Rattling Snakes Cage 2 Ch. 07byshandal©
Explosive emotions and desperate need of the men in prison collide together as Patrick makes his try to escape, causing one of the main players in this romantic crime thriller to lose their life.
Character driven this story is moving towards its conclusion. Will Patrick succeed in escaping to go and rescue Rachel?
Nervous tension ran through Patrick's body and he hadn't slept a wink all night. He and Ritchie had whispered long into the night laying on their bunk beds, going over the escape from their side, how Ritchie would get the fight started at exactly four twenty five, how both he and Patrick would then make their way surreptitiously through the surrounding bodies of men watching the fight to the outside of the crowd and towards the wall, and at four thirty when the electricity went out and the rope ladder came over the wall how they would leg it up and out.
When the cell door opened to let them out for wash up and breakfast at seven thirty Friday morning they were ready and waiting full of nervous anticipation.
The three brothers joined the two men as they walked down the stairs amid the crowd of other prisoners, and the young man they had saved from Hartwell slipped in amongst the men as they made their way from the landing down to the bottom of the wing to where the food was distributed, and the five men shuffled along in the queue of noisy men, not really hungry, stomachs tight with tension.
The day went slowly and uneventful inside Wandsworth, those involved in the plan getting themselves ready for their part. All was ready, but as usual the day to day boredom of life inside, the rules and regulations, guarded movements and the ever presence of the prison guards made the countdown to the exercise hour slow and stress filled.
Glances at each other across rooms, nods of acknowledgement of a shared secret made the anxiety move up a notch.
Hartwell and Manning eyeballed each other and tried to psych each other out, and the screws started to smell the tension running through the wing, but were unaware of what was causing it.
Snake had settled down in his office with Rachel mid afternoon which was his usual way, to collect the money brought in by his collectors and place it in his safe, give out his orders, make some deals and decide who in the manor needed a lesson.
He was on a real high, knowing that yesterday Patrick had seen the video, and the men inside that had shown it to him had fed back that his erstwhile friend hadn't taken it well at all.
Looking across at Rachel who sat desolate and scared he told her, "Tonight we go out to celebrate....when we get back to my place, make yourself look good, dress up and we'll go clubbing....I want to be seen out with you and we'll film it ready to send to Patrick. He can see you and me out and about....while he sits locked up and stuck in the same four walls of his cell."
"You really are a complete bastard aren't you? How long is this going to last?"
"As long as I'm having fun.....aren't you having fun? Last night I had a great time...."
"You're sick.....screwing an unwilling woman is sick."
"No it's a turn on....the more you hate it, the more you struggle against me, the more I like it."
"I'll remember that and lay under you like a dead body."
"Necrophilia...now I haven't tried that yet....could be a new turn on."
"Is there nothing sick you won't try?"
"Not really....just remember you belong to me now....but your usefulness to me depends on your ability to wind up Patrick...behave and do as you're told or Patrick gets cut up."
"So you keep reminding me...."
Jerry drove the removal van to a side road not far from the prison and went back to take the first of the bikes over to where they were going to be parked in the grounds of the house opposite the prison. He kept the helmet on to hide his face from the CCTV camera's and walked away towards the hire car parked a way down the road, away from electronic eyes that he had parked earlier to go back and retrieve the other bike.
Davy had the workmen overalls in a bag and met up with Jerry at the storage site just as he arrived. Shaking hands he asked him, "Everything going to plan?"
Nodding Jerry told him, "Van is in the place agreed for Danny to sit in waiting for us, first bike parked up, how about you. Everything done?"
"Yeah, Merc's in place. Spoke to Alan and he's on the boat, food stocked up, tank gassed up and ready to go down to the Marina to take us over to France. I have the security code for the doors into the Marina for easy access, and I'm getting the crane in about an hour....I've got the rope ladder here in the bag with the overalls and safety helmets, and we'll secure it as we pretend to change some of the street lights while we wait for the time to get in place at the prison."
"Well let's go and get this last bike in place and over to the meeting point......"
