Tag Archives: the knock knock club

WASHED UP – extract from MUSE

Never had grey looked so vibrant. Light and dark battled for centre stage as greyish faces watched the artist from the shelving. Some were finely carved, almost human. Most were still waiting for their features. They had survived the abortion of the carver’s knife.  

The artist looked at the shelf above him. Another clay face smiled back knowingly.  

“You will just continue to fall downhill.” 

The words WASHED UP were carved across it. The shame of this realisation was deeply embedded. The artist ignored it at first. He lifted the carving knife and reached for the clay in front of him, unborn, formless. He wet his hands in the bowl. The cool water did nothing to relieve his intoxicated mind. He reached out and caressed the clay carefully, searching for the curvatures.  

“You are nothing.”  

Three identical masks observed him, perched high. Each of them bore the word DOUBT. The artist leant back on his stool but his drug-addled mind was too far-gone to keep his balance. He leaned back too far and as he jerked forward he knocked the water bowl over and cut his finger on the scalpel he used to carve details into his creations.  

“Fuck!” he exclaimed as the vibrant red began to gush from the wound, spilling onto the grey. His vision was blurry. He didn’t normally feel this way after a hit. Joe must have gotten purer than usual.  

At age twelve the artist had turned to smoke. The calming effects saw him through pre-pubescence. It calmed the storm of his teen years. He tried powder and pills along the way but when he reached his twenties only needles would do. He had come off them for a while as his career as an artist took off. He had it all then but the high of life shook him, gave him unrealistic expectations, sucked him dry then left him with nothing but the needles for comfort. His friends encouraged him but no matter what he did, his work could never reach those heights again.  

The needles didn’t think he was washed up. They were always there to make him feel better. They even numbed the pain as he put a deeper cut in his hand as he tried to grasp the scalpel again.  

“A pathetic excuse for a human being.” 

The artist looked at a clay face that lay discarded on the bench. The word FRAUD was embedded into it.  

The artist swung his legs round but it threw off his balance again. This time he tumbled to the floor. He looked up towards the window. A figurine of a slim woman was hanging by it’s feet.  

“He’s just a little down on his luck.” 

The figurine spun around on the wire that held her captive. Her face was flat. It had no features yet. Only her buttocks had any detail. The words HAS BEEN were written into her.  

“Fuck off the lot of you!” the artist cried, climbing to his feet. “What do you know about it?” 

He swung his arms in a meaningless gesture but it caused him to fall into his bench. The corner caught his hip painfully.  

A hand fell on him. He shrieked. The clay digits clasped his shoulder.  

“You had it all. It’s gone now. You are nothing. You had no real talent.” 

The artist cried out. Hooks, shelves, walls, more clay faces and figurines watching him, accusing him. Whatever he did have it was gone. His artistic vision was gone and all the needles in the world would never numb that kind of pain. 

The faces closed in. 



“A talentless junkie that got lucky!”  

The artist hated that he had become a tortured cliché. He hated even more that everything he turned his hand to lately fell flat. It wasn’t inspired. It wasn’t bold. He struggled to get even those closest to him to give a second look. He was an artist cliché without the talent. He thought he was giving birth to kings and queens whose reign would be spoken of for centuries. Instead he held still born after still born. So he hung them, scraped away at their skins and occasionally, when provoked, he smashed them to pieces. Paintings, carvings, models, all deserved incineration. Burn them all. Never let those failed experiments see the light of day. They would tell everyone how uninspired their creator was.  

The artist turned on his stool. Dizziness overcame him. A large male figure was looking down on him from the shelf. He had no legs and was leaning on muscular arms. The muscles in the arms and abdomen were painstakingly clear and well-defined. As strong as the figure looked, he would never have those legs. Below his waist would remain as absent as the creator’s mind.  

“Why bother even trying?”  

The question startled the artist. He stood up again and kicked the stool over. The eyes of the legless figure had more life in them than the artist’s own. The last time he dared look in a mirror his face was vacant. He looked dead. He might as well be. The dark roots were showing through greasy, bleached hair. His lips were grey. 

“Leave me alone!” he warned them.  

He stumbled out of the workshop, falling to his knees on the sodden grass as he missed the last step. He looked back up. The statues would always be there. They would always mock him for the ridiculousness of their existence. David Finn’s career as an artist was all but over. 

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This Place

Run child as fast as your feet will carry you.

Don’t pause for a breath or stop to tie your shoe.

You can look around, cry for help if you like,

But this is one time the monster will strike.

You can run deep into the forest, you can hide in the dark,

But we will always find you, for you have the mark.


You will never survive; you’ve already begun to rot,

You can gather wood, set camp just like daddy taught.

It all seems so fruitless now, so close to the end,

When a monster lurks behind every bend.

Our paths are made from the bones of the others,

Somewhere waiting for them are weeping mothers


You will discover as they did, there is no way out,

Burst your little lungs trying to scream and shout.

Just listen please,

To the noise of the trees.

They will warn you of what lurks in every inch of this place.

Creatures waiting to snatch you, all eager for a taste.

They won’t wait long, for they are hungry indeed.

Only the blood of a child will fulfil their greed,

All roads lead to the same place in the end.

We all go without a coin, a care or a friend,

So look up child and see what lies in wait.

Thank you little child, for taking the bait.

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The Greatest: Northside Precinct

Location: Northside

Features in: KNOCK KNOCK

Centuries ago in the area of Northside, just north of Bellfield, there existed a knight named Niall Tulloch. Through his successes in battle Niall became known as the greatest Northsider. His family went on to rule the area. The central point of this rule lies within the Northside Precinct.

Since the disappearance of Mayor Feltz, the Northside counsellor, the area has suffered a great deal. Feltz’s daughter, Ruby, has been left with a lot of mess to clear up. This isn’t helped by the precinct now being in the hands of Liam Tulloch. Liam is Hell bent on proving himself on being just as successful as his ancestor leaving the precinct falling to ruin.

The stirrings of war, the mistrust of Feltz’s legacy as well as the moronic ramblings of Liam Tulloch have left the Precinct a shadow of what it once was. One day perhaps someone will shine light upon it again.

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The man who would not die

There once was a man who many despised.
They wanted to rid of him but it took twenty tries.
They shot him, they stabbed him, and they buried him in sand,
But he would always return, alive and grand.
They cut out his tongue and gouged out his eyes,
But on the stroke of midnight he would always rise.
They even immured him into the thickest wall,
But on the following night they could still hear his call.
They lost their patience, they had no hope,
So they sealed him in a box, tied up with rope.
The box was covered with heavy cement,
There would be no returning for this nefarious gent.
They were able to relax, sleep sound in their beds,
Until a troubling thought entered their heads,
What if their precautions weren’t enough?
What if their treatment could be more rough?
For the rest of their days they waited in fear,
Flinched at every little sound they could hear,
He would come back and they would hear him cry,
For he was the man who would not die.

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Character Profile: Claude Emmerson

“It’s my duty, sir.”

Name: Claude Emmerson

Occupation: Auction House Loyalist

Features in: KNOCK KNOCK

Emmerson has been a life long Loyalist. The thuggish group of City Main have been his family for as far back as he can remember. His parents were interpreters for the Auction House and resided on the tenth floor of the Penn owned Faulds Park Building.

As a young man, Emmerson showed merit in his natural strength and protectiveness. Emmerson always accepts his tasks with dignity and respect. He is kind hearted to the point he often neglects his own existence. Loyal to the end he was often trusted to be by the side of the King of Main himself.

Emmerson is a keen rugby player and avid Coldford City fan. When he is not on duty he frequents the karaoke bars with his fellow Loyalists. However, if called, he can be trusted to always come through.

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Knock Knock: Episode 60: Patron Saint of Punishers

“St Michael’s church of the Wigan faith closed this afternoon when CPD were forced to attend what has been described as a mass suicide where fifty congregates were found dead on the church floor. It is believed that the cause of death was the consumption of cyanide pills. Franklin Rhodes of CPD has offered as much support as his department provide. I’m Sandra Wake of Coldford Daily news.” 


“Is he sedated?”  

“No,” Doctor Harold Fishman replied. “We wanted him to be consciously aware. As consciously aware as someone in his state of mind can be.”  

The woman standing beside him slowly nodded. Harold looked up at her for she was a great deal taller than he. She was broad shouldered, suited and holding a steely expression on her face. When she turned and noticed him staring at her she smiled.  

“Did he give you any trouble?”  

“He did at first. He seems to be upset that they would separate him from the others.”  

Through a window the two were watching George Beckingridge. The billionaire boy wasn’t seated at a table. He was trapped in a cell but not the traditional sense. You see he was being contained in a reinforced glass box. He was laid out like it was his coffin. He had little room to move and this had been his status now for the past few days.  

“I’d like to speak with him,” said the woman.  

“It’s not advisable, my Lady,” Fishman replied.  

The woman smiled again. “Your advice is noted doctor,” she said. “Now open the door.” 

Click. Clang.  

George had been staring up at the roof in a daze. There was little else for him to do at that point. He heard a tap on the glass of his coffin. He turned his head slowly and found the woman peering in at him.  

“Can you hear me?” she asked.  

Her voice was a little muffled but George could hear her. She sounded like his mother in a lot of ways.  

“You are going to stay in containment for a long time,” said the woman.  

George stared back at her blankly.  

“I have something for you,” she said. From her bag she removed a stuffed mouse.  

George’s eyes widened when he saw Cecil.  

“Give me him!” he yelled.  

“No,” she replied, sitting the toy on top of the glass. “Toys are for boys who behave. You haven’t been behaving.”  

“Give me Cecil,” George demanded.  

“When you learn to behave you can have him,” said she.  

George sniffed. He pouted like a child of eight as opposed to a young man of nineteen.  

