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> Glasgow’s Bond Note; 1/16, story
peter.howden
post 22nd Feb 2021, 08:28pm
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GLASGOW’S BOND NOTE; 1/16

The beautiful blonde beckoned James forward, disregarding her saucy cloths as if they had just gone out of fashion. The reddest, roundest, fullest lips a mouth he had ever seen, panted for his favours. He closed in just moments away from sensuous bonding… he awoke.

He’d felt restlessly, uncomfortable becoming aware of reality, from a uneasy sleep after the night before. A thumping head hinder his eyes focusing, leaving just a dim blur, but worse, far worse, his mouth was a stone dry, Sahara desert’s portable toilet. Now James could not escape a weird fuzzy picture, enclosed his confused mind, of attractive blond girl, with some special curves. Abruptly, he became aware of a deafening unnerving silence, which should not be, so, for the guardian of the flat…his mutt, usually is all over him by now.

Slowly rising out of oblivion, not the land of nod, just out senselessness for some hours. James could recall swigging back some mysterious alcohol, as if tomorrow weren’t related, anyway, he told himself, no work in the morning. Who was he kidding; no employment for some time, no inquires for his agile profession, his manner of expertise? Glancing around with a head still not connected to any brain, wondering when he had come home… and how. He hoped he had not driven. First thing obvious, he was fully clothed except for his cowboy boots. He rose and in the dark, moved to the kitchen to find cool fluid, any liquid would do, even water, to quench his thirst.

James had no idea what he frantically gulped down out of a tatty old carton, but instantly solved his immediate dire thirst, shocking the system as it went…but the hairy tongue soon came back. His mind raced back to where was his dog. It had been with him for some time, then his curious habits made a perfect sentry canine. The mutt would let anyone in, even if they busted in, uninvited… the hound would not let them leave, in any manner…then came terrible retribution

Flashing back to the night before, straining through the unknown. It had been a 60s night, tried to pull on an old pair of flower power brushed denim flairs, however there was no way he could haul them past his knees. It was calmer to go as an easy riding cowboy, close to the ‘James Dean’ look; brilliant white tee-shirt, tight jeans, and a cowboy hat, though he could vaguely recall, some joker cruelly baptised him; as ‘Pearl & Dean’.

Doubting why he was sleeping on the smelly old couch, (for that is where the crossbreed napped), instead of his king-sized bed, he bumped into some sparse furniture, almost falling back into the couch where he played knocked out. Just managing, with great exertion, to reach the light switch. He turned on the power… to find chaos. The room was in ramshackle turmoil, books… records strewed all over the place, while his cherished couple of seats overturned and broken. The whole thing would not register, this could not be real…so instinctively he switched the light back off, standing in the dark solitude, impassive. Still, the image of this good-looking female would not leave his mind

Slowly moving to the kitchenette, put on its light then immediately switched them back off as they were far too bright straining his crippled eyes. Opening the fridge, his eyes tightly avoiding the glare from the inside bulb, reached in for a can of juice. He had no idea what kind, but he was not fussy, just desperate to rid himself of his furry tongue. Gulping the cold fluid quickly, then pushing his head back making it hurt more than before.

Aiming the empty can for the bin but just missed, bashing against the wall. James forced his eyes open, flicked the light switch again, realising even a bigger turmoil mess in the now upside-down kitchenette. He could not figure out why?... was this a burglary …but what were they looking for? Cautiously moving back into the room, switched on a sidelight. What a bloody mess, a real turnover…the bampots, whoever they were. He then instantly checked the front door. No sign of a forced entry though a slight noise from inside the master bedroom, alerted him to almost being sober.

Grabbing the first thing at hand, which happened to be an imitation miniature statue of Rodin’s “The Thinker”, silently proceeding, checking every step he made, as you would expect from his disciplined speciality, moving towards his boudoir. Glancing through the ajar door, he entered the doorway. Prostrate, naked on his king-sized bed, was a young attractive woman, with blood down the side of her mouth, now congealed. There was lots of it being highlighted by the bright yellow silk sheets. Pools of blood, spread on the rug and flooring, some on the far away wall. It looked as if she had put up one hell of a fight.

She was the very image of the girl in his mind since the moment he had come to life…. She was dead… but lying motionless beside the bed, tongue flabbily on the floor carpet…. was his dog!
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TeeHeeHee
post 23rd Feb 2021, 12:25pm
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Assuming that like any writer who puts pen to paper in expectation that someone somewhere will read the fruit of their labour and offer fair critic, I hereby submit mine: Pure Shite.

