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Chapter 9 – So Close, So far

After getting back to the farm house on the Friday night, Marcus felt sick to his stomach. He didn't feel like eating at all, but he knew he may need his strength the next day. He looked at himself in the mirror. Maybe 5'10, seventy kilos. Leon was over six foot and would have to be a hundred kilos, and James was bigger again. He knew he couldn't match them physically. Another spanner was thrown into his plans when he went to the kitchen and tried to retrieve his work bag. “Nah bro, leave that there” said James bluntly.

“I was just going to check if I had left something at work, that's all”

“Ok, well check it here then hey?” Leon said in a strong Kiwi accent.

Marcus went through the bag, pretending to look for something. “No, looks like I forgot it there. Not to worry”.

Leon or James didn't answer, they went back to watching the television set in the kitchen. Marcus lay in his bed with the television on, staring at the ceiling. There was no way he was breaking out of the house tonight without any of the tools. He decided to leave it until the morning. Maybe he could catch the two minders unawares and make a break for it, find a phone and call the police in the hope they could make it here on time. He was just going to have to play it by ear and act quickly when the opportunity presented. John and Jimmy would probably go to the races which would reduce the amount of people here at the house. Three people that he knew of would be here, Leon, James and the guy who was outside of Mary's room. Were there others? He couldn't be sure. John would try and make sure as few people knew about this as possible to avoid the threat of detection. He continued to look up at the ceiling and tried to imagine how it play out. Usually when he woke up, Leon would be in the kitchen and James out the front. If he managed to somehow get the jump on Leon, James would hear for sure. If he could do it quickly, maybe he could get James on the way in the door. Then he would go into the house, find a weapon and take care of the minder upstairs. It all sounded possible in theory, he thought, but doing it was another kettle of fish completely.


In the morning, John and James were getting ready to go to the races, packing up their laptops and cables and getting dressed. “Well, may as well get Leon in here, run through the plan with him again” said John.

Jimmy made a phone call, and soon after Leon arrived in the kitchen.

“Jimmy let you know the plan for today right?” said John.

“Yeah mate. All good, we will have it sorted out for you by the time you get back, no probs”

John gave him an envelope. “There's a hundred grand there. Three hundred more when we get back. Is that ok?”

“No worries bro” replied Leon.

Leon left the house and walked back to the bungalow.

“You reckon they will be sweet?” asked John.

“They have been working for us and your dad before you for years. They have done it before, these boys are good, you know that anyway”

“I do actually. Just want to make sure we don't have any issues”

“Mate, they will be fine. You ready?”

“Yep, let's go” said John.


Marcus couldn't remember when he finally drifted off to sleep. He jerked awake in the morning. The time had came finally to do something. He had a strange feeling come over him, almost a feeling of resignation, a feeling of numbness. In a way he was glad it would all be over, one way or the other. He took a deep breath, and headed to the kitchen. He looked for a weapon. Nothing. In the end he decided on the bedside lamp. It had a brass base and was reasonably heavy. He unplugged it from the power socket and ripped out the cord and put it in his pocket. He also too the lamp shade and globe off of the top, leaving the top as a handle so he could wield the base. He was trying to tread lightly and wondered who might be in the kitchen. He slowed down just before he got to the kitchen door and peered in. He took a strong grip on the lamp. He had to be precise and quick, no hesitation. He couldn't see anyone sitting at the table so he leant in a little further. He was confused. Where were they? Maybe the toilet. He walked back down the hallway and to the toilet door. He gave it the lightest of knocks. No answer. He tried again. Nope. He opened the door, ready to wield the lamp, but it was empty. Maybe try the bathroom. The door was open, and yet again, no one there. What was going on? Should he make a run for it? What if they were outside?

Marcus went back to the kitchen. He left the lamp just outside of the door. As he entered, he thought he overheard some muffled voices. He approached the back door, and he could hear Leon and James in what seemed to be a heated discussion. He decided to retreat to his room and wait for one of them to come back inside. He grabbed the lamp and went back to his room.

“No way. No way at all bro” said James.

“Come one mate. It's four hundred grand. We have done it before, it's easy as. Bang Bang, get the cash, we can go back home after this one”

James was getting angry. “The ones we did before were lowlifes, thieves, scum. This is a family for god's sake. No way I am killing any kids. No bloody way”

“We have to. We accepted the job, we got paid already”

“You accepted the job” said James pointing his finger at Leon's chest. “How the hell do you decide for me without asking me first. You can go and jump mate”

“I'm you brother. I accepted the job. Now let's do it”

“Do you know what happens if we get caught? Life. No other way. I am not going back to jail, not for you, not ever”

“We will be sweet. We do it, wait until John gets back, grab the cash. We can be home in Auckland tomorrow morning. If they come looking for us, we just piss off to one of the islands. Sweet as”

“What, and be on the run all of our lives? Give him back the money, it's not happening”

“You know we can't do that. He will kill us instead”

There was an uneasy silence. Leon was also starting to have second thoughts, but he knew there was no way out. John Margate was not a man to be messed with. He would have people killed without a second thought. He knew, because he had done the killing for him. “So what do we do? We have a hundred grand. Maybe we can just bail with this money”

“So we spend all of our lives looking over our shoulder for a hundred grand. Not a chance”

“I have another idea” said James after another long silence.

“Yeah, like what?”

