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Saturday, 30 July 2016

Posting

I'm aiming to post an episode of Majorca Flats every day or every second day.  We're moving towards the conclusion of this volume of the story--maybe another 50 episodes or so, and I haven't decided whether to keep going.  I've grown fond of Jason and Lou and Cody and Keith and Esmé, and of course of the sharp-witted Lucasta and Eleanor.  And of course no story really ends, does it?

On the other hand, I have several novels (6 in fact) which need revision and rewriting.  So the question is whether I should temporarily set aside Majorca Flats when it is finished and go back to work on my other novels.  I'm not sure yet,  Majorca Flats started out as a way to get past writer's block.  Surely, I thought to myself, I can do 100 or 200 words a day.  And it worked.

I write because I love writing, and because I get to know and care for the characters I've made.  But I feel that I have neglected the people in my older novels.

Anyway, I will finish book one of Majorca Flats over the course of the next few weeks, then I'll see how I feel.


581

Jason rang the number he’d written in biro on his hand.

“Hi, this is Jason Armstrong-Beaufort.” He’d decided to use his name rather than his title when dealing with the police here in Australia.  He thought that using his title would provoke disbelief.  And they didn’t have time to waste.  “I phoned about 20 minutes ago to tell you about a message a friend had left me saying he was in danger.  Yes.  Well, I just want to tell you that you don’t need to come because the police are already here.  Yes.  My friend must’ve called you guys before he called us.  Yeah, you can talk to one of them.  Sergeant Kaminski.”  He handed his phone over to the policeman.

When Kaminski had finished speaking he handed the phone back to Jason.

“What are you going to do now?  Don’t get involved.  Let us do our job.” They were obviously no longer suspects.

Jason shrugged.  “Colin made me promise not to get involved.  What are you going to do now?”

“We’re putting out a KALOF …” he interrupted himself when he saw their puzzlement “… a Keep a Lookout For …. Luigi’s car and the killer’s.”

“How did you know the killer’s name?  And his car number?”  Jason was beginning to get frustrated.

“We—well, the police—raided his house earlier this morning.”  Kaminski looked very uncomfortable.

“And …?” said Jason, his voice hard.

“He got away.”

“Wonderful,” exclaimed Jason.  Keith hadn’t thought anyone could put so much sarcasm into a single word.

The policeman coloured and stiffened.  He didn’t say anything, though.



Wednesday, 27 July 2016

580

He turned to Kaminksi.  “How did you get here before us, sergeant?  We were supposed to phone you telling you the address?”

“What do you mean?”  The policeman was somewhat warmer but still far from friendly.

“Luigi phoned us and then the killer broke through the door, so he cut the call.  So we phoned triple zero and told them what Luigi had said.  And said we’d phone them from here so we could tell them his address.”

“You mean you’d never been here?”  Kaminski’s lips curled in disbelief.

“Of course we’ve been here.  But we’ve never sent him a letter here.  Why would we?  We have his mobile number?”

“Have you phoned him?”

“Jesus, do I look that stupid?  Of course not!  What if he still somehow has his phone and the killer hears it ring?”

Kaminski’s lips tightened but he said nothing.

“I’d better phone them and tell them not to come,” Jason offered.

“Yeah.”  Kaminski wasn’t giving anything away.

Keith leaned over to Esmé and whispered in her ear.  “Do they become arseholes after they join the police or are they just that way naturally?”

Esmé didn’t think it would be a good idea to grin, so she just took his hand and squeezed it.




Sunday, 24 July 2016

579

Because he’d turned away, they could only hear one side of the conversation.  The sergeant’s shoulders relaxed as he listened.  “Andy Kaminski.  OK ….  Yeah   ….  You think it’s serious? …. You’d better go up then …. How long? …. Right ….  Yeah …..  I’ll call for backup …. Should I get the chopper out? ….. No? Why not?  ….. right.  No sirens?  Think we’re idiots?”  He grunted. “Right.”  He handed the phone back to Jason.  “He wants to talk to you.”

Jason took the phone.   

“Hi, Colin, it’s Jason.  I’m a friend of Cody and Luigi.”

“Hi Jason.  Look, I’ve spoken to Sergeant Kaminski.”  The slight emphasis he gave to sergeant made it official.  Jason waited patiently for the warning.  It duly came. “Don’t get involved.  We—the police—are trained for this, and you are not.  And if you get in the way, or give him another hostage, you’ll make things worse.”

“All right,” agreed Jason placidly.

“Promise!” ordered Colin de Graves, his voice gruff.

“I promise not to get involved.”