C'mon Dylan, sun's out, lets go walkies. rolleyes.gif


--------------------
"Destiny is a good thing to accept when it's going your way. When it isn't, don't call it destiny; call it injustice, treachery, or simple bad luck.”
― Joseph Heller, God Knows
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peter.howden
post 23rd Feb 2021, 12:31pm
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Thank you TeeHeeHee...for reading my scribbles...and your statement...hope I don't receive too many complains
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TeeHeeHee
post 24th Feb 2021, 12:59am
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You're more than welcome biggrin.gif However, don't confuse honest critic with complaint tongue.gif


--------------------
"Destiny is a good thing to accept when it's going your way. When it isn't, don't call it destiny; call it injustice, treachery, or simple bad luck.”
― Joseph Heller, God Knows
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peter.howden
post 24th Feb 2021, 08:07am
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Good morning TeeHeeHee… I will endeavour my pencil will not lead me there??
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peter.howden
post 25th Feb 2021, 08:51pm
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GLASGOW’S BOND NOTE; 2/16

The bloody shock of finding a lifeless body would have various effects on different people, even for those who alas have to deal with such affairs on regular occurrences… yet, never become used to it, except for those mortuary workers who are a separate breed to the normal. This time it caught James well below par , a jolt waves hit his consciousness dealt with what at first could be an allusion, although experience told him above all else it was indeed… fact. .He had to leave the scene to think, and think hard, so quietly closing the bedroom door over, then wondered why he did so, for it was a sure bet the female had no ability to go anywhere, even if it was her last wish. The door lock clicked shut allowing short relief.

James retraced his steps back into the kitchenette, ignoring the chaos while searching for the electric kettle, then the precious coffee, but then again more important, the allusive clean mug. Pouring several large spoonful’s of sugar, and teabag… the Glesga antidote to comfort his worried soul. The kettle came to the boil and James filled his mug, sat down, drank the dark liquid until it cleared his head of any insignificant nonsense and senseless drivel . James knew what he must do, but before phoning the law, he must lay to rest old ghosts, making sure he has his facts right. For one thing he couldn’t remember…the good time he must have had last night, as the dead body was completely naked in his bed.

Grabbing some tools of his trade, the small trusty pencil torch, two sharp pencils and a pair of fine rubber gloves along with a couple of small plastic bags, plus a glass cleaning cloth; he could no longer delay anymore. Putting on the fine plastic gloves, taking the soft cloth to wipe the door handle on the outside, then inside while shutting the inside door behind him. James placed his torch in his mouth, standing perfectly still as he pointed the beam towards the deceased.

Very slowly his light scrutinised each line available without disturbing a single hair. There was obvious sign of struggles as the bed clothes were sprawled across and twisted over the top end of the bed. There were cut marks of the mattress with some kind of sharp instrument, as if someone blindly plunged at the victim. Spots of blood were sprinkled over the bottom half of the bedding.

The lady of the piece with a beautiful face even in death, though now rather swollen around the mouth and eyes, which could suggest some form of asphyxiation. James ’s thought for a moment; he recalled a blond girl’s features where on his mind while he woke from his intoxicated sleep. Sharply he wondered if there was any connection or just a drunken lure. His professionalism returned quickly, reminding himself never to jump to ill substantiated conclusions. Uncle John would shudder or roll in his grave, face hardened with recalling Uncle John… and what happened to him.

The phone rang in echoes depriving him concluding his thoughts as he automatic reached for it on the small dresser in his bedroom, but the furniture was upside down and scattered. Keeping his cool he waved his head around the whole 360 degrees, then up and down. He made a hasty grab for the object and it stopped ringing. A voice loud and laughing shouted at the other end. “I guess you have found your little present, from me by now?”

The deep-toned voice sneered again, “How could I do this to you? I will not tell you anymore you bastard; …just put it down to fate or bad luck”. James questioned who was speaking, and what the bloom were they talking about, but the intruder ignored him by continuing, “and you and that bloody relation of yours crucified me! Mamma, this is the real thing to me” , James asked again, but this time in demand form, but the voice just continued with a laughing menace in his voice, “I have phoned the cops you son of a bastard …Talk yourself out of that…you wally!”. The crude dialogue ended abruptly, a thunderous click of the phone at the other end… rocketed through the line into James ’s ear.

Just then…. the doorbell rang right through the whole apartment.
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peter.howden
post 2nd Mar 2021, 12:01pm
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GLASGOW’S BOND NOTE; 3/16

Believing the police were behind the heavy oak front door, James quickly covered his deceased dog, to give his staunch hound some sense of privacy . with the local cop shop, crossed swords and a tedious relationship existed, concluding, it would be better to open the door willingly rather than having it forcibly broken down. With the latch on, he opened the door ajar, attempting to look normal, whatever the hell that was? James almost swore, as the devious face of his next-door neighbour Frankie emerged, slurring his words as usual, “Hell of a noise coming from your place last night?”. A long pause followed as if Frankie was waiting for an apology of sorts, then realized none was coming… added slyly, “I was a bit hurt you never invited me in; the line of work you’re in must be able to pick the birds?”