“I want Cecil,” he said.  

The woman shook her head. “I think you’ve had too many privileges.” She lifted Cecil again. She grabbed him around his neck. George’s head whipped round to her to see what she was going to do next. She clutched Cecil’s left ear.  

“Stop it,” George cried.  

Rip! The ear was torn off.  

“Nooooo!” George was yelling. “Stop it!”  

The woman pulled some of the stuffing out. George began to sob. He tried to reach out to grab the pieces as she dropped them on top of the glass. This frustrated him more. 

“Are you going to behave?” she asked him.  

“Cecil!” George was crying.  

She held Cecil up. George could see the Chamberlain wreath on her jacket. Lady Jane Christie nee Chamberlain, aunt to the unfortunate child Francis, grabbed the head of Cecil with one great heave.  

“Nooooooo!” George was screaming.  

The pieces, the stuffing and the crusty Cecil were rested on top of the glass as the woman made her departure.  

“Should we sedate him now, my lady?” Fishman asked.  

“No,” Lady Jane stated. “Let him look upon the mess he’s made for a little while.” 


“The Cappy dying must have given the Owens a change of heart,” Simon Penn suggested as he and his brothers took a look around their Auction House. 

“Perhaps,” Marcus responded. “Although most of the more precious items had been removed prior to it being put up for lot and most of the clientele were refusing to deal with Owen Inc so it wouldn’t have been much use to them.”  

The door was opened by a Loyalist named Ivor. “A visitor, sir,” he said.  

“Good afternoon,” the tall frame of Howard Bergman entered. Seth was by his side carrying gifts of fruit and wine. 

Simon embraced Howard first, then Seth with an affectionate pat on the back. The others did too. 

“Don’t put yourselves out on my account. It’s good to have you back in Main again,” said Howard. 

“Time to get things back in order,” Marcus said.   

Simon observed the grander picture. “I hope you’re doing okay, Howard. I heard what happened to you too.”  

Howard massaged his temple but he smiled. “It has all been so difficult. I’m so sorry for your loss.  I remember the first time I learned there was a figurehead in City Main who went by the title of king. I asked myself, what kind of man would have such boldness? Then I met your grandfather. Reginald was always by his side growing, learning and doing what was best for this area much like a king would.” 

The triplets smiled fondly.  

“Reginald made a lot of changes here for the benefit of City Main. He was forced to react harshly at times, especially when you were threatened. I hate to say it but those harsh decisions he made … All roads lead to the same place in the end I suppose. I guess what I’m saying is please try to stay out of trouble.”  

Reggie and Simon laughed. Marcus managed a smile.  

From among the gifts Howard collected an urn.  

“Sophie cleared it with the Law Makers. I thought you might like your father’s ashes to lie with your mothers.” 

The three took in the urn. Simon took a sharp intake of breath and hugged Howard again.  

“Thank you,” he said sincerely.  

“My part was very minimal really.” 

The urn was set down. “There you are Reginald. You keep your boys right.”  

Seth was getting a bit concerned with how Reggie looked.  

“I’ve got a joint rolled,” Seth said. “C’mon we’ll step out.” 

Reggie brightened. “We’re back together!” he affirmed. He wrapped his arm around Seth’s neck. “Welcome back dad!” he turned Seth to the entrance and as he escorted him out he started to sing a Coldford City football chant. It was a chant created to inspire the players. It was a chant that demanded nothing less than victory. It was as good as the Penn motto.  

When they had cleared the room Howard spoke to Marcus.  

“We had a call from Isaac. Thankfully he’s coming home. He sounded well enough. I’m a little worried about Seth though. He’s angry given everything and he really wants to hit back. I don’t want that for him. I don’t want him involved. The reason I tell you this is because you will be the first person he’ll turn to.”  

“I’ll keep him safe,” Marcus confirmed.  

Howard sighed. “Thank you.”  


Sat behind the glass and dressed in the kit of a Montefort inmate, Reggie had to look twice to assure himself they had brought him to the right person. Leona still had the same island flare in her eyes but they had cut off her long braid. Her purple ribbons had been removed from her. Her soft features had been stirred into a harshness in her look. She didn’t smile. She didn’t hold any discernible expression at all.  

“I hope you can get home,” Reggie told her.  

She didn’t soften any at this. She didn’t add any emotion. Reggie supposed time in the Monte would take away the drug addled state she was used to. Article 22 had meant she was to be held until trial. Jean Luc advised it was likely they would sanction her and return her to the bay.  

“I’m disappointed,” said Reggie. “I wish it could have been different. I wish it could have worked like we spoke about. I was always told I was a survivor. My brothers were taken away from me. I had to survive without them. My dad was shot dead in the street. I had to go on. It’s what he would have wanted me to do. Tabitha, my closest friend in this world, was there but I was told I couldn’t see her. My mother, my dear mother, died in my arms. I wanted to survive still but I was running out of reasons to. I had nothing left. Every morning I woke up in so much pain, waiting on a call to tell me Marcus and Simon were lost to that place and would never come home. I asked myself why I was surviving. Billy Owen should have just finished the job. Then you came over and I had reasons to survive again. I spoke to a guy, Reynolds. He told me that churches like yours recruit but he did say you probably truly believed it was what was best for me. You were there for me when I needed reasons to survive and for that I wanted to thank you. For that there will always be a part of me that wishes I had just gotten on the damn ferry with you.”  

Leona stared back, silent and still expressionless.  

“That’s all I came to say,” Reggie concluded as he stood.  

Leona called him back. He paused.  

“I hope you are saved,” she said  

“I hope you get out of here. I hope you get back to the island. I don’t want you to stress yourself for the baby’s sake. We’ll work it out. Just take care of yourself.” 

At that he departed. His brothers were waiting for him. Reynolds had told him the healing would begin. There were tough times ahead but if he followed the advice it would all be groovy.  

Leona was taken back to the rec hall. She hoped she would get back to the island too. She had no fear though. She had faith. She prayed and Wigan told her she was exactly where she needed to be. She was approached by another inmate. She was an older woman, confident despite the incarceration. Leona knew her face.  

“Hello, Mrs Harvester,” she said.  

Nan Harvester reached out and clasped the Wigan girl’s hand.  

“Will you pray with me?” she asked.  

Meanwhile, the triplets had gathered outside, accompanied by Reynolds. The agent stepped politely aside as the brothers embraced.  

“We’ve got a lot of work to do. Things are going to get real whack,” Reynolds told them. “But you’re through the worst. The guards in there will do what they can to keep her safe and the baby.”  

“How can we repay you agent?” Marcus asked.  

“You have a place. You’re a king. Look after your people. That’s all the thanks I need.”  

Reynolds phone started to ring. It was an old device he carried, real retro. As long as the people who needed him could reach him that was fine.  

“I’m with the Penn triplets,” he told the caller, presumably Kim Adams. “I’m on my way. I’ll meet you at Chamberlain Docks. We’ll head on over from there.”  

He closed the call. To the triplets he said, “some heavy news I’m afraid. There’s no real good way to do this and time is not on our side so I’ll dive right in. Harper Lane and Gabriel Dalway, I know they are friends of yours. I’m so sorry but they have been murdered.” 

“What about their son, Elliot?” asked Marcus.  

“We have reason to believe he’s been taken over to the island. We’re going over there. We’ll find him if they have.”  

“We can help,” offered Reggie. 

“No can do. It’s too gnarly,” Reynolds advised. “You’re carrying an injury, you have records and all kinds of other baggage. A smaller team will be easier to move. What you can do is work with CPD. Bring some of your guys down from Main and wait for us at the docks. We can be sure of some support with whatever we might bring back. There could be some backlash if we bring Dominick Cole in.”  

“You’re going for the church leader?” Simon had to confirm.  

“The only way this will stop is to cut off the head off the snake.”  


We’re all on our way to Hathfield Bay. We’re taking along the family for the day!  

We’re going to watch the game. I hope it doesn’t rain.  

Either way we’ll have a ball on Hathfield Bay.”  

A ball was to be had. A small group of Webb fishing vessel was what brought Reynolds to the beaches of Hathfield Bay, accompanied by the rest of the Good Gang team. They used Nan Harvester’s discrete route that landed them on the east section of the island close to the commune.  

“We need you to stay focused,” Kim said to the others.  

Lydia seemed eerily calm. Teddy was gathering his thoughts as they approached.  

Before their departure to the island, Teddy showed me a most interesting item. Hailing from the Great States and working a ranch he was a true cowboy. He carried the spirit that Chick Owen much admired and his brother Billy would have been jealous of. Teddy was a larger than life figure. Billy, on the other hand, was a bully. He was formidable and when he was in the room you heard him above all others. You fell under his great shadow. He held the room by the throat. It didn’t matter what he did though. If Teddy were to share the same space people were more likely to gravitate towards him. Billy was a despicable creature, and he couldn’t understand why the mild-mannered, warm-hearted Teddy would be preferred. What would have grinned Billy the most was The Cappy’s appreciation of Teddy. Billy had been called upon to carry out the dirty work no one in the right mind would care to do. On the other hand Teddy was a poster child for the Owen family. He was what The Cappy always envisioned the Owen name to be. Teddy was the true blood of Captain Hen Owen.  

It was for this reason The Cappy had gifted Teddy the shooters he presented to me. Surprisingly the shooters were embossed with the Wigan cross. They had come into The Cappy’s possession and over the years he had saved them for just the right person. They originally belonged to a man named Bob Colbert. He was better known as Bad Bob. He was a strong follower of Wigan. He grew up in a Great States town named Addersville. In his youth, Bob observed his lawless town, praying to Wigan for it to improve. He prayed for the strength for Bartholemew to carry him. He even called on the spirit of St Michael to determine who could be saved and who could be redeemed.  

