When the DISTILLERY bell sounded at the end of a Friday the next port of call for the Mack workers was the KNOCK KNOCK CLUB. It was a great place for them to wind down after a week of hard work. The club always welcomed them with open arms.
Paddy and his brothers – Kieran and Aiden – always went. At age twelve, Alfie was too young.
“I want to see the titty shows,” Alfie insisted.
“He’s a lad,” their father, Brendan beamed, tousliing Alfie’s hair.
Their mother, Anne, clipped Alfie’s ear for his language. Despite his protests he was left behind.
Brendan frequented of the club back in his younger days but now retired from the factory and wheelchair bound he attended less and less. On the days he did visit he was treated as a special guest by the boss lady, TABITHA.
Brendan clutched Paddy’s arm as he was leaving. “You be sure now and keep them in line. You know what they get like when they have a few.” He meant Paddy’s brothers as well as the Mack workers.
Paddy smiled in reassurance. “Don’t worry, Da.”
Kieran was the eldest Mack son by a number of years but couldn’t be trusted to contain the rowdy bunch from the factory having been known to get out of hand himself, especially when booze began to flow. Paddy was the level headed one so it was always up to him to keep a lid on anyone making nuisances of themselves.
And so with their usual table the Mack’s and their team settled in for a good night. It had all been quite tame so far in comparison to other nights. Paddy was enjoying a glass of his family brand with Tabitha for company. They both had their backs to the bar and were overlooking the patrons, a combination of two powerful empires within the south of the Shady City.
Kieran and some of the others were playing poker. One of the KNOCK KNOCK GIRLS – a leggy blonde with small, doll – like features – was sat on his knee with her arm around him, helping him play his hand. The mood was jovial and relaxed.
“You haven’t said anything about my new dress,” Tabitha was saying.
Paddy looked at her. She was wearing one of her many well – fitting, specially designed LUEN dresses. She wasn’t really expecting Paddy to say anything about her dress. She knew he wouldn’t know a Luen designer from any other. All the red dresses looked to the same to him. He suspected she was just looking to steer the conversation. She was a beauty. She was tough, confident and wily but she was incredibly self absorbed.
“You know you always look great,” he replied. His Bellfield accent placed emphasis on the R.
Tabitha scoffed as though he had been the one to bring it up. “Aren’t you sweet,” she grinned, patting his arm flirtatiously.
“Get off!” one of the Knock Knock girls growled at a factory worker. Her cry had been so loud the singer on the stage hesitated.
He had clutched her around her waist as she carried a tray of empty glasses to the bar. She had pushed him away playfully at first. Then she had given him a polite warning. When he refused to leave her she became irate. He tried to snatch her long, brunette pony tail.
Tabitha’s expression switched from flirty grin to a severe growl. “Deal with that, or I will.” It was a warning not to be taken lightly.
Paddy made his way hastily to the scene figuring the worker would stand a better chance with him than he would Tabitha. He pulled the worker away from the girl.
“She said to let ‘er go,” Paddy warned.
The factory worker was bald, a BELLFIELD FC tattoo etched on his thick forearm. He was so inebriated with alcohol he was unable to stand steady.
“I was just avin’ a lil fun,” he groaned. His eyes almost rolled in his head.
Paddy’s warning became sterner. “If she wants ye she’ll come to ye. Ye know the rules.”
Satisfied he had made his point Paddy turned back to the bar.
“Yer no the feckin’ boss in ‘ere,” he growled the worker. He reached out and pushed Paddy by the shoulder.
Kieran’s laughter rang above the commotion. “Oh, ye should’ne have done that!” he cheered.
As Paddy twisted his fist had clenched. He threw it at the factory worker catching his chin in a teeth clattering blow, sending him falling onto the sticky floor. The Mack’s and their workers cheered. The Knock Knock girl watched Paddy in bewildered amusement.
“It’s grand,” he assured her. “He’ll be sorry when he sobers up.”
The girl took her tray to the bar and Paddy returned to his spot beside Tabitha.
“Another for Paddy, Lisa,” Tabitha instructed the bar maid. “He’s doing the fucking security’s job for them.”
They both watched in amusement as the factory worker carried himself back to the table, still clutching his chin. The rest of the Mack party were teasing him mercilessly. Aiden Mack provided a dramatic reenactment.
Mack and Sons will be making their entrance into Knock Knock Volume 2.
Can’t wait? Volume 1 is free to read here at Vivika Widow Online or you can download for Kindle clicking HERE.