Frankie’s manners less than recommended for a sub species, but he had been handy to have in the past. “Sorry Frankie, but it was one on one”. “No need to say any more you lucky B”… James shut the door before the thug had time to finish his obvious sentence. Frankie was a dinosaur ,still thinking of woman as birds, wearing high heeled shoes, suspenders, and wiggle,

Turning back into such a horrendous scene, assuming the murderer struck in the dark, James kept the main light off, hunting for clues left at the extreme crime. The blood’s consistency had not changed, bruising around the mouth cheeks and eyes were certainly some hours old. She had been smothered but as far as he could detect, not by pillows which remained unruffled and slinky, as silk pillowcases are. Slapped around before being murdered, though somehow, all the details did not connect. The slashing or stabbing was all out of concept, and the smell of urine was not there. Something was definitely wrong with the mouth, the blood on the teeth and gums.

Meticulously examining the half-lit corpse at an angle, exposed a fragment of paper lodged in her mouth . Taking two thin pencils as chop stick pincers, managed to free the piece from the body fluid-stained teeth. The lips by this time were a odd pleasing blue, a macabre beauty as the body lay unprepared for her maker. The doorbell rang; then rang again…constantly. Hearing Frankie’s door open, then close much quieter, James prudently placed the blood-stained note into his jean’s back pocket.

Opening a large drawer, removed the plastic gloves placing all his protective gear into it…then made his way to casually open the door, without the latch this time. Staring into the doorway was a freckled reddish faced plump man, sporting an odd hat, and a coat almost trailing to the ground. Roy-poly would be a better description however his face screwed sternly, not matching his clownish appearance. “Well!”… cackled the man; “I’ve a warrant to search these premises …for I have reasons to believe a foul deed has been committed!”.
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peter.howden
post 5th Mar 2021, 08:18pm
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GLASGOW’S BOND NOTE; 4/16

The wee bauchle inspector Andy Clyde was old hat, should have followed as his name suggests,
joining the river police for he was always splashing around in dichty water with nowhere to go… and certainly no imagination. A dour face lacking humour, always said nothing got past him, but what could you expect from someone who had been in the force forever and well past his sell by date… if he ever had one. A bigot, nicknamed, ‘Andy Pandy’, by other officers, because so easy to pull his string… just mentioning his beloved Rangers lost at the weekend.

The Inspector knew Uncle David years back, as constables on the beat in the early days. Within seconds of waving his permit, Andy and his team were already searching with hands and eyes. Surveying the savagely beaten corpse all the spinless inspector could say was “Tut; Tut, what have we hear?”. James answered with more than a note of sarcasm; “It’s sad to say it’s obviously a dead body, but you are the policeman!”. This apparently skid straight over the older man’s head, confined in James “We received an unspecified phone call, revealing a narrative about a dead battered girl being here”. A note of disdain filled the air as he continued… “Did the sex get to rough?”

The senior policeman didn’t say anything else, left leaving the door ajar, mumbling to the other policemen. James sat down realizing the third degree will come now. he slipped out the piece of paper from his jean pocket, cautiously opening the tiny slip. Only; ‘CUTTY SARK’… in bold capitals, followed with, ‘direc’ scribbled; then nothing though there was space left.

Staring at the parchment wondering what it meant, and why a young foreign woman would have it concealed on her person. Yes, he worked out the dead woman was not Scottish; perhaps somewhere in the Mediterranean. Her skin texture was the tell-tale sign, even with using tatty tanning shops every day, no Glasgow skin could deliver such a deep splendid natural colour. Another thing: even after being through such desperate struggles, her dyed blond hair was certainly well care for, fingertips were manicured as well as her toes. Her makeup, though smudged, certainly expensively manufactured. Alas, she was in the pink of health for a corpse. In James profession, it helped to notice these things quickly, even under pressure. One thing he failed to notice was her clothing. She must have arrived in some attire, but as far as he could see, there was no sign of any .

James stared hard at the abandon piece of paper, trying to gain divine inspiration, but the tall ship, Cutty Sark', wouldn’t budge. Where the hell did this fit in with a gruesome murder? Before he could ask himself again, sounds came from the other room. He swiftly folded the evidence, sneaked it into the ticket pocket of his wranglers.

