Excerpt Four

Here we see chapters from the middle of Part 3, Lynch Heinouson: Psycho Vampire, in which Jake gets reacquanited with the love of his life, Lynch explores his new vampiric powers, and a pair of new villains are introduced as the plot starts to shuffle towards its untimely conclusion.


CHAPTER 2
BATTLE OF THE BASTARDS
Oh me, oh my!
I kill, they die!
People say they hate police,
But I do not know why,
Oh I’m a happy man!
Yes, I’m a happy man


Chorus from the song
JAKE GUTT:
A DAY IN THE LIFE

1



Jake Gutt hadn’t worried too much about what his conscience was telling him in quite a long time, but that changed the minute he saw the condemnation in Pandora’s eyes as she saw what he had (up until that minute) thought was a perfectly reasonable maiming.


If he had an angel on one shoulder telling him what to do and a devil on the other then he did not have the conventional sort. His devil threw wild parties, invited other devils round for drinking binges and enjoyed reading long passages out from ammunition catalogues – maybe occasionally from the Satanic Bible for a bit of variation. His angel was a deeply neurotic alcoholic who lay in a semi-comatose drunk most of the time, mumbling things like “What’s the point in doing good? The world’s all going to shit anyway,” and “Those bastards deserve to die. Every motherfucking last one of them.”


Pandora clearly thought that Jake’s violent ways were in the wrong and he loved her so much... Maybe the only way forward was to clean up his act!


Was that conceivable? Could he really do that now that so much time had passed?


Obviously going cold turkey wasn’t the best way to maintain his sanity – he was going to have to keep killing criminals every day or so – but he needed to seriously clamp down on his attitude.


But that left him with a problem. Did he even know what constituted the proper way to act?


He had seen enough in his life to appreciate that just possibly the way his mother and father (Emma) had brought him up perhaps wasn’t the most normal way it could have been done. And his subsequent revenge-fuelled killing spree (he’d killed a few more people after Hell Hag for good measure) hadn’t done much for the balance of his psyche either. The rest of his life so far had mostly involved duffing people up and slaughtering criminals using his tried and tested rule for establishing guilt: a person is innocent until proven guilty by torturing them.


Certainly, his adulthood had not given him much of a grounding in the way that normal people lived.


He decided that the best thing to do to get his life back in order was to start at home.


Jake went back to his flat and stood in the doorway surveying what needed to be done. He had decided to clear out everything in there that could be construed as psychologically unhealthy.


He made some calls then spent the rest of the day clearing things out. By the end of the day he was glad he’d ordered the fourth skip. And that was just for the living room. He’d need even more when he moved on to the other rooms as the week went on.


He cleared out everything that could, in any way, have a negative effect on him: empty beer bottles, old junk food containers (he found a pizza that was only a couple of weeks old and polished it off – no point wasting good food), full beer bottles (he kept a few of those just in case), ammunition crates, spare guns he didn’t need anymore, a couple of dead bodies he’d forgotten about because they were covered over in a blanket.


At the end of the process he felt cleansed: like he was finally letting go of things in his mind that had kept him trapped all these years... since the brutal murder of all his family. And friends. And his pet poodles.


Next he met Pandora at the supermarket. Jake had told her his plan and she was determined to give him all the support he needed. She’d knitted him a purple sweater with a big smiley face on the front and even though it made him look like a twat he put it on and gave her a big smile.


They searched round the supermarket together. He didn’t want to eat anymore of that nasty junk food. It was time he thought about his health.


They bought a wide selection of herbs and pulses and other stuff that sounded like the ingredients of chicken faeces and went to the checkout.


Jake hadn’t been a vegetarian for some time, in fact not since he’d been a camp little queenie boy. It wasn’t that he had anything against animals but after an incident in his youth when he’d panicked a little while trapped in a lift for an afternoon it just didn’t seem logical not to eat them. After all, if you’d eaten human flesh, how could you justify not eating animal meat?


After their trolley was full, Pandora took Jake back to her place and cooked him a big vegetarian meal.


As expected, it really did taste like shit (literally, like shit), but Jake did his best to smile at his lovely Pandora. This was quite challenging.