Bad Bob grew to become the unofficial sheriff of Addersville. The town turned to him for protection and so he gathered a flock that Noah Wigan himself would be proud of. He was righteous and determined to protect them.  

One night, the town was raided by a group of bandits. Bad Bob had prayed to Wigan for favour and Wigan blessed him. His hand was faster, his draw quicker and his bullets true. He took out the bandits and brought the people of Addersville to the safety of Wigan’s embrace. They praised Wigan and the praised Bad Bob.  

When they were young boys, Dominick and Bart would play a game where they would recreate the adventures of Bad Bob. He was a much admired figure in the church.  

Teddy, being the sentimental sort appreciated this gift from The Cappy causing him to read the Wigan texts out of interest. Chick – an avid lover of historical stories – appreciated the awe and respect Bad Bob inspired. If there were any within his own brood who deserved the same it was Teddy. Teddy had holstered this guns before heading to the island. Bad Bob had led his flock well so he supposed he could encourage the same in the church members. Hopefully he could help end their carnage.  


Far from the cheerful attitude it held during the day for all the day trippers, the bay was quiet. The Church of St Wigan stood high on the dunes. There was a light on within.  

As the Good Gang departed the vessel Reynolds pulled Kim back.  

“These church goers can get real wild,” he warned her.   

Kim agreed.  

As Teddy, Franklin and Lydia made their way to the church, Reynolds made his way along the beach to someone who had been waiting him for a long time.  


“Duh!” little baby Elliot was crying as he was carried around to the bottom of the bay.  

He struggled a little in Autumn’s arms. He had liked Autumn. She told him stories in a funny voice. She had a freckled face like the story time presenter from the Savo Pig hour.  

“NO!” this time he was screaming his protest. He really didn’t like to be carried to the bottom of the bay.  

“Settle down, Elliot,” Autumn warned. “It’ll be all over soon.”  

She laid him in the fire pit. He was crying. His full little lips pouting. 

“Shhhhhh!” she said.  

Elliot was screaming at the sight of her big black eyes.  

“You’re going to die and it’s going to hurt,” said Autumn, positively giddy. She already had the matches in her hand. “You are going to die!” she cheered at him.  

“No. No. No!” Elliot was shrieking as the lid of the container was pulled over.  

She was dancing in merriment as she lit a match. She turned to look out to sea. There was a great glaring light shining onto the beach. The breeze blew out her match. She had others. She tried to focus through her mushroom trip and through the black waters carrying a shipping vessel. It was like a great arc to her drug addled mind.  

Autumn stared at first as the brawn of Kim Adams approached her. 

“There’s no sense in talking to them,” Reynolds had said. “They’ll all be out of it.”  

“Praise Wigan!” Autumn screamed.  

Kim shook her head.  

In her mania, Autumn ran at Kim. Kim gripped her by the throat. She threw her to the ground.  


Autumn was shot in the foot. She was writhing on the sand.  

“Keep this pathway open,” Kim instructed the CPD officers that accompanied her.  


Whilst the fishing boats waited on the bay, Reynolds headed to the Church of St Wigan. Standing outside it was Dominck Cole. The agents split. Teddy, Lydia and Franklin made their way inside.  

“Good evening, Agent Reynolds. Welcome back to the bay,” Dominick Cole spoke to the cult deprogrammer.   

“It didn’t have to go down like this,” Reynolds said to him. “You didn’t have to do any of this.”  

Dominick shook his head. “I’m supposed to let this world become overrun with lechers, whores, thieves and murderers? I asked Wigan and he told us all we cannot be saved!”  

Reynolds drew his gun.  

“Dominick Cole, I’m arresting you for inciting violence,” Reynolds explained.  

Dominick stepped back.  

“I am not leaving this bay. I’m not going into yer custody so you might as well just shoot me down right now.”  

Reynolds cocked his gun and warned. “Enough people have died. It stops now.”  


Inside the church upon the dunes, the agents found the pews filled. The bodies that filled them weren’t moving though. Fathers, mothers, children and everything in between. They were all dead. At the altar prayed the man they called the Templar, the living blood of St Michael the Punisher. 

He stood when he heard the agents behind him. 

He pulled the helmet over his head.   


“Come with me,” Reynolds said. “You can have protection in custody. Your followers don’t need to be doing this. Give them some assurance.”  

Dominick raised his chin.  

“I’ve thought long and hard about this. I cannot abide a world that would let corruption into high office. I cannot stand a system that would be fraught with such blasphemous lies they would let my people be tortured, murdered and brutalised.  I’m not going into yer custody. Just kill me now if you like because I am not going anywhere.” 


It had been Franklin who had made the first move. The Templar was making his way down the aisle towards Teddy. Lydia had leapt in front of him first. The Templar swung his great sword. Lydia’s tight footwork managed to evade catastrophe but she was sent tumbling to the ground. As the blade was swung at Teddy, Franklin had leapt onto his right side. He used a blade to try and scratch at his neck but the protective gear saved him from too much damage. He threw Franklin off.  

Teddy stepped forward. The guns were drawn and a couple of shots sparked. They rattled against the armour. The sword was swung, almost slicing him across the chest. Lydia had leapt again but the Templar threw her off and swung the sword again at Franklin who had just stepped in front of him. Hopping from his right foot to his left he raised his left thigh and whacked into the Templars leg. He noticed a hesitation in the Templar’s step where Chick Owen had inflicted an injury. The other two noticed it too. 


Kim and the CPD offers were surrounded by Wigan followers. It was going to be difficult to take them down with minimal casualties. They were all drug crazed, fury inspired and guided by what they felt was righteousness.  

CPD were instructed not to engage them. Instead they created a perimeter around them and set it alight. As the Wigan followers tried to charge through the fire towards them they were quickly relieved and restrained.  

One in particular came for Kim. Bart grabbed Kim’s arm. She landed a downwards jab into his chest which pushed him back. He tried to heave her aside. She turned her stumble into a change of pressure in her stance and jabbed towards his chin. Bart was high so he wasn’t feeling the pain.  


“Come with me now!” Reynolds cried to Dominick. “This ends now.”  

There were more. There would always be more. You see, dear readers, religious fanaticism can spread like a disease. This disease can tear at the morality of people. It is highly infectious and when it had spread to far there was only one solution.  

We are the children of Wigan and now our time is here.  

He accepts us for our evil ways and strips us of our fear.  

“Dominick, it’s over,” the church leader could hear Reynolds call to him. 

We are the of Wigan and even if we die. 

Our saint will take us in his arms and raise us all up high. 

Oh, we know, we know, we know we can’t be saved but repent and you’ll be in his embrace.  


His Eminence Dominick Cole was brought down with a bullet to his leg.  


Whilst CPD continued rounding Bart had tackled Kim again. He had managed to land her on the ground she climbed to her feet again quickly. He charged at her and she landed him to the ground. Whilst CPD rounded up the others, most staying behind the line of fire now, Kim grew tired of grappling. She landed three successive punches to Bart’s face. She gave a jab to his diaphragm and a final uppercut landed him onto ground. With that the carrier was taken into custody. 


Inside the church the agents remained focused on their target. Franklin moved from the left side to the right where they knew the Templar to be weaker. Lydia took another strike at the injury. The Templar stabbed towards her shoulder but she managed to dodge. As he was distracted Franklin leapt onto his back. He stuck a clipper into his neck. He was balling with rage. The Templar threw his elbow back and caught him in the stomach. Franklin’s own injuries were making him dizzy but he managed to pull the helmet off.  

Teddy’s side was torn as the Templar’s sword caught him. He kept his computer as best he could and fired another shot. The Templar stumbled. The great saintly monster fell. Lydia took the opportunity and pulled off his helmet before he elbowed her and sent her crashing into the benches.  

“You cannot be saved!” Hissed the Templar. 

“But I can be redeemed,” Teddy replied.  


The living embodiment of St Michael the Punisher fell onto the church floor. The spirit of Bad Bob had come with a message for the followers of Wigan. There was a new light shining the way.  


On his knees, upon the beach that had always been his home, in the shadows of the religion that had been his life, Dominick watched as Lydia and Franklin departed the church. St Michael the Punisher was gone. The Templar had been killed. The bloodline had been ended. Emerging from that was something quite different but no less important. Walking behind his companions having completed the task was a talk, fair man. On his belt were the Wigan pistols.  

“Bad bob!” Dominick gasped.  

Seeing the man crossing the sands towards him was as he was being taken into custody was like a sign from Noah Wigan himself.  

Of all the stories they were told as children, Dominick and Bartholemew loved the tales of Bad Bob the most. He was daring, he was cunning, he was strong and most of all he was righteous. Teddy Owen quite rightly held those attributes and His Eminence himself would agree there was no better man to carry those pistols.  


“David is distraught,” Tabitha was telling Marcus as they waited for word from the island. “I can’t get to him. Elliot is just a baby. Those cunts took the baby. The beheaded the mothers. 

“You’ll have to calm yourself, Tabitha,” warned the King. 

“If anything happens to that kid,” she was adamant.  

“Take it easy,” Marcus advised again. “We’re at the docks right now. We’ll be here when they get back.”  

The sight of Loyalist presence at Chamberlain Docks caused a stir among the Swantin residents.  

“What are you doing here?” The were asked. “Get yourselves back up to Main. 

A Loyalist named Ivor had become a particular target. Shaved head, chin raised and his black and belt attire did make him seem thuggish compared to the Swantin trendsetters.  

“We’re just waiting on the ferry, like,” he had said.  

“The last ferry left,” he was reminded.  

Marcus could see the tension build so he stepped between them.  

“Can we help you, sir?” He asked.  

“I’m just wanting to know why you’re here.”  

