The door clattered open which caused the flabby guy behind it to jump up off his chair, fumble for balance and fall back onto his substantial arse. Mack strode in and glanced around.
“You’re supposed to be on lookout. Where’s your sidekick?”
The ineffectual sentry, nervously glanced down the hall
“Went to help the others. Said they might need some back-up”
He strode down to the steel door at the end of the corridor, slowed, then pushed it open quietly. Someone lay bleeding and broken on the floor, as four grinning men, enthusiastically booted him senseless.
They didn’t register Mack’s presence until he had pulled a pistol from his jacket pocket, stepped over to the victim and shot him, once in the head.
“Just do the job you were told to do” he said, replacing the weapon.
“Take him. Kill him. Get rid of the body. No need to kick the arse out of it.”
He looked at the, suddenly awkward, men and sighed. None of these clowns were his crew and he had suspected that they would be a liability when he was told about the conditions for this job. Tonight confirmed his misgivings and they had demonstrated just how much of a liability they actually were. Dumbass thugs and bullies with half a brain between them. When this was over, they would blow the money on drink, drugs and women. Acting the big man for as long as the cash lasted. Being an easy mark for every leech in Strathclyde wasn’t what bothered Mack though; it was more that they would be instantly visible on every cop’s radar. The Glasgow polis might not be regarded as the intellectual cream of the city but they weren’t stupid and would immediately clock a bunch of newly wealthy, underworld loudmouths living it large.
Time to pull the plug before it got too messy.
Their boss, Fraser wouldn’t be happy but he would also keep his eyes on the prize and next time, he wouldn’t shoehorn the fag ends of his mob into an operation that was clearly beyond them.
He got two of the group and the inept sentry to bring in the jerricans from the van outside, then he watched as they covered the body, spread rags around and liberally doused the entire room. He noted that they were remarkably careless about getting the fuel on their clothes but it didn’t surprise him. There was just a moment, before he closed the door, as their faces dropped. They displayed a spasm of awareness and shock; realising that something they had done to so many others, was now being done to them. Mack watched the flare hit the far wall and saw the fuel catch. He bolted the door and walked down the hallway. The screaming faded from earshot once he was out in the car park. Walking past the van he noticed that they had left the back doors wide open but this only merited a cursory shake of the head. It was just another small incompetence to add to their list and at this point, one that was hardly worth bothering about.
Sitting parked up in the rental car, he heard the sirens as they dopplered into the distance. Smoke and flames rose against the glow of the city as fire engines and patrol cars raced towards the burning warehouse.
He started the engine and drove off along the dark street.
***I worked in Glasgow on several occasions and studied at Strathclyde University's faculty of Education for three years. It is an incredibly lively city, full of interesting people and places with oddball bits of history cropping up all over the town. The mix of architectural styles can be a bit full-on as there have been several obvious phases of development over the span of the city's existence and some are more aesthetically pleasing than others but it is a marvellous town to stroll around and people watch.
Just for reassurance I will state here that not everyone in Glasgow is a homicidal sociopath.***
Thanks for reading.