“OK, then.  We’ve got him.  Your friends will be safe.”  It would have helped if Colin had sounded more certain.

“Do you think he’s making for Mt Macedon?”

“I dunno.  But I’m here, fifteen minutes away.  I’m going up to the camping site.”

“You’ll hide your van, so he doesn’t see it?”

“I’m not a complete idiot, you know!”  Colin’s asperity embarrassed Jason a little.  But …. They were his friends.  And he wasn’t going to make a mistake again which cost a friend his life.  Never again.

“They’re my friends,” he said calmly but with steel in his voice.  “Luigi was the first person I met here.  And he matters to me.”  Jason turned to look at Keith and Esmé, both listening intently.  “He matters to us.  And Cody …” he faltered,  “… Cody’s suffered enough.”

Colin sighed.  “I know.  But would you try to guide the hand of the surgeon who operates on you?”

“Fair point.  OK.  We’ll trust you.  Please …. Don’t …” 

“We’ll do our very best,” promised Colin.

Jason handed the phone over to Keith.



Saturday, 23 July 2016

578

Keith stood for a moment, holding the phone, shifting from leaning on the outside of one foot to the outside of the other, his expression as neutral as he could make it.  He had plenty of experience with the police when he’d been hustling. And even when he’d been just cruising. The police hadn’t been on his side.  Once, he’d been beaten up “resisting arrest.”  Colin was different.  Colin was a top bloke.  But the policeman who’d brusquely ordered them to wait … Keith was afraid, even though it had been years since he’d whored.  He turned to look at Jason, feeling ashamed, and angry that he was ashamed. 

Jason flashed him a quick smile of understanding, and took Keith’s phone from him.  Stepping forward, he spoke with the kind of assurance—arrogance even—that comes from twenty generations of privilege. 

“Excuse me, sergeant Kaminski,” he said, his eyes flicking to the triple chevron on the man’s shoulder tab, and his name badge on his breast, his accent cut-glass, “The sergeant from Macedon would like to speak with you.  He was the man who interviewed our friend who lives here.  The one abducted by the Mt Macedon killer.”

The sergeant’s eyes darkened and his mouth tightened.  But he took the phone.

“Yeah?” he said, turning away from the three on the walkway, his voice showing his irritation. 

They watched him intently. 

(source)






Tuesday, 19 July 2016

577

The phone at the other end rang and rang, and Keith was afraid that it would divert to a standard contact line, but just as he began to despair of getting a reply, a grumpy voice said, “Macedon Police Station, Sergeant de Graves speaking.”

In his distress, Keith’s accent strengthened as he spoke.  “Colin, were ya the blaoke who picked up Cody on Mt Macedon a coupla waiks agao?”

The voice at the other end sounded more awake.  “Yes.”

“The killer’s got him again.”

“Right. Do you know where they are?”

“Naow.  But it’s possible, isn’t it, that they’re drivin’ to the mount?  We’re here at his flat and the coppers here are bein’ difficult.  I daon’t think they’re takin’ us seriously.  Colin, he’s goin’ ta kill them.”

Them?”  Colin’s tone sharpened.

 “Him an’ Luigi! If the police aren’t goin’ ta halp, then we’ll have ta do somethin’.”

“Lemme talk to them!”  Keith was glad to hear the urgency in Colin’s voice.

“’Kay.”



Monday, 18 July 2016

576



Jason was right.  It was the fourth floor.  One of the flat’s doors was open.  From inside there came the staccato bursts of talk and static from police radios. They walked up to the door. Inside the flat there were three officers, in uniform. "Who are you?" one asked, alert and faintly hostile.

By tacit consent, the three of them left it to Jason to speak.

“We’re friends of the two men who live here.  Luigi and Cody.  He phoned us … “ Jason turned to the others “… half an hour ago?  I didn’t see the message at once.”

“Why not?”  The hostility was stronger now.

“Well, duh!  We were asleep.”  Jason gestured at the darkness beyond the flat’s walkway.

“Wait here,” ordered the policeman.

“They’re not goin’ to be quick enough,” whispered Keith.  “While they’re checkin’ up, Lou and Cody are getting further and further away.”

“What was the name of that policemen from Mt Macedon?” asked Esmé.  “If we could get hold of him, he could help!”

“Yeah.”  Keith frowned.  “Fuck!  What was his name?”

“Something beginning with an F?  No, it wasn’t …. It was ….”

“Colin! That’s his name.  But I don’t have his number.”

“Well, maybe the police here could get hold of him.”

“Fuck them!” growled Keith.  “Arseholes!  We’ll google the number.”  His face became intent. 

