being psychotic has anything to do with my lack of interest in interior design.

However my lack of caring about this turned out to not be a lack of caring, but liking my place just as it was. After the invasion of Harry and Fred and the subsequent the death threats and the throwing of several items they may have bought for my place out of the windows, I was left with a very odd situation.

There were stacks of paint charts, furnishing catalogues and wallpaper samples that had been left behind, taking up vital space in my office. There was new furniture that didn't creak and threaten to give way the moment it was used. The smell of rising damp seemed to have been replaced by a floral smell that emanated from a pile of colourful dried petals and scraps of fruit that had been purposefully made into the state - not just left in the corner of the room and forgotten about.

In short my wonderful, comfortable, grotty, damaged and dingy apartment had been turned into somewhere that approached being habitable.

What was the strangest thing of all was that there seemed to be things that looked an awful lot like overstuffed pillows now sitting on the sofa. Fred had called them cushions and I had called them a waste of time, well until I threw them at him and then I discovered they were really quite useful.

The very disturbing part about all of this is I actually quite like what they have done with the place, it is nice to not smell rotting mice corpses when I open the door to my home. It is really comfortable to snuggle up on the sofa surrounded by the overstuffed cushions. It's reassuring that not all furniture threatens to break when a feather is laid on top of it.

I'd never tell either Harry or Fred any of this. They don't need to know I am grateful for their interference in the design and decoration of my home, but I may just start carrying one or two cushions around - never know when I'll need to hit one or both of them round the head.

Looking for the perfect Christmas present for Raven Siren fans? Look no further!  The Nicolette Mace books are now available in digital and paperback from Barnes and Noble.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Home Sweet Home

My place may not be much to look at, but it is home. It has been set on fire more times than I can count, had explosives planted beneath the floorboards, had burst pipes, hosted any gunfights and even been redecorated by an RPG. And yet it is still standing...sort of.

It's the one place that is mine in this whole world, the one place I can come back to and shut out everything on the outside and not have to deal with it. Yes, that is by close a very thin connecting door, and yes, the moment I open it again the world is sat in my office with guns pointed at me - but the differentiation is very important.

Everyone goes on about how you need to take time to rest, to have a space to relax in, well this is mine.

No matter how many times it gets invaded by annoyingly inquisitive police officers, and overly sexually active police officers. No matter how many times I have walked in to find Mexican drug dealers playing Russian roulette with delegates from the UN. No matter how many times it has been burnt to the ground, blown up or used as a shooting gallery - it is still my home and my quiet place.

Here there is nothing that does not belong, the mould on the window frames, the unwashed dishes, the small rodents that scurry about their daily business, the four automatic weapons strapped to the underside of my mattress - all of it belongs in this delicately balanced place of my harmony.

At least it was all these things before Fred got termites and then Harry got woodworm - I'm not entirely convinced there is a difference between the two - but apparently neither of them can stay in a hotel because they might be transporting the insects about so instead they have both decided to stay here.

Isn't it just wonderful how they both decide that it's okay to bring invertebrates into my home that will devour my belongings and not into a hotel where they pay to use the facilities so they can afford to replace things that get destroyed.

So now I have no place of tranquillity, no refuge from the outside world because my home sweet home has been taken over by two men that have been hunting the rodents, cleaning the dishes, destroying the mould and making my home into somewhere that most people would want to live in and not avoid. I walked in the other day to find them both looking at wallpaper samples and paint charts, a new three piece suite sat in my living room with a new laminate floor, standing lamp and 56 inch flat screen up on something Fred referred to as the 'feature wall'.

It always concerns me when men seem to know more about interior decorating than women do, normally when it comes to me that's okay, but when the words 'feature wall' are mentioned in conjunction with my home, there is something very wrong.

If the two of them don't stop soon, they'll find out very quickly why it is exactly that I keep four automatic weapons under my bed...or I would if my bed was still there...

Author Note: If you enjoy the blog entries of Nicolette Mace: The Raven Siren then check out the new Siren Wiki. Books of the adventures of Siren are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, iBooks, Sony, Kobo, Diesel and many more.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Blog posting hiatus

Due to family bereavement, C.S. Woolley will resume posting the Nicolette Mace blog on Monday 28th October.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Damsel in Distress

Fred and Harry decided that since I hadn't seen anything remotely Disney in my life, that I had missed out on an integral piece of my childhood. As a result they both felt the need to tie me to a chair and force me to watch Hercules with them.

Now I am not opposed to the good-natured fun for children and adults alike that the films promote. What I am opposed to is being subjected to Harry and Fred singing - seriously that is something nobody wants to be subjected to and also something I wouldn't subject Kevin Metis or Derek Long to.

The interesting thing about the film, besides discovering that Fred and Harry can't hit a single note, is the character of Meg. Meg I really liked. Yes she is a 'bad guy' that redeems herself and becomes 'good' and yes she does go to pieces over the sweet and noble Hercules, but this aside she makes an excellent point about being a damsel in distress.

"I'm a damsel, I'm in distress. I can handle it." 

