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chapter 2

Hundreds of families swarmed the carpark, like worker bees, trying to get back to their cars after the game had finished. The floor was covered with tickets and half eaten hotdogs and other bits of rubbish.

Liam, Garry and Joey, at this point, where all worse for wear, stumbling all over the place and bumping into families with no shame whatsoever. They were trying to find the rental car Liam hired at the airport the day before.

“You alright driving?” Joey asked Liam.

“Sure,” Liam said, full of a brash, false confidence.

In the back of Liam’s mind, he could hear a voice saying to him, “No you’re not. Take another bump. That will make you better.” With that, Liam shoved his hand down his boxers and pulled out a clear plastic bag full of coke. With sweaty fingers, he undone the bag and started scooping out little piles of cocaine with his little fingernail, which he’d grown out especially for this task. Sharply, he snorted the petrel like powder off his nail and salivated. Then just before he was about to take another bump, he locked eyes with a young boy, no older than 10 years of age.

“Daddy,” the boy said. “What’s that man doing?”

But Liam didn’t care. He was now past the point of no return, locking eyes with the boy’s father and taking another bump of coke.

The boy’s father didn’t no what to do, looking at this man drenched in mustard with his belly hanging out his shirt, sniffing cocaine like he was sipping a cup of coffee.

“Don’t look at him in the eyes, son. There’s something wrong with him.”

The boy and his father were about five meters in front of Liam and his friends. Quickly, and without any rational thought, Liam darted at the boy’s father like some sort of coked-up reptile, knocking over children on his way, but as soon as he was within arms reach of him, the man punched Liam, cracking his nose into serval pieces.

Liam yelped, like a baby, falling to the floor and holding his face.

Garry and Joey, who had been mostly doing downers, were dribbling all over themselves and swaying from side to side, stumbled over to their wounded friend.

“C’mon, mate. Let’s go before it gets out of hand. Think about what you’re doing,” Garry said, helping his friend to his feet. “Remember what we got in the car.”

A light bulb exploded in Liam’s coke-fuelled mind, making him burn with anxiety. He could feel everyone’s eyes on him. He felt like they knew.

Like a broken tripod, the three amigos walked over to the rental car.

The carpark, at this point, had started to clear up fast. It was almost empty. Liam had to rest on the bonnet of the car quickly. His heart had started to go slightly out of rhythm, but he didn’t want to tell anyone. Then it hit him. He would have to tell Joey what he needed from him. Shall I get what I need off him first?

“Joey,” he said. “How far is it?”

“Hundred and twenty miles.”

“Not bad. Let’s go then. You can sit up front.”

“Aren’t you gonna tell him what we need help with?” Garry butted in, ruining Liam’s plan.

“Oh, yeah!” Joey said. “What is it, Liam?”

Liam’s pupils dilated.

“It’s in the boot, or what y’all call the trunk!” he slurred, trying to put on an American accent.

Joey started walking to the back of the car.

“Don’t let anyone see,” Liam quickly said, lowering his voice and looking left to right.

Joey looked at Liam. His already pasty skin had gone a tinge of a pastel grey like colour and his eyes were fixed on the floor. He knew this couldn’t have been anything good. Nervously, he opened the boot of the car and looked inside.

“What the fuck!” he said in a panic, stepping back. “Is that what I think it is?”

It was what he thought it was. It was a dead body wrapped up in bedsheets.

“You need to help me get rid of it, mate,” he said to Joey, who looked like he wanted to be sick.

“How the fuck did this happen, Liam. What, you fucking crazy or something?”

“It’s not what you think,” Garry said, backing up his dysfunctional friend.

“He’s right,” Liam said. “Look, just get in the car and we’ll tell you what happened.”

Joey’s mind was all over the place, filled with panic and worry. He knew he had to help him though. After all, he knew he owed him one, especially with what Liam had helped him with before.

“Alright, let’s just go.”

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