The pompous detective returned with a sly smirk on his face. “Of course, its early days, yet it appears this body did not die here!”, said in a knowing voice, as another policeman checked his fingertips. “ I reckon the body was planted to get you into hot water”, swiftly concluding, “My admiration for your late uncle; the salt of the earth, a good friend”. “Do you know”, he paused for a brief moment, then resumed, “of course you do, after all he was your uncle, but straight as a die and fists like sledgehammers…he is well missed!”

He halted for several moments to pay particular attention, trying to catch a reaction, then followed with; “Someone’s got it in for you… Have you upset one of your punters?”
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peter.howden
post 9th Mar 2021, 12:27am
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GLASGOW’S BOND NOTE; 5/16

Before James could reply, Andy continued with, “Your uncle wanted you in the force, but you…being pig headed decided to go private, hurt him for a while, but deep down, he was proud”. Andy gruffly spoke but almost sounding human. James knew Andy not only admired his Uncle David, for he helped him through the ranks, refusing promotion for himself. His last beat had been Boots Corner, and Glasgow’s central streets. Closing the door, back to being grumpy, he rasped, “Don’t stray far from Parnie St…. don’t leave the city!”

James picked up his leather jacket, closed the main door, headed for the stairway with a sigh of relief over the few hours. The neighbouring door creaked open, revealing the frightening figure of Frankie, notorious for being a doobie heavy, never quite made the thinking team in his unlawful occupation. Frankie confessed to all and sundry of his intention of going straight, yet, the truth was cruel, a younger team had taken over, no longer wanted the mayhem he could bring. “Where are you going, can I help?” as James passed, he replied, “ useful if you’d look after the place, and who comes up the stairway”. Frankie smile crossed over the powerful square jaw, giving thumbs up as James headed down the stairway into a dreich wet street in Saltmarket,

James had a drooth but passed the pub on the Corner of Glasgow Cross, contemplating walking towards the Trongate. His mouth was fowl, as he crossed over London road, past Mercat Bidg, then under Gallowgate bridge to the old café opposite Schipka Pass. He was a regular in the cosy place, seldom cooked in his flat. With just a nod, the proprietor knew exactly his wishes as James sat down at the very back of the snack bar. He pondered if he was right at keeping such vital evidence. Placing his arguments in a sense of proportions, he concluded his plain cloths profession ,would allow him to go where the boys in blue could not. There was little reason not to peruse his own investigation… now he would be engaged.
.
All he knew about the ‘Cutty Sark ‘was a tall old ship clipper built in Dumbarton, but, berthed down in London. So why here in Glasgow, to murder a foreign woman. Engrossed in the enigma; he failed to whiff skinnymalinkie Harry, failing to see him come in…however, the aroma was unmistakable…harry just didn’t wash. Nicknamed ‘dirty Harry’, for obvious reasons, the neighbourhood did not trust him, he was a snout to the law, or anyone who would pay him.

Peering under the table, then squinting at the door, Harry uttered, “I heard you have a stiff!”. screwing his hawk eyes, completed the sentence, “Do you want to know where she works?”, James grabbed this pathetic excuse for a human being by his lapel, hauled him dangerously close, “look you moron…how can she work when she is dead?”. “You’re so right Mr James, but do you want to know where she did work.” Harry nervously realized James was not sold on the idea of talking to him, quickly added, “ Your Uncle always played square with me, so I don’t want a penny for the information, just tell the big man, you know how I helped you….Is it a deal?”

Relaxing his grip on the minging collar, shoved himself as far away from manky nyaff Harry…as the bolted seats would allow. Nervously, Harry now sweating profusely, spoke tensely in an exceptionally low tone; “Witch’s Club…Under the Central Station arches…Left in Midland Street”. James attention was on a peculiar noise, turned around to see nothing. Turn back; like a ‘thief in the night’, Harry was gone, leaving a hovering odour…that would give anyone the boak.
-=-=-=

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peter.howden
post 12th Mar 2021, 12:48pm
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GLASGOW’S BOND NOTE; 6/16

Served with a bacon sandwich, extra strong mug of coffee, no hint of sugar, James felt uncomfortable about a wee bugger like Harry, should suggest friendly terms with Uncle David. He knew David dealt with all forms of low life which brought back the pain of his disappearance, which every policeman in Glasgow believed it was foul play, but unable to scrape one ounce of information to help, for the entire underworld from the centre, far beyond the boundaries of greater Glasgow, had lost their tongues. Even clarty Harry, or any of his kind; kept totally silent on this. Oddly, it was the first time he had mentioned the uniformed bobby’s name to James .

