Rattling Snakes Cage 2 Ch. 02byshandal©
This is a character driven romantic crime thriller that tells the story of Patrick and Rachel, Jerry and Megan, and their enemy Snake. It follows on from the original story Rattling Snakes Cage that can be found in Novels and Novella's.
Will Patrick and Rachel get back together to resume their love affair?
Patrick walked out of his cell onto the landing of D Block still buttoning up the light blue prison shirt and tucking it into the regulation darker blue trousers. The noise of a hundred or so men rose up to him here on the second landing, the clanging of doors opening and feet shuffling echoed around the stone space as the men made their way down towards the steel stair well and on their way to pick up their breakfast tray from the bottom area.
Roger Hartwell who occupied the cell next door and once worked as a hard man and enforcer for Patrick and Snake on the outside clapped his hand on Patrick's back, "Another day Patrick, lets see what shit this one brings down in this hell hole."
"You're just so full of the joys of spring aren't you Roger?"
Looking over at Ritchie who was standing next to Patrick as they moved slowly forward he replied, "There's so much to look forward to in here, slops to eat, screws to annoy, maybe start a fight or two and punch some ones lights out for fun.....later there's the new intakes...."
Shaking his head Patrick asked him, "Don't you want to just get along peaceful like Roger....do your time....keep your nose clean.....then get out?"
"Naw....what would be the fun of that?" and the big man with the flattened nose of a boxer and the look of a hard man walked past the two cell mates and shouldered his way to the front of the queue, pushing smaller men out the way.
"He's a complete arse hole."
"Yeah but a good man to have on your side when the chips are down."
Later in the D wing exercise yard during 'exercise' Patrick stood leaning against the side of the building, watching men gathering in small groups getting the fresh air with the sun shining down on the spacious yard. Standing around him were some of the men who in the past had worked for him, their loyalty towards Patrick strengthened by the many kindnesses he had shown their families and loved ones when they had been put away. Kindnesses like the time Patrick had organised a 'charity' boxing evening, the proceeds going to three of the men's families that stood not far from him right now.
The three brothers were famous in South London for attempting a jewellery raid on a famous West End jeweller, but had been caught leaving wives and kids to fend for themselves whilst they did their time. Patrick had set up the event, given the money to the wives so that they could survive and made sure word went out that the women were off limits to anyone who fancied trying it on with them.
The wives now sent stuff in for Patrick, little things to make his time inside more comfortable, re-paying his kindness to them, and their husbands had set themselves up as Patrick's unofficial bodyguard as there were some in the nick that would have like to have had a go at someone as well known as Patrick in the criminal world and upped their standing.
One of the screws walked over and stood next to Patrick, "Curtis, there's word on the block that Hartwell is looking to start a fight with Manning. Word is you put him up to it......"
Patrick straightened up and looked the screw in the eye, "Not me Mr Drummond Sir. He doesn't work for me anymore......not in here."
"Better keep him on line Curtis......he starts anything....you go down too." and the screw walked away.
Swearing to himself under his breath he looked across the yard at Roger who was doing squats pumping him self up ready for the scrap. "Fuck, fuck, fuck."
One of the brothers stepped forward, "What's wrong?"
"I just got word Hartwell is about to start a fight with Manning, isn't he part of James Balantines firm from North London?"
"The fucking bleeder, you want me and the boys to lean on him to stop."
"The man's a fucking nutter.....too much sap and nowhere to shoot it."
Patrick watched as the three brothers walked over to Roger and when the large man stood up he saw one of the brothers' stand behind him, whilst the other two stood in front. From where he was Patrick watched as one of the brothers leaned down his hand and grabbed the big mans balls, whilst the one behind held his arms and whispered in his ear. After a while they let the man go and sauntered over to Patrick, "Sorted......" was all one of them said and Patrick nodded watching as Roger rubbed his sore bollocks.
Rachel sat in her kitchen at the table, the phone in her hand, her heart beating fast in her chest. She had taken the morning off work, lying to them saying she had a dentist appointment. Biting her lip she was so unsure of what she was about to do. Twice she started to dial the number on the piece of paper in front of her, and twice she cancelled the call.
