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BOLD TARTAN OF ULSTER vol [1] by Seamus Glas

© Seamus Glas

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It is the 'Just before the Ulster troubles when youth culture was influenced by A Clockwork Orange-StrawDogs- Bolan and Bowie, etc. Please do not read if you're sensitive to extremes.

Please keep in mind this site fails to upload Speech marks and commas and despite how often I have brought this to the attention of the office, it still remains. So I would ask you to kindly not comment on this as I am tired of hearing something I'm unable to resolve.



Synopsis
From the outset of the troubles the Royal Ulster Constabulary was viewed with suspicion by the Protestant loyalist movement; traditionally woven into the same fabric of identity and culture, they are alone. Eventually, they regained ground with the vigilante loyalists, though it took blood sweat and tears regaining their trust. Arriving in the province were the representatives of HM government. Apparent misguided support towards the nationalist movement further isolated the loyalist community. Coupled with army misguided nationalist protection from the loyalist’s perspective, army sympathy was an insult to most Protestants. Soon, a climate of imminent civil war in light of Home Rule between the two factions developed. In addition, the loyalists coming from a mindset of under attack and defense of the cause, their battle cry.
The R.U.C. task of impartiality all the more difficult, when a crackdown on loyalist vigilante activity occurred. They called it internment. This sometimes tipped over into what is by the loyalists thinking, betrayal. For their seeming disloyalty, enter the footmen of the vigilante loyalist cause, ‘The Tartan Men.’
Couple that with their aforementioned, and you have Tartan mayhem.




Based on true events and Characters

Volume one

Bold Tartan of Ulster

CHAPTER [1] The Brew That Satan Drinks
The Bold Tartan Men of Ulster
November 23ndst 1972. 4 PM Northern Ireland.
Angel spat before surveying the graphite horizon for the arrival of his homing pigeons. From the hills of Craigantlet, co. Down, he sees the predator circling and preparing. It's a good omen to a fancier. He let's off some B-B pellets to drive it farther across to a Glen. It never fails to twist his juvenile perspective to something so utterly tranquil from a pair of binoculars. But still, it is, until a group of deer are startled from an opposite hill. He pans the Glass east where the winds coming up the valley are not good and before he could make sense of it, the first nauseating brown plume rises in a mass of swirl against the city's afternoon skyline. In an Augenblick-the devastating crack of a thunderous din reverberates towards him, triggering alarms all over Belfast. His Glass focuses on the bend of the river down by the old puddled docks and where the Lagan visits with the Irish Sea. He starts praying not from the unfolding scene, but he isn't sure if his birds are alive witnessing what most never see or nauseated by. Before he could finish, the second upward plume against the lighter edifice of Belfast is like a Genie from Dante's Inferno. Out of the following plumes of brown, he spots them. They're off course due to the activity below but leastways they are on the home run. His heart is giving him the kicking of a lifetime and dare he, if can't get this down before his old man calls, c'mon you little bastards, bank to the east, to the east, flank the Lagan, flank the fuckin' Lagan for christ sakes. His hopes crash in his testes when the next brown spiraling plume of debris and metal slice into the same hideous swirling gases. Somehow he could not accept such an outcome. His eyes found a minuscule of salvation from another desperate attempt to rise above the oncoming broken metal and ceramic. This time the shower of metal fails to reach them, but not the tailing group who in a flurry of disengaging alignment and floating feathers were thrown down-ways. Then, just as he took comfort, another gut-wrenching unrelenting blast. Negotiating the impasse by rising above the scourge, Angel is studying the skyline for any sign of their colours. Many other groups from other fanciers are tailing. It has become a wave upon wave from a quandary of beating wing and stretching feather beyond usual capacity. Exploding below the ether morphs into a whirlpool of debris and grit spanning mainly west of the Lagan. His old-man is on the east coast of England and waiting for their safe arrival. He ignores the first three calls from him. Suddenly he sees Fenian then Taig emerge as two bats out of hell racing alongside their brothers and sisters. For that is how Angel came to think of them paradoxically. His joy he kept the lid on until totally certain his tired eyes were not giving him away. Thank fuck, they were dodging to the right this time and directly over the Lagan. C,mon, for sake of Paisley will you wee fuckers stay straight and true. He always boasted the sound of his birds are in his ears at an age most have difficulty with. He could hear their tiny hearts banging away inside the wee ribcage then. He could only imagine what feelings a bird might have, but difficult to draw a comparison with. There is an explosion of a different kind and not from the city, but feathers only a pigeon could shed. Buzzards swooping down into them like Messeyshitters are this time lenient. Checking the numbers of his own he raises his W-T as they swoop past... All fifty Angels coming in and safe this time, Da. Angel releases the button and thanks to the almighty, before letting off some more shots at the Hawk climbing the thermals before it fell at his feet with an open eye. He spat on it and kicked it into a thicket. Jammy bastard you are, Ang. The Homers-along with Fenian and Taig- circle above him in a swooping beating of the wing that is noble music to Angel's ears. Trained as his own favourite RAF squadron, they set off down the valley of patchwork green toward a dozen or so sheds. He races after them like the child he never was allowed to be and what is to shape him from this moment on. For Angel is active with an epiphany to change things before they become worse.


