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About grahamsealby

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    Romance, historical, mystery

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  1. Thnx for reading and your comment. When I hear from readers it motivates me to write but more importantly to improve my writing skills.
  2. Thnx for reading. I get motivated by readers such as yourself. Thnx again
  3. Hmmmm . . . maybe I'll write a sequel. Thnx for the thought and for reading my story. Greatly appreciated
  4. Thanx to all my story readers; I love interacting with you.
  5. Your very kind. I just love writing, particularly about gay issues. When reading other authors I get frustrated having to wait for a new chapter to be posted. I'm sure you must feel the same. I don't think it fair on readers to stop a story and then not add additional chapters till sometime down the line. I make sure I've finished my stories before I post them to GA. I'm not perfect and will always welcome constructive comments. Thank you very much for reading.
  6. All through the long morning and longer afternoon, Paddy struggled to get control of his shattered life. It was his inability to cry that troubled him profoundly; he acutely felt the need to let go and it seemed his hurt was beyond the influence of human responses. He knew if he didn't emote and give vent to his repressed feelings, he would become catatonic . . . again. He just moped around his home trying to find an outlet such as reading, cooking, bathing or tidying up. Nothing worked . . . but then the doorbell chimed. Giles . . .? And it was. When Paddy opened the door Giles was shocked to see his friend in such a traumatized state. Dark circles lay siege to his eyes; he had not shaved and his clothes were crumpled as if they had been slept in. He radiated misery. 'Geeze Paddy, (entering without Paddy's invite) you look terrible man; you look worse than when I left you this morning.' 'Oh Giles I'm so glad you're here 'cause I feel as if I'm gonna explode. I'm all bitter and twisted inside; I can't come to terms with all that’s happened. I'm sorry Giles, I'm a mess.' 'I can see that; what have you been doing; you're scaring me.' (Giles moved close and placed both his hands possessively on paddy's shoulders.) And that's all it took. Giles's kind and affectionate touch became the catalyst that opened the floodgates. Leaning against Giles, Paddy laid his head on his shoulder and started to sob, at first quietly, but this then quickly deteriorated into body racking howls. All the hurt, all the emotional pain, all the confusion and all the suffering, erupted in a torrent of tears. Paddy cleaved to his friend as a drowning soul would cling to a life preserver. There they stood welded together, one slightly taller than the other, one sobbing and the other trying desperately to comfort his friend. And then without any conscious thought, Giles tenderly turned Paddy's face towards him . . . and kissed him. At first the kiss was tender and slightly hesitant, but soon a wave of passion engulfed Giles and he threw all restraint away and the kiss became ardent. Initially Paddy's confused state didn't grasp what was happening but as soon as his conscious mind registered that Giles was kissing him, and kissing him passionately, he spontaneously reacted and returned the kiss. Then disbelief and alarm entered the equation causing Paddy to pull back and stare into Giles's eyes. 'Wha. . (sounding confused) what just happened? . . . you kissed me, Giles you kissed me . . . umm, why did you kiss me? . . . umm, what are you doing? Please don't fuck with me man; I (plaintive) I can't handle any more emotional crap . . . you kissed me! What does it . . . ?' 'Shush (placing his finger over Paddy's lips) shush, I wanted to kiss you . . . Paddy, and I want to kiss you again; just let's enjoy the moment. I'll explain later; let's . . .' 'No, no . . . now! Why are you kissing me? For years I've longed for a moment like this; you know it . . . you bloody-well know it! For years I was only able to regard you as a friend even though I died inside for want of something more. Now . . . now you're holding me and . . . and, kissing me . . . and, and telling me you want to kiss me again. Why? Why? why now? Please, please Giles; I can't handle any more emotional crap . . . please.' Giles angled his head so he was staring into Paddy's confused eyes. The pain that he saw cut deeply. Before he answered, he ran his tongue over Paddy's proffered lips causing Paddy's body to quiver in response. (Faltering) 'Paddy. . . I . . . I know how confused you must be; I'll admit to being a little bewildered myself, but I assure you I'm not here to give you any more pain. On the contrary . . . hey, (guiding Paddy to the lounge room) let's sit down on the sofa and I'll try and talk . . . to you, and . . . . at the same time, to myself.' Once seated Paddy still clung to Giles who in turn placed his arm around Paddy's shoulders; he gently kissed Paddy's forehead. Silence, for several heartbeats, then very hesitantly Giles continued, 'Slowly over the past weeks, I've been experiencing feelings that have (sigh) been long repressed. . . (pause) If you think back babe, when we were growing up, I never went out chasing females but instead spent most of my time with you. At some stage I began to worry about my feelings toward you specifically and then all males in general (pause). I knew deep down I was not attracted to females and this scared the shit outa me. Living life as a homosexual terrified me, so I opted for a coward's way out . . . namely, to find a woman and get married. (Giles gave Paddy's shoulder a gentle squeeze) I surmised that if I got married I would overcome my most basic instincts; I looked for a cure . . . yes, cure . . . I'm now so ashamed to admit my spinelessness.' 'Why . . . (angry) why didn't you say something? We could've talked; at least I would've known you held some feelings for me. As it was, I had to discipline meself that you were lost to any close relationship. Geeze Giles . . . all the time I pined for you and you were just trying to clamp down on yer feelings. Shit!' 'Yeah I know; I'm not proud of what I did . . . but let me continue please.' 'OK, you've got me bewildered. I want to hear the rest . . . or (sigh) do I?' 'Thanks. When I met Linda I immediately recognized a person who would prevail over my deepest cravings and point me on, on . . . towards, a normal lifestyle. (pause) Well, it worked for some time and when she bore children it seemed that I was indeed set on the right path. But then . . . then, (Giles turned and looked at Paddy's upturned anxious face) my long suppressed feelings began to remerge . . . in short, I began to get very jealous when others admitted to having physical relations with you; Billy in particular but then everybody in . . .' 'Giles, I had to slake my sexual needs somehow; I'm not ashamed . . . I'm not a slut and then . . . . Umm, whoever was available, so . . . .' 'Yeah . . . I know you're not a slut, I know that; I'm not accusing you for having sex . . . for God's sake, it was my fault that you went looking for others in the first place. I'm not in any position to judge you; on the contrary, you should be passing judgement on me. Please let me finish babe, I want to get this off my chest.' 'OK, sorry I interrupted; I'm a confused little slut right now. I want to hear the rest. Hey but what about Linda . . .?' 'I'm getting to her. Now, where was I . . . oh, yes? It was hard to admit that my care and concern for you was much deeper than mere friendship. I began to get intense longings to hold you, to cuddle you, to kiss you and, most importantly . . . to make love to you . . .' 'Make love to me? Do you mean . . .?' '. . . yes . . . ummm, I was an emotional mess . . . and to my shame I started to take it out on Linda and the family. Our relationship went from bad to worse and as a result Linda started seeing other men. Strangely, during our increasingly regular quarrels, she always insisted that our . . . umm, yours and mine . . . relationship was more than just friendship; I ridiculed her, but deep down I knew she was right. I guess I've always loved you; I just couldn't admit it. (long pause). That's about where I am now . . . umm, as to Linda, she and I are getting a divorce and I agreed to let her use myself as the faulty person so that the legal procedures will run smoothly. Oh, don't worry; your name won't be mentioned.' There was absolute quiet in the room as Giles finished his story. Then Paddy couldn't help himself; he dropped to his knees in front of Giles, who was sitting on the sofa, and pulled his head down to meet his own lips. This time the kiss lingered and deepened; soon both tongues were jousting with each other passionately. Then reluctantly, Giles disengaged himself and asked Paddy quietly, 'What are you feeling Paddy? The past 24hrs have been very traumatic and I'd like you to talk to me . . . please. I guess we both need to know where you are, both emotionally and physically. I don't want to take advantage of you; I don't want to take advantage of you when you're emotionally exhausted and not be able to think straight. In short I don't want to be cruel and inflict any more pain; so tell me . . . talk to me.' Paddy got up, sat down beside Giles and reached for his hand; he sounded drained. 'Yeah (slowly), yer right; I've really been through the wringer this past day. I really don't want to talk about . . . about . . . Ken, just yet (pause). I've got too many questions that I know will never be answered. Up until you appeared at my door I was sinking into an abyss, an abyss of emotional pain that threatened to engulf me (pause). Now . . . I find . . . or I'm told . . . that my only real love, my childhood love, the love that I had held but also held to be one-sided, is in fact attainable. I sit here holding onto you Giles trying to comprehend that you care for me also, and that you've cared for me for a long time . . . (pause) . . . wow! My heart is singing, but at the same time my mind is a bit addled. I'm a little scared of trusting people and . . .' 