Missing In Action
Barry Flint was dying. He was drifting in and out of consciousness. Killed by the cancer and chemotherapy, his body was giving up the fight. He knew his daughter was by his side. He knew he was in the prison hospital. Thank God it would be over for her.
Jo had followed him wherever he had gone. After embezzling five hundred large out of the wine store, they had needed to scarper quick like. He had thought about Spain but found The Algarve far more anonymous. From Essex to Portugal and back again. All up four years on the run and for what? To die a creeping death in a cage of fools.
She had followed him to Wandsworth Prison when Interpol had finally caught up with them. Away from the romance of her life. Away from the one man who would love her in spite of her father. He had made a deal with the people that mattered. Jo would be safe but she would never feel that blinding love that she had found on those sun-kissed shores with Tray. Barry had never forgiven himself for that and the guilt had wracked him ever since. Perhaps that was why the cancer had manifested itself. A display of the guilt he felt towards his daughter.
He surrendered to the morphine. He was so dosed up he couldn’t open his eyes but he could feel her presence.
“Dad?” His eyes flickered but remained firmly shut. “There’s someone here to see you.”
Again his eyes rolled behind the lids. Jo made way for a man that she recognised but did not know. Once, when her Mum and Dad were counting out fifty-pound notes on the lounge room floor, he had come round and taken away plastic bags full of cash. He had mentioned something about cleaning and left. She had never seen him again until this moment.
The suited, burly man bent down and spoke softly into the ear of the emaciated body. Barry recognised the smell of his aftershave first and then the deep voice of yesteryear unfurled like wisps of smoke in his ramshackle mind.
“He says ‘thank-you’ Barry”, the man gently touched Barry’s shoulder. “You have nothing to worry about. A promise is a promise. Jo will be sweet.”
Barry smiled. Jo saw it. She gasped. The darkness swirled around him as she felt for his hand. He remembered what he had done and why and suddenly he was there. Amongst those dunes.
The wind stung his face as it blew off the Atlantic. The muzzle flashed. He left the body where it lay, face down in the sand. ‘Scum’, he thought to himself. He put the gun inside his jacket and turned his back on the boiling ocean. Now his journey home could begin.
The tears started to flow. He didn’t want to stay anymore. He felt her squeeze his hand. The darkness descended, never again releasing its hold on Barry Flint. Jo Flint slowly let go her father’s hand and inevitably, her father with it.
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Genre – Thriller, Action, Suspense, Gangster, Crime, Music
Rating – PG-18
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Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.