It’s a bit early but let’s go and find witches, he thought while gulping the last remains in the mug. He took his cutlery down to the counter , reached into his pocket to pay. Tony, an Italian Glaswegian whose café was a little gold mine, trading from the crowded Barra’s at the weekend. He motioned no need for money, however James insisted on paying, recalling one piece of advice David gave him; “Never be beholden to anyone in this job Jamie”. Uncle David was the only person to call him so, as it was a brigand character from David’s favourite film…The Black Swan.

Leaving the café, to pay a courtesy call to the Wee Red Shop, in the middle of the Barra’s. The all-purpose shop owned by Hammy, originally from Pakistan though like Tony, was more Glaswegian than most people who stayed within the boundaries. Both had been here since god knows when, had interwoven themselves into Glesga culture. Hammie joked going for a sun bed, as he was only called a black bastard twice in one day, frightened his colour was fading. James didn’t know Hammie’s real name, never thought it was anywhere important.

The Wee Red Shop in Kent St, being a busy place at weekends, but quite slack throughout mid-week. Hammie stood behind the battered counter, always with a beaming smile, revealing white teeth broken by a gold tooth or two. After polite nods, James asked the man if he had heard of anything going on.

His answer was a direct “Naw”, but he had been informed of the predicament. James was not taken by surprise as the word went round quicker in Saltmarket than in Barlinnie. In the establishment of correction, the cons know the score before the screws, and sometimes before the court sends the misfortunate down. Hammie sympathetically added, “Listen James, something is bound to happen with the weird cases you take on… I owe a favour or two, as your Uncle was a gentleman, never tried to huckle me like some of the other bastards I could mention”. Hammie stopped for a moment to focus on how to say the next line. “This dead body thing is all tied up with your Uncle’s disappearance, if I were you, I would look no further than the Carrick first!”.

James took a few moments to think as nothing had been uttered in three whole years and in one hour, Uncle David’s name comes up three times. He looked hard at Hammie, he seemed to read his thoughts and quickly butted in, “Look James, you and I know each other for some time and there is nothing more I can say… apart from Black Tam.” With the conversation over because Hammie did not wait for any reply, made his way down to the basement of the shop, shouted up when reaching the bottom, “Good luck James ”.

As James walked towards the cross deep in thought, and more than a bit disturbed. Hammie was no fool, in fact studied to be a lawyer having ambitions to be a judge in Pakistan. This was 1971, but In 1957/8, the safety net against tyranny vanished when it’s supreme Court dismissed the popular Prime Minister. The country failed democracy by a permanent dictatorship. Being unable agree with the political climate, his life was at risk, he fled choosing Scotland, residing here ever since. He knows the dirty side of Glasgow, the one the tourist don’t see. So, what is this clue ‘Black Tam’… why the Carrick, since the small piece of paper was marked with Cutty Sark?

Like almost all city dwellers of Glasgow, James knew many souls who could be classified as, “Tam the Bam”… and many unsavoury characters deemed to have a black nature.
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peter.howden
post 16th Mar 2021, 08:09pm
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GLASGOW’S BOND NOTE; 7/16

James Making his way down to the famous river Clyde, cutting through Bridgegate to reach the berth of the Carrick sailing ship, stopping to observe the floating time piece, a belter of a tall old ship. Sauntering along the river side, passing Broomielaw heaps and piles of small stones and sands, grit, and earth, sitting like weird small pyramids right along to Commerce Bridge. He tried to make sense of it all, the dead girl…gave him the willies from the moment he pulled out from self-induced liquor trip, away from reality. He had no problem with booze …although some others may argue, citing how constant strong beverage punishes the body …if not the soul.

Belonging to the railway until recently, their hired out arche was the club was In the middle of Midland Street.. No public queuing in the street under the bridge, far too early for the ravers. Witches entrance was a large arched wooden frame with heavy cast iron hinges. At the right side was a smaller door, which happened to be slightly ajar. Had the occupants been warned…was this rather dicey? James knew the answer to both questions. Cautiously opening the door caused a chilling creaking, heightened by the arched brick acoustics acting as an amplifier.

The toatey place was a baltic manmade cave in deadly silence., yet deemed to be the hottest club venue in town. Turning into a hidden corner, James was abruptly struck dumb by seeing a female, nigh identical to the murdered woman in his flat…could this be possible rattled around his mind. “Who the hell are you?”, she continued in an screechy vocal, “Are you here to see the boss, Charlie?”. James was reduced to a awkward nod. The un-named doppelganger waddled towards the door, motioned James to enter. He struggled passing her, as she leaned further forward, whispered, “I want to see you before you go…don’t tell that wee nyaff”.