Below is a valley, where the Ulster Hospital eclipses a village six miles from Belfast.
A God-send for the victims of 500lbs of Gelignite. Not much one can do from its force of air, says big Geordy handing myself one of his Tenners, and that 'Air De Force' sweeps you off your feet and it's explosion will leave your eardrums good or with it to the ether.
The injured, along with the homers make it to our neck of the woods this time, though a hospital is a handy place for us too. Unlucky not to have heard army ordering those pouring out from buildings to hit the deck will be the last vestiges of human activity you'll hear, said big Geordy, though at seventeen I wonder how would he know. Despite the Saracen blown up over onto its roof, limbs are being picked up nearby as possible rejoins, then wrapped in green linen for their crews. The smell of sulphur and burnt fabrics hang in the air. Mingling within it, a nauseating taste the tongue finds horrid and unfit for the mouth but resonates deep, deeper than the taste itself, said a reporter on the box by the reception. Around and above, where windows were, are Venetian blinds hanging out flapping in the wind and behind them, alarms alerting the eye and the ear skyward. Where were you? Soon they pale into the cauldron of chaos and emotions as though no longer having a purpose. Some of the fallen pedestrians have fainted, usually elderly folk from the flurry of panic. Help him, he needs it more. One standing fails to sense his only leg before collapsing; someone screams when wheeled in, help him. Others are walking in circles picking the grit and glass out of their clothing, spent matchsticks embedded in their hair and cleaning the blood from their orifices. But this is when most are dispatched and army knows only too well the moments after are the ones of death. Having to take more risks, soldiers return to the zone to keep victims on the ground until the all-clear. Follow-ups are the latest development. It is an eerie silence. Shock has that effect after a blaster, said the soldier. The nearest City and Royal hospitals are already working at full capacity, as fifteen others have detonated around the city centre. The BBC on Bedford street took the blast and this time, not the Europe Hotel. If not for the army using their Saracens to block the blast, causalities would have broken the tolerance levels and to some extent, it is relief among their staff.

Evening in Dundonald and a heavy smog descends the village as expected, like the man with the glasses said. Our chaos is yet to pan out. There will be an innocent riot comparable with a guilty graveyard smelling of something beneath it. In the distance, an explosion of a different kind with the arrival of Semtex and this time, army disposal units are at a loss. The Ra have up'ed the anti. Soft harp notes are an odd sound to a Prod like myself when light fingers pluck at strings. Some low some high but never reaching a crescendo. Me myself is used to another kind of instrument. Outside, darkness and rain pelts the arriving ambulances. Inside, my eyes burn in the bright light and a dribble of red on the shine of the hospital floor is not much pain yet. Nurses and doctors are engaged in screams of command up and down the corridors to the loading bay. The smell of burnt flesh is unlike anything I have ever sniffed before. Then the plucking of those notes again. It is one of them Harps from one of the children wards on another level and so, music a mother would play.
8 pm. Down the road, loyalist Internment is underway and panic from the capital jolt the expecting staff headlong to their operative theatres. A blue flash of emergency is a constant coming and going. Along the main stretch of dimming haze, traffic from Belfast is an undulating homeward rush from fear of another campaign. The army is everywhere, above, below, vertical and horizontal.
A piece of a tartan scarf I'm using could hold no more.