You try it now. Put this book down and go and find some shit. Dog shit is alright. Maybe from a cow pat, after it’s gone all crusty on top. You can use your own shit if you want but it’s probably healthier to use someone else’s (in the same way as shagging your sister is bad – especially if you get caught).


Right; you have the shit? Good. Now place a piece of the faeces on your tongue and close your mouth.


That’s good.


Now imagine the love of your life is asking you if it tastes nice.


Now say, “I love it! Can I have some more?”


And then smile.


See? It’s not quite as easy as it sounds.




2


Robert Dawson was not the luckiest man in the world. Although that wasn’t strictly true.


He was somehow able to combine incredibly good luck with incredibly bad luck.


For example: Robert won six million pounds in the National Lottery. As per his lifelong fantasy, he took the opportunity to go up to his boss and finally call him a “fuck-brained humpback.” Robert’s boss sued him for the mental scarring caused by his politically incorrect and very hurtful (though well-deserved) comments and fleeced him for six million and one pounds.


Down by one pound overall, Robert was unable to run the washing machine at the laundrette. This meant he had to wear musty-smelling clothes when he took his wife out for their anniversary. And that meant she dumped his ass because, to quote her, “he always had musty smelling clothes and this was the last straw!”


Example two: Robert found a new girlfriend on the internet and arranged for her to be imported into the country from a third world country (Portugal). She was the most beautiful woman the world had ever known.


However she had an enormous hairy penis.


There was always that good luck/bad luck combination.


Today however, Robert Dawson felt his luck was finally changing.


He was a pilot in the Royal Air Force and while he waited patiently for his next assignment to come up he browsed the internet for websites offering safe and easy cock amputations.


His commanding officer entered the room.


“Dawson?”


“Yes sir?”


“We have a mission for you. A top secret mission.”


“I see. Right sir.”


“You weren’t our first choice.”


“I see sir.”


“But Atwood and Burrows haven’t been into work for a couple of weeks and aren’t answering their phones. And Ben Chatsworth has mysteriously disappeared.”


“I see.”


“That brings you to the top of the list.”


“Good sir.”


“You’re going to be flying a transport plane.”


“Yes sir.”


“Transporting a bomb.”


“Yes sir.”


“A nuclear bomb.”


“I see sir.”


Robert wasn’t entirely certain this was a good thing but as far as luck went, it had to be better to be in a plane when there was a nuclear bomb hanging around than on the ground underneath it.


Yes, definitely, his luck was changing.


“Obviously any kind of nuclear bomb transportation is liable to terrorist attack,” said the commander.


“Oh dear.” 


“But we have a diabolically cunning plan to avoid this happening.”


“Oh good.”


“Rather than keep the entire operation secret, we’ve publicised the movement of the bomb... but told the newspapers that we’re moving it half an hour earlier than we actually will be. If any terrorists turn up to steal it then the bomb won’t even be there yet and we’ll catch them!”


“That’s genius sir,” said Robert, hoping his subtle use of sarcasm would go unnoticed.


“We think so Dawson. We think so.”


“Er, what if the terrorists get delayed in traffic?”


The commander looked completely stumped. “Well... I suppose we’ll just have to pray to Christ that doesn’t happen.”


“I see sir. Yes sir. Right.”


“Now Dawson. Here’s the most important thing.”


Robert listened intently.


“The reason this bomb is being transported is because there is a major design flaw in it.”


“Yes sir?”


“Ordinarily, nuclear weapons have multiple levels of security preventing any kind of unintentional detonation. Not this bomb. On the top of the bomb is a big red button. If the button is pressed, a sixty second timer is started leading to the bomb’s detonation. Nothing can stop this timer once it has started.”


“I see sir. That seems a bit stupid sir. The person who designed that must have been a complete moron.”


“I designed it pilot.”


“I see sir.”


“So you understand and you understand good Dawson. You have three priorities. One! You get the bomb where it needs to go. Two! If any terrorists ask you to give them the bomb... you – say – ‘no.’ Three! DON’T press the red button.”