I tried to point out to Fred how many times I had been in similar circumstances and told him the same thing. The jackass had the temerity to laugh at me as did Harry. I discovered as to why, when Hercules completely ignores Meg and tries to save her anyway.

Harry made certain parallels between what Fred and he do every time I get in over my head.

I have decided I dislike Disney. I would also point out that I am never in over my head, I just find myself in progressively higher water that never quite comes up over my head.

It made me wonder though how lots of different situations would have turned out if it wasn't for Harry and Fred complicating them. What I'd never tell them, and what they will never say to me, is that had they not interfered the first time I met them I would be dead. Just like Louise and my father.

Every situation since then I couldn't say the same was true, and there were all the times when I had to go and rescue them from the hands of certain death.

Does raise the question though of what the hero rules say about a dominus in distress...


Author Note: If you enjoy the blog entries of Nicolette Mace: The Raven Siren then check out the new Siren Wiki, the kickstarter project. Books of the adventures of Siren are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, iBooks, Sony, Kobo, Diesel and many more.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Hunting the Priest Killer - Day 9

Trying to find a co-operative gang peon is like trying to find a vegetarian in a steak house. Harry and I spent nearly seven hours trying to find out what had happened to Fred when he passed into gang territory without finding a single canary to sing for us.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that after seven hours both Harry and I were tired and a tiny bit grumpy…and when I say a tiny bit grumpy, I mean I may have shot out the tyres of a car because it drove through a puddle and splashed me.

We had attracted far too much attention without gaining any information. I would say that things were getting dangerous, but then again we were going after a gang leader with brute force – was never going to be a day playing in a strawberry patch.

What made it more dangerous was the rain. When it rains, it pours and people don’t take to the streets – not unless those people are looking for someone or something. So Harry and I needed to get out of the rain and whilst we waited for it to pass we could think of a way to find out where Fred was.

There were several abandoned properties of both home and warehouse; we decided home was less likely to be occupied by illegal business.

We were wrong.

Harry and I forced the backdoor of the first empty house we saw and walked straight into an interrogation. Fred was tied to a chair in the middle of the kitchen looking as if Mike Tyson, Frank Bruno and Mohammad Ali had all taken it in turns to practise on him.

On the plus side we had managed to find Fred by blind luck. On the downside we were now face-to-face with gang members that actually had more of an ideal of who we were and what they were doing with the guns they were aiming at our foreheads…at close range.

Bluffing seemed like the only way that any of us would make it out of the room alive, but neither Harry nor I had ever been any good at bluffing. So we surrendered, threw down our guns and got knocked out for it.

The next thing I remember is seeing Sykes’ ugly face peering at mine. A piece of advice – even if someone is tied to a chair and has been unconscious for an undisclosed length of time, don’t put your face too close to their’s or you are liable to find yourself suffering from a Glaswegian kiss.

Sykes learnt that the hard way.

Lots of threats and swearing followed, but ultimately the bleeding where I broke his nose stopped and he calmed down long enough to admit that it had been him that had killed Patrick.

I’m not sure how I thought I’d feel when he admitted to that, but it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as I had hoped. I think I would have felt vindicated, right, and then be able to shoot him between the eyes. This clearly didn’t happen. If anything I felt angrier than any of the times that Harry and Fred have been kidnapped or hurt.

I don’t really remember what happened next, but Harry swears from where he was sitting I did a complete Bruce Banner.


But then again, Harry is prone to exaggerate.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Tequila

There is something wonderful about tequila.

It is not a drink for everyone, but it does help separate the men from the boys in drinking contests.

I find it very helpful in getting rid of days that I would sooner not remember.

The last time I had tequila I started the evening at Joe's Place and I really don't remember anything until I woke up the next morning on Fred's sofa. At the time I decided that it was a good idea to retrace my steps and find out exactly what had happened.

Fred was not in his place and his bed didn't even look slept in, which made me wonder why on earth I was asleep on the sofa. However the best place to start looking for answers was going back to where I had started drinking.

Joe was less than happy to see me, it has to be said, in fact he leveled his shotgun at me and even threatened me! I was pretty certain that whatever I had done, Joe wasn't going to pull the trigger...after all he knows he can't shoot straight and just how annoyed I get by people firing lead towards my fashionable coordinated leather ensemble.

I did explain this to him though, just in case he had forgotten all of that. The explosion from the end of the shotgun that went wide and bit into the floor of the bar told me that I even if I knew what he should have done, he wasn't really in a good enough mood to remember that or be reasonable.

So I may have been forced to use violence to coerce information out of him. Well the threat of violence was more than enough to loosen his tongue. Apparently I had gone through three bottles of tequila, shot four people and Joe had called for Fred. When Fred had arrived I had told Joe that I was going to kill him for it...which explains his reaction to me turning up.

It turns out that I tried to punch Fred in the face when he told me he was taking me home, missed and went careening out of the bar door. Joe said he didn't know what happened after that, other than Fred chasing after me and what sounded like some colliding with a metal dumpster.

