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


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


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 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.