Day 151 – Half Hour Hitman – Part 7

Do excuse the complete cop out of a story today. You’ll know what you mean if you read the crappy, crappy Part 6 to this story. I really wasn’t happy with it and, as I can’t re-write it, I decided to use a couple of old tricks to my advantage.

Word count: 692

Fortrose was bent over so far in his chair that his head was level with his knees. He did not feel well. He did not look well. New Year’s had been somewhat of a blur, and the room was continuing to spin fourteen hours since the bells rang. Too much whisky, too much vodka and yet Fortrose was not entirely sure he regretted it. From what he could remember – and that wasn’t a lot – he was loving every moment of it. There was no possibility of sick and the hangover was a mere potential bump on some point far, far down the road.
Fortrose had hit that bump around half past nine in the morning when he was jolted awake by his stomach screaming for its contents to be emptied all over the bathroom floor. His wife was not best pleased with that one. Since then he had been sat on his chair in the kitchen with a bucket at his feet and groaning at appropriately painful intervals. Meanwhile, his wife was going about her usual routine without hindrance.
Towards the end of the night, things got a little weird for Fortrose, he recalled as he retched a bit. For some reason he had dreamt of the case he was currently on; the missing man, Andy Somethingth. He had gone round to the parents, there was something… a clue… It was all very odd. Fortrose never liked to get that close to a case. Following the tough first few cases he dealt with, he had learned to isolate his personal life from his professional. By day he may deal with death, abduction, missing children, missing parents, missing lovers, but by night he was a middle aged-man with a wife and no children, a house in London and a horribly large mortgage to pay off. He liked to keep those lives separate as much as he could. After work, he refused to talk about his day. He rarely took phone calls about work unless they were an emergency. Fortrose preferred it that way.
By half three, Fortrose’s stomach did not look much better than it had done when it rudely woke him from his drunken sleep. His wife kept persuading him to eat something.
“Have some eggs?” Irene would say, producing eggs from the fridge, “Bacon? Hash browns?”
Fortrose moaned at every suggestion. Food was the last thing he needed; in fact most things other than sitting in this exact position were the last thing he needed. He could not remember a time when he had felt worse; perhaps two or three Christmases ago…
“Yes?” Irene was floating down the hallway with some laundry and stopped at the kitchen door.
“Irene, I had a dream about work last night.”
“That’s odd for you, isn’t it?”
“Yeah… Was I talking about it last night?”
“You were mumbling about a lot of things… it could have been, why?”
“Just odd. You know me.”
“Yeah, I do.”
“I feel ill again.”
“Head back in position. I’ll throw this in the airing cupboard and make you a hot water bottle.
Fortrose obliged and felt slightly better for it for the few seconds before his phone started to ring. It was that awful, horrible, screechy, high pitched, wailing sort of ringtone. The phone lying on the breakfast bar, Fortrose reached out a hand and grabbed it, mouth still aiming at the bucket below. It was Piper.
“Urgh,” Fortrose groaned again. The ringing stopped, “Finally.”
A second later it was ringing again.
“Shoo!” Fortrose waved at the phone as if to make Piper stop calling.
After the fourth ring, Fortrose decided to pick up.
“Yes!” he said sharply, “What is it? I’ve got a killer hangover on New Years Day, this better be feckin’ good or I will launch the contents of this bucket over your head….”
“Happy New Year to you too, sir,” Piper joked in return.
“Yes, yes, get on with it!”
“A body’s been found. We’re awaiting ID, but it looks like it could be our boy…”
“Shit,” Fortrose spat out a globule of acidy saliva, “I’ll meet you in about an hour, that alright?”

~ by S.G. Mark on March 6, 2012.

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