NURSE...need bandaged...QUICK!

Breath Easy, won't be a moment.
Sixteen and hard men, Angel, big Geordy and me. Wee Smicker, the fourth was interned for headbutting a squaddie. That's what we call a Limey soldier. They're me mates and they're all I got, apart from old Stompy, though don't know why. We can take it more than most. Nursey knows it too. In fact, she knows myself quite a bit of recent, Ill tell ya. Angels bowler is a strange object to her, but he can sing piecing together David Bowies, Queen Bitch. Big Geordy taps the floor with his acquired fancy walking stick; Angel tosses his bowler on to it. They're both nervous here when beginning to spit more. No saliva just the noise, you see, it's a tartan thing. Geordy in turn lifts and flips it back, Angel begins singing... Im on the 11th floor and shes in hurry below a dan dan dan dang. Me myself, I'm in another world when I hear her voice and them footsteps. That's the funny thing about a hospital; footsteps are loudest when you know you're next, though scarcely heard by others. Big Geordy falls to the floor to peek the coming nurses' drawers. He pretends to be in agony rolling toward her, baring his eye teeth. With her hurried sidestep, she approaches; clean water she manages to keep within the bowl, the smell of antiseptic, mustard! Ill tell ya. Obstructing her, springs Angels, his hands sliding up down his lapels flashing his razors in her face before continuing shes down on the eleventh floor watching the cruisers below, da da da da dang. He dances around her, gimme a kiss. Geordy rises standing up, throwing his waist side to side with his big scary stare when both move in with their juvenile dopiness, arms waving above their heads. She could not help a resistant smile, 'So knucklehead, what colour are they then'. 'Theyre green, and by Christ, loveliest shade of green ya ever clamp eyes on, and thats not all,' he says shimmying away. Angel hates green, spits more on hearing it. His problem. Me, I like it, even the orange and white.
I step to block him fluck aff outside, be with ye in a mo.

Ziggy played guitar, miming us with weird and rubbers... jammy bastard.

Okay nursey, I need a slash and outta here pronto!

Truth is, I felt dirty, dirtier than the dirtiest with her. Her, with her nice crisp starch uniform and clean lingo from her mouth, and then that watch, to remind me how long Ive got with her. At least shes mine in that time. But all I could think of, is showing- off them new notes on my Saxophone.

You again, she says like she didn't know, setting the metal surgical bowl down on my lap and unravelling the roll of bandage.

A-yahhh what of it?

Lift your hand up and hold straight out like this, like youre beggin this time.

Like this.

Yes, now use your good hand supporting it?

Like this, said I, like she knew I was flirting.

Youre gettin quite a wee selection of scars.

Im a hard man, dont ye forget it.

Hard to look at So what wee secrets have ya to tell me tonight, Mr. hard man?
Just the Gospel, like 'em others. I know I know I said it all before, but this is real, reliving it you could say. Some things dont go away with me, who I am, where I've bin.
My nurse has that look on her face when I spoke like she wanted to believe. Me myself could see, her's is another world from mine. A safer one and one she felt secure in. She wanted me in her world. I wanted in so I could take her to see The Bay City Rollers in the Kings Hall.

Easy

Sorry.

This one is the one, just like yer self. Now hurry.

It began with 'The Bay City Roller's', Teenage love, I told her, playing from a blaster. She eyes me for earnestness. Had to follow it. It was teeming from the heavens. Talk of civil war around the village and you get edgy. An operative IRA cell is preparing to car bomb the fuckin heart of our wee village, they say.

Mind the lingo, this is a hospital.

Blood from my cut hand drips from my fingertips. My pulse runs with it. The bowl beneath she expertly places, catching the dispersal of colour. Not much pain yet, I told her. She eyes me, absent of believing, being that close I could tell. With her smile wanting to shine through the front a nurse has to wear, I got comfortable with it. Mustard, it is, the mess I mean. She smiles without making eye contact. I could tell. Give me pain, less mess, that way I can prove I am a hard man, I said, in case shes got funny ideas about what a boy is versus a hard man. She is silent. The antiseptic bites... A-yah

So how did this happen?

