by Roger Noons
a large brandy
The doorbell rang one minute after I’d sat down with my mug of coffee and the Daily Telegraph. I thought to ignore it but wondered if the caller might have seen me through the window.
‘Yes?’ I said, keeping the chain limiting the opening.
‘Good morning Sir, might you be Mr Norman Lewis?’
‘I might be, it depends if he owes you money.’
The visitor was taken aback but only briefly. He was kind enough to smile. ‘No Sir, I’m here to bring you money, well the means of earning it.’
‘I’m retired, I don’t need a job thank you.’
‘You wouldn’t need to work Sir, I promise you.’
‘In that case I’m definitely not interested. I believe the only money worth having is what you have earned in an honest way.’
‘There’s nothing dishonest in my proposal, I assure you. In fact—’
He was interrupted by the sound of a door being smashed open behind me. My training kicked in and as I dived for cover, a shot was fired which shattered the glass in the front door. Looking over my shoulder, I saw my visitor clutch his chest; blood spewing from between his fingers. I scrambled up the staircase and turned a corner on the landing. On my belly I pulled myself under the bed in the front room, releasing the pistol from the tape securing it to the mattress.
I could hear muffled conversation from downstairs followed by vehicle alarms which began at a distance but neared rapidly. I heard car doors slamming, an engine fired up and a car was driven away. The car alarm that was loud was switched off.
I slithered from under the bed having flicked off the safety catch. As I stood up a uniformed policeman entered the room. He was surprised to find I was pointing the barrel of a gun towards his chest, but quickly regained calm after he was joined by a colleague.
‘Do you have a licence for that gun, Sir?’
I looked from one to the other. ‘I’ll put it down, need to get my wallet. It’s in that drawer. The officer who had spoken nodded as his partner withdrew his baton.
I gathered the certificate and offered it, but neither man took it.
‘What is your full name please?’
‘Norman Alexander Lewis.’
‘Date of birth?’
‘First of June 1953.’
‘And how long have you owned a gun?’
‘Since … why don’t you look at the licence?’
‘When you were working, what was your occupation?’
‘Please look at the licence.’
After a deep sigh, the Constable with the baton snatched it from my hand and shook it open. His colleague stared into my face.
‘Ben, you need to look at this,’ and he re-sheathed his stick.
A slow reader, but quick on understanding, he shrugged. ‘I’m sorry Sir, we’ll not detain you any longer.’
As I returned the gun to it’s position, I heard them laughing as they rushed downstairs. At the bottom they became silent. As the door was opened, Ben said. ‘A former Chief Constable, d’yer think it’ll get back to the Station?’
About the author
Roger is a regular contributor to Cafe Lit.