Getting up and pacing she tried to build up the courage.
Finally she sat back down and taking a deep breath dialled the number and waited for an answer.
"Hello, Her Majesty's Prison Wandsworth, PACT here, can I help you?"
"Yes I would like to book a visit to see a prisoner.....is that possible?"
"Are you family?"
"Have you visited before?"
"We can book a timed visit, but we will need to confirm with the inmate whether they wish to have the visit from you and be put on their list......who is the person you wish to visit?"
"....and your name....."
"......and the time and date you wish to visit? Earliest available would be Sunday at 6.15, the visit lasts an hour and is in the Visitors Centre entrance to the side of the Prison."
"That would be good....."
"Bring a photo ID, like a passport or driving licence......get there at least half an hour early, look for the orange sign saying PACT. The visiting form will be there for you to sign when you arrive...."
Putting down the phone she sat there shaking.
She was going to see him. See Patrick.
If he agreed to it.
Last night she had lain awake thinking this through and she knew she wanted to say sorry to him, sorry that he was in there and put in by her testimony. She wanted to see him, tell him she loved him, and ask if she could visit him and write to him from now on.
She knew he was away for a long, long time, and there would be no guarantee she could wait for him, but she felt that she didn't want to just break ties with him like this, knowing where he was and what she felt.
Jerry pulled up the car outside the lovely villa down a street not far from a golf course near Marbella. Bright red and white Bougainvillea tumbled down from beautiful sandstone walls, and palm trees grew in abundance along the wide and clean walkways. Opening the car door for Megan to step out he then reached into the back seat and took out the bottle of wine and flowers for Davy and his wife.
Megan loved coming here to Davy's and Shirley's place. Back home she hadn't had that many friends and Shirley was like a mother hen the last eight months, scooping her up and fussing over her, making her laugh, and she was a lovely hostess which Megan wished she herself was. Each time they came she would watch and absorb what Shirley did, noting it down and soon she wanted to ask Jerry if they too could entertain and have some of his friends over to their place.
The last eight months had seen her blossom, and she was keen to do things she had never done before. Never dreamt she would ever do.
She loved the life here in Spain with Jerry and as they walked through the open gateway to the front of the one story villa she squeezed Jerry's arm and smiled up at him. Bending down to give her a kiss on the nose he winked and as the door opened Shirley, all blond peroxided hair, deep golden tan, low scooped tight tank top, and heavy gold dangling jewellery swept out and scooping one arm around Megan's shoulders and grabbing the flowers with the other told him, "Davy's out on the terrace with the others, the girls are all in the bedroom, I've organised a local shop to come and give us a private showing of some clothes." And winking over her shoulder at Jerry she led Megan away to the other end of the villa out of earshot of the men.
Jerry strolled out through the wide open lounge doors to the terrace overlooking the swimming pool to find four men sitting with drinks in their hands.
"Jerry, my man.....what's your poison?"
Handing over the bottle of wine, "Cold beer thanks." and he nodded to the three men still sitting smiling up at him. "Gentlemen....."
"Sit down here Jerry.....nice to meet you...Nat Smith....." a guy with a head that sported a bald spot with comb over wisps of obviously dyed black hair held out his hand to shake. He looked to be about sixty, slight pot belly under a bright pink polo top, long floral shorts and dark glasses, "Davy has told me what a good man you are.....look forward to working with you."
Accepting the beer from Davy who sat to his right he shook the hand of the only other person he knew there, his boss from the club, "Didn't expect to see you here Danny."
"Why not.....Patrick's an old mate, we go back a long way.....done me a lot of favours in the past....good man Patrick...salt of the earth.....and like Davy I don't like that he's rotting away right now."
Jerry looked at the forth man.
"I'm Alan Block....you might have heard of me."
Nodding Jerry held out his hand and shook the smartly dressed and cultured man's hand proffered to him. He recognised the name as a very well known Kent villain. "I've heard of you.....didn't expect to see you here."
"Let's say I'm the money man.....and the right connections to pull this off."
Taking a deep pull of his beer Jerry sat back and listened as Davy started to explain.