“Right sir. Good. I understand.”


Robert Dawson had a feeling that his luck hadn’t changed at all. It was just as bollocksy shit as it always had been.




3


Lynch had happy memories of nineteen eighties television.


He often used to while away the hours watching shows like The A Team or Knight Rider while his mum copulated with one of her clients on the sofa.


One particularly good television-related memory that had given him a lot of pleasure over the years had been when he had watched a Pepsi-Cola advert while Hell Hag shagged his “uncle” Edward. She’d been on top and her enormous tits had been bouncing rhythmically while real people on the television underwent the Pepsi Challenge.


The Pepsi ChallengeTM involved various ordinary people being asked to taste several different mystery colas. They had to decide which one tasted best before the identity of their favourite was revealed. Because the Pepsi company had obviously paid them, they would always choose Pepsi-Cola as being best and money would be made all round.


In memory of this historic boob-jiggling moment, Lynch was doing the same thing with blood.


He had this theory that blood from different racial groups might taste different.


Everybody knew that blood from each ethnic group was a different colour: red for white people obviously – that was the normal one, black blood for coloured people, yellow for Asians, tartan for Scottish people, etc. Lynch was colour-blind so they all looked the same to him but surely there had to be some difference in taste.


Now that he was a vampire he was determined to only drink the finest blood. He wasn’t racist – he was as happy to kill a slanty-eyed chink as he was a pakkie-man – but if, for example, Australian blood tasted like koala spinal fluid then he’d give those weird-talking sheep-shaggers a wide berth.


The only nation Lynch was racist against was Scousers. He hadn’t travelled to many countries in his life but Liverpool was one country he had no wish to visit. He had no idea where the island of Liverpool was but those sub-human fuckers had evolved such an obtuse and incomprehensible language that it had to be a long way from jolly old Blighty.


In order to determine which blood tasted best, Lynch had set up his own Pepsi-ChallengeTM. Except with people.


He had a black man, a chinky Chinaman, a good old Englishman and a Welshman (for starters). Each one was tied to a dead cow (there happened to be some handy) and covered over so that he could only see their necks.


Lynch went from neck to neck. First he took a quick sniff, followed by a second deeper snort to get a good feeling for the bouquet of the blood. Then he took a taste – just a little – swirling the blood round in his mouth to examine its body and texture.


Some of the blood was rich, others light; some smooth, others harsh.


In the end he made his choice over which tasted the best and took the coverings away from his favourite victim.


He was pleasantly surprised to see that it was the Welshman. This was excellent news because he always enjoyed killing a good Welshman. There was something wrong with the Welsh with their squinty eyes, their obsession with the letter L and the fact that all their road signs were in two languages that really pissed him off.


Yup, the only problem with Welshmen having the nicest tasting blood he’d drunk so far was that they lived in bastard Wales. He wasn’t moving to that sunless hellhole for anything.


The good news was that he had a feeling that Polish blood was going to be an acquired taste and those fuckers were immigrating so fast the high street was starting to look like the off-licence district of Warsaw.


When all was said and done, Lynch really wasn’t that choosy. He drained the blood from all his Pepsi-ChallengeTM contestants then drank all the cow blood too for good measure, taking a piss in a nearby alley between victims to make room.


It was a pretty good evening all in all. A group of passing homosexuals mistook him for a rent boy so he was even able to make a bit of cash on the side doing golden showers all round.




4


When Mimsy Piper finally found Lynch again it was a real cinematic moment. If it had been a film then at the moment that the crowd parted and he looked in her direction there would have been a swell of romantic music – perhaps the love theme from Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet


Lynch (who had been bending over the ravaged half-eaten body of a mime stood up tentatively and gazed in open love across the street.


Mimsy stayed where she was as he stumbled toward her, the smile playing on his lips broadening as he got closer and closer.


The romantic music grew to its crescendo as he started to run, raising his arms as though to take her in a tender embrace and kiss her long and hard.


Mimsy opened her arms to greet him too.


He was only ten feet away now.


Five.


Two.


Then he barged past her and gazed into the gun shop window she was standing in front of.