I went out to check for any evidence outside - like a blood trail, or perhaps Fred lying face down on the floor sleeping off a concussion. Sadly there was nothing. This was the moment that Harry graced the scene. He pulled up in his ridiculously flashy DBS Volante (I really don't know how he affords some of us stuff on his police salary), got out of his car, and threw his long coat over his shoulder - striding over trying to look cool. It's very hard not to laugh at people who are trying far too hard, so I didn't try to hold back. Admittedly rolling around on the floor unable to breathe due to laughing too much might have been going too far, but hell I didn't care.

Harry didn't say a word, but picked me up (I was still laughing), threw me over his shoulder, carried me to his overcompensation mobile and threw me in the passenger seat. He didn't say a word the whole drive and stopped his car outside his building. Fred was sat on the steps whiter than a sheet and shaking.

Turns out Fred had just stepped out to go get breakfast and came back to find me missing, having left behind one of my guns, my shotgun, my coat and my trilby, Fred had assumed I'd been kidnapped - especially as I might have left his apartment door open.

Harry had been woken up by Fred banging on his door and panicking. So Harry had gone out to find me and bring me back - unharmed.

In all fairness to him - Harry did exactly what he told Fred he'd do. Fred on the other hand may have chased me down the street shouting at me and throwing my belongings after me...was a good job the gun wasn't loaded.

Author Note: If you enjoy the blog entries of Nicolette Mace: The Raven Siren then check out the new Siren Wiki, the kickstarter project. Books of the adventures of Siren are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, iBooks, Sony, Kobo, Diesel and many more.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Friday 13th

I've never really understood all the fascination with Friday 13th, but that could have a small amount to do with me not believing in luck.

Don't get me wrong, I still use the various phrases that apply to luck - lucky guess, lucky dog, okay I use the word lucky. But I have no faith in luck, that luck will suddenly make everything better or worse depending on what I do - like avoiding walking under ladders.

Well actually I do avoid walking under ladders, but that's because people climbing up ladders drop things, fall off them and ladders also collapse. All of that has nothing to do with luck.

It's the same with breaking mirrors - all that broken glass is just dangerous.

Sure it seems to be my busiest day of the year when it comes to providing protection and yes it often ends with me shooting the people who have hired me because people jumping at the sight of their own shadows gets old quick.

But what I don't understand what makes people so nervous about this day. Surely the arbitrary nature of a date combined with a day doesn't make for a particularly bad day.

I mean anything bad that happens on Friday 13th isn't because of the day - it's just dumb luck.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Fred

So it has been a number of years since Fred first saved my life and yes, I still won't admit to his face that he did indeed save my life, but that is beside the point. I realized that I know very little about Fred's early life except for the little family anecdotes that Ryan, his younger brother, has told me.

Though these precious tales of misspent youth are entertaining (one does involve Fred being chased up a tree by two Chihuahuas, which is a particular favourite) they don't really tell me anything about the man he is.

Yes, he is annoying, more annoying than any other individual on the planet. And yes, he does seem to have a habit of turning up just in the nick of time to save me from horrible villains. And yes, he is incredibly kind and generous and all of these things that make men ideal, but that isn't really knowing him - it's knowing what he's letting me know about him.

So in an effort to learn more about Fred I decided that it was about time to break into his apartment and look through his belongings to see what I could find out. Okay, most people would think that just going out for coffee with him would be a much easier way of finding out what I wanted to know - but then I would have to sit opposite that smug face of his and listen to the glee in his voice about me spending time with him.

Clearly my only option was to break into his house.

And when I say break in, it's hardly breaking in when I have a spare key. And when I say have a spare key, I know where Fred keeps it (on top of the door frame is not really the most secure place to leave a key). So I was merely trespassing when it comes down to grounds for prosecution.

Trying to find out information that helps you get to know people better is surprisingly difficult. Fred doesn't have a whole lot of pictures of family decorating his place. There are lots of pictures of me, Harry and Ryan alongside Fred but none of his parents or wider family.

I'd heard rumours that he'd been married or close to being married, but I'd never seen Fred with any woman and he never spoke about them in front of me. I once asked Ryan about it and then Harry but both of them said the same thing "he's in love with you, why would he be married to anyone else?"

That was something I didn't really appreciate.

After an hour of snooping around his apartment I found a shoebox in the bottom of his wardrobe that didn't have any of his handcrafted Italian footwear in. It was crammed full of letters and pictures of Fred with different women in cuddly poses. The letters were written by him and to him and also were incredibly sweet and cute and all the words that most women would associate with their dream man...

I spent what seemed like five minutes, but was more like three hours, reading through all the letters and notes and discovering an awful lot I didn't know about Fred, including the fact that he was engaged to a girl called Jessica Beach about three years ago. The ring was even in the box complete with engraving but there wasn't any information as to why they weren't married.

It was just after I discovered this that Fred may have come home and found me sat on the floor of his bedroom, surrounded by ALL his love letters and looking at the ring...it wasn't the best situation to be honest.

It took about forty minutes for him to stop yelling at me, to snatch the ring out of my hands, stuff the letters back into the shoebox and throw it back in the wardrobe. When he'd done all that he did spend a further fifteen minutes ranting "how dare I invade his privacy" and telling me to "get out of his house and never come back" - it's amazing how bent out of shape he was over it all. I never thought he'd be so upset, if I had then I would have just emptied the shoebox and read it all back at my place and snuck all the papers back later.