“You know I have been sitting behind Marcus on the bus right?”

“You did, so what?”

“Well, I saw the horse he picked for today” said James with a grin.

“Are you saying….”

“Yep. John and Jimmy won't be back until at least six o clock. We lock this guy in the bungalow. He won't try to get out as his family is in the house, he will be afraid. It will be hours before he can get to any help. We grab the Ford in the garage, we head for Melbourne. We put our bet on for the pick six. Put like five grand on it. Bang, if all goes well we get a big share of it. Maybe 5 million, maybe more. We just need to lay low in Melbourne until Monday. We collect, and we piss off home. With that much money, we can do what we want. We can hire security, whatever. We will be sweet”

“Mate you are a genius. Just like your brother” said Leon, laughing. “Ok, lets do it. I will wait here, you go and have a word to our mate upstairs. We don't want him calling John now do we? Also grab the keys for the Ford while you are there. And if that bastard John calls us, answer the phone and tell him it's done, it's all sweet”

James jogged to the house. Leon took the keys to the bungalow from his pocket and locked the front door. He went and checked to see if the back door was locked, and also checked all of the windows. He peeked through the window to Marcus's room, and saw he was lying on the bed watching television. He walked to the garage in the farm house and James appeared a short while later. “All good?” Leon asked.

“Yep”

“What did you do?”

“Belted him a few times. Locked him in the safe room. He won't get out of there for a while”

“Sweet. Let's go” said Leon as he fired up the car.


Marcus was laying on his bed, pondering his options. What was going on? Where were they? At that moment he thought he heard the sound of a car. Shit, that might be John or Jimmy he thought. He peered out of his window, and saw a different car, a white car, reversing out of the farm house. He felt a squirt of adrenalin in the pit of his stomach. Mary and the boys, they must be taking them away. He felt a wave of panic, what would he do now. He had a closer look at the car. It wasn't Mary or the twins. Was that Leon and James? It couldn't be. He concentrated and tried to see into the car. It looked like them, but they were just standing outside. There is no way they would have left. Maybe these guys were different, more minders? Hmm, perhaps. He decided to wait just the same.

Minutes passed and nothing. It must have been at least an hour since he went to the kitchen. He turned on the news channel. It was nearly eleven o clock. Where could they be? He decided to go to the kitchen again. Gripping his trusty lamp, he steeled himself and walked straight into it this time. Again nobody. Marcus was confused. Had they decided to let him go? Surely not, he was going to go straight to the police. That piece of shit was going to rot in jail for this one. He neared the front door of the bungalow and peeked out of the side lite. No one there. He gathered his courage and tried to open the door, but it was locked. That's odd, he thought. They never lock this door. He went to the back door and got the same result. This was his chance. No one around, he ran back to the kitchen and grabbed his backpack. He took out a screwdriver and slid it into the side of the door. It was a solid door, but after five minutes it finally splintered and opened.

Marcus stepped outside cautiously. There didn't seem to be a soul around. It was quite overcast and and the wind was blowing, it felt like it may rain later going by the pain in his leg. He walked over to the farm house and stealthily moved to the window and had a look inside. Again nobody there. Well this is it he thought. He slowly opened the door and entered the kitchen. The only noise he could hear was the refrigerator and the rustle of the wind outside. He went to the kitchen counter in the centre of the room and started to look around. He soon found what he was looking for. A large knife, almost the size of a cleaver. He felt the weight of it in his hand, and took a few practice swipes. 'Yep, this will do just fine' he thought. He tried to remember the way to Mary's room. He went down the first corridor and realised he was going the wrong way, so he turned back and went to the other corridor and found the staircase he was looking for. He slowly edged up the stairs which took a ninety degree turn half way and stopped a few steps short of the landing. He saw the table at which the minder was sitting and the television screen. The only problem was the chair was empty. Shit. Now he would have to look for this guy. He slowly edged down the hallway upstairs and found a door on his right hand side.

He twisted the knob and opened the door. It was a bedroom of sorts, and it was empty. He walked past the the table and had a look on the television screen. He prepared himself for the worst. He could just make out Mary's feet, it appeared as though she was lying down on the triple seater couch. A wave of relief washed over him when he saw the twins, running around throwing a tennis ball at each other. He was tempted to just burst in there and embrace them, but he had to find the minder fist. He progressed down the hallway and found another door on his right. This looked to be the master bedroom, it had a huge four poster bed, rugs on the floor and a magnificent view of the nearby hills. 'Nice' he thought. There was another door inside this room which must have been a walk in robe of some sorts. He walked up to it and tried the door. Locked, but with a padlock through holes on each door handle. That's odd he thought, why would you put a lock like that on there?

Marcus still could not work it out. Where had everyone gone? Maybe they have been gone a while and he just didn't realise. He couldn't wait any longer. He went to the room where Mary and the kids were being held, and tried to open the door only to find it locked. Well, better bust it open he thought. He kicked it hard, but the door only budged slightly. He tried again, and it gave a little. He yelled out “Mary, it's me”

“Marcus?”

“Yes. Now keep clear of the door”

He gave it another kick and finally it was the hinges that gave way. He rushed in and they embraced. Mary was crying, and the boys, whilst happy, probably didn't quite realise the magnitude of the event. “What's going on? We were so frightened” said Mary.

“Me too darling. I will explain later. Let's get out of here”

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