"What we're going to do has been done before......over thirty years ago with Ronnie Biggs, but now with a little added extra.....its going to take precision and guts, and Alan here has got a plan, with all the connections and access to the right people to pull it off. Less than two weeks from now we're going to spring Patrick from Wandsworth, get him over here, and then on to Florida......new identity, new life."
Jerry looked from one to the other of the men sitting at the table, "Just like that?"
"Yeah just like that." And the men all laughed.
"It's simple; we cause an electricity blackout in South London during the exercise time, mess up the sub station in Clapham. I can get hold of a crane that will look like it's the council changing the street lighting in the road next to the prison, we have a man on the top in overalls, looking official like a council workman, and he'll have a rope ladder. The traffic lights will go out with the electricity cut, as well as the prison electrical systems...."
"What about the prison back up emergency generator?"
"Taken care of....we get certain, shall we say, diversions set up at the same time the blackout occurs inside the nick......set places, set times.....a couple of the men inside will cut the cables in the nick.....they're going to be well paid to do it.....the crane moves over to the wall, the ladder gets thrown, Patrick climbs up it....we abandon the crane where it is, ladder hanging down into the yard...mass breakout while Patrick and the crane driver and the guy on top of the crane go off on motorbikes that are set up in the road....we leave the crane where it is to aid the mass escape.....London will be in chaos, prisoners legging it over the wall and all over Clapham and Wandsworth....cops trying to round them up, panda cars and the meat-wagons stuck in grid locked traffic due to the build up at blacked out traffic lights.....we have a removal van parked about a mile away in a side street.....bikes drive up, into the back, close the doors and we drive off....cops are looking for men on bikes or on foot....we make our way leisurely down to Brighton Marina where I've got a small six berth boat.....slowly make our way out of the Marina on the boat looking like were going fishing....and make our way over to France and then Spain......bish bosh and its done."
"Just like that...."
"Yeah....just like that...."
"You've been watching too many adventure movies!" exclaimed Jerry.
"It's a bit like The Great Escape.....Patrick on the bike, instead of Steve McQueen."
"Except Steve fucking McQueen got caught."
"He didn't have the removal van waiting for him, or the boat at Brighton Marina."
"What are the men inside going to cut the cables with?"
"Don't you worry about that....Nat's got it sorted.....the stuff needed will be smuggled in over the next couple of weeks.....we got it all covered. Dodgy Screw, up to his fucking arse in gambling debts....."
"What are you getting out of this?"
Jerry looked at Alan Block, "What for?"
"My youngest lad died last year inside.....hung himself while on remand......this is my way of shafting them back.....that and Patrick has a good reputation....Davy's convinced me that this is the right thing to do......"
"Life is too boring living out here retired in the Costa Del Sol....I yearn for the old days....living on the edge....bucking the system....two fingers up to authority. This is my way of getting back a little of my youth."
Jerry looked over at Nat Smith, "and you?"
"Me......I'm a bent copper....got done twenty years ago....spent five in Wandsworth and like Alan I want my pound of flesh from the bastards. What about you?"
"Patrick's my mate.....nothing I wouldn't do for a mate."
"Then let's get down to brass tacks and get this plan thrashed out.....Jerry got any questions and ideas?"
And the five men sat for the next couple of hours working the plan from every angle, looking for possible flaws and solutions, whilst the woman tried on clothes and Shirley made sure everyone had some food and drink.
Tony opened the door to Maria's basement room; she lay huddled on her side staring at the wall opposite. He was worried for her mental state as well as her physical well being. Sitting next to her on the bed he stroked her cheek.
"Maria....it's me Tony....I've brought you some stuff...here." And taking from his jacket the small bottle of Raspberry and Banana Smoothie and the cheese sandwich he then helped her to sit up, pulling up the thin blanket over her naked body when it slipped down. "How you holding up?"
"I want to get out......when can you get me out?"
"I'm working on it. I need you to build up some strength......I'll bring you some food every day to help build you up.......I'll come up with a plan and then get you out....."
"Why are you going to help me, why are putting yourself up against Snake?"
"Because this is wrong......"
"Snake will get us.....he'll kill you."
"Not if I get him first."