Marcus replied, “I don’t believe we know each other well enough to ask questions of our intentions. Perhaps I’m wrong in that assumption. What brings you to the docks? Do you live nearby? Do you frequent here often? Are you in the market for prostitutes?”  

The Swantin trendy stared blankly.  

“If we’re going to be discussing each other’s intentions we may as well do so thoroughly.”  

They eventually scampered off. Ivor gave a laugh. 

“Making friends there, Your Majesty,” he jested.  

“It has always been difficult to get along with those from Swantin. It’s their jealously, you see,” Marcus replied.  

Ivor gave another laugh.  

“It must be,” he said. Then he gave some thought to the island.  

“Do you think they’ll find the little man?”  

Marcus looked out across the sea. 

“I hope so,” stated he.  

Not so long after they heard the Harbour Master call.  

“New arrivals,” he was indicating.  

As the Swantin trendy had said the last ferry had departed for the evening. It could only be the return of the Hickes Agency AKA the Good Gang.  

“Move back,” indicated the Loyalists as curiosity drew more onlookers. The fishing vessels they had used drew towards the docks. First to alight was Reynolds. In his custody was Dominick Cole, the Wigan church leader. The triplets watched with satisfaction as the church leader who had caused so much carnage in Main was remanded in custody.  

Following after was Teddy Owen and Lydia Lowe. Teddy had shown true merit. Owens tended to talk a lot. Most of them would throw themselves into the thick of the action. Teddy did that too but in a humble way that demonstrated for all his only intention was to do the right thing. Stepping onto the docks at their backs was Kim Adams.  

There was relief all round when it was seen she carried Elliot in her arms. The child was distressed, clinging to the agent for comfort. He was unharmed though and as sprightly as ever. Kim brought him to the triplets.  

“We have some cleaning up to do,” she told him. “I’m trusting you to take Elliot to David at the Knock Knock club.” 

“Thank you, agent,” said Marcus. “They will be glad.”  

Kim smiled as Elliot relieved his grip on her and reached out to Marcus, climbing into his arms.  

“You’ve had quite the adventure, little man,” said Simon to the boy.  

“Duh!” Elliot called out for the artist.  

“We’ll see him to the proper care,” was Marcus’ assurance. 

Kim considered herself a good judge of character. The violence and infamy that surrounded the triplets aside, their father’s killing of Hickes, she judged they genuinely cared for the little boy. The genuinely cared for Tabitha too but that was a judgement for another day.  

“Stay out of trouble,” she warned them.  

“We will,” they responded in synch.  

At that they parted. The Good Gang set about cleaning up, Dominick to seek proper forgiveness from an authority other than Noah Wigan and the triplets to the Knock Knock club to reunite, rebuild and perhaps seek some salvation of their own.  


“Someone’s coming,” David heard Tabitha call.  

They could see a group heading down towards Clifton Alley.  

“Who is it?” David asked.  

Tabitha took a closer look. “It’s Loyalists,” she confirmed.  

The expressions she could make out on their faces were sombre. They looked as though they had been through a lot. I remained at David’s side. We had no idea what the trip to the bay would bring. David was trying to hold himself together. He was breathing heavily.  

“I can see Simon!” Tabitha called. “Simon’s with them.”  

Tabitha tried to gauge his expression but Simon always looked pissed off. David was afraid to ask but he had to.  

“Do they have Elliot? Is Elliot with them?” he stood to check the window himself.  

“Reggie! I can see Reggie. He looks bad.”  

The empty cans rolled across Clifton Lane. The nearby traffic lowered to a murmur. Tabitha breathed a sigh of relief.  

“There’s Marcus!”  

The relief spread like a cheer through the club when into view came the little boy the King of Main was carrying in his arms.  

David rushed out to collect Elliot, alive and well and seemingly enjoyed his trip to the beach.  

“Duh!” he cried out, hugging the artist.  

“I was so worried about you,” David said. “Are you okay?”  

“No,” he said but his little smile told he was just fine.  

As CPD cleared the beaches they uncovered Elliot before he had been reduced to ashes. 

Tabitha pulled Reggie aside when everything had settled. She slapped his arm. 

“Don’t you think I’ve been through enough!?” the triplet protested.  

“That’s for thinking you could join a fucking cult,” she told him.  

“Good to see you too,” he replied.  

Tabitha grinned. She hugged him.  

“You’re going to be okay,” she said. 

Reggie smiled. He rested his chin on her shoulder. “I have to be, don’t I?”  

“Damn right you do,” Tabitha responded.  

There were celebrations aplenty at Knock Knock Club that night. For the first time I could feel why it was such a magical place. 


“The campaign trails for the city hot seat began this afternoon as bids for the mayoral candidacy open. Given how difficult it has been to hold the mayor’s office in Coldford recently we await with baited breath as the election season begins. Good luck candidates and may the best candidate win. I’m Sandra Wake of Coldford Daily news.”  

As the city rejoiced at the end of the religious carnage a new carnage broke out. My story first brought me to the Knock Knock club in search of the missing mayor, Feltz. Tabitha told me she had no idea where he was and the triplets wouldn’t either. The seat then passed on to Mickey Doyle who found himself under the scrutiny of Article 22. He found himself executed as a result – by order of his own cousin. The Office of Lawmakers had been holding the office until a suitable replacement could be elected, using Blackband militants for this purpose. As election season opened and the light shone back on City Hall again my story would continue.  

Knock Knock: Episode 59: Tick Boom

“Did you do it? Did ye curse Peter and send him to get the Devil’s bite?”  

Congregate, Luke, was gasping. With Dominick’s hands around his neck his trachea was crushed. He was finding it difficult to breathe.  

“Kill him, Uncle Dom,” Charlotte pressed from nearby.  

Dominick squeezed Luke’s neck tighter.  

“Did ye do it? Did ye curse us?”  

The man was trying to plead but he was choking on his own words.  

“Kill him,” Charlotte insisted.  

“I’m trying, Charlotte. I’m trying.”  

But Dominick didn’t have the will for any more at this point. Twenty congregates had already been brought before him to be put to the question. He kicked the man aside. He lay gasping in the sand.  

Dominick took the iron cross from Bart.  

“Your Eminence, please,” cried Barbara Tulloch.  

The church leader was catching his breath.  

“You!” he roared, pointing the cross at her. “Ya heathenous, syphillis riddled cunt. It was you! You came onto this island and you brought this on us.”  

Barbara shook her head. Tears streamed down her face and her mouth parted but it was silent wails.  


Dominick knocked her to the ground.  

“Fucking slut!”  

He hit her with the iron cross again. Her skull cracked.  

“Look what you did to them! Peter was a good man!”  

He hit again on the back of her head. 


“Yer curse caused the death of an innocent little wean too! Slut!”  

He hit her again and again until blood began to throw from the cross’s impact. He couldn’t stop hitting her until he fell back exhausted.  

The broken pieces of her body spilled out onto the sand. He spat on her.  

To Bart he called, “bring in the next one.” 


It was confirmed. What Peter Millicent had said about Sergeant Major Doyle purchasing from Nan Harvester was true. Five young girls had stepped forward to give evidence and the monk, Jonah, had told all he knew. He had also discussed some young boys being groomed for something. It was like the Sergeant Major was recruiting them.  

“This is going to crush Karyn,” Sophie had said to Golem.  

Karyn Doyle did look up to her father. I guess it is difficult to know someone truly.  

They climbed into the car. Golem held the door for his mistress. They intended to bring what they knew to the judge at her home. Sophie was busy thinking of how she was going to break it to her. She would want to pour through the testimony together. The sergeant major himself hadn’t been informed yet. As far as he was concerned over in Subala all was well. Karyn would want to make maneuvers personally. Her son lost and now her father all but gone too.  

Sophie watched the headlights of the car flood the parking bay beneath the High Court. There were so few cars there that night. Most people had gone home already. She felt the rumble of the car as the ignition started. She felt Golem pat her hand. He knew she didn’t relish the task she had been given but the law was the law and Karyn would understand that. Sophie turned to her interpreter and smiled. Golem turned back to the view in front. The car rumbled forward a little but then it stopped suddenly. Golem seemed disrupted by something. Sophie tried to ask him what the delay was but he kept his focus on front. What Sophie hadn’t heard was the clanging footsteps. It wasn’t until the form of a man stepped into the light was she given any indication of the danger.  

“Wait here,” said Golem.  

The engine stopped. Golem climbed out of the car. Sophie raised her hand to her eyes to see if she could get a better look at what was going on. Golem’s own notable frame blocked most of the view.  

The car shook as Golem fell against it. He was on his feet again and charged forward. Through the blaze of the headlights Sophie caught sight of a blade being swung.  

She saw Golem’s face hit the windscreen. The head had been detached from the body.  

Sophie hurriedly tried to climb into the driver’s seat. She fumbled with the ignition but her fingers were made shaky by the urgency of the situation.  

Before she could set off, her door was hauled open. She tried to crawl away. The shrieks, the pleas, it was all so very silent as a hand clasped her foot and pulled her from the car. She tried to kick but her foot hit steel. It did no good. A commotion elsewhere must have distracted them because she felt the grip loosen. Before steel was wielded down on her she crawled out of the way, climbed onto her feet and dashed towards the exit.


“Eight … Nine … Ten …”  

Reggie gasped as he made his tenth leg raise.  

“Keep pushing,” Simon urged who was helping him through the therapy on his healing femur bone. “You can do it, a few more reps.”  

Reggie grunted.  

“I can’t.”  

“You can. Come on. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen.”  

“It’s really fucking painful,” Reggie grunted. 

“You’re getting strength back. I can see it. The work is paying off,” assured his brother. “Another couple. Fourteen… Fifteen…”  

Reggie rested his leg down and stretched himself out on the mat on the floor of the Faulds penthouse lounge. Marcus joined them, just closing a call.  