Swinging up onto the bike the two men took off out of the storage unit and up the road towards Wandsworth and Trinity Road, the London afternoon traffic beginning to build so they had to weave their way between slow moving cars to the large multi rent house a stones throw from the Victorian red brick walls of the prison where it stood nestling amongst the highly populated residential area close to the South Bank of the River Thames and Wandsworth Bridge.
At three forty five Davy, wearing his blue workman overalls, and an orange safety helmet pulled down over his head, slipped into the deserted building yard of his friend. Carefully looking over his shoulder he slipped into the hut and took the keys left on the hook on the top right of the line of hooks with keys hanging from them on the wall and then out again, making his way towards a small mobile pick and carry crane with a hydraulic boom long enough to reach to the top of the prison wall, but small enough for him to cope with.
Climbing up into the seat in the glassed in cubicle he looked over the controls and started up the vehicle, and using the joystick control he carefully made his way out of the yard and into the road, aiming for the pick up point about a quarter of a mile down the road.
Trundling along in the heavy late afternoon traffic, he looked into the rear view mirror and smiled to himself seeing the tailing cars going slowly following him.
The prison officer unlocked the solitary cell door and looking in told Nash, "Come on lad, time for a meeting with the Head Officer. Behave yourself and you'll get to go down and have some time in the exercise yard before supper."
Standing up Nash glared at the screw, "Great, I get to see the head cunt...."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah Nash.....heard it all before. Keep this up and you'll end up back down here...show some respect and contrition and you'll get to go down in the yard with the rest of the men."
Walking out the cell the quietly furious man strode past the middle aged officer who had seen it all. "Better take me to your leader then mate."
Alan's contact sat in the small white unmarked van, counting down the time until the small explosive devices inside the electrical boxes would go off, destroying and cutting off the current in the area. He had managed to get the devices placed without any trouble and he had checked that the first half of the payment was in his account this morning.
Looking at the Rolex rip off on his wrist that he bought on a stall in Spain last year he then looked up watching as the beginning of the increase of traffic started to build as it streamed past his vehicle.
Smiling to himself he pictured the mess that would occur up ahead at the big roundabout at the junction of Trinity Road and York Road, two of the busiest roads out of London in the South in the rush hour where they met at the juncture leading to Wandsworth Bridge and Chelsea.
Glancing the other way was the South Circular, wending its way to Tooting, Balham, Streatham and all points south for the commuters desperate to get home on a Friday afternoon.
The blackout would cause real havoc.
Jerry climbed up the hydraulic boom towards the street light, his latex covered hands holding the folded up rope ladder. He nearly cacked himself as he looked down at the concrete far below whilst perched up high on the shaking wobbling metal boom arm, taking a big swallow he prayed silently that everything would go according to plan.
Davy had the crane in place, and was keeping an eye out for any trouble; the bikes were now in place fuelled up and ready, Danny was sitting in the parked van waiting, and Alan on the boat. He just hoped all the others were in place on the inside or he, Danny and Davy were going to be joining Patrick in the very place they were trying to get him out of.
Reaching the top of the boom Jerry started to attach the rope ladder to the end of the boom, hooking it over the hanging hook, but keeping it folded up so as not to arouse suspicion from any curious onlookers. Reaching up he pretended to fiddle with the plastic cover of the street light, glancing at the watch on his wrist as he did so. Four o'clock, not long now.
Collectors had been coming and going all afternoon, bringing money and taking away supplies to be delivered to dealers around the manor ready for the weekend. Tony sat at the bench, watching and waiting. He hadn't seen Snake all afternoon as he had been up in his office, along with the woman who had suddenly appeared at the start of the week and seemed to be glued to Snakes side.
Tony chewed the inside of his cheek with worry. The attack by John and the crowd of young disaffected men was due in about an hour and a half and the woman was going to be a real problem. She would be a witness, and would have to be dealt with, but rescuing Maria who was laying downstairs on the filthy mattress exhausted and abused was all he cared about.
Half listening to the other men working at preparing the drugs ready for the collectors as they discussed what they were going to do over the weekend he kept one eye on the door and the other on the clock on the wall.