Still, after all the shouting and ranting was done and I may have apologized, he didn't seem too mad about it, but it is hard to tell if people are angry with you when they are kissing you.

Author Note: If you enjoy the blog entries of Nicolette Mace: The Raven Siren then check out the new Siren Wiki, the kickstarter project. Books of the adventures of Siren are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, iBooks, Sony, Kobo, Diesel and many more.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Hunting the Priest Killer - Day 8

Hunting the Priest Killer – Day 8

Harry and Sykes have a teeny little bit of a history. You might say that Harry wanted to beat Sykes into a pulp, then chop him into tiny pieces and throw them into a river filled with piranhas – but that would be understating the situation somewhat.

Harry had been in love only once, a girl named Sabrina (yes we all made jokes about teenage witches). She had been somewhat of a renegade, a problematic agent working for Interpol, well problematic for her superiors – I thought she was great. She and Harry were at each other’s throats from the moment she arrived until the moment that they both realised how much they cared about the other.

Sabrina had been sent to help investigate the rise in drug and violent crime in the city after Sykes had disposed of her when she and I had gotten too close to what he was doing. Harry had never forgiven the man for murdering her and had even left the district to get away from him, but he could never quite bring himself to leave the place where he had planned to build a life with Sabrina.

Going to Harry had been a last resort, but also a chance for him to get his revenge. Fred had been his best friend for longer than I had known either of them and I don’t think Harry was prepared to lose someone else he loved at the hands of a pillock.

So when we walked straight into a group of teenagers with mini arsenals, it wasn’t really the start we’d been hoping for – in fact you could say that it was directly the opposite.

Harry, uncharacteristically, had come armed. So with the small amount of gunfire; and when I mean small, I mean small for conflict in the Middle East; broke out, we were more than capable of defending ourselves. There were seven of the grunts, though thankfully none of them were carrying sticky grenades. It took less than ten minutes for us to dispatch them. Being heavily armed wasn’t really any indication to their ability with the weapons.
I would say we did our best not to kill them, but I would be lying. Having a few less gang peons roaming the streets really made it safer for everyone.

We still had the problem of getting to where Fred had gone. Other than after Sykes and into his territory, we really had no idea. This is when keeping one of the peons alive might have been a good idea.


But there were plenty more of them out there.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Heat Wave

The weather has been so hot recently that even I began to rethink my wardrobe.

Walking around in full biker leathers is normally not a problem as far as regulating my body temperature goes, but in the last few days it has been so warm that even air conditioning hasn't kept me from fainting. The worst part of that is that I happened to faint in front of and be caught by - yes, you've guessed it, the most insufferable man ever to don a uniform. I came to with the sight of his smug face before my eyes. 

Now I will admit there are times when Frederick J. Barlow can be a charming and delightful individual. Most of these times are when he is in trouble and begging for help, but nether-the-less they do exist. Needless to say this was not one of those times. 

You may think I am being overly harsh but when I came to, I wasn't on the street where I had passed out. No, I was in a jail cell, with my hands cuffed and Fred looking far too pleased with himself. Apparently there had been reports of a woman matching my description assaulting people at an ice rink with a pool cue.

Unfortunately it does sound like something I would do.

This has given me another reason to rethink my wardrobe. Clearly there are people out in the wider world that have started to impersonate me to take out their petty grievances against the world in my name so they won't get caught.

It took me four hours before I could prove that at the time of the incident, I was sat in Joe's Place explaining the finer points of whiskey to a man who had only ever drunk bourbon. 

What it comes down to is that changing my wardrobe, at least for the duration of this heat wave would mean I wouldn't pass out into the arms of annoying policemen but also wouldn't be constantly arrested for things I didn't do. The downside to this is that I would have to go shopping...

On second thoughts, passing out is quite refreshing really and me wearing different clothes really wouldn't stop Fred and Harry from arresting me every other day.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Laundry Day

There are certain things that most people don't expect me to do: paint my nails, cook a full Sunday roast, be nice; and on the whole they are right. However on this list of things that most souls would never imagine me doing is laundry.

I understand where this misconception has come from and Harry was punished accordingly, but even this stunningly boring chore does have it's upsides. No, I haven't met the love of my life in the launderette and haven't had the courage to speak to her, but it is the one quite place I have found where I can think.

There are no phones ringing with people wanting me to do things for them for a pittance, no annoying policemen circling about trying to save me from myself, no assassins lurking behind the fabric softener - in essence it is my haven.

There is no particular enjoyment in the actual act of cleaning clothes, but knowing that Fred's clothes are all sent out for cleaning and Harry's mum still does all his washing means that they will never frequent the place and never even think of looking for me near a washer or dryer. 

24 hour places are even better as between the hours of 1am and 2am there are only drunks and tramps trying to keep from freezing to death on the streets and for some strange reason they keep to themselves. I'm not sure what it is about a woman doing her laundry after the witching hour, heavily armed, that makes people feel so antisocial. I think it is rather rude actually.

