A.C.A.B.

Short story featuring characters from The Meat Wagon. No police officers were harmed during the writing of this story.

 

 1

Vinnie swung his cut-throat razor at the policeman’s face, slicing cleanly and effortlessly through the soft flesh of his exposed cheek. A cheer rang out at the sight of first blood, and someone called out, “Go on Vinnie, do the cunt.” But Vinnie didn’t need any encouragement. This, by far, was the best part of living in a world where he could do whatever the fuck he wanted.

The policeman didn’t flinch or otherwise react to the attack, as if he was somehow unaware of it taking place. He continued his stumbling lurch across the industrial estate car park, a vacant expression on his face. His arms were stretched out before him, his fingers clenching and unclenching as he sought to get a grip on the grinning man stood before him. The deep slash on his face flapped open when he opened his mouth to snarl at Vinnie, and blood poured down his face, dripping from his chin. He bared his teeth at Vinnie and let out a deep, gurgling growl, like a rabid dog.

Vinnie danced backwards like a professional prize fighter as the policeman slowly approached, his six inch razor-knife darting around before him, searching for another opportunity to slash at the policeman’s face.

He swung again, aiming at the policeman’s outstretched, grasping hands, and sliced through one of the fingers just above the knuckle. The severed digit fell to the ground by his feet, and the policeman roared in anger. His bloodshot eyes bulged, and he lifted the hand to his face, inspecting the bloody stump left behind. With another snarl, the policeman bared his teeth at Vinnie again and continued his relentless movement towards him with increased determination.

Vinnie smiled when he glanced down at the finger lying on the tarmac. He had been aiming for the man’s wrist to take off the entire hand, but this was even funnier. On a sudden whim, he decided to take off the remaining fingers, one by one, and waited for an opportunity to present itself. The policeman obviously hadn’t retained any of his fighting skills from his previous life. Like everyone else who had been transformed into mindless automatons, he just relied on brute force and animal instinct. That made him predictable. And that, ultimately, would be his downfall.

Vinnie stepped backwards each time the policeman lurched closer, keeping pace with every step to remain always just out of his reach. He waved the razor before him and smiled. He could see the rage building in his opponent. That was always the best part of this game, the frustration that boils through them until it erupts into a sudden, predictable attack.  

The policeman lunged forward, and Vinnie ducked beneath his grasping hands, leaving him clutching at empty air above Vinnie’s head. Without a pause, Vinnie slashed upwards with the razor, slicing deep through the policeman’s chin and up through his bottom lip, splitting it into two bloody flaps that hung open, exposing his bottom jaw. The policeman’s arms flailed, splashing blood from the severed finger in a wide arc across the car park, and he staggered backwards a few steps.

Vinnie straightened up and grinned at his handiwork. He tossed the razor from one hand to the other, and back again, several times.

“Come on then, you cunt,” he taunted. “Let’s finish this.”

But Vinnie was in no hurry to finish the bastard off. It had been several weeks since he had last killed a copper, and he wanted to relish every second of it.

It had been Vinnie who had first spotted the policeman, which was why he had got to have the first play with him while the others watched from a distance, impatient for their own turn.

They had been riding down the wrong side of the motorway, on their way back from Meadowside, when he saw the blue-clothed figure stumbling around amongst the wrecked cars blocking the opposite carriageway.

They had long been planning to take Meadowside over as their permanent base, and had been on regular reconnaissance trips to see how viable it would be. Meadowside was the largest indoor shopping centre in the area, so if they took control of it they would be able to live there in complete luxury for the rest of their lives. It would be one long party from then on.

But the first time they got close enough to survey the shopping centre through binoculars, across a field adjacent to the motorway, Vinnie knew straight away that they would need more than the assorted hand tools they had been using as bludgeons if they were going to have any chance of clearing out all the people who were milling around outside it. There was also a good chance there would be just as many people inside the centre, if not more, who would also need disposing of before they could move in safely. At first they had expected the crowds to eventually disperse, but each time they checked there seemed to be more and more of them gathering around its entrance doors.

