The Duplicate Affair: Chapter 3
Category : Stories
Chapter 3: Retrieval
Helen parked slightly up the road from the entrance to the bar and walked confidently in. There was no evidence of the violent scene Georgia had described. It was probably designed to frighten her and get her to leave her phone. She didn’t know what was going on, but she knew that if these people wanted Georgia’s phone, they mustn’t have it.
“What’ll it be, love?” the barman asked pleasantly as he leaned on the bar and studied her.
“Oh, hello, yes. My friend was in here earlier and she thinks she left her phone behind. I said I’d drive past on my way back from work and check. Have you seen it?”
“Your friend, you say?”
“Yes, about so high, average build. She had on a nice suit, with pockets. I always notice a pocket, they’re so important.”
“Sorry, love, haven’t seen her.”
“Are you really going to make me ask again?”
“I’m not gunna make you do anything,” he pulled out a baseball bat from under the bar and tapped it on the palm of his hand.
“Oh, I’m very afraid you are.” Helen carefully removed her suit jacket and placed it purposefully over the back of a chair. She reached behind her head, tying her hair back into a ponytail and turned back to the barman, who had come out from behind the bar. “Couldn’t you just give me the phone back?” She asked.
He swung the bat. She ducked and punched him directly in the groin. He dropped the bat in an instant, his eyes tearing up. “Amateurs,” Helen observed as she ducked a chair being swung at her and replied with a kidney punch. “Lots of you, though…”
As a third man swung a punch she neatly dodged, grabbing his wrist and twisting into him, taking full advantage of the fact that he was now off balance to fling him over her head and into the barman, who seemed to be on the verge of regaining some composure, before being struck with a human missile.
She dived under a table, avoiding another attacker, and grabbed the baseball bat, taking out two pairs of knees before springing back to her feet and twirling the bat. An unexpected blow to the side of the head sent her staggering sideways, but before she could regain her composure her assailant was knocked unconscious – crumpling to his knees to reveal a tall, handsome man in suit trousers and a shirt undone at the neck. His sleeves were rolled up to the elbow, and his oiled hair was slightly out of place where he had been exerting himself.
“Took your sweet time,” Helen said without missing a beat.
“Oh, I’m sorry, darling,” the man responded as he ducked a punch and reacted with an elbow to the face of his assailant. “I just dropped everything to respond to your cryptic message. Least you could have done is wait for me before you started! But you never were very good at that!”
“If I waited for you I’d never get off the blocks!” Helen responded drily as she leapt from a table top, driving a punch downwards into a man’s jaw.
“I knew it was too much to hope that you just wanted a shag,” the man laughed lightly as he drew a gun from the back of his trousers and shot his opponent point blank in the skull as they ran in to meet the barrel.
“Eh, the evening’s young,” Helen quipped as between them they shot their now disabled attackers. “See how long this takes.”
“Righto,” the man said cheerily, placing his gun on the bar and pulling the barman to his feet. “So,” he said calmly as he sat him on a barstool and brushed him down. “I bet you wish you’d been more polite to my friend now, don’t you?”
The man nodded weakly.
“Well, it’s not too late to make amends,” he smiled. “Just give her the phone.”
“I can’t…” he snivelled. “It’s been collected.”
“Collected by whom?” the man pushed his hair out of his face as he spoke.
“I can’t! They’ll kill me!”
“What do you think we’ll do?” Helen demanded. “Was this all a bit subtle for you? I mean, honestly! Where’s the f***ing phone?”
“I don’t know!” The man wailed. “We’re just the meet. I mean, it’s need to know, innit?”
“Oh for God’s sake!” Helen shot him and looked around. “Now what.”
“Well, bloody hell, Helen!” her companion surveyed the room. “What a f***ing mess. I don’t know how we’ll explain this to HQ.”
“Especially without the damn phone,” Helen agreed.
“Shall I call it in?”
“Better had. Drink?”
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The Duplicate Affair
Written by C H Clepitt
Copyright Claire Evans 2019.
This is a work of fiction. All persons, places and events are products of the author’s imagination. Any similarities to persons, living or deceased, places of business or residence or actual events is purely coincidental.