In fact the amount of laundry I do is quite a good indication as to how bad my week has been. If it's been especially bad it's every Wednesday and Saturday though I skipped the weekend a few weeks back.

Though I feel I should be careful where I do my laundry as it is known for villains and wannabe villains to frequent launderettes - in fact I'm a little bit suspicious of a young blonde man who calls himself Billy...

Monday, 12 August 2013

Camping

There are many things in this world that I don't see the attraction of doing. Using sandpaper as toilet paper, being locked in a room with Kevin Metis, eating any form of invertebrates, I could go on. However camping had never really crossed my mind as needing to be on that list. Well that was until I woke up in a tent this morning.

It is a shock to the system when you wake up in a tent, especially as the night before you went to sleep in your own apartment. Fred and Harry felt it was a good idea to kidnap me during the night as a joke.

A joke!

I woke up under canvas with rain pelting down on it. Not only was I under canvas, but I was in the smallest space imaginable. Needless to say I was less than impressed. My normal reaction to this kind of behaviour would have been to chase them both down and shoot them in the knee caps. Unfortunately this was not an option at this particular time; not because I had any change in my character or had been flooded with a sudden sense of remorse you understand. Oh no, it was solely down to the fact that I didn't have my guns. In fact all I had on was my very thin, very see-through nightdress.

There are times when I can be a reasonable person, they might be very few and far between, but I can be reasonable. For example I have never, to date, shot Mayor Major Tyler despite him deserving at least two hospital stays for his incredible inability to do his job. I haven't spent my time consumed with plotting revenge against Richard Ellis even though he tried to put my favourite gunsmith out of business. Yes, I can be a very reasonable person. However when I am taken from my bed in the middle of the night in attire that is less than suitable for the great outdoors and shoved into a coffin comprised of poles and semi-waterproof material I am not really inclined towards being reasonable.

I could hear the two of them outside the tent trying to contain laughter, they have always found themselves far funnier than they actually are. So I decided, for the moment that restraint would be a good course of action...and when I say restraint, I mean I wouldn't bludgeon them both to death with rocks from the edge of the campfire.

Since my clothes didn't appear to be in this claustrophobiac's nightmare, I had to go out and face the two morons in something only slightly more discreet than my birthday suit. Upon emerging the first thing I noticed wasn't how breathtaking the scenery was, nor how peaceful the place seemed to be, no the first thing I noticed was how quickly Fred's laughter turned to blushing and looking away. Harry stared unashamedly and was given a damn good thrashing with a nearby fallen branch until Fred brought me my clothes.

Harry tried to talk his way out of trouble and when that didn't work the two of them took me out on the nearby lake to fish...as this was really going to improve my mood. As soon as we were in the middle of the lake, the two of them mysteriously ended up falling overboard and I rowed back to the shore before they could climb back aboard. Fifteen minutes later the two managed to crawl their way back on to dry land.

They were right though, going fishing really did make me feel so much better.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Hunting a Priest Killer - Day 7

Harry is the kind of person to hold a grudge. Though clearly grateful that I saved him from an awkward conversation with the Mayor about the twins in the hot tub, it had dawned on him that the hole in the side was not going to fix itself. In fact he seemed to think, for some ridiculous reason, that I should have to pay for the damage.

Me pointing out that it wouldn't have happened if he hadn't hung up on me clearly was not the best thing to do, though if Harry hadn't then tried to throw me off the balcony we wouldn't have ended up having a fist fight that broke his coffee table...and his brand new TV...

I don't get invited to his place much.

It took about an hour for us to broker a peace and to sit down and think about what we were going to do about Fred. Fred going after Sykes and the Snake Devils was understandable even though it is on his top ten list of 'stupidest things he's ever done'; though not quite good (or bad enough) to grab the top spot. That still belongs to the time he decided to go undercover to break a child pornography ring and didn't tell anyone he was doing it. It took a long time and a lot of awkward, searching questions to get him out of trouble that time. 

So with Harry on side, we had at least a small fighting chance of getting Fred out alive and making sure Sykes paid for what he did to Harry. 

The other thing we had going for us was how unpopular Sykes was as a leader and how many of his gang land pals felt it was him who had arranged the downfall of the Snake Devils former leader - Jarndice. 

Normally those kind of suspicions led to feelings of respect and fear, but this was a slightly more complicated situation.

Jarndice had been a scumbag, no morals, no conscience, but he was smart. He had managed to outwit and stop Derek Long on more than one occasion, granted not without the help of yours truly, but all the same impressive. Jarndice had held together the gang through many attempts by the other neighbouring gangs to destroy them and expand their territory without opposition from residents and other gangs. 

All in all, Jarndice had made the gang untouchable and so far Sykes really didn't measure up. Shooting Patrick was seemingly the start of his campaign to prove himself, but I wasn't about to let that happen.

Harry and I both agreed that if Sykes got hold of Fred, then Fred would end up being nailed to a perch to be kept from pushing up the daisies. We had to wait until nightfall before we could go into the gang territory to try and avoid detection.