'Look that I can understand Paddy; you're right to not trust people and perhaps it's fair that you don't trust me. I try to see it from your aspect; I suddenly walk into your life and proclaim that, after rejecting your feelings for many years, I now say I've loved you since we were kids. Yeah, if the same thing happened to me I'd be suspicious as hell. I guess only actions can convince you of my sincerity; turn around and come here.' Giles stretched his long legs along the sofa and re-positioned Paddy so he was lying between Giles's legs with Paddy's back leaning against his chest. In this comfortable position Giles put both arms around Paddy and held him tight. In a flash, Paddy snuggled into Giles and so they lay quietly and comfortably together. Oh man, this feels so good; this feels so natural just lying here with someone you really care about. Strange but never with Linda did I feel this calm and relaxed; never with Linda did I feel genuine love; never with Linda did I want to give myself completely emotionally and physically; never with Linda did I just want to give and ask nothing in return. My heart is aching with the love I feel for this man. My life from this heartbeat forward will be to ensure Paddy's happiness. No one spoke; in this contented position they simply enjoyed the intimacy. But Giles's body began to misbehave. Oh man, the smell of his hair is intoxicating. I can smell his essential masculine odour even though he's bathed himself. (Unconsciously Giles gave Paddy's shoulders a squeeze). This feels good, it feels natural and . . . is long overdue. My body is reacting as it should; my penis is disgracing itself but I don't care, except . . . I want to make love, physical love, but I'm not sure how. I don't know how to have sex with another guy; Paddy's vastly more experienced than I and it would humiliate me to ask him what to do. Now I feel anxious . . .' (Softly) 'Giles . . . I don't know what you're thinking about but it must be erotic 'cause your cock's trying to stab me in the back; don't be embarrassed 'cause I'm flattered. There's only one solution.' 'Yes I know, except I'm nervous; I don't have any experience with male sex, but I'm randy as hell. Just sitting here and holding you is driving me crazy; my cocks so sensitive I could have a very messy accident. Tell me . . .' Moving very slowly Paddy disentangled himself and stood up facing Giles. Grabbing his arms he made Giles stand up and said, 'Come with me: we're going to my bedroom.' In the room, Paddy told Giles to sit on the bed. Kneeling down and maintaining eye contact, he slowly started to undress Giles, first by removing his shirt and then his singlet; admiration coursed through Paddy as he gazed on Giles's bare chest. Giles's shoulders were heavily muscled; a light dusting of dark hair covered his chest before seductively disappearing below his trouser belt. Paddy leaned forward and gently tweaked Giles's erect nipples, which caused Giles to moan with pleasure. 'Please Paddy I don't . . .' 'Shush, don't say a word; I'm gonna give you more pleasure than you've ever experienced. Just lie back and let me adore you; I've waited too long for this . . . sorry, we've waited too long for this. Kneeling over Giles, Paddy's tongue tormented him by licking his chest, then licking his armpits and finally playing with his erect nipples. His tongue then explored Giles's ear recesses whilst maintaining a soft caress of his engorged nipples. Giles was in a state of intense bliss as he succumbed to Paddy's advances. Tendrils of fiery pleasure surged through his body, his breathing became irregular and his penis began to messily discharge. Then, still stroking his nipples, Paddy kissed him. Giles responded passionately by using his hands to pull Paddy's head closer for a deep loving kiss. Their tongues jousted as they exchanged body fluids. But his cock became a problem as it demanded to be released from its prison; he was about to plead with Paddy to do something when Paddy broke the kiss and let his hands wander down to his belt. Giles watched . . . and felt, Paddy undo his belt, loosen his fly and slowly drag his trousers down until just his underwear remained. He was mortified to see that his throbbing cock had discharged a goodly amount of juice which had stained his undies. But any discomfort evaporated as Paddy bent down and sucked the head of his penis and the juice that had oozed out. Giles gave an involuntary moan and shuddered as a new wave of pleasure engulfed him. It was a sensation he'd not felt before and was so intense that he started to climax. 'Oh god Paddy, I'm gonna cum . . . I can't hold back . . . I'm sorry . . . oh my god . . .' Surprised, Paddy hastily removed Giles's undies and enclosed the naked cock with his mouth. Giles began to groan, and then convulse and soon big globs of juice started erupting. It was warm, thick, salty and plentiful. Paddy kept swallowing as fast as he could to accommodate the volume of juice gushing forth; he kept up until he sensed that Giles had been drained. Then he straightened up and watched as Giles's body recovered slowly; he lay comatose, his eyes were unfocussed and his breathing heavy as small shudders still convulsed his body. Slowly Giles recouped and sitting up smiled self-consciously at Paddy. 'That (throaty with after sex) . . . that was incredible; that has never happened to me before (pause). I can't believe I climaxed just by you touching me . . . (Giles paused to steady his breathing) Wow! (Gathering his thoughts) You see with Linda, I was always relieved to have an orgasm; it was a relief to be able to cum, as I was more fulfilling my duty rather than having fun. I have never . . . and I mean never, had an intense orgasm like that. Umm . . . I'm sorry I made such a mess . . . god, did you really swallow all my juice? 'Yes, (laughing) it tasted beautiful and I swallowed every last drop; here, taste yourself.' Paddy leaned forward and kissed Giles allowing the remnants of his semen to enter his mouth. Breaking the kiss Giles asked Paddy, 'Shit Paddy, I'm still hard; I feel like I need to go again . . . hey . . . what about you mate, can I . . . ?' 'Giles I'm Ok, really. It's just that I've been battered emotionally and physically these past 24 hours . . . I feel how a punching bag at the local Gym must feel after a day of being used; I just need time to start functioning normal again. Right now all I want to do is give you pleasure. You'll know soon enough when I'm ready; (laughing) I can be very aggressive sexually. All I want to do now is to show you how much I love you; you've given up a lot for me babe and I want you to know how much I admire your sacrifice . . .' 'Sacrifice . . . there hasn't been any sacrifice. On the contrary I should be punished because I've caused hurt to three people; yourself, Linda and the girls. No . . . don't think on me as a martyr, I regard meself as a weak, spineless creature. I've got a lot of making good to do.' Paddy looked deep into Giles's eyes and saw the pain; saw the struggle and the guilt. 'I love you Giles . . . but you know that, you've known that since we were young'uns but I'm worrying is it too soon for you to make a commitment . . .to make a commitment to me . . . to us? As much as I'm handling a mess of stuff over the past day, what about you, from what you said you've also had a lot of crazy stuff also; if you want time to think about . . . to think about us? I'll understand.' Giles propped himself up on his elbow and looked earnestly at Paddy; at the same time seductively tracing his finger over Paddy's shoulder. 'Yeah you're right, it's been a roller coaster ride for sure but I'm the one feeling a bit insecure. I mean . . . I mean . . . umm . . . Ken. You were in love with him . . . deeply in love so you said. Now in the last 24 hours he's gone but I'm wondering if he's really gone; you can't just simply forget the feelings you had towards him . . . can you?' Silence. (Sigh) No you're right, of course you're right. But here's the thing . . . he lied to me. I don't know whether it was intentional or just that he was trying to make a new start. I'll never know will I. So I'm left with two choices; either dwell on the mystery and let it consume me or . . . move on.' 'Yeah that would be the conventional wisdom, but can you? I mean it's a big ask; you're only human . . . mind you, a very beautiful human (Paddy lightly punched Giles) I guess what I'm saying is that I'll be by your side to help you get through it. As for me babe I've set a new course; I'm with you . . . I'll always be with you.' 'Are you sure that . . . ?' 'Look, what happened just now was simply fantastic. For the first time sex wasn't about doing my duty. Linda never indulged in foreplay. I would get an erection and then we'd fuck until she came; I felt used. Now I can see how sex can be shared and enjoyed but , more importantly, it brings together two people who care about each other; in short it's a process of giving and sharing . . . not taking. To answer your question . . . yes, (tweaking Paddy's nipple) I'm sure.' Silence . . . Paddy leaned forward and kissed Giles. 'Ok then, Ok; how do we conduct ourselves from here?' 'You mean work? (Paddy nodded yes) Let's just play it cool in the short term. In the long term . . . have you ever considered leaving the force?' 'To do what? Ummm . . . no, I haven't thought about leaving much. What's on yer mind?' Giles looked at Paddy earnestly and explained, (Slowly )'I)'ve often thought about buying a small farm up on the north coast . . . not too far from the ocean and well . . . farming it. It was always a bit of a dream for me but I never gave it any serious thought because Linda would object . . . but now . . . now, maybe we could make a go of it?' Silence as Paddy absorbed what had just been said, 'Yeah (cautiously) . . . yeah, hey . . . that might just work for me. We'd be together, no one to interfere or judge us. Yeah . . . I like it but, how much money would we need?' 'Not sure, but I did do some preliminary investigation some time back. I found that it wasn't too expensive; couple of places I looked at were well within my finances. I was agreeably surprised.' 'Hey (getting enthusiastic) I think I'm hooked. Yeah, I don't know too much about farming but I would like to learn; yeah, I definitely could do this. What sort of farm did you have in mind? *** And that's where it ended. Paddy and Giles brought a small banana plantation on the NSW North Coast and made it prosper. They had put the past behind them and in spite of the homophobic atmosphere of the 1920's in Australia they enjoyed a successful life together. One day, whilst sitting on their front porch, the morning mail arrived. In it was one particular letter addressed to Paddy. Inside was a photo of Billy and a young girl holding up a new baby. On the back was a note which said the little bundle was their new baby boy . . . named Paddy. Epilogue Chief Inspector Miles O'Shey was sitting at the kitchen table enjoying his morning cuppa, when his wife came in carrying a box which she said had been left on the front porch. 'What do you want me to do, Miles; it's addressed to you so do you want to open it?' 'Nah, I'm too comfy; anyway, it's probably just junk from the office; you go ahead and open it.' And she did . . . and started screaming, then fainted. O'Shey jumped up to see what had set his wife screaming. When he looked inside the box he suffered cardiac arrest for there, staring back at him was the severed, bloody head of Nathan.