They hadn’t given up on their long term plans for Meadowside completely, the prize was far too great for that. But as they watched the large crowd stumbling around near the entrance doors it became obvious that it wasn’t going to be as easy as they had originally thought it would be. They were going to need some serious weaponry to accomplish it, and guns of the calibre they would need for the job just weren’t easy to come by inYorkshire.

The only gun they had found so far was a shotgun they had taken from a farmer in Derbyshire who was too foolish to load it before he started waving it in their faces. And after they had all taken a turn with the shotgun, practicing on a large crowd in Shefferham town centre one Saturday afternoon, they had soon used up all the cartridges they had obtained for it.

After turning the bikes around and heading back up the motorway, they had been travelling a few miles when Vinnie signalled to the two riders behind him that he intended to pull over.

He eased off on the throttle of his Triumph Trident, and dropped down through the gears, slowly coming to a rest. He kicked down the side stand and dismounted his bike as the others pulled up alongside him.

“What’s up?” Mad Dan asked, pulling his flying goggles down so that they hung loosely around his neck by their elasticated strap. He rubbed the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger, where the goggles had pinched him.

Vinnie pointed further down the motorway, and grinned at him. “Do you see what I see?”

Mad Dan put his custom-built VW trike into neutral and shielded his eyes from the glare of the low hanging sun with one hand. He squinted in the direction of Vinnie’s pointing finger, and frowned. All he could see was an overturned lorry that had jack-knifed across the opposite carriageway, causing a multiple-car pileup when following drivers hadn’t been able to stop in time.

“Yeah, a lorry and some smashed up cars. So fucking what?” he said with a shrug of his broad, tattoo-covered shoulders.

Vinnie shook his head. “No, look behind that red Fiat. You see it?”

Mad Dan looked again, but couldn’t see anything of interest. “Nah, my eyes are fucked for long distance. Oi Stan, chuck us your binoculars over.”

Stan Mollett, an overweight, bearded man in his mid-40s, grunted and scratched his bald head, but remained seated on his BMW R1200, the engine still thrumming between his legs. “Why, what’s the fucking hold-up?”

“Vinnie’s seen something.”

“Fucking hell,” said Stan, dismounting. “It had better be something good, I want to get back home so I can have a go in the Meat Wagon.”

Vinnie grinned at him. “You’ll go as blind as Mad Dan here if you do that too often.”

“Piss off. It’s all right for you with your Old Lady to fuck, the rest of us have to make do with what we’ve got.”

Stan unlocked the tail-box on the back of his motorcycle and rummaged through the contents before pulling out a pair of binoculars. He took off his sunglasses, slipped them into the breast pocket of his Belstaff, and raised the binoculars to his eyes, scoping them around the car wrecks.

“No fucking way,” he said, lowering the binoculars. He raised them again to take another look, and laughed.

“What is it?” asked Mad Dan, impatiently.

Stan handed him the binoculars and grinned at him with his blackened, gap-filled teeth. “Take a look for yourself.”

Mad Dan looked, adjusting the focus dial on the binoculars, zooming in and out on the cars, and laughed when he saw the policeman. “Now that is definitely worth stopping for.”

He watched the figure lurching from car to car on unsteady legs, dressed in blue body-armour. “Looks like we’ve got us some fucking good entertainment tonight.”

He handed the binoculars back to Stan, pulled in the clutch on his trike, and kicked it into gear. He twisted the throttle, let out the clutch, and set out for the site of the crash. Vinnie and Stan followed soon after, quickly catching up with him on their more powerful motorcycles.

They came to a halt directly opposite the crash site, and the policeman started to stumble towards them, attracted by the noise of their engines. Stan laughed when the policeman tripped over the motorway crash barrier and fell sprawling onto his face. Before he had a chance to get back up, Stan ran across to the policeman, straddled him, and sat his immense weight down on the man’s back, pinning him to the ground.

“Get something to tie the cunt up with,” he shouted across to Vinnie and Mad Dan, who were watching with amusement from their vehicles. The policeman thrashed his arms and legs, trying to dislodge Stan, and gnashed his teeth at him. Stan grabbed a handful of the policeman’s short brown hair and pulled his head off the tarmac a few inches, slamming it back down viciously. The policeman struggled even harder, until Stan brought his fist down on the man’s temple, knocking him unconscious.

