Beckett stands in the pitch blackness of the garden, with a fistful of gravel and stares up at what he hopes is Fuscia’s window. There is no moon and the only light is a faint, milky leakage from the street.
He throws a quick prayer down between his feet and overarms the gravel up at the window. The impact is machine gun staccato-loud in the dog-stilled night. For one terrible moment Beckett thinks there’s a stray rock in with the gravel as a particularly loud crack reverberates out across the garden.
He stands, not breathing, and waits. But there is no general alarm, no savage dog attack bursts out of the back door to rend him limb from limb. There is, however, the sound of a good, old-fashioned window sash sliding open and then a vision in a white cotton shift leaning out, a cautious yet curious creature.
“Down here.” he hisses.
She leaves him with that single word and disappears from the window.
What now? he wonders.
He stands and waits, praying she will help him.
“I mean,” Beckett reassures himself, “it’s in the fuckin’ script innit. It’s always in the bleedin’ script.”
Fuscia, unlocks the back door so silently that Beckett all but jumps when she suddenly appears in front of him. He takes her by the arm and steers her to a bench in an arbor at the far end of the garden. A few stars decide to add their thruppence worth of
light to the occasion. If it wasn’t so tragically inept it might have been almost romantic.
“Where is he?” Beckett asks, and she answers him by placing her mouth over his. They tongue-dance for a while, faces welded with hydraulics, a will-sapping contest. In the end Beckett’s fear for his life proves the stronger need and he pulls away.
“I know you know. If I don’t get to him before the rest of them, he’s well fucked and you know it. Now where is he?”
She melts, sliding away from him, like an avalanche of white icing-capped cake in a Richard Harris song.
“Most of the time he’s hiding at Daddy’s place.” she eventually tells her lap.
“Come off it darlin’.” Beckett sneers, “That’s out well in the middle of nowhere. You’ll have to do a bit better than that. I talked to people who saw him two days back.”
“He’s got Daddy’s bike.” she says, “A Vincent Black Shadow.”
“What, that runt? There’s no way he could handle a bike like that.”
“He’s been riding it since he was twelve.” she says.
“Fuck!” Beckett concedes.
“I can get him to meet you if you like.” she says, all in a rush, and then catching herself, “But it has to be on my conditions. Both of you. Okay?”
She a bit too eager, Beckett tells himself, smelling a rat. But then what the fuck choice does he have just at that moment?
“Alright then.” he sighs, “Where? When?”
“Out at Daddy’s place.” she says, “Night after next.”
Causes Luke James Supports
Doctors Without Borders