  7. You're very perceptive. The reference is to Paddy's talk with Gary. I should have been more specific. Thnx for your thoughts
  8. No that's right and especially back in the early twentieth century. It's a lesson we all have to learn; that all our actions have consequences. Thnx for your comment.
  9. At first there was only dimness and a strange feeling of floating. He sensed movement but then the blackness returned. Now there was light again and then sound . . . a small candle flickered in his head as slowly he returned to consciousness. Disoriented, he looked around and realised slowly that he was in bed; but in bed where? He sensed people moving around him and then his sense of smell returned, suggesting that he was in hospital. Paddy lay immobile and made no sound as he let consciousness return; then his memory returned and waves of despair flooded through him. Oh god Ken . . . (sob) but you're not Ken are you. . my Ken, the man that I loved and who said he loved me back . . . it was a lie, all a lie . . . WHY, WHY (sob) why Ken, why did you deceive me . . . why did you hurt me? I feel empty . . . lost, betrayed . . . but I don’t feel anger, just a big sense of loss. I guess you had your reasons . . . you see Ken in loving you I believed you were a good person . . . someone worthy of being loved and sharing a lifetime together. If there’s any anger . . . any anger . . . it's because you’ll never be able to explain why you deceived me so. Was it a joke on your part . . . a cruel joke . . . I don’t think so. I have to believe that there is a perfectly good reason why you deceived me . . . but . . . but, I’ll never know will I? What did Billy say? . . . . that your name is Freddie the Gunman . . . NO, NO, and NO! You weren’t a gangster . . . . you couldn’t go out and viciously kill people . . . No! not my Ken. I don’t want to know about your past. To me Freddie the Gunman does and has never existed . . . all I’ll choose to remember is . . . is . . . my beautiful Ken. ‘Well, welcome back young man . . . how are you feeling?’ Paddy looked up into the eyes of a very concerned nurse. She continued, ‘You’ve been out for several hours; we gave you a strong sedative when you were brought in last night. You were in shock and from the newspaper reports this morning the ghastly scene you witnessed would send even the strongest person into shock. Now be honest with me, how are you really feeling?’ ‘Not good, feels a bit sluggish; did you give e me a sedative?’ ‘Yes you were in shock when they brought you in, so the doctor prescribed strong sedative to give your brain time to process the pain you suffered. Are you feeling better now?’ ‘A bit, yeah I’m OK; when do you reckon I’ll get to go home? ‘Once you see the doctor, he’ll test you and if he thinks you’re OK, he’ll discharge you; just try to be patient young man. I know all about you, but not too many details about that bloody massacre. The outpatients here was over stretched; we've been working double shifts to take care of the injured. So don’t be in such a hurry to get back to work, officer; oh and there’s a young man waiting outside, he’s been here all night. Says his names Billy; do you want to see him?’ Paddy nodded yes and the nurse went out and a somewhat dishevelled Billy came slowly in. For a moment neither said a word, they just stared at each other. ‘Hey (sitting down on a chair beside the bed) Mr P . . . Say how’s it going?’ ‘Yeah good thanks chum ....I reckon I’ll be out as soon as the doctor says I can go.’ An uncomfortable silence descended . . . neither wanted to talk about what happened. But Billy couldn’t hold back, ‘Jeez Mr P I feels bad, real bad ... if I have known you and Freddie were real close .... I mean (choke) I mean; oh (sob) shit Mr P . . . I just didn’t know and I went and shot me bloody mouth off . . . and . . . and caused you lottsa pain . . . I’m real sorry . . . yeah I’m real . . . ’ ‘Billy, Billy, Billy ...stop. it weren’t your fault; how were you to know about me and . . . and know.’ Silence, ‘Yeah, but I still shouldna been so cruel .... I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you Mr P, I hope ya knows that, cause t'me your real special . . .' ‘It’s OK Billy, it’s OK .... I’m the one that’s responsible for me being hurt. I . . . I still can’t understand what happened, or why it happened, or why ....he led me on. I’ll never know why he deceived me . . . that’s probably the worst of it . . . I’ll never know . . . and I need to know . . . but I can’t (sob).' Sensing Paddy's distress, Billy changed the subject. 'How’d you’se meet . . . maybe I can help a bit if I knew how you'se come to be together?’ ‘Yeah I reckon maybe I should talk about it now . . . it might help. OH shit I forgot, sorry Billy; is yer Da OK?' 'Yeah he's OK; seems he didn't join the gang after all. Probably the only sensible thing he's done in a long time; thanks fer askin'. But now you'se was gonna tell me how you and . . . . You know, how you and him hooked up.' Silence whilst Paddy collected his thoughts. ‘We met at the Turkish baths in Oxford Street. I met him just as I was finishing and he was starting . . . geeze, it seems like so long ago but it were only a few months back . . . do ya know where I’m talking about?’ ‘Cos I knows the place. I knows most of the gents who goes there; (chuckling) when I was a real young'un' I used to wait outside to pick up tricks 'afore they'se went in an paid to get in. It were good money . . . oh, shit Mr P I didn't mean to be rude; I'm sorry for buttin' in on you'se story. I'll shut it.' 'Nah (smiling) no problem; I like hearing you talk Billy 'cause you always lift me spirits. You got a cheeky way of talkin' that I enjoy and makes me feel real special to ya. Yer a good kid Billy . . . a real good kid . . . . me best mate.' 'Awe (blushing) I reckon I'se not so good, but . . . thanks anyways. Hey, you were telling how you and . . . . well, you and he met up.' 'Well, (sitting up and readjusting his pillows) not much more to tell. We met a few times and gradually became more involved both sexually and emotionally. When I saw him a few nights back I gave him my ring 'cause I thought we'd last forever. He seemed real happy and loving; made me believe he cared for me as much as I cared for him . . . (silence) . . . I, ummm . . . (choke) . . . Jesus Billy, I'm a fuck'n mess . . . sorry . . .' 'Hey, c'mon Mr P, you've been hurt bad; if it were me I'd be a basket case. I reckon you'se are holding tight. If'n ya wants me t'go just tell me . . . OK?' 'NO, no please stay; I need to talk. If I'm just by meself I keep thinkin' WHY, WHY, WHY. Why did he betray me; why did he set out to hurt me? I just don't understand, mate . . . I just don't understand. (silence) How well did you know him?' 'Not much, not much! I heard his cousin Moira asked Big Jim for a job as he'd just come out've Juvie and needed work; came with a rep bein' a gunman. I heard Missus T didn't like him, but Big Jim just went an hired 'im over her objections anyways . . .' '. . . he was in Juvie, d'yer know what for?' 'Nah . . . sorry, we all jest kept out've his way see'n he were a gunman and all; had a nasty reputation, so none of us got close t'him. All the same . . . wouldna pick him as one of us though; real surprise that is, but I wouldna picked you out Mr P. (sigh) Ya never knows do ya. Anyway, if it ain’t too painful tell me more, eh’ ‘Not much more to tell. I mean we both seemed to be lonely and became kindred souls. I suppose I was lonely and yeah . . . randy; you know, I was thinking with me cock and not me head, but . . . but it felt real good. I thought I was in love . . . no, I was in love. Now I'm not sure of how I feel.' ‘The trouble with you is that yer too nice Mr P. Ya don’t have the street smarts that I do, (sigh) although sometimes I wish I weren’t so hard and such. I won’t allow me self to become involved with anyone . . . except, (pause) except . . . you Mr P. I reckon ya knows how I feel about ya . . . no, no don't say anything . . . I don’t mean to be heavy on ya. I knows the score . . . I mean, I knows the way it must be, so don't say no more; just let it be.' 