“Look at that beauty!” he said to no one in particular. “The new model minigun with larger magazine, higher rate of fire and go-faster stripes!”


Mimsy put her hands on her hips angrily. “Lynch! It’s me! Mimsy!”


He glanced at her briefly. “Oh hi. I thought you got killed horribly in that car chase.”


“No. I’ve been trying to find you. I wanted to talk to you again,” (read shag) “and explore whether our relationship has a future.” (read explore whether you administered good oral sex)


“Oh okay, cool,” said Lynch. It was unclear whether he was taking what she said at face value or reading between the lines but Mimsy felt it was looking fairly good for the muff dive.


“My what big ears you have!” she exclaimed.


“Do you like them?”


“They’re all pointy.”


“There’s something I need to tell you,” said Lynch, growing very serious. “Since we last met I’ve undergone a transformation. A transformation into a supernatural creature.”


“What, an elf?”


“No!”


“Some kind of fairy?”


“No. I’m not a fairy. Of any kind. I’m a vampire!”


“Oh,” said Mimsy. “That’s interesting. If you think about it, if an average person gets turned into a vampire they become really evil... Since you were an amazingly serial killer stroke mass murderer before, does that make you an even more evil vampire?”


Lynch thought about this for a few minutes. “To be honest it’s hard to tell. I mean, how can you get more evil than the most evil son of a bitch alive – which is always how I styled myself.”


“I know what you mean. Would you... say you’d killed more people on average since you became a vampire?”


Lynch pondered this, counting heads on his fingers. He chuckled. “It’s funny. You lose count after a while! But I would definitely say I had slaughtered more people since I got turned into one of the undead.”


“You’ve really inspired me you know,” said Mimsy.


“Hold on a second,” said Lynch. He grabbed a passing football supporter and snapped his neck. “Sorry. I hate those fuckers. Go on.”


“I was just saying that seeing you kill so many people has had a profound impact on my life. I look around and I see all this horror in the world: crime, pleasure killings, international hardship, millions killed all over the world... and I want to be a part of that.”


“I know exactly what you mean,” replied Lynch. “I’ve had days where I’ve just stayed in watching television and I always knock myself round the head and say, ‘Lynch! It’s a lovely day outside! Why are you wasting your time stuffed up inside here watching people commit hideous crimes against humanity? You should be out there doing it as well!’”


“Well,” said Mimsy. She smiled nervously. “Inspired by your example I massacred my entire family last night and I must say I felt a whole lot better afterwards.”


“Cleansing.”


“Exactly.”


“I did the same thing myself once,” said Lynch. Obviously I have no direct biological family but I did keep an extensive family tree of men (and women) who I thought were relatives but in fact were sex clients of my whore of a mother, rest her soul. It took me ages to track them down but I did eventually kill every one of them (that she hadn’t killed herself).”


“And you found that made you feel better?”


“Absolutely. I mean obviously for me an element of it was insane jealousy because I’d wanted to fuck my mother myself but it did make me feel good. I’d recommend it to anybody.”


They were walking along the road now, people running and screaming in terror when they saw Lynch coming.


“It was very interesting,” said Mimsy. “It would make a great research project for somebody’s PhD.”


“How’s that?”


“Comparing the mercy begging from one person to another,” said Mimsy.


“Mmm,” agreed Lynch.


“My mum, for example, had a very different style of begging to my dad.”


“How so?”


“Well, my dad was all” (she did an impression) “‘Take me but spare the others! I beg you! Do what you want to me but spare your mother and brother’s lives.’”


“And your mum?”


“She was more like ‘Take him and don’t hurt me. He’s useless round the house anyway and I think he’s having an affair! Take him!’”


Mimsy chuckled. “My favourite was my little brother. He was only six, so he was saying ‘Take me but spare my teddy! I beg you! Do what you want to me but spare Mr Pugsy!’”


Lynch stopped dead. “I can’t believe you were so evil. How could you do that?”


“It’s okay,” said Mimsy. “I did what he asked and just slit his throat. Mr Pugsy’s fine.”


“Oh thank God,” said Lynch.