''Knifed by a Taig who came to nick our acquired van he wasnt alone. The others scarpered. Someone is watching.

Oh never mind him, only old Davy, drunk every night, thinks here is home.

''Clever them Taigs. This time, we hid it in a field, see. He didnt run like his mates... I respect that.''

''You do. Makes me feel better already.''

''Hurry up, havent much time, Sister four-eyes calls the fuzz when we turn up here.''



Known as Glasgo, mine is a mustard tale. Not one of those whimsies hoping for breathin space or an effort to be a local hero. Them others, they'd rather forget. Me, I wanna remember, okay. Record its importance you could say. Be forewarned, tis a true story of hard men and mustard aggro, aye, and Im one of 'em. The hardest they will ever know. The days of kneecapping and head-jobs are round the corner. Most of them will not live long. I can tell, see. One thing else
Shit, now its hurtin'.
'Sorry, tis slowing.'' She dabs the wound with antiseptic before bandages; The other is beyond me... damn. ''Nearly said sumpin' I hadn't planned.''
''Hang in there, almost done stitching ye up, Frankenstein,'' she said, her smile clearer.
You think things mustard crazy today, maybe, but not with these fellas, I'll tell ya. I remember them and believe me, theirs are days of madness though numbered if you see what mean. It began when the Army using internment on our boys and then drafting informers in; gettin the picture yet. Like I said, tis all true, give a bit of waffle here or there. Damn your antiseptic.
No spittin' either. Her smile vanishes and it is then I know, I am mustard special to her.



A village barracks jail is too cold for men to stay awake. Often forced to sleep avoiding the cold chill of a winters bite is difficult: Glasgo, as prearranged and unknowingly, finds himself there with his two partners in crime after the fuzz caught up with them at the Ulster. Because of it, deep slumber eventually finds him lying back on a Craigantlet hill. It was of happier times on summer's golden bale of wheat and warmth; such a day when the sound of his Saxophone struck the right cords. High above is his passion. A circling falcon, rendezvousing on time, rewarded with red meaty strips of bacon pinned on the end of a broken branch, in return for it's aerial display. Below, in the city of Belfast, tranquillity is shattered by a car bomb. The falcon has become accustomed to them and remains unfazed.
In the village jail the night turns to freezing and soon Glasgo's nose dribbles so much so, he sneezes waking himself up several times. A draught is an agent of cold stealing into their cell like an unwanted company with a sneer, though this time it accompanies the face of a Peeler. Who did that last night, Glasgo? the big RUC constable demands as his eyes rotate at the new graffiti. Glasgo retreats into his straw pillow where the trauma of past days is still banging around with a headache...


Angel who? attempts the constable.

Angel cupped his hands where he buried his snout puffing life into another butt. You are taking the piss, Fuzz-man? he said sucking behind a plume of smoke.

Next, he turned upon the top bunk, Geordy, who?

Wrigley gum smacks. Not even for a truck full of grass and easy lays, Peeler.

Glasgo...?

''Okay okay, before you ask him, said Angel. It began in Cherrhill housing estate. Them Taigs were delivering a big un. I came along and give all em a-kickin'. So you owe me a tenner, fuzz-man, maybe two.''
Banter and piss-taking aren't what this fuzz-man was accustomed to. Nor is the truth. He is part of a big act, though I didn't know it. But what I do remember, was a wet street and a distant siren, where a van engine turns over and Taigs doing a runner. Teenage Love blasts from a radio and it was where we found him, listening to, Bay City Rollers-old Marc and Bowie-like he hadnt a care in the world, I tell ya. Never saw a nerve like his before.
So lets take a wee walk, said me. Metal-Guru blasted from behind. Why didnt ya run, said Geordy, you goin for the Ford? Eh? Youre Taigs, eh? said, Angel. Not from around here, eh? said me, trust me, nothing to be afraid of, just follow me. Well tell ya more about the cause on the way, okay, eh? said, Angel. ''Ayh, the cause, lets see said me. Yeh right, think my Ma give birth to a tube, said he, which means the same as Plebe. Here, wanna a wee Wrigley? said Geordy. Are you deef, said he. Just shut the fuck up, I am goin to get ya outta here before them ones come, okay? said me. Hey, like my blade, eh? Hey! Where were ya goin, Eh? Lost your nerve, eh? said me. Fuck off, orange bastards said he. It was not the thing to say with Angel around.
''Fuck, damn, shit, ya wee Fenian cunt, screamed Angel pullin' his heavy-duty chain out. The wee fucker somehow cut me on my left hand; with my own blade. Though honestly, the drink had a wee bit to do with it. The rest is history, and thats what I'll tell old judge McCracken. He knows me, see.