The men were being escorted down and out into the exercise yard, anticipation at the coming fight and the entertainment that it would bring running through them, smiles and ribbing between small clusters of them making a loud and raucous noise swelling up into the grey and dull late afternoon air.
Amongst the crowd of men Hartwell strutted, chest puffed out, a cruel smile on his lips, ready and eager to get into the fight. Manning, heavily tattooed stood looking relaxed at the other end of the large yard, the breeze ruffling the open blue prison work shirt to display a rock hard heavily muscled chest sporting the blue inked tattooed picture of a fallen angel, his dark brown eyes crinkled at the corners with amusement at the ridiculous display his opponent made.
Ritchie was standing in a corner as men came up and whispered to him last minute bets, and a handful of prison officers stood watching, as their charges were obviously up to something, but they just couldn't put their fingers on it, but they stood watching, their hands on their radios and batons just in case.
Patrick stood with the brothers, the young lad hovering near them, waiting, one eye on the wall the other on Hartwell and Manning.
The young lad stood fingering the sharpened PIN card in his pocket, teeth clenched, the anger and frustration of prison life and hatred of Hartwell roiling inside him.
Davy moved the crane to the next street light, moving slowly towards the corner of the road, and where he wanted to be to be able to turn the corner and move the vehicle into position at the correct time. Jerry stood at the top of the boom arm as the machine moved, clutching on for dear life onto the metal in front of him, the wind blowing his blond hair into his eyes under his safety hat, sweat trickling down his back despite the cool weather.
Davy got it into position and gave Jerry the thumbs up just as a Police Car pulled up near them and a young copper got out of the panda car and started to walk towards the crane. Jerry looked down, watching the cop as he put on his police hat as he walked towards them, a feeling of bile gathering deep in his gut with worry. Shit, he thought, they'd been made.....and he looked down at Davy sitting stock still in the cab of the crane and saw his friends hand move towards his trouser pocket as if about to remove something.....
But the cop suddenly stopped in his tracks and taking the radio from his belt spoke into it and then turned around on his heels abruptly, running back to the parked police car, pulling open the door, and climbing inside, and was then off in a screech of tyres with the siren blaring and blue lights flashing.
Jerry took a deep breath, watching it disappear around the corner, only just then realising he had been holding it in. Davy gave him the thumbs up and then started to move the crane up to the next street light and that much closer to their end destination.
John sat in the pub as one by one of the men who wanted to bring Snake down arrived. Drinks were ordered and drunk to give them liquid courage as the numbers swelled as each time the door opened another person in their number entered, a nod towards their comrades, and a quick walk up to the bar to order a strong drink.
Inside the prison a couple of cons walked up to the screw standing near the internal control room and nodded. The screw bent down and from inside his trouser leg removed the cutters, handing them over after checking no-one was watching.
The large amount of money he owed the illegal bookie would be paid off by the end of the night, once the escape had finished and his part in it complete. He left the area and made his way to somewhere in the prison he could be seen with another officer to establish an alibi and finding one he greeted him, "Tom, how's it all going?"
"Quiet Bill. How's it going with you?"
"Quiet....not long now to knocking off time....you got anything planned for tonight?"
"Nah....the wife and I are just going to sit back and watch what ever is on the box tonight."
"Probably Simon Cowell and one of those many talent shows that's always on now....is there anything on the box that man hasn't got one of his sticky fingers in...."
"Seems not.....it's criminal if you ask me."
Nash walked down the metal stairs accompanied by the officer, making their way towards the ground floor of the wing and then the corridor with the many locked barred gates leading to the exercise yard. His fists clenched at his sides, he walked quietly as the officer escorted him, totally unaware he was taking his charge closer and closer towards his intended target of revenge. Patrick Curtis
In the yard Hartwell and Manning were starting to square off, men gathering around, the atmosphere in the yard tense. Officers were beginning to realise what was about to go down and were trying to contact their chief officer on their radios, to alert him to what was happening and ask him to send down more men to help break up the crowd starting to form around the two men facing each other in the centre of the mêlée. But the radio's suddenly died as the electricity failed in the prison, cutting off the control centre.