They went on walking. Lynch paused to drain the blood from a Presbyterian minister but that only took a minute.


“What I’m thinking of doing now,” said Mimsy, “is really following your example. I want to become a killer on a much larger scale.”


“Well you’ve come to the right place,” said Lynch. “I’m your man.” He looked nonplussed for a moment. “You know it touches me more than I can say to have this opportunity. I don’t have kids of my own – Lord knows since I got shot in the bollocks a couple of times then became one of the walking dead I may never get the chance now – but it feels right to have the chance to pass on some of the wisdom my mother passed down to me... about killing.


“My upbringing was about as idealised as could be imagined and other people should be able to benefit from that like I have.”


He drew an AK-47 assault rifle out of his trousers. “Let’s start with some basics.”


He passed it to Mimsy and gestured to the busy shopping street. “The trick is to try and hit multiple targets with the same burst. So as not to waste ammunition.”


Mimsy pulled the trigger and gunned down an elderly mother and her daughter. “Like that?”


“No,” snapped Lynch. “Try harder. You should be able to hit at least three at a time! Bullets don’t grow on trees you know!” He smiled. “There look: school kids. They’re always a good target.”




5


Jake Gutt concluded that it was bloody marvellous having Pandora back.


He’d long fantasised about how great their life together might be: in the brief time they’d been together; across the tear-drenched-hankie nights following her apparent brutal slaying; and, in recent years, while panting sweatily and pulling on his dong.


He was an old romantic at heart.


They had spent the day walking hand in hand along the riverside, sharing ice cream in the park, enjoying the quiet peace of slowly blossoming love and performing carnal acts while frolicking naked in the bedroom.


And Jake hadn’t killed one person!


It was incredible! Since exacting his gruesome revenge as an eight year old he’d never gone this long without taking a life. There had always been a good reason obviously (the person was a rapist; the person was a murderer; the person had cheated in a game of scrabble) but the chain of deaths had remained unbroken.


This was why in their particular city, Jake and Lynch had; between them; turned undertaking into the boom business of the century. In this city, undertakers were the equivalent of oil barons or stock brokers, driving around in Lamborghinis and throwing lavish beach parties with champagne glass pyramids and free crack.


Jake’s benevolent streak was about to be challenged however.


He and Pandora turned a corner to see two robbers running out of a convenience store.


Acting on instinct, Jake stepped out in front of them and said “Halt, police!”


The robbers faltered in their flight and stood gaping at him, unsure how to act.


Now at this point, Jake would normally have pulled out his machete and did a bit of torturing; maybe some dismemberment if he felt like it, that sort of stuff. Instead he was very aware of Pandora’s presence and her admonition that violence was a bad thing.


He decided to try a different tack.


“Hi. My name’s Jake. I wonder if I could have a word.”


The robbers looked at him blankly.


“I can see you felt you needed some extra cash this evening – which I can understand: those bastards at the job centre are sadistic maniacs.” He smiled. “But don’t you think it’s wrong to steal?”


The robbers looked at one another then back at Jake.


“How do you think that shopkeeper feels now that he’s been robbed. Hmmm? Do you think he’s happy or sad?”


There was an uncomfortable pause. Then one of the robbers said, “... Sad?”


“That’s right,” said Jake. “It’s very naughty to make people feel sad. Would you agree?”


The first robber nodded guiltily but the second robber shoved a gun in Jake’s face and snapped, “Fuck you copper! We see what we fucking want and we fucking take it! You fucking understand that, you fat fucking pig fucking?”


Jake glanced back at Pandora and smiled, raising his eyebrows in mock exasperation. “Kids!”


“Why don’t you put the gun down my friend,” he said. “I bet if we sat down and I bought you a drink we could come up with a much more positive way for you to work toward the lifestyle you want in a way that doesn’t hurt anybody.”


“You’d fucking like that wouldn’t you, you fat fucking faggot fucking. I fucking bet you’d fucking like to fucking suck my fucking cock while you’re fucking at it fucking. Wouldn’t you fucking?”


Jake glanced back at Pandora and chuckled, shrugging his shoulders. Then he shouted “Oh my God! Look over there!” and pointed away to the left.