With chattering teeth, the cold has no mercy, even in a straw bed and pillow. Ulster emergency patched me up best they could, and all that fuckin scumbag fuzz-man could say was... I want me mammy: She takes care of me. But not me Da, hell kill me... Hard men, my arse!
After an hour or so in here and even his words are a comfort, I'll tell ya. A foundering cell forced to nap in is all we could wish for.
Fuzz-man clears his throat taking a step into our cell like he is nervous... thanks to us, we found you three Tubes before the enemy tartan, or him next door.
Regardless of the cold and fatigue, you know it fast when key-words are mentioned. 'Him next door,' could be our van owner, the one big Angel and me did a 4d on. Who is this mystery van owner? Why didn't they release him after The Ulster? That's when I begin listening and trusting big Geordy. Head pain causes me to drop one of his tabs for moments like this. Again, I found myself giving in a wee bit to him. Slumber kicked in as the tab is too much to stay awake and disguises the nightmare I am to sleep through. I don't know which is better. At first, drum tapping, then faster to a beat from a distant bedroom. Then a little louder, a flute, until another bigger drum begins banging in a foggy soccer-field nearby. I know from the echoes here and there, worse is to come. Three nights earlier is where my nightmare led me. At first pieces of a jigsaw, then patches of scenes before the voices of men. Protestant voices, because of their Fenian slurs. Then come familiar ones and more relief, relax, now Sleep Glasgo sleep. The squaddies and RUC scum have gone.

Nov 20th, 1973 Craigantlet Hills, Co. Down,
Tues 1.50 a.m. pursued, is a white Ford van racing for home after a night of dance, liquor and no luck with girls of Bangor, co. Down. The boys within have been pushing their luck, though they manage to lose the blue RUC Ford Escort: Glasgo has no idea they are to run a waiting gauntlet of RUC and Army up ahead. The RUC receive a tip-off they are on their way. There is a security alert about recent weapons running operation over the hills.

Big Geordys husky voice sounds panicky amid the din.

The blue flashin could be the bastarden fuzz.

Its the sirens that make the fuckin difference, Geordy... isnt that right, Angel?

I think Ill know a fuzz siren when I hear one, he cries over the vans creaks, squeaks and winding crankshaft. The whine of the two-litre motor revs to a crescendo. At 75 mph, it cannot go faster over the hills. Be it our backyard, it is not the sort of place to be racing a stolen Ford transit van; especially up and down its sharp brows and bendy narrow by-roads in winter.
Angel moves over Geordys legs to get a better view.
Alright, Glasgo, how was I to know it would be the fuckin Razzers.
Geordy let out a yell, Angel misplaces an elbow on one of his funny bones. His carbon clouds vision and it didnt go down well either. For fucks sake, Angel.

Angel pokes his finger up ahead, then bends it left untouched by Geordys pain.Take the next left!

Thats a fuckin field.

Better than ambush alley, have ye forgotten, Glasgo? He throws me one of his Elvis leers.

''What's that sound from your side, Geordy?''

'' Them's cat's eyes.''

''What sort of cat's eyes.''

''Ones we need so we don't crash from drink, like your old man, Glasgo.''

''He still drives like he wouldn't know the difference.''