Vinnie hopped over the crash barrier and sauntered towards the crashed cars. He pulled a cut-throat razor from his leather jacket pocket and used it to slice through the seatbelt of the nearest car, a white Volvo estate. He tossed the driver’s decomposing corpse onto the ground, pulling it out of the car by its blood-stained clothes, and reached over to cut the passenger side seatbelt free. That one was holding a woman upright in the seat, a final expression of absolute terror forever frozen on her face. She slumped to one side as Vinnie cut her free, and her head hung out of the open window.

When Vinnie returned with the seatbelts, the policeman had regained consciousness and was struggling wildly, trying to dislodge Stan from his back. Mad Dan knelt on the man’s legs and held his feet together to stop him kicking out. Vinnie wrapped the seatbelt around the policeman’s ankles several times before tying a secure knot. The policeman roared in anger when Mad Dan stood up and gripped one of his flailing hands, twisting it behind his back.

Vinnie stood on the policeman’s other hand, holding it on the ground, while he tied the remaining seatbelt around the wrist Mad Dan was holding out for him. He passed the end of the belt to Stan to hold while Mad Dan helped him get a secure grip on the policeman’s free hand. The policeman thrashed his head from side to side and hissed at them like an angry cat as his hands were pulled together behind his back, and Stan wrapped the belt around them.

“Get one for his mouth as well,” Mad Dan said when the policeman was securely hogtied. “I’m not having that cunt bite me in the arse on the way back.”

Vinnie laughed, but returned to the cars for another seatbelt to gag him with before they tossed him into the back of Mad Dan’s trike. He looked around for the policeman’s peaked cap, but was unable to find it.

A damn shame, he thought, the bastard would have been a much better prize if it still had its full uniform.

 

2

Mad Dan, eager to share in Vinnie’s game with the policeman, and not prepared to just stand by and watch any longer, crept forward. He bent down and picked up one of the severed fingers that littered the ground. Straightening up with a grunt, he held it to his crotch and waggled it up and down at the policeman, as if it were his penis. When the policeman took no notice, he prodded him in the ear with it.

“Ear, I want a word with you,” he said with a wide grin, looking towards the other bikers for approval.

The three onlookers, leaning casually against the wall of Mad Dan’s retail unit, watching the fun with bottles of beer in their hands, all roared with laughter.

“Go on Dan, stick it up the cunt’s nose,” Ratboy shouted in encouragement.

Ratboy was much younger than the others, barely in his twenties, but just like them he had developed a deep hatred of the police from a young age. Regularly stopped and searched as a child because of his dirty, ragged clothes and long hair, he had taken part in a demonstration against increasing police powers that had, ironically, ended in the deployment of rubber bullets followed by a baton charge that had left Ratboy’s face permanently disfigured.

Steve Downing, his huge beer gut hanging low over a skull and crossbones belt buckle and straining against the fabric of his Motorhead T-shirt, murmured in agreement with the younger man. He too had been on the wrong end of a police baton far too many times in his life to count, and he couldn’t wait for his chance at revenge.

Mad Dan’s grin grew even wider as he thought about Ratboy’s challenge. He took up a position directly behind the policeman, who was still advancing on Vinnie, seemingly oblivious to everything else happening around him.

He grabbed a handful of the policeman’s hair and yanked his head back, halting his movement. The policeman roared in renewed anger, and his arms flailed in front of him. Vinnie used the opportunity to slash at one of the arms, matching its downward swing with an upward thrust, and bright red arterial blood spurted from it.

Lynn Fletcher, who had recently emerged from a food warehouse carrying a carton of orange juice, looked away in disgust when she saw what they were doing. In all the months she had spent with them at the industrial estate, she had never been able to get used to the savagery of the bikers. Unlike her, they seemed to relish in the lawless world they had found themselves in, and took advantage of it at every opportunity. But what she was seeing now turned her stomach even more than what she had seen them do to the women they kept chained up in the police van. This man they were torturing to death represented the old world, and everything that was good about it. He kept the streets safe at night, he caught all the bad guys and locked them up.