“The commissioner is on his way up. He says there’s someone he would like for us to meet.”  

Reggie sat up. Simon reached his hand out and helped him to his feet. He hopped a little but he shook it off.  

“Who?” Simon enquired.  

“Theodore Owen.”  

Simon found the very name aggravating. They all did.  

“Owen! What the fuck is he bringing an Owen here for!?”  

Marcus hid his frustration the best of the three.  

“He’s been working with Franklin’s team. If he trusts him then we will hear what he has to say.”  

“Owen?” Reggie protested. “Another fucking Owen?”  

They didn’t have much time to debate over which type of Owen Theodore was likely to be. A creep like Jerry? A dickhead like The Cappy? A moron like Buddy or a helpful albeit morally absent one like Ronnie? Before the triplets could place bets the elevator sounded. They were met with Franklin first.  

“I know a lot has gone down,” he said to them. “But we all want to improve things. I want you to meet Teddy because I believe he could be a great help in doing just that.”  

“Very well, commissioner,” Marcus beckoned. 

With that Franklin was joined by a tall man, with a warm expression. He was clutching a cattleman hat to his chest and looking about himself with some awe at the Faulds penthouse. What Marcus noticed first was the gun on his belt.  

“Your weapon,” the king acknowledged.  

Teddy took in the three triplets who were watching him with an identical mixed expression of bewilderment and frustration.  

“I have this by my side but I’d much rather shake a man’s hand than draw arms.”  

Simon scowled. “Yeah, well … hang on … Wait. What?”  

He looked to his brothers to see if he had heard right. He must have because they were just as confused.  

“Theodore,” Marcus greeted. “I trust your time in Coldford has been agreeable so far.”  

“You can call me Teddy,” he offered in a cordial way that the triplets hadn’t seen in any of the Owens. “It’s a fine city.”  

“Seriously? What the …?” Marcus could hear Simon grumble beside him.  

Teddy went on.  

“Franklin told me that the people here call you a king. That is a heavy responsibility. He also assures me that you take that responsibility very seriously. I can appreciate that, sir.”  

“No fucking way,” Simon was still grumbling in shock. It was starting to amuse him.  

Reggie decided to press a little.  

“Where you from?” 

“Star State.” 

“What did you do there?”  

“I had a ranch.”  

“How did you get here?”  

“I took a flight.”  

Marcus glared at Reggie. The name Owen was still ringing in his ears but the need to accommodate a cordial guest was throwing everything into disarray.  

“How are you related to Buddy?” Reggie asked.  

“He’s my cousin.”  

“How are you related to Billy?” Simon wanted to know.  

“He’s my brother.”  

The two couldn’t contain their amusement at how ridiculous that sounded. Marcus gripped their shoulders.  

“Excuse us. Commissioner? Agent Owen? Do make yourselves comfortable.”  

When he led his brothers into the kitchens, Simon and Reggie were in peals of laughter.  

“Will you two show some decorum!” Marcus barked at them.  

“Come on,” Simon chortled. “This is a piss take. Right? It has to be. There’s no way that guy is an Owen.”  

“I might have bought it but … Billy the bawbag’s brother!?” Reggie put in. 

This caused the two to start laughing heartily again.  

Simon stuck out his chin and showed his teeth. “Billy,” he said. Then he pointed towards Teddy. “Brother to that guy?”  

Marcus looked between them with a disapproving expression.  

“They’ve sent an actor down. That guys an actor,” Simon went on.   

Marcus would argue the idea that Owen Inc would hire an actor to act as a front for the family was ludicrous but it wasn’t so far-fetched. There was time when the Kappa So and the Loyalists were working on a community project together. The triplets had been preparing themselves all morning for some kind of altercation. Reginald had warned them to behave like gentlemen no matter how low the frat bros stooped. It was all moot. When the Kappa So arrived, Buddy wasn’t among them. There was a boy who was claiming to be Buddy though. He later went on to win prime time awards for his role in the March of our Times soap opera.  

“Either that guy’s an actor or the Cappy dying has sent that lot right off their fucking nuts,” Simon suggested.  

“Get yourselves together,” Marcus warned.  

The three returned to their guests. Franklin was shaking his head with an exasperated smile at them.  

Teddy addressed Reggie.  

“I’m glad to see you’re faring well,” he said. “I was with the team that extracted you.”  

“Yeah?” Reggie returned testily. “So was Billy.”  

“He was there,” Franklin said. “I can confirm that.”  

Marcus nodded. 

“In that case,” he said, “I owe you a great debt of gratitude on behalf of the people here and on behalf of our family. On a personal note, thank you for bringing our brother home. You are most welcome here in Main.”  

He reached his hand out. Teddy shook it warmly.  

“Marcus Penn,” he introduced himself properly. “These are my brothers, Simon and Reginald Junior.”  

Teddy shared a handshake with the other two triplets.  

Reggie smiled.  

“You can call me Reggie.”  

“You want a beer?” Simon offered.  

“I appreciate your hospitality,” Teddy replied warmly. “But I would like to take in some of the sights here whilst I have the time. There’s a lot of interesting history.”  

“If you like the history head on up to the main thoroughfare. Albans has lots of old monuments,” Simon suggested.  

“You can get cool photos there,” said Reggie.  

“If you would like someone to help show you around, I can provide an escort,” was the king’s offer.  

Teddy replied, “that would be appreciated, sir, but I have taken up enough of your time. I do have a map now so I should find my way about just fine.”  

“You have to stop by Walden’s. Our friend there, Molly, she’ll make you welcome. I’m sure she’d love to meet you,” Simon told him.  

Teddy did feel the need to address one issue.  

“You’ll forgive my manners if I seemed out of sorts. I was a little confused.”  

“You were confused?” the triplets asked in synchrony. 

“When I was hearing about you from Buddy at first I was under the impression you gentlemen were conjoined.”  

The triplets shared a look.  

“At the genitals.”  

Teddy and Franklin departed. The elevator was waiting in the hall. Franklin turned back and smiled at the triplets.  

“The looks on your faces!” he jested.  

The three had to agree. They were still perplexed. An agreeable Owen? Who knew?  

“I don’t know what the fuck is going on anymore,” was Simon’s comment. 


“A’body knows when you break your thigh bone your dick don’t work right after it,” William ‘Billy’ Owen was telling his cousin.  

He had come to visit the three bros in recovery at Harbour House. He was not providing much comfort.  

“My dick still works, brah!” Chad insisted.  

“How do you know? You’re pissing in a bag.”  

“Bud? My dick is gonna work right after this, isn’t it?” 

Buddy was still trying to concentrate really hard on his own bodily functions. Billy had him convinced that if the catheter had been done wrong it would push the piss back and they would have to amputate. 

“When they cut your dick off they use the skin to cover moles and shit,” said Billy as he flicked the chart. His expression changed. His brow wrinkled as he read the doctor’s notes. “Oh!” he gasped. “I’m real sorry fellas. I didn’t realize.” 

Buddy and the bros gasped in synchrony.  

“What? What is it Bill?” Buddy demanded.  

Billy shook his head. “Brah! It’s real bad.”  

“Billy, what have they said? Is it cancer? We caught the cancer brah!” Buddy shrieked.  

“No, it says here ya’lls cocks are so tiny it’s considered a fucking disability!” he threw the chart onto the bed and roared with laughter.  

“Yeah Bill, real funny,” said Buddy. “Thanks for coming, by the way.”  

Billy gave a satisfied sigh.  

The truth was Billy was just trying to distract himself from the recent events. Buddy knew it was his way. Even in the toughest times he would always be an asshole.  

The other elders arrived. Kathleen, Ozzy and Marshall looked stressed. Ronnie looked like he hadn’t slept the entire night.  

“I know we’d all like to mourn Chick,” said the lawyer brother. “But there’s a lot to be getting on with and he’d hate for us to lose time. Buddy? It’s up to you to step up.”  

“Can’t do much stepping right now, bro,” replied Buddy in reference to the beating he had received from Kim Adams. “But I got this shit. The Cappy would want me to. I’m King Cock now.”  

Marshall scoffed at this term. It caused Ozzy to chuckle.  

“The Cappy had given his word to the Stokers that Isaac Bergman would be returned home,” said Ronnie, waiting to see how Buddy would proceed.  

“We don’t need no pussy ass Jew boy,” was Buddy’s wisdom. 

“He also made it his wish that the Auction House be returned to the Penns. They are the ones with the connections that place requires. The Hen Owen compass was his real target anyway.”  

“You can’t just give it back,” Marshall interjected. “It’s a prime spot in Main. We hold onto that we got them by the balls.”  

“And the Auction House connections have already started to be difficult. They refuse to deal with it without a Penn at the podium. Buddy is going to be taking over for Chick. We won’t have time for a fight just to hold a goddamn empty hall. We got Marcus Penn out of prison because Chick had an agreement with the Knock Knock girl. If you don’t follow through with that she will kick up a mighty fuss too and we’re going to have real choppy waters in the coming weeks. I say it again until it all starts making sense to me. Buddy will be taking Chick’s place,” Ronnie reminded him. “Teddy has been in to see them as part of the Hickes agency too. It would be better for us to work together.” 

Marshall was shaking his head as the others looked to Buddy for insight.  

‘I can’t believe we’re listening to this dip shit,’ Marshall groaned inwardly.  

“An auction house sounds boring as shit,” was Buddy’s assumption. “I don’t want to have to deal with a weird, dusty place full of old dudes where the triplets hide behind paintings, jump out scaring each other,” he said.  

“You can’t be serious!” Marshall exclaimed. “You’ll give it back?”  

