Her Beautiful Monster
Pack of racists in bomber jackets called me a “fucking Paki” on the street the other day. The usual stuff about going back to where I came from. Racists never need facts or accuracy, and I wasn’t going to correct them and say I was actually Hindu, of Indian ancestry, not Pakistani-Muslim, and born and raised in Parsons Green in West London. I wasn’t going to break cover since I was on the job.
Buddha used to say there was no need to take revenge. If you waited long enough, the bodies of your enemies would eventually float by in the river. In my case, I had Ken and Clive to beat them up for me. Two violent, trained ex-coppers built like brick shithouses against four gangly racists in tracksuits? No contest. And did I say Clive used to be in the army before he became a copper? Soldiers were taught to kill people with their thumbs, if necessary. It had been a few weeks since Ken and Clive last fed their bloodlust.
“The fat one looks like a human version of a boil,” Julia said.
“He’s like everyone’s cartoon of what a British racist looks like,” I said. “I didn’t think that look actually existed.”
The blob of a man hit the ground. He wasn’t getting up again for a bit. He made me think of the Millennium Dome.
Two broken noses, one fractured jaw, and at least one concussion later, Ken and Clive walked back to us, happily sated. Their grins did not make me comfortable anymore.
Ken and Clive didn’t do it for me, of course. They just wanted any excuse to kick off and fuck someone up. It had been three weeks since they had gotten to quench their lust for violence, and these idiots fit the bill. The violence also reinforced their cover as my bodyguards.
Julia squeezed my arm as we continued on our way, Ken and Clive falling in line alongside us. Mark just nodded in approval.
This aggressive show of power seemed to impress our mark. Tarquin Gaskell-Bridger. I was a tycoon from Mumbai here to see his pitch for his dodgy anti-drone technology. He watched in awe at the short work my “bodyguards” made of those unfortunate dickheads. I was a prospective investor in his dodgy venture, and this was the kind of power at my command. Having Ken and Clive with me meant I was not to be fucked with.
“A perfect snapshot of the dystopian Dickensian nightmare that Britain is becoming,” Mark Oldham declared cheerfully.
He would say that. Mark was our disillusioned poet at Golden Sentinels Private Investigations and Security Agency. He looked upon the world through a haze of marijuana smoke and saw it broken and sad, and he could only laugh and make jokes. We were here because of him, and he wouldn’t have missed it for the world.