'Oh shit Billy (reaching over to hold Billy's hand) I've hurt you . . . . Oh god oh shit . . . . I'm real sorry; what a cunt I am. Billy, you're the last person in the world I'd ever hurt and I'm flattered that you'd have feelings fer a sap like me. You deserve better Billy, you deserve better than this heap of damaged goods. . . (Billy went to interrupt) . . . no man, let me get it out front. The precious coupla times we were together are real special. I enjoyed sharing that intimacy with you because you're special, real special. If I weren't such an emotional trashcan, I'd like to share time with you and maybe have a go at a relationship but it wouldn't be fair to you chum; I'd only make you miserable. I've got a lot of crap to get outa me system and it will take time; how much time I don't know. You go and find someone who'll make you happy . . . . promise me!' Silence . . . both lads didn't want to get too emotional. Billy let his mind wander and then, 'But whatya gunna do 'bout Mr G? I knows yer both got feelings for each other. Whatya gunna do Mr P?' Paddy lay quiet thinking about what Billy said, then 'Yeah, what am I gunna do? I've got strong feelings for Giles; I guess that’s obvious eh? (Billy nodded yes) I've sorta loved the man since I was a young'un but he's straight and I can't do anything 'bout it. Y'know Billy, maybe since I knew that my love for Giles was a lost cause maybe, just maybe, I gave meself readily to . . . to . . . well, you know who. (pause) hell, I don't know . . . but, hey . . . you don't have to listen to my ramblings. I love you Billy; I love you as I would love a young brother and I hope we can remain real good friends.' 'Don't worry MrP . . .' 'Hey, (Giles entering and interrupting Billy) how's our patient doing. Is he giving you plenty of lip, Billy? (turning to Paddy) How're ya feeling mate?' 'Good thanks Giles. Billy and I were just . . .' 'Hey, sorry if I interrupted you guys; do you want me to go outside whilst you finish what you'se were talkin about?' 'No, no MrG; I only came t'see how MrP is doin' and now that he's real better, I best be on me way . . . .' 'Billy, I meant what I said . . .' 'I know MrP; reckon it's good to clear the air and talk straight particular if'n we'se best mates. See ya MrP an' you MrG . . . look after 'im eh!' After Billy left Giles was quiet for a few moments thinking about Billy's strange remark, then 'Everything OK between you two? I'm not used to seeing a serious Billy. Did you have a quarrel?' 'Nah (laughing) he's fine. He's a real good kid but I'd like to keep an eye on him just to make sure he stays out of trouble. Hey, thanks for dropping by.' 'Nah, I've . . . we've been worrying about you; just dropped in to see . . .' As Giles was talking the nurse returned and interrupted, 'Well young man, if you're feeling OK the doctor says for you to go home but only to rest. If you start to feel poorly, you must come back to the hospital. You must promise me otherwise I won't let you go . . . OK, you promise?' 'Yeah, yeah . . . I promise.' 'Good, then get dressed; I assume this handsome young man will take you home. Is that right?' 'Yes sister (from Giles) I'll see he gets home and stays there until he's fully recovered. I'll take responsibility.' So Paddy got dressed and signed the paperwork allowing him to leave the hospital. It was a quiet drive to Paddy's flat[1] but once inside Giles made Paddy lie down to rest. He also checked to ensure that Paddy had enough basic food and other essentials to see him through a couple of days. Once he was satisfied, he made them both coffees which they sipped quietly and thoughtfully. 'I've gotta get back to the shop mate, the paper work is killing us; you should be glad you've avoided all that crap. God, what a mess, the papers are calling it 'the battle of blood alley'. So many killed, so many injured and so many just walking around in a state of shock. Some will have nightmares for a long time. Hey, don't think I'm trying to get you to forget your horror, I know you can't and soon I want you to spill yer guts to me. You can't bottle shit like you've been exposed to and stay sane. I'll come by tonight and we can have a good yakka[2]; that OK?' 'Yeah, thanks mate I appreciate you bringing me home; I reckon I'll be OK, for now at least. Say can you find out if young Simon's dad was in the stoush and if so, is he OK. Simon's involved with another job I've got goin' and I'm keen to know that he's OK; will you do that for me?' 'Sure, now (finishing his coffee) I'd best be off; I'll be back around 8 tonight. There are some cans of soup in the cupboard; make sure you have something to eat and I'll see you later.' 'OK mate, thanks for everything; I'll try to be good.' 'Just make sure you rest; any problems . . . call me at work.' *** The meeting had already started by the time Giles checked in at the police station; he was told to join as soon as he came in. When he entered the conference room he noted that it was chaired by the Police Commissioner, Teddy Asquith. Others in attendance were Inspector Peter O'Shey, Senior Sergeant Bill Delaney, Gary Styles and Mary Gordon. 'Thanks for joining us (from Teddy Asquith). I know you've been helping Paddy Langdon recover from his trauma and we all here send him our best wishes. (murmurs of support came from the group). I'll let your associates fill you in on our discussions but just let me say I'm proud of the way you've all responded to the crisis and the manner you've conducted yourselves in what is surely the most traumatic event that this police force has had to endure. I'll be reporting to the minister as soon as we conclude here. In summary it seems that over twenty-five persons have been killed, another twenty seriously injured and many others who have suffered mental disturbance not unlike what has happened to our own Paddy Langdon. (pause). Anyway, that’s all I have to say; thank you for your assistance.' Giles returned to his desk and was scrutinizing reports when Gary Styles stopped by. 'Hey man, can I ask you a question? (Giles nodded) Did Paddy mention anything about young Simon, Billy's mate?' 'Oh shit, yes he did; sorry I forgot to ask about him. Paddy's concern was about his father and whether the older man was in the list of victims. I (consulting his list) can't see his name here; I assume the father's ok so what do you want to know about his son?' 'Look (uncertain) has Paddy mentioned anything about young Simon? (Giles indicated no) Well I really shouldn't say anything until Paddy has brought you in on the situation. I don't want to break his trust, so maybe . . .' 'Gary, I think you best tell me because I don't know how long Paddy will be incapacitated. If it's urgent you best tell me the basics so I can talk to Paddy. I'm sure he'll want to bring me up to date; as you know, we're very close.' 'OK, well it all started . . .' And Gary went on to give Giles the information regarding Simon and the current status as he and Paddy had discussed. When he finished all Giles could say was, 'Wow! That’s incredible; you don't know what Paddy had in mind as an alternative course of action?' 'No Giles I don't, but I did agree with him that going through official channels would be non-productive. What do you think?' 'Yeah I agree there's not enough solid evidence that can convict the bastards and ensure at least a custodial sentence; this Nathan person should have his neck stretched. I wonder what Paddy had in mind. Look, I'm seeing him this evening and I'll ask him what he wants to do; is that OK with you?' 'Yep, I'll leave it to you; you can fill me in later'. *** As the afternoon dragged on Giles developed a sense of foreboding; it wasn't anything that he could isolate but just a general feeling of apprehension that seemed to grow stronger with the passage of time. On leaving work to go home he was truly fearful and threatened; he had a presentment of something bad about to happen. Arriving outside his home he reflected on how his relationship with Lynda had changed. What was once a welcoming home had now become just a house with four walls and partitioning. Granted he loved his kids, but he and his wife had lost the rapport enjoyed together in the early years of their marriage. He was now deeply unhappy and had to admit that their physical relationship had all but petered out. They hadn't had sex for several months. Did Lynda feel the same? They never talked anymore so he was at a loss to understand how she felt. Was their marriage indeed on the rocks? At some stage they had to be honest with each other. And then there was Paddy. Why did he feel a pang of jealousy when Billy admitted he might have had sex with Paddy? That should not have bothered him, but it did. I just don't trust nor understand my emotions anymore. Why do I suddenly care very much about Paddy; is this the source of my feeling of apprehension? Maybe I'll talk to him tonight but before that I'll try and have a sensible talk