A couple of men were sitting in the Queen's Head in Penge talking amongst themselves about this and that. One of the men looked around to check no one was listening and then in a quiet voice asked his friend, "You seen any sign of Johnny 'the slice' he owes me a few quid and I've heard some rumours. Wondered if you've heard them too?"
His friend sat forward, lowering his voice he replied, "You mean the one about him laying in deep cement somewhere, courtesy of Snake."
"That's what I heard. Holding up some foundations so I heard."
"Word on the street is Snake is getting too obvious without Curtis keeping him in check. People are getting jumpy and scared. You don't know when you'll be next."
"Still Johnny was a real little bleeder.....good fucking riddance to him."
"You won't be saying that if it was you or one of yours that Snake beat seven shades of shit out of."
The officer walked up to Patrick where he sat working in the machine room of the prison. "Curtis you're wanted up in administration."
Getting up Patrick followed the man out of the noisy room where he worked for a pittance inside the prison to be able to buy the basic necessities needed to make life inside a little normal, soap, shampoo and ciggies to use as currency to get other things not legal here inside, but obtainable through certain routes.
Walking into the admin office he stood in front of the officer at the desk, waiting to be acknowledged but being ignored by the man. This was the thing that annoyed him most here in the nick, the treating of men with contempt by some of the officers, making them wait, like they were the lowest of the low. Biting the inside of his cheek to stop himself from reacting he waited until the man looked up and said, "Seems like someone wants to see you from outside Curtis. There's been an application for a visit."
Patrick's left eyebrow rose. Since he had been incarcerated the only visitors he had were his Solicitor and the Police trying to find out more about Snake and his exploits. But even though it would have been a way to get back at Nick, he had kept his mouth shut, turning informer was not something he would ever consider. Besides anything he said would end up putting himself deeper in the shit as he had been the brains behind much of what went on.
"You need to agree to any visitor you want on your list, so Curtis a Miss McCormack has requested to see you this Sunday. You want her on your visitor list?"
Patrick stood there in shock. He never expected this.
"Yes Curtis....do you want to see her? I need your signature on the visitors form."
Bending over and signing the form Patrick couldn't stop the big grin that spread across his face. He was going to see her. Only a few more days and he was going to see her. Straightening up he stood there waiting to be dismissed by the bastard sitting at his desk.
But he didn't care about any pompous screw right now. Nothing could annoy or hurt him at the moment.
Rachel wanted to see him.
In a pub not a million miles from the pub that the two men had sat drinking in discussing the missing Johnny 'the slice' in Penge, a young man of nineteen, more the worse for wear because of the amount of booze he had drunk told his companions. "I'll fucking kill him for what he's done to my family."
"Shhhh...shut the fuck up John, someone will hear you."
"I don't fucking care....me mum is out of her mind with worry....dad's missing ....she's heard the rumours...and Maria snatched off the street....that fucking Snake is taking the piss with my family."
"Ok, calm down; don't get in such a paddy."
"What the fuck do you mean 'don't get in a fucking paddy'....it's not your dad that Snake has fucking done a number on.....nor cousin that is holed up somewhere servicing half the male population of fucking South East London."
"You're pissing in the wind if you think you can get Snake....they didn't even put him on trial for that Black Dealers murder....claimed it was self defence, even though they say that the girl Curtis got put away for kidnapping, gave a statement to the police......un – fucking – touchable is Snake....even the fucking Police leave him alone."
"I'll fucking get the cunt.....no one hurts my family and gets away with it, not even Snake. " and he drained the rest of the pint of lager in his hand, "I'm going to get the bastard.....I know others that are ready to get him....others who have been shitted on by the bastard....his time is running out....."
One of the companions told the others standing there, "Don't pay no notice of him, it's the drink, he's all mouth and no trousers." Nervous lest he's mates' ravings got back to Snake. "He's just being a Pratt."
"No I'm fucking not....nor are the others."
Snake sat in his office on the first floor of the house that was the drug lab, he was counting out the money that some of his dealers had brought in. In front of him one of his men sat smoking a spliff, the pungent smell wafting over towards him. "The girls unaware she's being followed?" he asked the man.