Thank god Tommy is safely asleep inside, and not out here watching this, she thought. She had visions of the noise they were making waking Tommy up, and then drawing him outside to investigate. No matter what horrors he had seen so far, his young mind wouldn’t be able to cope with seeing this. She glanced at the group of bikers, saw their attention was firmly riveted on the policeman, and slipped inside one of the units to be with him.

Mad Dan waved the severed finger in front of the policeman’s face, taunting him with it, and the policeman gnashed his teeth in anger, snapping at the hand held so tantalisingly before him. Mad Dan balled his fist around the finger and drove it into the policeman’s ruined chin in an upward jab, splitting it open even further and clashing his teeth together with a loud crack. The policeman’s eyes bulged, and Mad Dan pushed the tip of the finger into the man’s left nostril. He twisted it around as he pushed it in further, before releasing his grip on the policeman’s hair. The policeman stumbled forward a few steps, the finger lodged up his nose, and Mad Dan bowed theatrically before his cheering audience.

Vinnie watched the policeman regain his footing and turn to face Mad Dan, his hands held before him, thumb and forefinger on one hand grasping like a crab’s claw as blood pumped from the stumps of his missing fingers. Vinnie kicked out at the back of the policeman’s right knee, sending him sprawling to the ground, and stamped his size-twelve motorcycle boot down on the man’s already-ruined hand, crushing it to a bloody pulp against the tarmac.

He stood back and watched the policeman stumble back to his feet, blood pouring from the flaps of skin and bone still hanging from his wrist like a tattered flag. He knew the game was nearly over. Even if they left him alone from now on the bastard would soon die through blood loss. He gestured to the other bikers, beckoning them over with his fingers, and stood back to watch the fun.

Stan Mollett drained the remainder of his bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale and rushed forward with a roar, brandishing the empty bottle above his head. He brought the bottle crashing down on the policeman’s skull, expecting the glass to shatter the way it always does in films, but the bottle stubbornly remained intact.

“Fucker!” he growled, looking at the bottle in disbelief. He bent down and smashed it on the ground. Straightening up, he admired the jagged edge for a few seconds with a smile, before he rammed it into the side of the policeman’s neck. Blood spurted from the wound when he pulled the bottle free, splashing onto Stan’s tattered Belstaff jacket and mingling with the other bloodstains that he wore there with pride.

Ratboy rushed forward, a hammer in his hand, and swung it at the policeman’s jaw, sending teeth flying from his mouth. “Fucking bastard,” he yelled in the man’s face, raising the hammer for another blow.

Mad Dan gripped the policeman’s wrist and stretched his arm out behind him, twisting it savagely. He brought his fist down repeatedly on the man’s elbow until he heard the bone snap, and then turned his attention to the other arm.

The policeman swayed on unsteady legs as he looked around bleary eyed at the group of jeering men surrounding him, his arms hanging uselessly by his sides. Steve Downing swung a lead pipe at the policeman’s left knee, and he crumpled to the ground, his kneecap shattered. He twitched, trying to pull himself upright again but not understanding why his arms no longer worked. He rolled onto his back, his remaining leg rising off the ground as he tried to sit up, and Ratboy slammed the hammer into his knee, hearing a satisfying crunch as it embedded itself in splintered bone.

The policeman started to roll towards Vinnie, a look of dogged determination on his face. But his progress was soon halted as all five of them mercilessly kicked and stamped on his prone body.

They continued long after the policeman was dead, snapping bones like twigs under their heavy motorcycle boots, pulverising flesh until their boots were slick with gore. Vinnie stamped down on the man’s skull until it cracked open and his brain spilled out. Mad Dan, on seeing the brain, took a running kick at it, sending it skidding across the car park. He ran after it, whooping, and kicked it again and again, until there was nothing left to kick.

Stan Mollett was the last to stop, and he panted with exertion as he bent over, hands on his knees, looking down at the gore on the ground before him.

“Get that cunt minced up and feed it to the Mamas,” he said, and spat on the policeman’s remains.

 

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About Marcus Blakeston

Ex-shouting poet, ex-fanzine writer, ex-angry young man (now growing old disgracefully). Living in sunny Yorkshire with his wife, children and motorcycle, Marcus still has a healthy distrust of all forms of authority.
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