Pandora looked to the left, scanning the skyline for whatever Jake had seen. She didn’t see what he’d pointed to so looked back.


Both robbers were crumpled heaps on the floor. There was blood everywhere and the second (fucking) robber’s arms and legs were all broken in four places.


“I confess!” he screamed. “I fucking confess! I fucking robbed the fucking store fucking! I’m a bad bad man fucking! I should fucking spend the rest of my fucking life in fucking prison fucking!”


Jake glanced back at Pandora and said, “Which just goes to show what reaching out in a calm and polite manner can accomplish.”


She came toward him. “Did you just beat them up?”


“... No. Of course not,” replied Jake.


“Well how did that one have all his limbs broken?”


“He fell off the pavement,” said Jake.


“He fell off the pavement?”


“... Yes.”


“And broke both arms and both legs?”


“And my cock,” groaned the robber.


“Er... Yes,” said Jake.


Pandora looked a little angry. “What about the other one?” she asked.


“He tripped over a puppy and landed on a circular saw.”


“That was lying in the street?”


“Yes.”


She looked round. “And where is this saw now?”


“In my pocket.”


“In your pocket?”


“Yes.”


“How did it get in there,” asked Pandora.


“It jumped,” said Jake.


“The circular saw that this man happened to fall on then jumped into your pocket.”


“Yes.”


Pandora fixed him with her beady (but still very attractive eyes). Are you telling me the truth Jake?


“Er... yes. Sort of. Yes I am. Sort of.”


“You and I are going to have to have a talk Jake. We can’t be together if—”


“Hold that thought.” He put his finger to his lips. “Do you hear that?”


“What?” Pandora cocked her head to the side.


“Gunfire,” said Jake. “I’d better check it out. It sounds close.”


Pandora frowned.


“Obviously I’ll just have a quiet chat with them,” said Jake, “and see if I can reason with them. Don’t worry.”




6


It is generally agreed that terrorism is a bad thing.


Ask the average man in the street and he will tell you that terrorists are evil beings who should be hunted down and killed, turbans and all.


In fact pretty much the only people who don’t think terrorists are evil are terrorists themselves. And even then, some of them think they are a little bit evil. Like when they leave the toilet seat up. Or when they eat their masgoof using the wrong fork. Or when they blow up hundreds of innocent people.


Mustafa and Henry were both dedicated terrorists. On application forms they listed their hobbies as committing criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public. Mustafa also put down badminton.


Despite Henry’s anglicised name (long story) he was every bit as dedicated a terrorist as Mustafa was; more so if anything. Growing up in a Muslim country with a name like Henry had been very difficult and he’d had to be twice as evil as the other junior terrorists to compete.


Terrorist school was a difficult place for a boy to grow to manhood. There were far more pressures on the children than there were in, for example, a godless American high school (spit of disgust). Of course there were similarities too, such as the need to carry loaded firearms, but it was mostly different.


Terrorism students not only had to succeed at their coursework (hijacking, gun-stripping, geography and looking suspicious with a rucksack); they also had to meet the difficult expectations of life as a terrorist: growing a beard, degrading women, coming up with reasons why westerners are evil and cultivating sinister-looking eyebrows. 


And suicide-bombing was a very difficult subject to teach. All the really successful bombers were no longer available to mark assignments and check that the exam board criteria were being met.


Mustafa and Henry had nonetheless made it through the system and were now living happily in England, enjoying the weather, planning acts of anarchy, trimming their facial hair and shopping round for the perfect rucksack.


Mustafa was the leader of their particular terrorist cell. He wasn’t as fanatical as Henry but he was a good public speaker and was able to carry on a conversation with an Englishman without slitting his throat and shouting “Death to the infidel!”


As leader of the band, it was his job to hand out the jobs to assistant terrorists. Sometimes this involved something straightforward, like blowing up a train full of children, and sometimes it was something more morally ambiguous like urinating in a politician’s flowerbed. In this particular instance it related to the nuclear destruction of a sizeable portion of the British Isles.


“Today I will be giving you a new mission,” said Mustafa, standing in the middle of his basement.


