Rant (Alfie Crow) Online - Alfie Crow

PROLOGUE

Before we start, I would like to make a short statement.

I often find, however, that it is not in my nature to make short statements.

I have been called excitable, voluble, a pain in the arse and many other things, but never abrupt, short or to the point.

But I’ll try.

Here goes.

The events here depicted now seem firmly consigned to the past, but they are of course vital to my own history and, I think you will agree, to the history of our fair country. It is the burden of those of us involved in the underbelly of politics and world events that we are seldom, if ever, allowed to tell our version of events. More recently the tide of human life has carried me to some surprising and really quite bizarre places, and these will be dealt with in due course. But every story must start somewhere, and mine starts here. (Well, I say here – obviously it didn’t start here, but this is where the main narrative thrust of my life begins. The juicy bits. The money shot. Oh, how apt that phrase is…)

Anyway. Just let me explain.

Whilst the following story is completely true, I have slightly changed my own identity. Partly to make myself seem more pleasant to the fairer sex among my readership but also to avoid prosecution and/or violent death, or, at the very least, a good kicking. I have tried to make a faithful record of events as they occurred and to give a good impression of how I felt at the time. Though short of standing over you with a gun and shouting, ‘Quick the police are coming and they’re going to hold you responsible for all the evil deeds in the universe’, I’m not sure that’s possible. Not that any of the events contained herein were my fault – or at least none of the important ones. Or only some of them.

Unless you include obtaining money under false pretences.

Or the borrowing of various motor vehicles without permission.

Or perverting the course of justice.

And, of course, the use of sarcasm and choice language in a built-up area.

Oh, and being party to the kidnapping of several young people with multiple disabilities, though that was definitely just a case of being caught up in the excitement of the moment. Going with the flow.

And the same could really be said about all the explosions, the arson, the molesting of various indigents and the so-called high treason charge that in my opinion was trumped up because none of the other stuff was going to stick in court.

Or the thing about interfering with the dead guy. But I was desperate at the time.

That came out all wrong.

No, wait, if you’d just let me explain…

ACT I

THE CORPSE

SCENE ONE

FEET OF FLAMES

Wednesday May 5th. Not long after midnight.

Where was I?

Oh yes, there I am, liberally splashing paraffin around the living room of my ex-best friend, paying special attention to the armchair in the centre of the room, and its occupant. He looks somewhat the worse for wear and I can’t say I’m surprised. I think I’d look pretty shit if I’d been through, etc. etc.

Next, into the hallway, the kitchen, and finally the bedrooms. I half-heartedly wipe away fingerprints as I go. There isn’t really enough paraffin for the bathroom too, but to be honest I’m hoping it won’t matter too much. I’m kind of new to this game but, like everyone else in the western hemisphere, I’ve seen enough daytime/real-crime TV to kid myself I can dispose of sufficient forensic evidence to keep them guessing. Buying time. Also, I’ve appeared in a couple of episodes of Crimewatch and believe me it’s amazing the titbits you can earwig in that particular studio. Can’t wait to see the next episode, where some smooth presenter tries to explain to a perplexed public that: The man seen in this reconstruction is wanted for questioning by the police – not for the crime he’s reconstructing, but for another crime, which will be reconstructed by someone else, who is not wanted for questioning. Not yet, anyway. Except possibly by his agent who wants to know why she wasn’t told he’d found some work and wants to know where her ten percent is.

Anyway, my paraffin tin runneth empty now and there’s no time to stand around philosophising, so I make my way back to the living room to confront my friend. He hasn’t moved, which is something of a relief, but the smell in here is appalling. The fumes – and