All Buddy had really heard was it had been what The Cappy had wanted. Although, he did figure the running of an Auction House would be boring and the idea of the triplets leaping out from behind the paintings did weird him out.  

“Without Chick people are going to see us as week. They are going to smell blood,” said Ronnie. “It would be much easier having people like the Penns on our side. Charles always used to say that you had to be tactical.” 

“King cock got your back, bro,” Buddy said.  

“It’s gonna be real tough.”  


The Auction House hadn’t fallen into disrepair, Jean Luc was pleased to see. It almost seemed like nothing had been touched since the last time Reginald Penn had been there. His footsteps tapped across the Auction House floor. He stirred with a cough behind him. Jean Luc turned to meet Marshall Cooper emerging from the main storage room. Marshall coughed heavily again with the dust.  

He reached his hand out to shake that of the Penn associate but he coughed again.  

“That dust here can really stick in your throat,” said Jean Luc. He observed Marshall’s beaten face.  

“The Cappy wanted to return this place to its rightful owners. The boy, Buddy sent me to see it through,” said Marshall.  

“I’m glad to hear that,” Jean Luc replied. “What is he looking for in return?”  

Marshall shrugged. “A little fucking vacation. I don’t know,” he said testily.  

“Then name your price for the Auction House,” Jean Luc pushed.  

“The return of this Auction House is a sign of good faith from… King Cock,” Marshall groaned at Buddy’s title insistence, ‘muttering God fucking damnit’ under his breath.  “Buddy doesn’t want to hold onto because that just builds up paperwork and shit. Are we good?”  

“I think that seems more than fair,” Jean Luc agreed.  

Paperwork was confirmed and the finer details of the agreement were made. As they were leaving Jean Luc stopped.  

“Can I ask you a question?”  

“Yeah? What?” Marshall responded.  

“What happened to your face? It seems you found yourself in quite the fight?”  

Marshall’s lips tightened. “Welcome to fucking Coldford.”  


“I’m on the steps of the High Court where Judge Karyn Doyle has given a statement on the use of Article 22. It is confirmed that the article will remain in place as the Office of Law Makers continue to quash crime in Coldford. I’m Sandra Wake of Coldford Daily news.”  

“Never have I been so certain of its necessity,” Doyle had told the press. She was unrelenting. Even with a close personal friend almost succumbing to its barbarity she refused to remove it.  

“How long do you expect the people of Coldford to live in this kind of fear?” I asked her. 

“As long as it takes,” the Judge returned without pause. 

There was a commotion at the back.  

“Your Honour! Cried a Hathfield voice. “Your honour!”  

I watched Dominick push through. Law Makers stepped in his way but Doyle urged them to halt.  

Dominick dropped to his knees. He held his hands out.  

“I come to hand myself over to ye,” he called.  

I could see Sandra push her camera man to get a shot of him.  

“By your laws I’m considered a murderer. I have prayed for guidance and that guidance has brought me here to suffer the consequences. Take me into your custody and punish me as your earthly laws see fit. I cannot be saved so here I am.”  

Dominick was taken into Law Maker custody.  

“Praise Wigan!” I heard voices call as he was taken away. It was difficult to determine where they were coming from.  

The leader of the Church of St Wigan was taken into Law Maker holding. Trial would be swift if he was found wanting. Article 22, after all, was still in effect.  


With a kind word from Howard Bergman, who spoke of my commitment to the truth, I was granted access to Dominick Cole. The church leader wasn’t quite as grand as he had seemed before. He had been stripped of his robes and now wore standard issue grey. His hair was messy with grease and the melanin streak through it looked like a crack across his skull. He appeared to be a little physically beaten too. 

He watched me take a seat silently. He himself remained sat upon the floor. I didn’t urge any questions, Agent Reynolds, who, as a cult deprogrammer, had had a lot of dealings with the church in the past, advised me against it.  

“I remember you,” he said finally. “Sam, isn’t it? Did ye find some faith or are you still Hell bound?”  

“This is where faith gets you?” I put to him.  

Dominick laughed a little but it was not in good spirits.  

“I have no fear,” he stated.  

“Why did you give yourself to custody?” I asked now that the dialogue had been opened.  

“I was urged. Wigan asked me to make a sacrifice.”  

“I think you snapped,” I said to him. “Everyone has their limits, even the so called faithful.”  

He stretched his legs out and leaned against the wall, seated just below the window.  

“Something had to be done,” he said.  

“And this was it?” I asked.  

Dominick smiled but in a frosty way in which he bore his teeth.  

“What does it truly matter? I’m sure to you City Dwellers one more Wigan dead is one less to worry about.”  

I stopped him. “If that’s how you believe we all think then you’re wrong. There are people over here who embraced your faith. Listen to them. You can hear them calling for you just outside this building. There were people who found comfort in your faith. You should know that. I might not be the follower of the same but if people can draw positive from faith then I would encourage it.”  

“There was a time in my life when I thought like you. I don’t mean I was an atheist, I was never that, I mean I saw the joy that faith can bring. I saw it comfort the dying. I saw it heal the sick. I saw it hold whole communities of people together. When folks walk into a church they are overwhelmed. It’s more than a building. It’s a sanctuary. It’s a home and it’s worth fighting for to yer last breath.” 

“Then why has it come to this?” I asked.  

“Because ye fear for the people who don’t see the one true path. Ye try and show them and they return with brutality. They refuse to listen. You can’t allow that to happen because you are so worried for them.  I begged them to realise their misdeeds and repent for them.”  

“None of this needs to happen,” I said to him.  

“That’s where you and I are different. I believe this is exactly what needs to happen.”  

He climbed to his feet. I did likewise and took a step back from the table.  

“It’s too late to repent now!” he yelled.  

He grabbed my shoulders and held me so close I could see the spittle on his lower lip. I pushed him away from me.  

“Take my life!” he cried. “Take it!”  

Law Makers intervened and escorted him from the room. I departed the High Court in what I admit was a bit of a hurry. Dominick’s voice was still ringing in my ear.  

Outside, Wigan followers had set up a vigil. They were singing. Their joyous tones chilled as they filled the night air.  

Dominick, who could hear them from the window sat back down on the floor.  


I didn’t make the habit of attending the executions brought about by Article 22. It was morbid, unnecessary and only stirred fear and concern further. But as a chilled evening fell the killing fields of City Face was the only place to be. As he was brought out I found the detestable presence of Sandra Wake squeeze in beside me. Her camera man was taking way more room than he needed to. She glared at me but I didn’t have the time for her nonsense. Dominick Cole, head of the Church of St Wigan was to be put to death that day.  

“Do you have anything you wish to say before sentence is carried out?”  

Here Dominick looked up. He looked a great deal thinner without his robes.  

“It doesn’t matter what you do with me,” he said finally.  

Sandra had indicated to her camera man to start recording.  

“Let him through,” Franklin’s CPD could be heard calling. Agent John Reynolds approached.  

“Agent Reynolds,” said Dominick with a smile. “Come to say goodbye?”  

Reynolds shook his head.  

“I’ve seen people lost over the years. I’ve been lost myself often. I’ve seen the worst of the worst, some real sick cats, turn to religion and better themselves. You’re going to die one way or another but what you do now can make a difference. Tell your followers to ease off. Give them some peace.”  

Dominick pursed his lips as though he was going to say something but it was cut short.  

“Dominick!” a woman screamed.  

Sandra was patting her camera man’s arm. I too found myself aiming my phone in the same direction.  

A woman had climbed out onto the clock of City Face as the time reached 6:15 

“I love you Dominick!” she cried into the night.  

She had completely stolen focus from the execution that was to take place.  

“Tell her to stop,” Reynolds warned Dominick. “Get her down from there.”  

“This is for you!” the woman cried.  

There was a rope around her neck. No one could have stopped her. She leapt from the clock hands. She hadn’t tied the noose properly so when the rope yanked, the pressure of the fall decapitated her and her body fell onto the yard below.  

“Move back!” CPD crowd control had set in.  

Reynolds looked out to the crowd. He was familiar with the Church and how it functioned so when he observed the crowd and couldn’t see Bartholemew he asked, “where is Bart?”  

It seemed unlikely he would be anywhere else but the execution of his church leader.  

“Where is Bart?” he asked again. Dominick gave no answer. 


As City Main descended into chaos with the execution of Dominick Cole a little further up the road another incident was transpiring. Reynolds had been correct in asking where Bartholemew was. The only way he wouldn’t be there to the end with his long time friend, his spiritual leader, would be if there was a greater task at hand. That great task weighed heavy in his arms. He carried the sword of the Templar to the gates. He laid it below a sign that read: 


He could see hundreds of serpents slither around the main yard. They flowed like the waves of the bay and they would carry him forward. 

His mushroom trip seemed to have lasted ever since Leona’s body had been buried.  

He unclipped the case. The blade inside flowed into his hands. It wasn’t heavy anymore. It was collected from him and the gate was opened.   


“Move back!” we were ordered.  

Sandra was pushed out of the way. Her camera man, who had been trying to get a shot of the dead girls body parts below City Face, was knocked back too. 

Dominick was standing calmly among the chaos. Then I heard a child shriek. A woman was pouring water over a little girl. When I realised it wasn’t water she was pouring it was too later.  

“Praise Wigan!” she cried pushing the girl forward, lighting a match and dripping it on top of her. The child erupted in flames. Screaming she instinctively charged forward taking the inferno with her. There were more screams as the flames spread.  


Make shift explosives detonated.  

“Move back!” CPD were calling.  

One of the children ran at the horses. He was trampled. Before the horses hooves stomped an explosion ripped into its leg, throwing its rider.  

A man grabbed me. I looked into his terrified eyes. When I noticed he bore a Wigan pin I pushed him away from me. I heard Sandra scream. A blast had caught her leg. I reached out and pulled her to her feet as we tried to get away.  