The only problem with going in at night to a gang held area of the city - walking smack into a group of low level gang peons who had a more impressive arsenal than any 80s action hero.

Needless to say the Rescuers business was safe from being threatened by Harry and I.


Also if I get shot by Sykes - I am going to kill Fred.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Sunbathing

For those of you that aren't acquainted with my dressed habits - I don't tend to ever have more of my flesh exposed than necessary in public.

The reasoning for this is two-fold. Firstly, the amount of people who regularly try and kill me, attack me, throw me through windows, means that I really want to protect my skin and vital organs as much as possible and a reinforced armoured bikini really doesn't provide as much protection as I would like.

The second reason is much less understandable - I don't like exposing myself in public! This seems to be a rare point of view as it seems that as soon as the sun comes out not only do women start dressing in little more than handkerchiefs but the male population decides that everybody desperately wants to see them walking around topless...

One of the worst offenders of this crime is Harry Lee. Though I will grant his many hours at the gym have paid off by granting him striking abs, I really don't want to see them as long as the sun is out. I may have pointed this out in no uncertain terms which has led to my current predicament.

Worse than people walking around mostly naked for me is being dragged to a beach where people wear swimwear that is either two sizes too small, speedos, white so the moment it hits the water it becomes completely see through or they just don't bother altogether.

Fred and Hardy decided that after my small complaint to Harry about his state of dress that dragged me kicking and screaming (in this case quite literally) to the sandy shores of the sea was a good idea.

I have flatly refused to give up my guns and my trilby but am now sat in less than underwear on a towel in a sandy hell.

Next time Harry walks around shirtless, I'm just going to shoot him.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Pain

Top ten most painful things I have ever gone through: -

1. Being shot in the knee and the wound being stood on
2. Being shot in the back
3. Being shot in the shoulder
4. Being shot in the foot
5. Being stabbed in the hand
6. Being shot in the arm
7. Being caught in a car explosion
8. Being shot in the knee
9. Being shot in the leg
10. Losing my two fingers.

Top ten most painful things to happen to Fred: -

1. Being hit with a baseball bat
2. Being shot
3. Being hit by a car
4. Dropping a table on his foot
5. Being in a car accident
6. Punching through a window
7. Dropping an iron on his foot
8. Breaking his toe on the shower tray
9. Burning his hand on the stove
10. Trapping his hand in the door.

Fred's life seems so much more dangerous than mine...

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Bored

I spend much of my life running from people trying to kill me, hiding from Fred, trying to earn a living without getting screwed over and annoying my neighbours.

Yet there are moments, snippets in time when none of the above is occurring...in short I have bouts of earth shattering boredom. 

These are rare mainly due to the frequency in which people try to kill me, but there are other things that keep me occupied during the quieter periods of my life. Such things as cleaning, field stripping and reassembling my entire weapon stock, including the weapons that are kept in my secret weapon store. I have also been known to follow Fred about and try to cause as many problems for him as possible. 

Unfortunately I have already cleaned, field stripped and reassembled my gun collection...twice and Fred has gone on a two week holiday to either Cancun, Madagascar, Belgium or Switzerland. He may have booked several holiday packages at the same time to stop me following him or he could just be the victim of credit card fraud...

Either way it has led to my current state of affairs...I am bored and when I am bored I do all manner of stupid things

When I'm bored I generally end up in jail.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Hunting a Priest Killer - Day 6

Fred was not the kind of man to hold a grudge...after yelling at me for ten minutes, telling me how stupid I was, how unprincipled and that I was in over my head; he finally let me talk.

We stayed up most of the night talking at Fred's place about what we could do about Sykes and the Snake Devils. I was drinking whiskey and Fred was drinking coffee. Needless to say I woke up with a hangover to discover Fred had gone. 

This wasn't unusual, neither was the fact that Fred had clearly carried me to bed when I had fallen asleep in the living room and left me fully clothed. He hadn't left any note though as to where he had gone. This was problematic for several reasons.

1) If he had gone to work then I would have to wait for him to come back before I could do anything about Sykes and his serpent friends. 2) If he had gone after the Snake Devils, then he had gone alone and was probably going to end up being shot and dumped in a ditch. 3) He had taken my guns from me whilst I was asleep and I didn't know where they were. 4) I might have to also ask Harry Lee for help.

Of all these problems, the discovery of where Fred had hidden my weapons was the easiest to solve. Thinking of the last place that he would think I would look for them is often the best place to start. After I had checked the washing machine, the dishwasher, the oven and the cupboard where the vacuum is stored, I found them in the top draw of the nightstand by the bed. 

I decided that phoning Harry wasn't the most horrible of ideas as he would be able to find out if Fred was working and if he wasn't then I'd be in the perfect position to get Harry to volunteer to help find him. It took four phone calls to find Harry and a further six to actually speak to him. That's the problem of calling a man who seems to spend all of his off duty time in bed.

I swear the man has more girlfriends than brain cells.

He did however confirm that Fred was not working today and then very hurriedly hung up. It was at this point that it occurred to me that going to see Harry in person might just be the best way to get his co-operation.