Entering a field, the Ford skids sideways on muck pranging off the gate and spinning its wheels. Big Geordy manages to get traction before advancing over the rows of ploughed earth. My arse hit hard on the rib metal floor. Grabbing onto the back of the passenger seat, Angel thinks it funny, as his head bumps once then twice off the ceiling before the van begins falling apart. Shaking and rattling, it begins breaking up over the ploughed field like we were hit with German flak: Big Geordy chewing hard with focus, throws left his steering then right over-doing his Steve Mc Queen. Again, the van spins its rear wheels, before traction catapulted it, leaving palls of the exhaust. He still has to learn the clutch needs proper pressing, as third gear clunks into place.
Angel starts laughing again and dumbstruck is too less a word how we feel. He rolls down the passenger window. For a second we thought he has other ideas, like throwing up what the ride churned. He raises his hand and I suffer a panic attack. Geordy snatches a glimpse and nearly loses his steering... Now that is something. The words coming to me went deeper.
Are you taking the piss?
Angel holds in his index finger a big black Web before rotating it. He begins aiming it at the squaddies from the open window before withdrawing and rotating it up to his face to sense its cold metal. He points it at each of us, Does this look like a piss-taker? Then withdraws it admiring its sleek cruel possibility for the first and last time. He licks along its barrel to taste its cold matt black metal as I watch out the back portal. He points it there, then back to us. Seems he didnt want to part with it.
Fuck! An armoured Land Rover is racing toward us. Geordy sees it closing in from his side mirror and cuffs the sweat from his brow. Had our pursuers caught a glimpse of Angels Web too.

All right, all right, Im not going to, okay, relax!

Hurry the fuck up then, will ye, said Geordy spitting out his spent Wrigley, and chuck that bastarden thing, theyre behind us, fuck ye.

Angel points a bent finger, Gate on left coming up.

Geordy follows and swings left crashing through the steel gate to another field again skidding sideways doing a balancing act: We lose them dropping away on the other side of another hill. Seemed easier to me this time. Geordy giggles before spitting out the window, They've done a Burton into a ditch... fuckin' wankers. Angel tosses the weapon aside. We were again humming from over-confidence with our nervous systems avoiding the kicking of a life time.

That oughta do it...a good dollop of muck and cowshit will clean away me Da's prints with a bit of luck.
For a moment, I thought Angel might just use it. Way I know him, something began like a seed sowing inside him. Looking out of the rear portal he turns and winks

I think weve given the bastards the slip, said I.
Oh no! its squaddie again, Angel mimics cockney, as Geordys foot once more downs all the way. Angel is a mustard piss-taker at times like this.
He's takin the piss, Geordy, relax christ-sakes... big girl's blouse here is only takin' the piss.
Me myself remain scanning the distant outline for Peeler black and Army green. Geordy, less the nervous wreck than my-self, struggles with the vans skidding when I realise, he too is taking the piss.

Very funny, ha, ha.

NEVER, never again, Angel mimics Paisley, ''will the bastards get past us. He pops another Wrigley into Geordy's big mouth. Okay, make a right, not a left, whats the matter with ye Mr Pope, make a right, fuck ya? Geordy gum-smacks Angel. The eyeteeth he flashes at me... should heard your nurse last night, Glasgo, gagging for it as usual.
I couldnt explain it, but he has a way of making us feel good under pressure; we broke to laughter.

Angel knowing the hills better, guided Geordy to follow his directions homeward. Steve McQueen took over and Angel went along with it. Quiet and focused, Geordy's face forms a menacing look, his hand jerking the stick into place more than it needed. Me and Angel liked Geordy and knowing the path Angel followed, I could put my hand on my heart and honestly say, at no time did I know big Geordy's. He could be driving us straight to the limeys for all I know. Though he seems sound enough, I hope he would be around long enough to be a real mate.
After a couple of circles, the heavy-duty van makes contact with tar. He drove in no rush to the top of the hill leaving the field for an unlit road. Muck covers the van providing good camouflage, and then he cuts the main lights. Now and again he flashes ahead with his full beam, though is almost driving blind. Me and Angel see Geordy has a few tricks up his sleeve. Very savvy of him to give the idea we were another security vehicle flashing like others dotted around us. A busy searchlight means we can escape with some light too. Angel and I look at each other knowing, we were okay with big Geordy this close. But, in the tartan Book of Rules, tomorrow is another day.

Tossing his blonde hair back about his arse-cheeks, Angel notices it too, ''Geordy, if you weren't a butch bastard, I'd shag you myself.''
Get outta my bastarden view, Angel. An empty five ml bottle of Smirnoff hits the metal floor beside our rising passenger. The Ford lifts into the air at the hills summit before contact with patches of new tar. Causing him to lose his balance, a 4d from my ready knuckle duster sends him reeling downward. The tyres hold out, but something falls off. Behind, a metal box vanishes into the mist. A searchlight blazes a beam to the source tumbling away into nothingness.