Still Dominick said nothing.  


Sandra’s camera man captured the footage of a CPD officer having to gun down two little girls who were skipping towards him lest they be strapped with explosives. They were dazed, drugged and didn’t heed his warning.  

“Make this stop!” Reynolds was demanding of the church leader.  

With CPD scattered, trying to bring order, a Wigan seized the opportunity and ran at Reynolds. He wrapped his arms around him.  


The explosion tore into Reynolds side but luckily he managed to fend the man off in time.  


The entrance to City Hall had been breached.  

Reynolds made a call. “Are you nearby?” he asked. “We need all the help we can get here.”  

“Move back!” Franklin was coordinating his officers.  

Distance was put between Reynolds and Dominick.  


Sandra and I were almost trampled by the crowd. We had come so close to being trampled by the horses. That was when we heard the distinctive noise of Kitty charging through.  

Sandra’s camera man had been hit to the ground. She picked up the camera and shakily held it out to catch footage of the CPD reacting in aggression.  

“Move back!” the crowd were warned once again. This time it was Agent Lowe who had given the request.  

Reynolds made his way back through to Dominick. When he did push through the church leader was gone.  

“Praise Wigan!” 


“You’re going to love him,” David Finn was telling Tabitha. “He says Duh, that’s him trying to say David.”  

Tabitha giggled at the thought of the child which David had acted as surrogate for coming to the Knock Knock Club for protection. David chuckled too. Tabtiha’s gap toothed grin made her seem so much more innocent than she was.  

“He says no to everything,” David went on proudly. “He’s a great little kid. He’s my little besto.”  

“He’ll get plenty attention around here,” Tawny assured. “The girls always love when a wee baba comes around.”  

David looked at the clock. 6:15.  

“I thought they would be out of Main by now. That church lunatic is done for.”  

Given the attention his controversial Wigan painting had garnered David had watched some footage someone had taken of Dominick over on the bay. There were hundreds of them all sat on the beach listening to him as he spoke passionately of Hellfire, gesturing enthusiastically. His congregates were whooping and cheering as though welcoming the deaths of all City Dwellers. David could still hear the Hathfield voice as he tried to sleep. 

“Repent!” he could hear him scream.  

He had asked Tawny several times of her experiences with him. All she could tell was what she knew of him as a boy. The Wigan faith was a difficult subject to approach given what had happened to Vincent, Agnes and to herself. He was glad Harper and Gabby had agreed to send Elliot to the club. They would join them too after they had wrapped up everything they had to at the Auction House.  

There was shouting from Clifton Alley. Tabitha stirred first to check on it.  

“What the fuck is going on?”  

The commotion cleared as quickly as it had arisen.  

“Boxes,” David could hear someone call.  

“What’s going on?” he asked again. 

“Wigan bless you.” 

“What the fuck?” David asked.  

He was on his feet.  

“Davey, wait!” Tawny tried to pull him back, hoping to stop him rushing outside.  

He managed to pull away from her. 

Out in Clifton Alley two boxes had been delivered.  

Some had chased off the Wigan messengers but it was no use. They were gone before they could catch up. David Finn’s interests were on the boxes. They had, after all, his name on them. 

“They’re mine,” David cried. “They’re for me.”  

“David, come back inside,” Tabitha called from the entrance.  

David shook her off and opened the first box. Inside was the head of Gabrielle Dalway. The sweet, patient Gabrielle who had stood by him throughout his addiction. The pleasant natured girl who had cried the night David agreed to be surrogate so she and her partner could have the child they always wanted. She who had lovingly carried Elliot to term.  

David shrieked.  

“Davey,” Tawny was now calling. “Come inside.” 

He had to open the second one. In there was the loving but stern Harper. She had been the first person to tell him he had a problem with drugs. She had been the one to carry him into the hospital the night it looked as though he had been overdosing. She had told him he was stupid. She had banned him from her gallery but she had still sat by his bedside that whole night. She loved him and she was damn near the first person who ever did. David always regretted he could never repay her for kicking him into line but he could give her a baby to raise.  

“Great mothers,” David despaired. “They were the best mothers. Elliot was so lucky to have so much love around him. Where’s Elliot!?” 

Elliot was David’s son. The artist was all the little boy had in the world  

“Where’s Elliot!?” David cried.  

By now he was being pulled away from the grisly scene in the alley.  


“This way, Your Eminence!”  

Dominick had led through the labyrinth of Coldford City, through the Chamberlain section of North Coldridge and down to Swantin. By the time they reached the docks where Ravensedge was waiting he felt sick.  

He clasped the face of the Wigan girl who had led him. He pressed his forehead against hers.  

“Wigan bless ye,” he said  

On board Charlotte came him. She wrapped her arms around him.  

“I’m alright,” he assured.  

The ship departed for the bay promptly with CPD in pursuit to close it off.  

“Dom!” Bart found them as shore was ripped away from behind them.  

“Are ye hurt?” he asked.  


The reply didn’t come from Dominick. It came from the little boy who was rushing towards him.   

“No!” he said with a laugh.  

“No?” Dominick grinned, lifting little Elliot into his arms.  

“You’re a handsome little fella,” he commented. “My name’s Dominick. Can ye say Dom?”  

“Duh!” Elliot replied.  

“Close enough,” Dominick decided, not realising the child was asking for David.  

“Are ye looking forward to a day on the beach?”  


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Character Profile: Ruby Feltz

“You’ve gotten yourself in way too deep.”

Name: Ruby Feltz

Occupation: Representative of Northside


Ruby the eldest daughter of Mayor Jim Feltz. Her father’s office was drenched in sleaze and dirty dealings but Ruby worked where she could to assure the mayoral hot seat provided what was best for the people of Coldford City. This was no easy task when her father was focused on his own gains.

Ruby has had a constant battle with bad PR. The Feltz name became synonymous with underhanded behavior. Her home area of Northside became widely hated when trouble stirred with neighbouring town of Northside. Then her father went missing.

Ruby could do much good for Northside and for Coldford City overall. It was always said she was real brains behind the best that came from her father’s office. She has an steep hill to climb if she is to be trusted. Until such times as her father is found all she can do is continue to what what she feels is best.

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Knock Knock: Episode 58: Saints vs Sinners

The travel from City Main to Swantin had been a quiet one. Leona had expected it to be distressing for Reggie to leave his brothers behind, especially when they had just gotten back together after such an ordeal. They were grieving for their parents in their City Dweller way. Reggie had packed one his mother’s necklaces. On it was a pendant with three diamonds. Reginald had bought it for her when she gave birth to the triplets. He had said at the time there was no gift he could give that would ever match that which she had given him in his sons. Reggie planned to give it to his own child when they were old enough. He had also packed a hip flask. It originally belonged to his grandfather Renaud. Renaud Penn had carried it with him as a young man through the second Great War. With the letter R embossed on it it had been given to Reginald, naturally it fell then to Reggie. He had a picture of he and his brothers too. He stored many of them on his phone but it was likely the device would be taken from him when they reached the commune. Leona didn’t fret about any of that. He would be welcomed over on the island. He would find family there. In the days ahead such trinkets wouldn’t mean anything anymore.  

“How are you feeling?” Leona asked him as they seated at the docks, waiting for the ferry.  

“Marcus and Simon are going to be pissed.” He reflected on the brief note he had left them with a promise to call as soon as he had settled. 

“If they want what’s best for ye they’ll accept it. If they don’t? You don’t need that in your life. We’re going to be so happy.”  

Reggie nodded although he wasn’t sure he agreed. It was difficult to see a future without his triplets. He could come back and visit them he supposed and bring the child with him. They would be spoiled by their uncles. Marcus could seem cold but the niece or nephew would surely draw the warmth from him the way mother always did. Simon was good with kids. The Albans preschoolers always loved when he paid them a visit. They would laugh merrily as he leaped around with them, shadow boxing and carrying them around. He would dote on the baby.  

When little Toby on the fourth floor of Faulds was born Rita made such a fuss over him. Marcus held him in his arms rocking him gently as Rita chatted to the new mother. Toby didn’t sleep. He did settle though. He kept staring at Marcus, then to Simon and then to Reggie confused by the identical faces. Maybe that was how Reggie’s own kid would react when they realised their dad was a triplet.  

He was romanticising a lot in his head. The truth was when behind the walls Reggie would find it difficult to leave the commune. It would become his only refuge. In time he would forget he even was a triplet.  

“All aboard the 6:15 to Hathfield Bay! All aboard!” Called the Ferry Master.  

Reggie shuddered. Leona could see his resolve weaken. She clutched his hand. She just had to get him to the bay. Dominick would talk to him there. It would be much easier for him under His Eminence’s influence. As they stood Reggie started to feel a little dizzy.  

“Are you okay?” Asked the wife.  

Reggie tried to answer but he couldn’t speak. His chest had tightened. He had to sit back down again. He stumbled as he did so. He had been having these kind of episodes ever since mother had been killed. If he had seen a doctor the seizures brought about by panic attacks would have been treated. As it were the seizures were crashing over him in larger waves each time. Leona tried to pull him onto his feet again. She had to get him onto that ferry. 

“All aboard the 6:15 to Hathfield bay!”  

Reggie struggled to get onto his feet even with Leona pulling him. She became a little frantic. Luckily few noticed as the crowd poured towards the ferry entrance.  

“Get up Reggie. Get up!” She was crying. “We’ll just get you on the boat and you’ll be fine. I’m taking you home.” 

Reggie still couldn’t stand. His legs were weakened. The wave of the seizure had reached its peak.  

“I’ll get some water,” Leona decided. “You rest. I’ll get some water and we can get get on the ferry.”  