He didn't live that far from me, so twenty minutes later I kicked in his door and found him in the hot tub on his balcony in a very clich├ęd situation with twins. 

It's amazing how effective wits and bravado are in clearing a room and even more astounding how much more effective twin revolvers can be. Harry was a tiny bit mad about having a hole in the side of the hot tub, but he seemed to calm down when I told him that the twins were related to the Mayor; and had Mayor Major Tyler found out about them being in Harry's hot tub, well, that life could have been more than a little unpleasant.



It was also this point that I chose to tell him about Fred going off to take on Sykes on his own. 

Monday, 13 May 2013

Lazy Afternoons

There are many reasons that I enjoy winter. It's dark most of the time, which makes my life much easier, lots of shadows for me to hide in. It's cold so most people tend to stay indoors and dress in thick layers of clothing. So there is always a feeling of sadness in what passes for my heart when I see the first snowdrops appear in flowerbeds.

It's not because I have anything against the summer. On the contrary, it's nice not having ice on the inside of my windows. What I have a problem with is the lazy afternoon mentality that people seem to get in the summer - that and the fact that girls seem to think letting erroneous parts of their body hang out of their clothing is a good thing.

How can I track targets covertly through parks and streets when people all look and stare at the woman walking around in a long black trench coat because they have nothing better to do than laze about in the sunshine?

Fred is also especially unbearable during the summer months. His mood always seems to be elevated to unacceptable highs. It makes it so much harder to annoy him. As soon as he has had his Star Wars geekery fed at the start of May, he is as giddy as a school girl with pigtails until September arrives.

Harry is the only saving grace of all this as he hates the summer and when I say hates, I mean he would love to pack it into a box and throw it off a cliff and then become best friends with Kevin Metis and Derek Long and throw parties in their honour...the strange thing is though, he won't explain why it is that he hates it so much.

He doesn't have hay fever, nor is he pale skinned to the extent that opening the curtains gives him sunburn. I have come to one of two conclusions on the subject though. He is either secretly a vampire (the kind that Sam and Dean Winchester would hunt) or he has an extraordinarily high body temperature that means when the climate changes to being in double digits he overheats. Personally I think the first one is much more plausible...

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Temperature

Why is it that the moment that it starts to get warm that I get ill?

It never fails. Every year as soon as the temperature rises out of tundraic proportions and into that of the tropics, my temperature goes up with it.

So predictable is this annual event that I received the weather forecast cut from the paper in the post. Fred had sent it along with a box of tissues and a get well soon card that was horrifically unsympathetic...especially since he had circled the rise in temperature in red.

The card he sent read:

Nic,

I wanted to thank you in advance this year for the two week period that you will be too ill to get out of bed and cause me headaches for. It is around this time of year that I like to kick back in the office and catch up on my paperwork, safe in the knowledge that you will not be breaking into my apartment or shooting half the population of the city.

Harry will be stopping by with some supplies for you in the next few days so you don't even need to stir out of bed and run the risk of your shortened temperature causing an accidental misfiring of your weapons in public places.

Get Well Soon Slowly

Fred

The moment that my body can move without my head spinning, all his furniture is going to the charity shops.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Neighbours

When living around other human beings it is always hit and miss...and I don't just mean my aim.

The people that have moved in and out of the building I live in have ranged from being the most aggravatingly arrogant members of society to the most sycophantic. Yes, even more so than Fred can be.

I'm not really sure what it is that attracts these people to where I live. It could be that the rent is ridiculously cheap, that most ordinary people find where I live to be unacceptable to look at let alone live in or it could be that Mayor Major Tyler knows just how much my neighbours annoy me and is sending these people to live in the my building.

Though the third is possible, especially after the number of letters I have sent complaining of my predicament to the mayor, I think that it is more that the first and second are the major cause.

This leaves me in an awkward position as despite the irritating cattle that inhabit the general environment around, I like where I live. It's an excellent place for my business to flourish and repairs to the building after the number of gun fights and explosions that have taken place here over the last few decades are very affordable.

Fred is insistent that I should live in his building as all of his neighbours are delightful. I am not sure that living around a bunch of Stepford wives is any better than what I am surrounded by now, in fact it could be much worse. And I'm sure that Fred's motivation for having me move into his building has much more to do with him being able to keep a very close eye on everything I am doing than improving my relations with my neighbours.

Considering how much clucking mother hen Fred would do constantly if I moved in, I think the loud, outspoken and downright rude neighbours are a much better deal.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Hunting a Priest Killer - Day 5

Somewhere quiet, that was the last place the police – or any one for that matter, would look for me was also a very comfortable place to relax and unwind after sitting in that horrible back room. I started by running a bath and soaking for a while just to get the feel of dank bar gun fight off me.

As to where I was, nobody in the world would think that when I was being hunted by Fred I would go to his apartment to hide. In fact, he was probably sat in my office now waiting for me to come home so it was only fair that whilst he was using my place, I used his.

On balance, I definitely had the better trade. His place was big and warm with lots of plush furnishings; mine was small, cold with furniture barely holding together. Fred’s fridge was well stocked with a variety of food, mine contained milk, eggs and some three week old takeaway noodles.