Squatting behind a walnut wooden desk was a shifty character in an ill-fitting suit covering an unfit body. A large cigar flaked in a marble ashtray, while he sipped whisky out of a crystal glass. “Nectar from the gods, called ‘Tears of Angels’ in the Gaelic!... I heard you were looking for me ?”. In a mocking way, “where are my manners for I have heard you like a drink or two…what’s your pleasure?”. The big desk kept people at bay from the wee bachle…shit looks, shit is

James refused, but asked how he knew him since they never had met. Once again, the one toned man spoke “We have someone in common, you and I as I knew your Uncle…by the way how long has it been he has been gone?”. Before James could reply the sleekit bufter added, “A few people just vanished, and I find it harder to bare the pain, when a few of my very good friends have disappeared also…funny that isn’t it?”. James remained silent, didn’t take a blind man to hear this raw threat. He saw the creep as he truly was, a two-bit villain having money to buy muscle to do his bidding.

“No hard feelings now… but remember, just because you know a few powerful citizens, and you talk to the real big man, this will not protect you from some silly accident…now come on be a lovely man…just forget the whole thing?” Charlie coughed uncontrollably while lifting his generous glass and took a big gulp. James swallowed hard to stop him saying what he really thought… “Look Charlie…can I call you Charlie….could you tell me who the girl was?”

This took the runt behind the big desk by surprise, “She did work for me some time ago… but left, and apart from that…. I’m as wise as you”. Before a moment passed, the prickly boss rung a hidden bell…the door of his office opened up wide by a loutish thug. “Just get smart James ”, came from behind the desk.
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peter.howden
post 18th Mar 2021, 08:41pm
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GLASGOW’S BOND NOTE; 8/16


Leaving the weasel’s mingin den, one thing was certain, James craving to smack the Charlie… yet, resisted the raw urge . He had seen the same small-time thugs in Liverpool, Manchester, and Hull, linking themselves to Edward G Robinson character in ‘le Caesar’… wee empires built on street wars. Nothing to admire about their crude terror, running such enslaved debauchery businesses. In the darkness of this hallow brick cave, a familiar aroma drifted, perfuming the unpleasant air. Farthest ahead of the makeshift corridor, there she sat, an aura to die for, beckoning James into a darker corner away from the main passage . A small snug appeared as both bodies slowly squeezed through the narrow opening.

Looking closely, James saw an entirely different silhouette, a face showing terror, with eyes cold, dark, and deep. The nervous girl whispered, “Listen; not much time…dead girl was Annette; don’t know her second name, brought in from Minsk through the black trade”. Suddenly ceasing her rabbit like delivery, listening intently out for a noise, any noise. Once assured no one was around, spoke fast again, “Originally from Albania, would not take drugs and refused to play ball, silly bitch?” “I gave your Uncle some information before he departed… I think that’s what got him killed”.
“I kept you company that terrible night, because ordered by Charlie’s insane idea, to frame you for murder, rid him of the daft mama ”.


Her face changed, showing a hint of melancholy, “I want out…you’re the only person that can help… no talking to cops; you’ve got true connections to who I need to confess too!”. Before continuing, or James having the chance asking, to who, or whom she meant, a loud noise interrupted, coming from deep into the darkness. Gripped with absolute fear, anxiously to leave, she muttered under her breath, “Meet you after tonight’s work outside the Peoples Palace, about one”. No further words were spoken as she disappeared safely into the ladies.

Silently walking away, James doubled checked if anyone was following him, or looking where he was going. He vanished around the corner into Jamaica Street, stopping at Paisley’s shop window to check once again if anyone was following him. This was now becoming murky, for James had heard of the black trade before, it stood for twin trades…slavery and drugs. Most people envisioned slavery had died out long ago, but it was rife in all major cities in Europe. Now he was really in shit…having information which would assist police in a murder investigation.

James calmly thought, what evidence do I have? A crime boss gone out of his way to threaten me. A girl wants to confess to her part in the black trade, but I don’t know her name. Wants to meet just after mid night, to make a clean breast of things. It’s all loose threads, weaving a picture with no substance except….a ruse arranged by her slimy boss.

Uncle David was a film buff, always quoting from his favourite lines in old movies. One such quote was in the ‘Sign of four’… Sherlock Holmes declaring, “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth... But the problem was… James knew all was possible.
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peter.howden
post 22nd Mar 2021, 11:46am
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GLASGOW’S BOND NOTE; 9/16

Annoyed at himself for not giving the Charlie a skelp, also hazy as to what he could depend on, more important, who he could count on. Right now, turning the corner at the Clyde, he came across the nearest pub facing the river, James fancied a pint glass. Entering the dim interior of the auld establishment, which was indeed a well kent bar for the pink pound. Owing to the law of the land, such sexual behaviour was more than frowned on, times hadn’t changed that much, no matter how Dylan sang. He nodded knowingly to the well-built bartender, who automatically brought a glass, and a opened bottle of beer, of James preference. All around in the darkness, in separate private tables, intimate couples communicated without words. James held nothing against this community of society, but his mood right now, he’d rather give it a miss, swallowed the dregs of the glass…walked out again.

