You can read the first half of the first chapter of Progeny Of A Killer here.
“I… I don’t know.” Tears fill her vision, and she averts her head. “He keeps the basement locked and tells me not to go down there. Martin can be… be quite aggressive at times. I’m too scared to ask him questions.”
“Well I’m asking questions, Rosie. We can do this nice and gently. I don’t want to hurt you. but I can’t promise that my belligerent pal downstairs will be quite so considerate. You know exactly what Martin’s into, and yet you stay with him. Maybe he’s a good shag huh? Jesus, he’s fat and ugly. Plus he’s a fuckin’ paedophile. Maybe more than that. Do you know what was on that tape, Rosie? There was a little girl. She was hooded and so were the guys with her. But I knew it was your fella. They were touching up this girl. She was just a child. I reckon seven or eight. Your fella and another guy were laughing as they poured petrol over her. Talk to me, Rosie.”
Shaking her head she maintains that she knows nothing, except to suggest that we ask Martin.
“Oh don’t worry, Rosie, we’ll do that alright. The thin guy in the film. Is it Louis Platt?”
“I don’t know.”
“The other man?” I rasp.
“Yes, yes! Martin calls him Louis. That’s all I know.”
“If you’ve finished bellowing at that bird, mate, Cartright’s here,” Mitchell declares. A kind of bemused smile flirts around his lips, indiscernible in the narrow slits of the hood.
After replacing the tape, I ascertain that the ropes are secured. Counselling her not to move, I straighten to my full height. I enquire of Mitchell if he watched the tape.
He swallows hard. “‘Til the kid was fuckin’ burning.”
“I didn’t get that far. I have kids.”
“C’mon, lets intercept this fuckin’ bastard.” Mitchell pulls a Glock pistol and checks the clip. The smile, disappearing behind the mask, is swiftly replaced by a tightening set to his mouth.
Mitchell says, “by the way, I spoke to the boss,” in a sort of conspiratorial whisper.
For an answer, he positions a couple of gloved digits adjacent to his temple.
“Fuck,man, I’m not going to be. party to that. She might be fuckin’ innocent. I’m not touching her.”
“Innocent! Jesus, listen to yourself. She lives with him. Screws him. It’s fuckin’ Fred and Rose West all over again. There’s stuff in that basement that no mortal eyes should have to look upon. Any decent woman would have had it on her toes ages ago, but she stays. That’s a fuckin’ double bed. She probably lets him fuck her after what he’s done.”
“Fred and Rose didn’t burn their victims. They just had more patios laid out. And maybe she puts up with it ‘cos she’s too scared to get away.”
“And maybe we was fuckin’ wrong about you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You can be all fluffy-bunny and Daddy to your kids, but when we’re on a job all that goes out of the window, understand?”
“I’m not fluffy-bunny. Jesus, man. I can prove it, okay? But I still say we don’t kill the woman. She isn’t our mark.”
“It’s okay if you don’t have the stomach for it.”
My mouth is tight, and I push him ahead of me. “Maybe it’s not the stomach you gotta worry about. Maybe it’s the conscience.”
The woman isn’t armed. She lies upstairs bound and gagged. Will I be able to live with myself again, with my baby, my wife and my ten year old son?
There’s something Mitchell knows nothing about. At least I hope he doesn’t. Since I’ve been doing this, a small hip flask has become my constant companion. I carry the flask inside my jacket adjacent to my pistol. Right now it’s the former that I close my hand over.
“Look, man, you go ahead.” I instruct him.
I hear the door bang downstairs. Cartright calls out. “I’m coming to get you, babe, ready or not,” to Rosie. Which makes me positively cringe.
“I’ll check on the woman again. Make sure she’s trussed-up, okay? Don’t waste him before I arrive will you?” I attempt a modicum of humour. To which he merely shrugs.
I wait until he returns downstairs before I retreat back into the bedroom, casting a cursory eye over Rosie. She’s trussed-up fine. All an excuse of course. I imbibe a much needed swallow before I return the flask to my jacket. The drink serves both to fuel my aggression and, more importantly, to lessen the guilt at what we are about to do.
Downstairs I discover Mitchell has Cartright pushed into a chair. The expression on Cartwright’s face is one of puzzlement rather than actual fear.
“Wh…what do you want? If it’s money, I… I’ve got some stashed upstairs.”
Cartright is a burly kind of guy filling out the black tracksuit he’s wearing. His hair is thick, but lank as if he hasn’t bothered to wash it.
55 years old. He’s been in and out of care homes since the age of eight. Institutionalised for child abuse, which had actually begun while in the care homes. At 15 he’d sexually abused a nine year old girl. According to our brief, his predilection for children, particularily young girls, saw him moving from one home to another.
“Look, when you’ve finished beating me up, not that I haven’t been beaten up before, call me an ambulance will you?” he implores.
“When we’ve finished with you, you fuckin’ perverted bastard, you’ll need a fuckin’ hearse,” I rasp. Pulling the Browning from my holster, I fit the silencer.