with Lynda. (sigh) Well, here goes. He inserted his key into the front door and walked inside. *** Paddy had spent the afternoon in emotional hysteria. Try as he might, he couldn't get Ken's face out of his mind. He replayed over and over again their relationship, from the time they first met at the Turkish baths to the last time when they had dinner. Nothing makes any sense . . . nothing. If he indeed was a gunman, as Billy claimed, then why did he become a totally different person when we were together? Why, Why . . . Why? And why can't I cry? It's all bottled up inside me and I can't let it out. Not good! No not good . . . if I don't release my emotions I'll go crazy. God, I hate being alone . . . no I don't; I just want to be by myself so I can wallow in self-pity. No, no . . . . that’s wrong; I've got to talk to someone. Billy! Billy, Billy, Billy. I think you were trying to tell me you loved me . . . but, but I don't feel the same Billy. Sure we had a great time but that was more friendship than love; I can't give you what you need. Shit! Where have I heard that before! I just want to be friends . . . best friends . . . . I'm sorry Billy. Giles. What am I gonna do about Giles? I still love him and I think with . . . with . . . Ken, I was running away from Giles. I just the fuck don't know anymore. I don't know what's real, what's realistic, what's possible and what's probable. Geeze, I'm a mess; I can't think straight anymore. I wish I had been killed, not . . . . *** 'Hey Linda, I'm home.' Giles walked down the hall towards the kitchen from which came the smell of cooking and the only light in the whole house; there was very little sound to be heard. 'You're late; do you know what time it is?' Walking into the kitchen he found Linda sitting at the small plastic table that the family used for meals. Three used plates sat on a bench containing the remains of an earlier dinner. The atmospherics were not good, and the dire sense of foreboding that he had experienced all afternoon seemed to permeate the whole house. Before sitting down he removed his belt and gun holster and placed them on the sideboard. On a coat hook he hung his cap and police issue jacket; to relax further he undid the first two buttons of his shirt and sat down at the table facing his wife. Linda sat forward aggressively and glared with hostility. 'Your dinner is in the oven but by now it's probably inedible. If you can't come home at a reasonable time to eat with your family don't blame me if the food is ruined. I'm not your servant; I'm not here to wait on you.' 'Yeah I know I'm sorry; we've had a hard time handling all the necessary paperwork brought about by the massacre in Eaton Street. You have every right to be angry. I don't enjoy working late any more than you have to contend with my being late. Anyway did the girls enjoy their dinner? I've been neglecting them of late and I'm really sorry; what did they have?' 'Oh just some grilled lamb chops, mashed potato and beans; do you want me to get your dinner now?' 'Sorry, but I've got to go out again (Linda flushed with anger) . . . . now before you chew my ear off, it's something I can't avoid. When all this drama settles down I'll make it up to you Linda; I'll have a lot of leave coming to me and we can plan a holiday with just us and the kids. I promise to make amends.' 'Oh (ironic) that's great; that’s just great. (leaning forward and stabbing at the table with her forefinger) You think that by saying sorry we'll just forgive and forget. I don't give a damn about the bloody massacre; I reckon it's great that those crims kill each other, because the world's a better place with them gone. A lot of folks feel the same as I do. Now I suppose you're off to cuddle and give support to their families while at the same time snub yer own family. You're missing the kids growing up Giles; very soon they won't be kids anymore and you'll have wasted the best years of their lives. I don't understand you, I really don't; you'd rather give succour to those low-life's than be with yer family. Get your priorities straight Giles.' 'Now (getting irritated) don't you think you're being a bit harsh. I'm an officer of the law; whilst upholding the law I've got to help anybody who's a victim of this bloodbath. That's my job Linda and you bloody well know it. Now, I said I'm sorry. You know I don't have a choice; you know it's my job, so why (getting aggressive) are you breaking me balls over something I can't control. Why? For your information I'm not off to cuddle these low-life as you put it, I'm just off to see Paddy who had to be hospitalized with shock last night and was only released from St. Vincent's this morning. I made a promise to his doctor that I'd call in and check he's OK. He was in a bad way Linda, a very bad way; he had to be tranquillized.' 'OH I see, (being sarcastic) yeah I see now, of course you've got to look after your little poofter buddy. What do you have to do? Wipe his bum, let him cry or perhaps give him a hand job to settle his poor nerves . . . poor little Paddy. I (angry) bet you're sleeping with him and fucking him; what's his bum like, as good as my fanny? You make . . .' 'NOW STOP THERE! That’s contemptible of you Linda; you should apologize for making those disgraceful remarks. You know Paddy's been my best friend since we were young'uns. Sure, he's gay, but . . . so what! (getting angrier). He's a caring human being who wouldn't hurt anybody and I'm proud to have him as a friend. If you knew him as well as I do you wouldn't go making those shameful statements. None of us are perfect and that includes you madam; there are times you just disgust me with your narrow minded spiteful bigotry and I only wish . . .' 'YOU WISH, YOU WISH! I'll tell you what I wish. I wish you were a man, a real man who knows how to please a woman, who doesn't spend time with worthless deviates, who prefers poofters rather than spending time with his kids; I wish you were a man Giles Madden, a real man like . . .' 'OH LIKE GARY STYLES (Linda gasps). Yes I know that you've been screwing Gary behind my back; in fact the whole shop knows about it. Gary's been warned . . .' 'WARNED WHAT! We're gonna get married just as soon as I can divorce . . . (Giles starts laughing) what are you laughing at? He loves me and I love him; (Giles continues to laugh) you can laugh Giles but I'm serious . . . I want a divorce and I want custody . . .' 'You stupid woman! You're a very stupid woman . . . no slut! Yer just a SLUT Linda, yer just a very stupid slut; he ain't gonna marry you. Wake up woman, you're just one of his fucks, you're just one of his many fucks. OK, OK, (still smiling) when was the last time you spoke to our hero?' 'Not that it's any of your business . . .' 'Not my business! Not any of my business! I'm yer bloody husband woman, I'm yer bloody husband and it's very much my business; how could you think otherwise? Geeze you disgust me; . . . anyway when did you last contact him?' (Mollified) 'Last week; I think Wednesday afternoon . . . no Tuesday it was. What's your point?' 'Your so-called boyfriend . . . or should I say lover, has been told that if he continues to have affairs with the partners of his work mates he'll be fired from the Police Force. You see madam you're not the only wife he's been screwing . . . .' 'LIAR! You're just lying; it's because your weak Giles, you have to lie to protect yourself. I know Gary . . . he genuinely wants to marry me; we're in love, deeply in love!' 'You (getting up and facing Linda with his hands on his hips) are a sorry excuse for a woman. Actually I feel sorry for you. But (softening) in a way, it's good we've had this out, because we've been drifting apart for some time now; the only thing I regret is that we've used such harsh words to and about each other. I realise now that our marriage is well and truly over; there's no going back. Start the divorce proceedings and name me as the fault; I don't really care as long as I can have access to the kids, say every second weekend. I won't fight you. Let's behave like mature adults for once; we owe it to ourselves and the kids. What do yer say?' 'Well for once your being a man; pity . . .' 'Linda, no more cruel words and insults please; we've moved beyond that . . . well, I've moved beyond that. Let's conduct our divorce with dignity; it's a pity we didn't have a dignified and respectful marriage. Now, I'm on my way to see Paddy; it's pointless for me to come home after, so I'll kip down at Paddy's for the night.' *** To Giles the simple act of closing the front door was more an act of symbolism than a plain household chore. He felt a wave of relief, a lifting of a heavy burden; all at once the sense of foreboding evaporated. Before starting the motor he sat quietly and tried to identify these new feelings which were confusing him. Though becoming mystified and a little apprehensive, nonetheless there was no denying he felt good, in fact he felt better than he'd been for some time. He was now free of Linda's nagging, he could now concentrate on his career and he could finally be himself and not try to live up to the expectations of others? I'm free to start all over again; there are facets of me that have been buried for a long time and I'm now free to explore who I am and what I want out of life. I can now allow myself to give free reign to my needs; needs that have long been suppressed. With a smile Giles started the car and drove off towards Paddy's home. [1] Aussie slang for condominium. [2] Aussie slang for talking
