Murder at the Royal Wedding

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CHAPTER TWO

Pentonville Prison

London

Monday 25th April

Prisoner 10467 Kenneth Thorne sniffed but said nothing. The warder held his eyes with a sharp stare.

“You’re now on parole, Thorne. You report to your local police station. You wear the tag at all times and carry the phone.”

The voice in Thorne’s head screamed back at him. I could shoot you right now in the balls and watch you bleed on the floor, crying like a baby! Whimpering for your mother!

He smiled at the thought and the warder droned on.

“You move you re-register with your parole officer. You do not consort with anybody with a criminal record. Failure, Thorne, means re-arrest. You understand me?”

Thorne nodded, his eyes on the door set in the prison’s main gate. He smelled for the last time the odour of disinfectant, male sweat and stale cabbage that had marked his stay at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

The warder grunted.

“Key, one. Credit card, expired, one. Chequebook and driver’s licence. That’s it, Thorne. A sad little collection for a sad little bastard.”

He called in a ritual voice to his companion who held the key to the gate.

“One to go. Thorne, K. 10467. Cleared for release.”

Thorne heard the clang of iron echo deep in the prison as a cell door slammed shut, then a jangle of keys. Only one last gate separated him from freedom and the April dawn chilling the Caledonian Road. Short and rotund, his round cherubic face soured by doing his time, he stood in a crumpled civilian suit, pressing the wood with his fingers in his desire to be free. The prison tasted of pewter, like licking an old spoon. He swallowed hard to rid his mouth of it.

The gate warden was heavy set, with the pallor of a lifer. He snapped in Thorne´s ear.

“You’re a nasty little villain, Thorne. That makes you double scum. But I know you. We’ll have you again. People like you just don’t stop, see? Can’t help yourself, can you?”

In his mind, Thorne toted his Smith & Wesson .38 Special hand to hand. He gunned the man down, the shock etched on his face as he embraced his own death, spiralling to the floor like a demolished chimneystack. Thorne’s glee overwhelmed him. If I had my gun you would all be dead.

The black personnel door in the main gate swung wide. It creaked as though in pain. Thorne stepped over the high sill, knowing he would never be back. He was outside for the first time in three years. The gateman’s last cry bellowed in his ears.

“Prisoner Thorne, 10467 away, sir!”

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