Ritchie stood between the two protagonists, looking down at his watch, trying to keep them apart until the correct time.
Patrick stood in the crowd of men, facing the possible fight, but his real focus was completely on the wall behind him.
The brothers were spread amongst the crowd ready to start some smaller fights or to stop the officers from breaking up the fight.
The young lad stood at the back of the crowd, watching, quiet, introspective. On edge.
The crane moved slowly towards its own target, the centre of the large red brick Victorian wall of the prison, Jerry perched on the top of the boom arm, Davy driving it towards the light at the side of the road, but close to the final place they were going to set up.
The screws in the yard moved forward batons drawn.
Davy moved the crane into position and Jerry stood poised, holding the folded up rope ladder, his mouth dry, and his hands shaking.
Hartwell moved forward snarling, "Bring it on Manning you fucker...."
Men cheered and drew closer in a tight crowd as the officers tried to break up the large group of men.
Patrick moved backwards towards the outside of the crowd of men, glancing over his shoulder at the wall behind him.
Manning moved forwards, his fists tight, his muscles bunched, his jaw clenched, and took a swing at Hartwell, connecting with his gut, causing a great deep cheer to rise up from the crowd watching as the bully seemed to stagger, trying to keep his balance.
The young lad stood at the edge of the crowd watching and waiting, his hand in his pocket, his fist clenched around the weapon nestling there.
Davy moved the boom towards the wall, Jerry looking over seeing the crowd of howling prisoners, the fighting men, his eyes searching for Patrick as he threw the ladder over the wall and on into the inside of tall structure, the boom hanging over the electric barbed wire that ran around the top of the brick enclosure.
Patrick moved closer towards the back of the crowd, seeing the rope ladder as it unravelled down the inside of the wall over his shoulder, turned and pushed his way out and hurriedly started to make his way towards the hanging escape route.
Ritchie had stepped back from the fight and also was pushing his way out of the crowd, towards where Patrick had disappeared from the mass of moving broiling bodies, all intent on the fight now taking place in the centre of them, screams and shouts of "Fucking kill him. Get him Manning.....kill the bugger." As the screws tried vainly to break up the men and stop the fight.
Nash stepped through the door into the afternoon light of the yard, the scene in front of him one of officers pulling men from the crowd, trying to break up the mass of excited cons. Pulling bodies back himself he scanned the crowd looking for Curtis, his temper rising with each man he pulled back that wasn't him.
Patrick made the bottom of the ladder and grabbed it, looking behind him at the carnage that had unfolded behind him and he started to climb the swaying ladder looking up at the face hanging over the wall above him.
Jerry and freedom was almost within reach.
A fuming Nash saw Patrick as he was half way up the ladder, Ritchie about five feet from the bottom moving fast towards it ready to follow Patrick to freedom. Screaming Patrick's name, his guttural cry coming from deep in his soul Nash pushed his way through the crowd, knocking men on their butts to get past them and ran towards the wall and the climbing Patrick.
Ritchie turned towards the scream just as Nash's arm came swinging across his face, breaking his nose and knocking him to the ground.
"FUCKING GET OUT OF MY WAY YOU CUNT."
Reaching the ladder he reached up and grabbed at Patrick's legs trying to pull him down from his ascent.
"CURTIS I'M GOING TO FUCKING RIP YOUR FUCKING HEAD OFF YOU FUCKER."
Patrick tried to kick out at Nash, but the man had his legs in an iron grip. He couldn't move up or get away from the tugging arms that threatened to pull him down back into the prison.
Jerry looked down in horror as it all unfolded in front of him.
And then out of nowhere he watched as a young man of about nineteen jumped onto Nash's back and almost in slow motion saw the young prisoners arm rise up and then come down hard against the big thugs' neck that was holding onto Patrick's legs. Blood spurted out, spraying Patrick's trousers, Nash's shirt, and the young lads arm as the wounded man let go of the legs and staggered back, gurgling and grabbing for his neck and then sank to his knees.