Saunters aimlessly along the Broomielaw, crossed over the road at Victoria bridge, passed the ever-busy Paddy’s Market, his mind slowly cleared, opting to head for the Old Ship Bank Vault. Cathy was the woman who ran this inn, where James could always count on a grand cup of coffee. With a caring voice she swiftly spoke, “You look as if the cat dragged you in… you should be at the next corner to the mortuary… or can’t you remember?

“It’s much worse” James quietly said with pathetic agony in his vocals. He sipped frothy stuff from the espresso cup, which somehow soothed him for a split moment. “I know” replied the ample built woman, in a motherly way. James reacted in an feeble apologetic way, “Just for the record her name was Annette”. Still uncomfortable with his head, swamped by endless streams of excuses why it should have not happened to him. Self-pity can destroy reason. “Kath; I do not know for certain if I had any?”……Cathy put her fingers up to his lips preventing him continuing, “Listen you idiot, it’s not how you dress which calls the man, it’s the skin that holds the bones together … so bloody butt out this ego tour, work out where you go from here” Cathy insisted with a responsive sincere smile, she kept for just him.

James recalled another of Uncle David’s sayings… always do the right thing. This will please the people who are important to you, but more crucially, surprise others who aren’t. There and then he chose to keep the People’s Palace appointment, on the slim chance the girl was telling the truth, and really needed help.

“Thanks Kath; you always know what to say to me, you clean my soul… believe me… it needs cleansed often”. James stopped at the doorway leading on to Saltmarket, turned to ask just off the cuff , “What do you know of Charlie who owns Witches?”. Cathy’s usual cheery disposition shifted instantly, grimly warned “Don’t be messing with him; please James ”, almost pleading, adding straight away, “You’re bloody good at what you do, but he’s sleekit, blacker than any blackness”. “He believes being a direct descendant to the royal Stuarts, enjoys violence, just because... second only to that scaffer Tam…the whole shebang they touch turns tacky putrid”.

James asked, “What’s Tam’s surname?”, rummaging for the elusive extra clue. “Sorry James, naebdy can do, the keech revels in the Black Tam original bam… to evil to be a heedcase”. James closed the swing door into the wet street with intentions of heading home. . Again, his concern over David’s disappearance, how he was involved in all this, and why Tam’s name keeps coming up like a bad penny. Wait a minute, your miles ahead of yourself, thinking of Simon and Garfunkel advise in their song –slow down you move to fast. James formed a plan, to rest up for a few hours before keeping his rendezvous with his mysterious blond.
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peter.howden
post 26th Mar 2021, 08:58pm
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GLASGOW’S BOND NOTE; 10/16

Turning into Osborne Street, the old Jewish tailor from across the top of Saltmarket, came hurling over the traffic yelling, “Hey there you auld blaggard, I’ve a message for you”. By the time Duman had reached James, ‘Rumpole of cloth cutters’ with his trusty tape measure wrapped around his neck, was well out of breath. Peched for breath, he spluttered, “some heavy thugs asking if anyone had seen you…they bought nought, are you in ‘shtekn’ again?”. The B-spoke shop keeper inquired with more than a measure of anxiety. James smiled, “Thanks,” replying to the warm-hearted persona… but, almost everyone is a character around Glasgow Cross.

James chose to call on another such eccentric, Dirty Dick’, who ran a flea market in Schipka Pass. As James arrived, music from a pair of tatty speakers, attempting to play an oldy record of Elvis the pelvis’s, ‘Wooden Heart’. Dirty Dick may give the appearance of being on the skids, but you would travel far to find a shrewder guy. He patiently listened to James lengthily explanation before speaking softly; “Listen you daft pratt, , as Donnelley’s nephew-in-law, no one around here believes any of that rubbish, but you have scurried with some dangerous people…you may believe you have a guardian angel… but he can’t always be about… so bloody watch out.”

Dick attempted to drag on a dowt, almost burnt his fingers before whispering again, “Keep close to Frankie, a bit loony parrot with a low vocabulary, but being as big as Goliath, twice as strong, so stick close”. “You do know of course he thinks you are a God; the sun shines out your arse!”. Dick always wore patent dance shoes, telling people, its to keep one step ahead. He winked while shaking James hand warmly, continued his line of business, calling out, “Knickers down… half price”. James smirked slightly, leaving to go home.