Jason looked at him and thought, God, I love him.  And then thought, How can I think of that at a time like this?  And that was immediately followed by What better time? What better time to think of love when someone you care for is in danger of his life?




Sunday, 17 July 2016

575



It seemed for ever before they arrived at Luigi’s flat.  Jason could only find his way from the road next to the park, and then he got lost, because when he had walked this route with Luigi all those months ago, they had walked through alleyways and along one way streets which the car couldn’t use.  Their fear and tension made it seem even longer.  But in fact they were there within 15 minutes, and at last they were parked outside Luigi’s block of flats.

“How’d they get here so quickly?” asked Keith.  There was a police wagon parked on the pavement, its blue and red lights flashing.

“Maybe they’re here for something else?” suggested Esmé.

“Let’s go up to the flat and see.  But it’d be a miracle if they got here even before I told them where it was!”

Although it was only a five-story block of flats, there was a lift.  A tiny one.  They crammed into it.


“Fourth floor.  I think.  I’m certain.”  Jason stabbed the button.  The door closed too slowly.  “C’mon!  C’mon!”


Sunday, 10 July 2016

574

Source


By this time, Esmé had woken up.  She yawned and stretched, but didn’t speak. 

“Lou’s in trouble,” said Keith, his voice strained, but talking softly so he didn’t interrupt Jason.  “He’s been taken by the Mount Macedon killer.  Well, we think he has.  He phoned Jason just now.  Jason’s on the phone to the police.”

Jason ended his conversation with the police.  “We’re going round to Luigi’s flat now, and then we’re going to phone the police and tell them where his flat is.  Key, can we use your car?”

“Yeah.  C’mon.  Let’s go.”

In a whirl of activity, the three of them fled the flat.

The streets were empty.  It was still dark and very chilly.  There was a mist.  The heater of Jason’s old Holden was erratic, alternating between frigid blasts and torrid plastic-smelling gusts.  No one noticed.  All of them leaned forward as if somehow they could by their very bodies urge the car faster through the streets.



Saturday, 9 July 2016

573

Jason covered the phone and said to Keith, “Fuck!  What’s Lou’s address?” 

“I dunno.  Didn’t you go there? When you hooked up?”  Keith sounded panicked.

“Yeah, but that doesn’t help.  Hang on.”  Then, into the phone, “Yes, police?  My friend … I wish to report …”  He started again, stuttering in his eagerness to get help for Luigi and Cody.   “I’ve just a received a phone call from someone who involved with the Mt Macedon murderer.  No, he didn’t do it.  He’s a friend … lover … of the latest victim.  He’s just phoned to say that the killer is in his flat.  I don’t know the address.  It’s near Carlton Gardens.  Yes, I’ve been there.  Don’t come here that would waste time.  You have my mobile number, yes?  My name is Jason Armstrong-Beaufort.  I’ll drive there now and phone in the address.  It’ll be quicker.  What’s your direct line?”  He waved his fingers at Keith who was listening intently, and mouthed ‘pen’.  He wrote the number on his hand.  “Listen, it’s extremely serious.  He’s killed at least five that we know of.  And I only just got my friend’s message.”





Friday, 8 July 2016

572

Source:  The Age


Jason understood at once.  His first response was to phone Luigi back.  But even as he was about to press ‘reply’, he decided against it.  What if the killer was still there?  Wouldn’t it be better not to let the killer guess that Luigi had let someone know?

His skin prickling with fear he ran through to the bedroom and shook Keith’s shoulder. 

“Keith, wake up!  Lou’s in trouble.”

“Wha’?  Go ‘way!” 

Jason shook him again.  “Wake up Keith!  Wake up, damn you!”  His upper-class English accent sharpened.

Keith raised his head from the pillow.  “D’ya blaidin’ well knaow what toim it is?”

Jason simply repeated “Lou’s in trouble.”  He pressed the message bank link and scrolled the volume of his phone up.  Luigi’s voice filled the room.

“Jaysus!” Keith stood up abruptly.  He leapt out of bed and dragged on his undies and his jeans.  “We must do something!”

“I’m going to call the police,” said Jason, suiting action to words.  “It’s triple zero here, isn’t it?  Not triple 9, right?” He remembered seeing the number on the side of a police car.  He was silent while he dialled and waited for the call to be answered.  Then he added, “Get dressed.  We don’t want them to think there’s been an orgy going on when they turn up.”

“None a’ their fuckin’ business,” growled Keith.


“Yes, but we need to convince them we’re serious!”  Then to the phone, in answer to “Which service,” he said “police”, and waited to be connected.



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