Sykes wanted to rise to fame and glory in the gang scene and with his meteoric rise he also wanted more territory. At this point there would be little to be gained from just shooting him, well except for an enormous amount of satisfaction. The stunt at the bar had the Snake Devils fighting each other for the moment, but that wouldn’t last long and there were always more peons to be found. In fact, killing Sykes would probably cause more harm than good. It would leave a power vacuum that those within would fight to seize control of the gang, and those outside would fight to destroy the competition. If that were to happen then more people would get hurt, more people like Patrick would suffer. So my usual plan of attack was not one that was going to work.

The more I thought about it, the more I realised that I couldn’t deal with the Snake Devils on my own. Yes I could hold them off in small numbers and pick them off one by one as they started to expand their territory, but the whole gang was a just a bit too much to take on, as were all the possible repercussions of my actions. In truth, I could think of only one thing that I could do.

I called Fred. I hated doing it and the angry response to calling him on his house phone was not at all satisfying when I had to tell him that I needed to talk to him, that I needed his help.

After that phone call I had to take another bath.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

In sickness and in health

It has finally happened...

I have finally been brought to heel...

I have become sick.

I have never been sick a day in my life before. Yes I have been to hospital countless times but that has been because of bullet wounds, broken bones, head trauma, being run over, thrown through windows, well a lot of different reasons really, but I have never been sick.

I woke up this morning with a fever that was high enough to stop ice forming on the inside of my windows. I tried to get up but found myself so dizzy that I fell straight back into my bed. The last time my head felt this bad was when Bob Davies took a baseball bat to it to stop me shooting his brother. I am coughing and can barely speak and I think I must be hallucinating.

I opened my eyes and Fred was sitting on my bed next to me, a wet flannel pressed to my head to cool my temperature. I could smell chicken soup being cooked and I wasn't in my apartment any more but in his. I had the duvet pulled up around me and I was wearing some very soft, warm and comfortable pyjamas. Fred was speaking very softly, too softly to be really audible, so I closed my eyes and went back to sleep.

When I woke up the second time I discovered I was not hallucinating. That in my weak and stricken state, Fred had effectively kidnapped me. Yes, the cities greatest private investigator was kidnapped from her bed by a Star Wars geek of a policeman. I wasn't sure what bothered me most about being kidnapped. It could have been that Fred had broken into my home and taken me from my bed without me waking. It could have been that I was now surrounded by luxury that I didn't have at home and realised that actually some of it was quite nice, the pyjamas for instance. Or it could have been that my guns were nowhere near me for the first time outside of a hospital. Whilst all of these were mildly irritating to semi frustrating, it was something else that bothered me.

It was the fact that whilst Florence Nightingale had brought me to the other side of the city to look after me whilst I was sick without my consent, he was right in doing so and I knew it! This revelation completely undermines my friendship or rivalry with Fred. He is not allowed to be right!  Not ever! Not because if he is right, I am wrong, but because when he is right he is so insupportably insufferable. He will use being nice to me as a way to stop me ridiculing him, or even worse stop me shooting other people. It's either that or I have to be equally nice to him to even the score and that might just make me vomit.

He had even called for a doctor to come who said that I would be in bed for a week, if I was lucky; had to take some foul tasting medicine and needed to sleep as much as possible. If I wasn't so tired, I would have argued with him about it. Fred showed him out and came back to feed me soup. He told me that I was staying here until I was well again and that he would look after me.

Can't believe it, it's going to be a year before I can shoot anyone again now! It did give me chance to talk to Fred about Patrick though. And though I would never tell him, it was nice to have someone looking after me.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Weather

What is it about the weather that people find so terribly suitable to fill awkward silences or create meaningless small talk from?

Is it that the rate of precipitation of any given day has the ability to thrill even those of a low boredom threshold? Is it that the humidity is of great concern due to the effect it can have on the hair styles of individuals? Is it that atmospheric pressure is key in understanding pressure systems? Is it that it is so changeable and unpredictable in this country that there is something fascinating about it? Or is it that people just like to have something generic to complain about that they think most people will agree with them about?

I recently may have planted bugs on a certain Police Sergeant's and though some of the information has proved very useful, the topic of conversation that routinely comes up is weather. Out of four hours of listening to the recordings of the bugs, one hour was about girls that the police force seems to be enamoured with, half an hour was talk about classified cases, twenty minutes were insults being thrown back and forth between Harry and Fred, ten minutes was Fred complaining about me (I don't understand what he could possibly have to complain about personally) and two hours of the conversations were about the weather.

Complaints about how it was too hot, then too cold, too sunny, too cloudy, too windy and too calm; there was not a moment when there was talk of the weather that they were not moaning about how awful it was.

Personally I have never found the changing of the seasons to be much of an interesting topic. In fact the only difference that it seems to make to me is that I have ice on the inside of my windows or I don't. It's times like these that I am reminded of a poem that my father used to recite to me and my sister and I think that Fred should really listen to...

Whether the weather be fine, Or whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold, Or whether the weather be hot, We'll weather the weather, Whatever the weather, Whether we like it or not!