“Slay the infidels,” said Henry.


“Have you trimmed your beard in preparation?” asked Mustafa.


“For the glory of Allah, yes!”


“Have you cleansed your beard?”


“For the glory of Allah, yes!”


“Have you combed your eyebrows so that they look sinister?”


“For the glory of Allah, yes!”


“Good. Then we will proceed. This is a scale model of a nuclear bomb,” said Mustafa, pointing to the plastic mock-up he had built on the table in the centre of his basement. “We have discovered that this bomb will be transported on a plane tomorrow morning from this very city.”


“If it pleases Allah, I have a question,” said Henry.


“Yes?”


“Why would the infidels want to transport your pretend bomb on their plane?”


“I meant that they will transport a bomb that looks like this one.”


“But not this actual bomb?”


“No.”


“Right.”


Okay then—”


“Are you sure it won’t be this model?”


“Yes.”


“Oh. That’s a shame. I was just thinking it would be easier to steal if it was this model. Because we already have it.”


“Well it’s not,” said Mustafa.


“Okay. Sorry. By Allah.”


“A bomb SIMILAR to this will be transported tomorrow morning and we have discovered the exact time of shipping.”


“By the glory of Allah, is it at seven o’clock?”


“No.”


“In the name of the great one (Allah), is it at eight o’clock?”


“No.”


“For he whose name is so good that—”


“It’s at eleven o’clock!”


“Okay, right. Sorry.”


“Your job will be to steal this bomb Henry,” said Mustafa. “You will go to the airport and you will sneak onto the plane. You will kill the pilot and take his place. You will make sure nobody recognises your beard. You will fly the plane above the city. And you will drop it.”


“I will do my duty as Allah commands it. Will I get killed?”


“Probably yes.”


“Ah good! To serve Allah in death is the only true glory. And I get a thousand virgins in the afterlife to service my every need” (read shag me) “and to ensure my beard and eyebrows are neatly trimmed at all times.”


“The hated infidel westerners think their transportation is secret but with us knowing the exact time of travel we can arrive just at the right moment to strike.”


“By Allah’s deepest wishes, yes!


“I only hope you don’t get stuck in traffic,” mused Mustafa.


“Curse the evil machines with their burning coals for eyes!”


Mustafa cleared his throat. He did think that sometimes Henry took this whole terrorist thing to a bit of an extreme.


“Before you can do this task,” he said, “I need to ensure you are able to carry out the task without setting off the bomb prematurely.”


“As Allah wishes.”


“Pick up the bomb and carry it to that second table,” said Mustafa, pointing. “But while doing so, you must not press the big red button on the top.”


“As Allah commands,” said Henry.


He picked up the bomb carefully, carried it four steps... then pressed the button.


“Stop!”


“Did you command me, oh voice of Allah?” said Henry.


“Yes. Go back. Do it again. I said DON’T press the button!”


Henry took the bomb back. This time when he carried it across he managed five steps before he pressed the button.


“Stop! That’s pathetic! You did it again,” shouted Mustafa, getting exasperated.


“A thousand apologies,” said Henry. “Shall I try it again?”


“No fuck it,” said Mustafa. “You’ll have to do. You’re the best I’ve got. All the other assistant terrorists pressed the button even quicker.” He shook his head. “I’ll tell you the problem. Everyone wants to get killed. It’s that whole thousand virgins thing. Everyone’s so desperate to get on to their eternal reward.”


“If Allah wishes it, may I ask a question?” said Henry.


“What?”


“Are you not as desperate to get your reward? Why is it you do not volunteer to kill yourself in the bright light of Allah’s nuclear ignited fart?”


Mustafa chuckled. “Well; I watched a documentary on BBC2 about that whole virgin thing and apparently the phrase was mistranslated. The correct meaning of the ancient scripture was that if you die in the service of Allah your reward will be to spend eternity with a thousand vegans.”


“Vegans?”


“Yeah. What could be worse than having to spend eternity listening to them whinging on about how immoral it is to use OXO cubes or something while you’re trying to sit back and tuck into a good cheeseburger?”