  10. As soon as the news of Moira's murder became known, by ones and then twos, Tilley's mob sauntered into the Crown. At first they were quiet, conversing in low whispers and banding together to share their common grief. Being Freddie's cousin Moira was popular, and to each person it was a personal loss. Of course the rumour mill was in overdrive; details were sketchy, and basically the only news and details they had was from reports in the paper. The twelve o'clock radio news bulletin shed no further light on the tragedy. By three in the afternoon the pub was crowded and noise levels reflected the crowd's rising anger. The outpouring of grief morphed into an avalanche of fury and then onto revenge; revenge not only for this outrage, but also against the maiming of Mickey Grainger. Revenge became the focus, and as the alcoholic consumption increased, everybody expressed their own ideas on the form such reprisal should take. As the hours wore on the cry for vengeance became unstoppable. It was as if the murder became a catalyst for exorcising tensions that had developed and had lain festering; festering, just waiting for a spark to ignite into physical violence. This was the atmosphere when Freddie entered the pub. Around four, he arrived looking drained and distraught. He had been at the mortuary all morning and he came away a shattered young man. Moira had been close, and to Freddie she was the big sister he'd never had; in fact she was the only family he'd ever known. In an age-old ritual, he was plied with free beer which was supposed to dull the pain but only succeeded in intensifying his rage; to an unspoken question he described, '(slowly and softly) She were cut real bad. She wus cut all over; if'n she hadn't died from bein' cut she woulda died from blood loss. . . . (long pause) God, her face . . . by the look on her face she died in agony and terror. I'll . . . (rising anger) . . . never forget that face; I'll never forget the pain and suffering written all over her pretty features. WHY! WHY! . . . WHY? (the whole pub fell silent) . . . someone's has to pay for this! Someone's gonna pay by bein' kilt; someone's kilt my Moira and I'm gonna avenge her. . . . (a long silent pause; everyone strained to hear what Freddie was saying) . . . . ' Out of the crowd someone said, 'WHO FREDDIE; Who d'yer reckon done this? 'THINK . . . think who's been wantin' t' take over our territory? Who d'yer think wants Missus Tilley sent back t' Old Blighty[1]? . . . (pause) . . . Who gets most outta seein' Tilley gone? Eh? EH? . . . I'll tell yer, BLOODY FUCK'N KATE LEIGH . . . . THAT’S WHO! BLOODY KATE LEIGH AND HER WHOLE FUCK'N GANG!' The silence was overwhelming. At last . . . . At Last a name, an identity, a focus; somewhere, something on which to direct their rage. Freddie stood up and challenged, 'WHO'S WITH ME? . . . WHO'S WITH ME TO AVENGE MICKEY GRAINGER AND OUR MOIRA?' Just then another voice was heard, 'But what about that Emilee Harrington; she wus part of Missus Leigh's crew an' she wus kilt just like our Moira? That don't seem as if Missus Leigh is responsible!' Suddenly bent forward and using his knuckled hands, Freddie leant of the table almost knocking his beer over . . . (Indignantly) 'YOU THINK NOT? How 'bout that wus just a cover; a cover I reckon. I reckon that the Harrington girls' death had nuthin' to do with us folks but she cunningly used the poor girl's death to cover up her evil intentions . . .' There were mumbles of 'MAKES SENSE' . . . 'I'M WITH YOU Freddie' . . . 'RECKON SHE DONE THAT' . . . 'YEAH, WHAT A BITCH' . . . 'YA CAN'T TRUST DEM POMMIES . . .' then, a single voice . . . ' . . . 'What ya reckon we do 'bout it Freddie? Reckon we'se all with ya Freddie! What ya got in mind?' Still leaning against the table, Freddie faced the group which by now was completely under his control. Raising his voice he shouted . . . 'BASH THEIR FUCK'N HEADS IN; THAT’S WHAT! ABOUT TIME WE PAID ALL THEM FUCKERS A VISIT AND SETTLE THIS MATTER ONCE AND FOR ALL! . . . . I SAY, LETS GO GET 'EM LADS AND SETTLE THIS OUR WAY!' There was a general uproar at Freddie's outburst. Suddenly men were looking around for any weapon they could find. The cricket cabinet was raided and blokes armed themselves with bats, stumps, cricket balls and any other instrument they could get their hands on. Quite a few carried Guns and these were tucked away to be used only as a last resort. It was past six o'clock in the evening and outside it had grown very dark. Torches and simple oil rags were found and set alight as the group coalesced into a mob and started out for Crown Street. * * * At some time during the afternoon, as the clamour of the pub mob became more strident, persons loyal to the Kate Leigh mob slipped away to alert their fellow gang members. By the time that the mob started to move, Kate's gang was fully apprised of the danger. In an abandoned warehouse which the gang's used as an unofficial home, feelings were running high; in fact there was a sense of relief that the festering hostility would be resolved, and in blood if needs be. The unofficial leader was an unsavoury cretin called Jack (Jocko) Cree whose rap sheet included rape, suspected murder, grievous bodily harm, theft and blackmail. He came to Kate straight out of jail where he served a sentence for forgery. Taking a shine to him, Kate gave him a job and asked him to 'keep the boys in line'. This he did very well, because to look at he was intimidating. The result of a youthful knife fight left him with an ugly scare running from his left ear lobe down to his lips; he looked as if he had a perpetual sneer. He was physically fit; standing just over 6 foot he was superbly muscled, without an ounce of fat on his body. As the warning reached him that Tilly's vengeful mob was on the way, he jumped up on a wooden box and shouted, 'THEY'RE CUMIN' LADS; THEY'RE ON THE WAY SPOILING FER A FIGHT! LET'S GO GIT 'EM; ARE YOU'SE WITH ME?' The mob of about 30 misfits responded with, 'YEAH JOCKO, WE'SE WITH YA!' and 'LETS FUCK EM UP GOOD!' Followed by 'LET'S DO 'EM IN BOYS'. With plenty of time to obtain weapons, they had accumulated an armoury of baseball bats, clubs, truncheons and . . . guns. The stage was now set for a dreadful confrontation. *** 'Missus, Missus! Ya gotta stop 'em; they'se gonna kill each other and my Tommie is wid them. He's gonna be kilt, I jest knows it!' Tilly and Big Jim were startled by the sudden intrusion of one of the girls. In confusion they looked at the young girl Janet who had stormed into the front parlour wearing only a skimpy petticoat. Her face was flushed and her eyes were wide with fear; she looked so dishevelled it was almost comical. Big Jim was quick to recover. 'What the hell is you'se talkin' about Janet; who's gonna kill who?' . . . and then Tilly, 'Janet, fer shit sake, yer undressed; go and put on a dress 'fore busting in on us. Can't ya see we'se having a quiet cuppa 'fore we get the day started; go on get outta here and put on a proper dress.' 'Mister Jim (ignoring Tilly) the lads are all steamed up 'bout Moira and Freddie has revved 'em up to go hunting the Leigh gang. They'se carrin' sticks, and bats and some got guns.' 'GUNS! (Tilly shouting) did ya say Guns? Fer Christ sake Jim, get up and do something. Ya knows how I feel about Guns. Someone's gonna get hurt or maybe kilt and we'll have the cops all over us.' 'Shut up Tilly, (standing up and turning to Janet) tell me all that ya know; I need to get the full story before I go runnin' on a wild goose chase. Slow down and tell me everything.' 