Fuck a duck, thats done it.

Being around two a.m. we couldnt see what had fallen off.

Wha tha fuck was tha?

Move to plan B, demands Angel.

Hurry up will ye, plan B.

Geordy drops a gear with a clunk and blows a bubble-gum smack.
Slowly does it. Another bubble-gum smack and clunk, his speed down to under twenty.
Fuckin hail Mary, mama of our dear lord more squaddies said Angel, and I think they may have seen us, the bastards. I lower the side window to peek. Geordy does his slow and easy with head-beam flash again. Angel leaps back to the rear portal and the regret of not having his toy shows.

No fuckin idea how they knew this back lane, bastards!

I didnt say shit.

No, but I could hear you thinkin fuck ye.

Fuck you too.

He always did that, uses me as nerves kick in. Since we were in high school together, he needed me to make a decision, like a boat needing an anchor.

Quick, the fuckin lights, Geordy!

thems not ours.

Something stirred behind Youre all dead Bastards.

We forgot about him: Who he is anyway.

I'll chuck him out the back?

Nah, wont make a difference, said Geordy. But it would have made all the difference if wed left him behind, right, Glasgo.''

Maintaining speed at around ten M.P.H. the van idles along for a couple of hundred yards. Angel relied on his memory. We made it past the narrow link road, where any moment the army Land Rover could be coming up to meet us. A few seconds on and we are crossing the ramp leading up into a slip road. Relieved there is no searchlight or worse, an army ambush, Them stone-rows are a big help, or they would ave see us.

Angel puts a fag into his mouth, then smiles. Geordy displaying his eyeteeth, quickly dabbed the sweat from his brow We can admire stone-rows another time, Glasgo. Angel sniggers, but he isnt really enjoying it. Geordy then wipes away the condescension from the screen.
Okay, I think were okay,
Okay, said I, lighting a Parky and inhaling for a speedy effect.
Angel leans in patting Geordy on the back of his neck. That was close lets get the fuck outta here if we still can.
Geordy normally hated being touched around the neck. Angel knows it too. The Ford makes another hard clunk click jerking forward. A metal grinding pierces the relative calm. We sped away steadier with Geordys eye fix to the offside mirror, working the foot pedals with a little too much of everything. A little too much throttle, then a little too much braking. Because his left foot needs coordination, he has a tendency to apply the foot brakes instead of the clutch. And always never enough clutch, but always too much damn brake.
.
Angel dives to the back to see from the back portal.

Oh fuck! Nearly broke my fuckin' neck.

Its a pity ya didnt, said the one on the floor.

Angel drives his heel backwards connecting with something fleshy, then singstheres a Starman watching from the stars hed like to come and meet you, but he thinks hell blow your Fucking brains out. On the floor, our man let out a groan sounding like his last. I pour a drop of Poteen down his cake-hole, then slap him about the face a couple. Behind, disappearing, reappearing, we could hear the siren of the army Land Rover losing ground. Each time into eye-shot then down to vanish again along the hills. It seemed they give up on us. Nearby Angel, the chest of our hostage with a tartan scarf around his neck heaves up and down. He happens to be the vans owner, attempting to stop us stealing it when he lifted a sledgehammer. His mistake. A big man too. In addition, he just happens to be enemy tartan. Big Geordy laid him out with a double upper crust to the chin. The rest is history. Big Geordy says he never drove so fast going down steep hills until now, with an engine sounding like it would explode. He could have fooled us. Mustard it is focusing on anything, especially two rows of trees passing that quickly.
Me myself sickly and I hated the neasea others never get with stress, unless like Angel, they hid it. Geordy, youve lost them, slow up chrissakes. Whilst we hold on for our lives, I start scanning the main valley road ahead for the tell tale stream of flashing blue.
Angel blows smoke You know, they planned to ambush us.
They failed, said Geordy.

''Maybe.'' Angel spat, maybe something pulled them off us, or maybe they got a snap of us with all them damn lights.

That could be a bad sign, or maybe, said Geordy, ''maybe a couple of mini-skirted ladies just happened to be hiking in that mist, we missed.

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