Inside the wally close, an uneasy quietness was in the air while climbing the twisted staircase. A sinister echo alerted James to something being wrong, very wrong. A light tap on Frankie’s door opened with an ear cringe creek. The light in the single ends room was swinging like a pendulum. One step into the small flat took no grand detective, to realize some struggle had taken place. The meagre furniture smashed beyond recognition, a gale wafting through the smashed window behind tattered curtains, was the reason for the swaying light fitting.

In the corner of the ill fitted hovel lay the battered body of Frankie… with blood congealing on his head. James felt for a pulse, much relieved to find one. Frankie’s eyes flickered as he tried to open his mouth, but failed, causing blackish blood just to ooze out. James knew he had to call an ambulance and the police. Making sure Frankie was indeed alive, he headed for his flat. Down at the bottom of the staircase, James heard someone come into the close. He shouted down, his voice harsh, to whoever it was, to phone for an ambulance.

James twisted round to see blood clotted all over the tile-work leading to his house, plasma on the banister opposite but far more worrying …his door was half ajar. Slowly moving forward, slightly eased the door open a bit more. Squeezing his way into the little hallway, cautiously looked into the main room, though the Venetian blinds dulled the area. The light from the close etched its way forward as James opened the front door to full potential, revealing the true horror unfolding in front of him. Seeing a large pool of putrid blood on the linoleum chilled him, witnessing drips of blood still splashing continually almost made him scream out loud.

Hanging from the indoor kitchen pulley, was the body of a woman, her lifeless head drooping as dark blood mixed with her dyed blond hair. Her throat had been cut from one end to the other.

It was obvious she was way beyond help…defiantly dead……
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peter.howden
post 31st Mar 2021, 07:08am
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GLASGOW’S BOND NOTE; 11/16


A slight hint of a particular perfume drifting through the hectic confusion, forced James admitting this poor bloody body, once his dream, but now a nightmare. His heart reached out for the lost limp soul who suffered such unwarranted agony. Who could be responsible for this diabolical act against life? He had a grim idea who. Unlike the rammy in Frankie’s flat, nothing was disturbed within his abode, bar the evidence above.

Without warning, all hell broke loose, forcing James physically against the wall nearest the door, as arms reached to shackle him, an elbow compelled his head to remain motionless. Through the dark abyss, came the well kent voice of the blatherskite, Inspector Urquhart, “Carved and hung like a goose”, was the sour words spoken by the pompous policeman, “I supposed you will tell me this to be a trap, but from where I stand ...you have no proof”.

The strong arm of the law which held him tied against the wall, released its grip, allowing James the ability to turn his head, to confront such a smirking face. “It is all right, I saw you come in as my men surrounded the building after a tip off”. “Lucky for you is it not?” spoke the snide cop. James was scunnered with the cretin, his voice cracked, “Unlucky for the poor girl I would say, pity you were not a bit earlier, were you away for a pish?” It was unlike him to be scathing but the ghoulish happenings forced such reaction.

James was deeply incensed for such waste of a life, however, could not help but wonder why this shit happened again. It proved one thing, the girl was ready to talk, and the bastard Charlie and his cronies were the heavy rank bajins to blame. The Forensic pathologists crew lowered down the lifeless body, laid it on the special body bag for such occasions. The head rolled to the side as if one more desperate effort to contact the living. A small piece of paper washed out amongst the bad dirty blood from the petite but blue mouth. James slowly knelt down so not to draw attention, grasped hold of the stained piece, rushed it into his pocket.

Andy shouted, “Hey wait a minute”, while moving closer towards James ; “what were you doing with Charlie Stuart, not in your bag I’d have thought… even with the low life scum you associate with”, stopping for breath then quipped, “you keep coming up with dead bodies so watch you aren’t next!”. James stayed close to the wall away from Andy, for he knew he would not have a wing or a prayer if per chance, Andy spotted the blood smudging his pocket. “Just trying to make sense of it all”, replied James coolly…. though not used to direct lying, however, the situation justified it.

“You’re not a patch on your uncle, to be honest I don’t like you with this bloody goody, goody attitude. You could have followed him into the force, but you wanted to go private, so leaving all the detection to me”… Andy quoted with a scunnered tone in his voice. James dander was rising, and he could do nothing but retort “As my grandfather used to say; if we all liked the same thing, the whole world would fancy yer granny”. The wee squirt couldn’t detect a whiff of a smell in a barrel full of farts, thought James silently.

The sleekit detective signalled his team to wind up the processes, to be carried on down at the lab. The body bag, without ceremony apart from being labelled, zipped up… taken away along with most of the squad intruders following.
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