'Well, best I know is that the lads gathered at the pub to mourn Moira bein' kilt and of course they started drinking heavy. They was pretty pissed and revved up by the time Freddie came back from . . . from . . .' '(Big Jim interrupted) the morgue Janet . . . the morgue. I knows he were there all mornin'.' 'I guess so. Anyways as soon as he came in the pub he started to knock back beer like he was dyin' of thirst. Soon he became loud and real shitty; started blamin' Missus Leigh's blokes for killin Moira and attacking Mickey . . .' '(Tilly cut in) He blamed that she-goat, that slimy witch (turning to Big Jim) maybe he knows something that we'se don’t Jim; whatya reckon? Could she and her gang be the cause of these attacks?' 'OF course not! . . Think Tilly, she lost one of her own girls . . . ummm. . I think her name was Emilee . . . no, no that’s bullshit! Freddie's wrong; he's just trying to work off his own pain by blamin' Katie Leigh. No, it's bullshit! (Turning to Janet) how long ago did they leave the pub Janet and in what direction?' 'Well I just saw thems goin' along towards Crown Street . . . 'bout 40 or so, includin' my Timmy and some weres real pissed off like; Freddie was out front and he looked real grim, sort of like a devil. He had his pistol in his belt (turning to Tilly) I reckon Missus he's gonna use the piece on anybody who gets in his way.' 'HOLY JESUS! Jim, get out there and stop them 'afore it's too late. This is bad, bad, bad. C'mon Jim I reckon I'll go wid ya.' 'No! No you won't; if this gets ugly I don’t want you getting hurt. I share you'se feeling though; this is bad, we could have a disaster on our hands. Hey, what about Kate Leigh, don't yer think you should talk to her and try and get some sanity into her bunch; she's probably just as scared as we are?' 'Never! If she can't control her boys then what's the point of talkin' to her.' He just looked at his wife with a whimsical smile and hurried out. *** Big Jim Devine hurried along Palmer Street and decided to take a short cut through Spence lane into Eaton Street, which connects with Crown Street. His mind was in turmoil; for some time he's been aware of an undercurrent of tension in the gang, primarily as a result of Mickey Grainger's mutilation. Every day that the culprits remained at large seemed to intensify the primordial rage felt by the boys; the bloody cops seemed to be baffled. He knew he could reason with Freddie as the little guy always looked on Big Jim as a benefactor . . . if not father figure; on the other hand, Freddie could become irrational if he had to deal with an emotional issue. At the end of Spence Lane he turned right along Palmer Street and crossed over into Eaton Street. By a quirk of fate, both gangs determined to use Eaton Street as a pass way to each other’s territory. Jocko Cree and his gang rounded into the street travelling East and had only proceeded a few meters when unexpectedly they were confronted with Freddie's mob travelling West. Momentarily there was confusion at this sudden confrontation; both leaders halted so abruptly that those in the rear ranks stumbled into the front ranks. Slowly and cautiously the two sides closed the distance between them until no-mans-land had shrunk to about 20 meters. Like two ancient armies they first stared at each other silently, that is until someone started to make derogatory remarks which escalated into vicious insults. The verbal stoush continued for some time with cries of 'POOFTER'; 'COWARD'; 'MURDERING SHIT HEAD'; 'YOU'RE DEAD JOCKO'; 'YOU'RE MINE DOG SHIT'; 'GUTLESS YELLOW MONGREL'; 'NANCY-BOY'; 'YER MISSUS IS A WHORE' . . . and worse. Slowly the distance closed to about 15 meters but no one wanted to be the first to attack. Instead, they were simply content to hurl insults at each other. It was at this point that Big Jim stumbled into Eaton Street. Sensing that it wasn't too late to stop bloodshed, he forced his way through his gang and reached Freddie who was busy trading insults with Jocko Cree. 'Oho lads, here's the big chief come to rescue his children from the big bad wolf; what's up Jimbo, the missus given you a leave pass to go outside and play? Seems I heard ya likes getting' yer cock sucked off by any young lad . . . the younger the better.’ ‘. . . and they tell me Jocko that when you’se were inside, ya loved to ‘ave a big black coon[2]shove ‘is cock up yer arse; hear tell that you’se hollered for more . . . ya couldn’t get enough.’ This brought gales of laughter from Freddie’s mob and threatening growls from the other side. Jocko now spluttering with rage, snarled back at Big Jim, ‘That’s a dirty lie and you’se knows it! You really are a piece of scum Jim, yer no better than that slut . . . .’ At that moment, someone threw a cricket ball[3] that hit Jocko in the face . . . and hell broke loose. The two sides slammed into each other using any weapon they had to inflict bodily harm. It wasn’t long before gang members of both sides were seriously wounded and blood flowed from open gashes, deep cuts and slashes. It was primeval; no quarter was asked and none given. In some cases, the identity of assailants was confused and men began to strike out at anybody around them who was perceived to be a danger. The violence escalated until gang members were laying on the ground or just staggering around blindly . . . . . . and then the first shot rang out . . . and a fusillade of shots were exchanged. No one could say who fired first, it really didn’t matter; the temper of the mob was beyond control and everyone just tried to survive. Those with guns just blindly added to the carnage. Adding to the horror was the noise of battle. Intermingled with the sound of gunfire were the cries of the wounded, the yelling of uncontrolled rage, plaintive pleas for mercy, and above all the primeval sounds of males at war. . . . and the smell. The smell of voided bowels, the smell of urine as bladders emptied uncontrollably on the ground, the smell of blood . . . and the smell of fear. Eaton Street evoked invoked biblical Armageddon as blooded bodies lay grotesquely where they fell, the smell later causing even jaded police officers to retch, and as the violence subsided an eerie silence descended over the scene. Soon the road called Eaton Street would be referred in later years, as the site of the Battle of Blood Alley. *** The news reached Police Headquarters as soon as the battle commenced but it took time to assemble a force to investigate. Within a short time, all members of the Special Force were contacted and told to proceed to Eaton Street quickly. Paddy and Giles were with the first law officers on the scene. As they pulled up at the entrance to Eaton Street, the sight that they witnessed was beyond any experience they’d ever encountered. Stunned and speechless, they just sat in their car for several minutes; neither spoke as they tried to relate to the tragedy. Giles was the first to speak. ‘Jesus Paddy, what a shambles, it’s like me old man used to tell me about being in the Great War, y’know about the dead and dying in the trenches. This is just plain bloody awful; I ain’t never seen nuthin like this before. How the hell are we supposed to make a report? I don’t know where to start.’ Like Giles, the gruesome scene transfixed Paddy; his brain refused to accept the carnage that confronted him. He’d seen violence before, what copper hadn’t, it was part of the job and you were just trained to ignore the shock and get on with the job of being a police officer. He stirred as Giles spoke. ‘Hey look at that, there’s a couple of young’uns walking through the scene. We can’t allow them to corrupt the crime scene; let’s go Paddy, you escort them away and I’ll start to sort this mess out.’ Following Giles comment, Paddy looked towards the other end of the street and saw what Giles referred to; Billy and young Simon were walking among the bodies trying no doubt to identify faces. He assumed Billy was trying to find his dad Mickey; probably OK for Billy but Simon was too young to be on the scene. He hurried over. Billy and Simon were indeed looking anxiously for Mickey Grainger; neither had any experience in the bloody scene before them. Billy being a lot more street wise tended to shut out the horror and concentrated on finding his dad . . . assuming he was in the fight. On the other hand, Simon was only there to give Billy support should he find his pa. ‘Jesus Simon I ain’t ever seen nuthin like this before. I reckon I’ve seen fights and plenty of stouches before but nuthin like this. I’se scared Simon, I’se scared I’se gonna find me da all dead. I feels sick . . . I can’t look any more Simon . . . I’m gonna . . . .’ At that point, Billy doubled over and vomited up the contents of his stomach; he was still retching when Paddy arrived. He waited until Billy had stopped vomiting and gained some essence of control before asking, ‘Billy, get the lad out of here quickly . . . it’s no place for any sane person let alone a young’un. Go on take him back around the corner and come back, if yer up to it. I’ll need yer help to make some ID’s. (Then as an afterthought) Are you OK boyo, I’m mean yer not gonna be sick again are ya?’ ‘Nah I’m OK, but I'm worried about me Da; the bloody idiot would follow the boys inta hell if'n they asked him. Promise you'll call me if'n ya finds 'im . . . please Paddy.' 'That I'll do . . . that I promise boyo; I understand how ya must feel.' 'Jesus Paddy, I reckon I’ll need a belt of whiskey after we’se finished. . . Promise?’ (Paddy nodded affirmatively) C’mon matee (turning to Simon) let’s get ya outa here.’ ‘Just see that he’s OK. I’ll start looking for yer Da and anyone still injured; the ambos will be here soon . . . I hope.’ Paddy started at the east end of the scene and began looking for anyone injured. It was a ghastly scenario; thankfully, there were many still alive among the dead and they could be heard moaning softly as they writhed in pain. Most of the deaths were caused by gunshot. Shortly Billy joined Paddy and they began to examine faces more closely. After a short wander, Billy expressed sorrow. ‘Hey Mr. P, I’se been off with most the guys here; look there’s Mattie Spicer, I was givin him a blowjob just last night. Now he looks near to dead. An there’s Tiny . . . um . . . don’t know his udder name; he’s jest known as Tiny because he’s got the biggest cock you’d ever want to see. All of eight inches on the slack and a powerful nine when he gets hard. Made me real proud to take the whole lot up . . .’ ‘Shut up Billy, (as Paddy continued walking) have some respect for these poor fools; they don’t want their dirty secrets to be aired at a time like this. Show some respect.’ ‘Yeah sorry boss, I get carried away when I’m a bit upset. Seems I’se can’t shut me mouth . . . hey what’s up Mr P? . . . ‘ Paddy was just a couple of yards from Billy looking at some of the gunshot bodies, when all of a sudden he seemed to freeze. He became rigid as he stared at one of the bloody gunshot victims; then he seemed to slump as if suddenly his vital force drained away. He began top utter despairing sounds, ‘KEN? KEN? . . . . What’s . . . KEN? . . . why? How? (Choke) . . .’ Sensing something bad had happened, Billy raced quickly to where Paddy stood transfixed looking at a particular body and muttering, ‘KEN . . . KEN . . . ‘ ‘Don’t know who’s yer callin Ken Mr P, that here's Freddie the gunman and he looks real dead. Good riddance to a real bad’un; worlds a lot better off with the likes of him gone . . . .' At that time Giles at the other end of the street, was talking to some of the Ambos who’d just arrived. Some instinct made him look up in time to watch Paddy sag to his knees and fall down. Simultaneously Billy made eye contact with Giles and waved him to come over quickly. On reaching the boy, Giles was appalled to see the change in Paddy; he looked to be in deep shock with pupils fixed and dilated, and making only unintelligible baby sounds. He turned to Billy, ‘What happened lad, what brought this on; I’ve never seen Paddy like this . . . quickly, tell me’ ‘Well all I knows officer, is that Mr P came to this body here who he kept calling KEN, but we all knows him as Freddie the gunman; works fer Tilly and is a nasty piece of goods . . . well, he was anyways. Why’se this happened? Why has Mr P gone gaga? Something stirred in Giles’s memory; something that Paddy had let slip about seeing someone. However, right now he needed to get help for Paddy. ‘You’re Billy . . . right? Then hop over to the ambulance people and tell them to come quickly; just say that an officer is down. They’ll know what to do.’ ‘OK, but he’ll be OK won’t he? (sniffling) We’ve been close like and if anything happened to him I’ll . . . .’ ‘I understand lad; now be a good fella and go fetch the ambulance guys.’ When Billy scampered off, Giles grabbed hold of Paddy and held him close, whispering ‘It’s OK boyo, it’s OK buddy, I’m here now; I don't know what's happened but and I’m (giving Paddy a tight hug) gonna look after you. Take it easy now; we'll get you to hospital right away.' By this time Paddy had deteriorated alarmingly. His breathing became shallow and it was obvious he was in deep shock. The only sounds he made were a repetitive, strangled cry off, ‘ . . . Ken . . . Ken . . .' Soon an anxious Billy arrived with a pair of ambulance bearers and in a few words Giles explained what had happened. With professional skill they checked Paddy’s vitals and prepared him for a stretcher. ‘What's your take Walter (reading the guy's name tag); how bad is he? I know you can’t give a complete diagnosis right now, but you must have some opinion based on your experience.' ‘Well from the looks of him I'd say he’s had a severe shock, a shock so severe that his brain, unable to deal with the reality of the situation, has retreated into itself. . . . .’ ‘but . . . . (Giles interrupting) will he be OK? Both the lad (indicating Billy) and I are close friends of his and we're worried. This isn’t the Paddy we’ve known; I’ve never seen him like this before.’ ‘Yeah I've seen plenty of shock cases; if you don't treat the patient right away the situation can be serious. Look, when we get him back to hospital, he’ll probably be given a sedative to help him come out of the shock. I’m pretty sure that he’ll respond quickly; he looks to be in good physical health, so the prognosis, I'd say is good. Now stand aside and let's get him into the ambulance and into hospital. Hey . . . officer?? . . . (addressing Giles)’ ‘ummm . . . Giles.’ ‘Yeah . . . I’ve never seen a trauma scene this bad; never seen so many bodies just strewn about with no obvious cause. Do you know what happened?’ ‘Yeah, it's bad Walter; we don’t know yet what caused the stoush but we’re working on it. It’s a fucking mess alright!!’ 'Reckon I’ve seen some bad incidents but this . . . this is beyond the pale. Anyway, we’re off to get this lad fixed up.’ Giles turned to face Billy who had been listening anxiously. ‘Tell me what you know Billy; tell me what you and Paddy have been doing. You must have some idea as what caused Paddy to collapse.’ ‘I dunno Mr G, I just don’t know . . . . I reckon I should tell you’se that I’m a homo. I reckon you’se knows that Paddy is like me an’ Simon . . . hey?’ ‘Yeah I do lad; we’ve been close friends since we were young boys. He let drop that he’d met up with someone but didn’t tell me his name; judging by his collapse, I’d say that this ‘Freddie’ bloke is the one. Jesus, what a shock he must have had.’ ‘Yeah . . . but why did he take up with a piece of shit like Freddie the Gunman; it don’t make sense Mr G . . . . it don’t make sense. I’m scared Mr G . . . real scared. Mr P has been real good t’me. No one has ever been kind to me like Mr P done. I thinks I love ‘im.’ ‘Yeah, Paddy is an angel; he always was there to help people with their problems and tried to set the world to rights . . . . Ummm . . . . had you and he ever been intimate?’ ‘What intimate? If yer askin have we had sex well, I ain't gunna say anything except that we'se been close . . .' ouch! '. . . but it was good’ not rough and we’se did feel sumfin for each other. If’n it comes out that he’s a Homo then I reckon all those churchies and narrow minded snobs will come down hard on ‘im. Please Mr G don’t let the bastards find out who he fucks; it would be mighty cruel. Those bastards don’t know nuthin.’ Giles was surprised he had a reaction to Billy’s confession that he and Paddy might have had sex; but it passed as quick as it came. He turned to Billy, ‘Look lad . . . help me with my investigation if you would. I guess that you’d know most of the folks in both gangs and your help in identifying casualties would be appreciated.’ Why did I feel jealous when young Billy admitted that Paddy might have been physical? [1] Aussie slang for England [2] Derogatory term for an Australian aborigine. [3] Used in playing cricket
  11. That was my problem, putting Simon in harms way. He deserves to be loved not frightened.
  12. I just couldn't write about putting a young kid in harms way. Paddy's a practical copper