She departed. He watched her be swallowed up in the crowd of boarding passengers. He started to breathe a little easier. He regained some strength again but not enough to call her back. He tried to climb to his feet again but stumbled. Someone clutched his arm. He assumed one of the other passengers had taken pity on him.  

“Take a breath, Reg,” he was instructed.  

Through his blurring vision he could see he was being helped by himself. That didn’t make sense. He couldn’t help himself. When had they cut off his hair? 

It was Simon who rested him on the bench.  

“All aboard! Last call!” 

“I have to go,” Reggie managed to mutter.  

“You’re not going anywhere,” Simon told him.  

Marcus was with him too.  

“You can’t stop me,” Reggie responded testily.  

“You can’t go,” Simon insisted. “We’ve lost mother. We’ve lost dad. Don’t have us lose you too.”  

“I have to go. The ferry is boarding,” said Reggie.  

“Reg,” Simon went on. “Don’t do this.”  

“It’s alright,” said a man who accompanied them.  

Reggie felt like he was going to be sick but his mind was clearing a little. He took in the man the triplets had brought with them. He was kind seeming with compassion natural in his expression.  

“Life has been a real bummer lately,” he said. “Your brothers are here to tell you that it’s going to get better but you need to see a doctor.”  

“My wife,” Reggie groaned, looking for Leona.  

“You’re going to kill yourself, Reg,” Simon snapped. “You need to see a doctor. Come home!”  

Reggie scowled. He tried to stand again and managed a few steps.  

“You can’t stop me.”  

It was the soft spoken, sympathetic man that held him back.  

“Your brothers are just asking you to take a little step at a time. They just want you to see a doctor. Getting their A OK will make them feel better and then you can head off.”  

“Who are you?” Reggie asked.  

“John Reynolds,” he replied.  

“He knows all about the Wigan Church,” said Marcus. “He has had dealings with these things.”  

Taking cue from Marcus’ softer tone Simon added, “he knows his stuff. Just talk to him for a few minutes.”  

Reynolds allowed the intervention words they discussed to flow. 

Simon had been keen on jumping in heavy handed but cult deprogrammer, John Reynolds, had told him this would only push his brother away. Reynolds was familiar with Simon’s gun ho attitude when it came to those closest to him. It was after all an assault on Reynolds that granted him time within The Boss’s keep. Simon had been surprised to say the least when Reynolds came to visit him.  

“Your brother is in trouble,” he had said. “I’ve worked with cults for years. The Church of Wigan is a big one. They are a real rad bunch of cats. They are around your brother and he will be pulled in. He needs someone by his side he can trust. I’ve spoken to the Office of Lawmakers about dropping the assault charges so you can get out of here and be with him. 

“Why would you do that?” Simon wanted to know. “You could just sit back and say good riddance.”  

“I have no hang ups. I do know Main needs you,” Reynolds told him. 

Simon managed a smile too. He didn’t want to let himself get too caught up in the idea of getting out. Within the walls of The Boss, having hope was a fool’s game.  

“I’m sorry,” Simon said. “It would be different if you were coming in here acting like a dickhead but you seem like a decent guy. We were all caught a little off guard when you came into the club. The last time people forced themselves in there it was shot up and burned out.”  

“Have you ever had a pet go wild?” Asked the agent.  

Simon indicated the negatory.  

“Say you have a cat. This cat shows affection. It will lie on you, absorbing your warmth but it has claws. If it tears at you you have to cage it until it calms down. Can you dig it?”  

“Are you saying I’m a pussy?” Simon asked in jest.  

Reynolds chortled.  

“I’m saying …”  

“Yeah, I know,” Simon stopped him. “I just want what’s best for my family and for Main.”  

“Then we’re on the same side,” Reynolds assured.  

Simon reached his hand out.  

“Thank you, Agent Reynolds,” said he.  

Reynolds shook his hand.  

He kept his word and Simon was freed shortly after this exchange. Still keeping to his word he had agreed to help separate Reggie from the Wigan Church.  

“Just speak to a doctor,” Marcus requested at the dockside. “That’s all we ask.”  

Rule number 16 of a cult deprogrammer: it takes many steps to open the eyes of a victim. First he would speak to a doctor. Then the treatment would begin. Just a little more help. Just a little more support. When the time was right the connection to the cult would be completely severed. That was when the greatest friction would occur. The victim would start to resist. The cult leader would have them believe their family and friends were working against them, especially if an emotional trigger was thrown in – like an unborn child for instance.  

It would take time. Reynolds warned Simon of this but if he accepted his advice Reggie truly could be saved.  

Meanwhile, Leona, had pushed her way through to a small snack stand on the docks. She snatched up the bottle of water she requested. She turned and bumped into a man.  

“Sorry,” she said, naturally, but she was really still in a rush.  

“Leona Riggs?” The man asked.  

“Do I know you?” She returned.  

“Franklin Rhodes,” he said. “I’m arresting you on suspicion of drug trafficking.”  

Over on the bay, Dominick received an official annulment of the marriage between Leona and Reggie.  


“What … in the seven circles … of Holy Hell … Is this?” Chick Owen had barked at his son.  

“Lydia!” Buddy screamed on Agent Lowe.  

The Cappy hadn’t forgotten about the bros treatment of the family heirloom. Hen Owen’s telescope now a golden cock had caused him to see red deeper than he ever had before. After Seth Bergman had handed it back it was Kim who got there first. She had good instincts so she grabbed Buddy, knowing him to be the cause of any commotion.  

“You, boy,” Chick pointed his fingers at him. “You’ve been served your discharge papers and I suggest you get out of my sight until I decide what is to be done with you.” To Agent Kim he said, “I apologise ma’am but my temper has been so provoked it might be best this boy is taken from my sight.”  

“Move,” Kim barked and pushed Buddy away.  

“The Bergmans are trying to stir trouble, mate,” said Ozzy.  

The Cappy replied, “they trouble me none. It’s time I deal with problems closer to home.”  

He lifted the asset.  

“To cap it all off we need to walk out with this. That snot nosed little shit didn’t leave the bag he brought it in.” 


The bros didn’t stay out of Harbour House long. The Cappy finally made his judgement on what to do. He had decided on Seven minutes in heaven. This was an old Kappa So code that called when a brother was judged to have stepped out of line. It came with a severe beating from a chosen brother with the intention of leaving the mark unconscious for seven minutes. The last time such an action was taken in the Chapter House it was Jerry Owen. The chosen brother had been Chick and he managed his seven minutes as the name suggested. In the case of the bros, Kim Adams had stepped up with Doyle’s permission.  

“I can’t believe this,” Buddy was saying nervously to Lydia.  

“You surely couldn’t have expected anything less.”  

“Can it just be you?” Buddy plead. “Can you do it?”  

Lydia shook her head. “Do you think I would be any different?”  

“Right we’re set up.”  

Kim was taping her hands and stretching her neck. Curiosity had drawn Chloe in too. She stood beside the Kappa elders.   

“We’re going to get through this,” Buddy had encouraged his bros.  

“That’s great bro, but do you think we could skip the part where she completely annihilates us?” Coops tried.  

Chad had tried for the first hit but Kim punched his knuckle. He fell back.  

Wham! Wham! Two quick successive punches had Cooper floored.  

Chad was now skipping backwards. Kim snatched him up by the hair and launched him forward. Cooper was just starting to correct himself. Feeling a little dizzy he stumbled. His nose had been burst open.  

“Dad!” he tried to call out to Marshall, feeling a little dazed.  

“Fight back you little pussy,” Marshall hissed.  

Wham! Kim punched him again. He fell against the wall.  

Wham! Wham! Wham!  

More quick successive punches caused the body to fall limp. Chloe squealed as she watched Coops try to clamber to his feet.  

“Oh no!” she said. Her sympathy fell with him.  

Buddy tried to pull Kim away from Coops but she upper cut his chin and followed it with a quick jab to the face.  

Wham! Kim turned. Wham! She sent Chad to ground again. He lay still.  

“Check up on Chad,” Lydia called  

Kim stormed across and snatched Chad by the testicles and heaved him across the floor.  

“Ahhhh!” she screamed.  

“Check up on Buddy!” Lydia called.  

Buddy found new life.  

“I’m up! I’m up!” he yelled.  

Every broken bone they sustained, every bruise they bore and every drop of blood that was shed was exactly what a past blowing up in your face looks like. 


Steven Renfield had been active within the church ever since he was a boy. He served the altar, he sang in the sermons and when the time came he joined the clergy. When Dominick Cole was granted his place at head of the church his first course of action had been to burn the priests guilty of corruption within the fold. St Wigan’s embrace was open for all sinners, therefore it figures it was open for ambitious fiends like Renfield.  

He was head of the Northside parish but he wanted more. He had a generous church fund but that wasn’t enough either. As a boy he would read from Noah Wigan’s writings. He especially enjoyed it when the infamous holy man would talk of the great men who joined him like St Michael the Punisher. There was always awe when St Michael was spoken of. That was what Renfield wanted. Only that kind of awe would satisfy. St Michael burned, beheaded and crushed those who would disobey the teachings of Wigan. Noah Wigan had been accepting of sinners. It was Michael’s job to put them to the slaughter. He was called upon to send them to God for their true punishment.  

The three pillars of the Wigan church reflected the true nature and fullness of the human experience. On Wigan’s left hand stood Bartholemew the carrier. With shoulders broad and a determination made of steel, he helped carry the fallen to the salvation Wigan held in his hand. Any father had to discipline their children. The fatherly figure of Wigan sometimes had to show his people the way with fire and fury. With sword in hand Michael the punisher delivered. Renfield was no St Michael. Renfield wasn’t put off though. He would deliver that fiery justice and the church would be in awe.  

The so called Whiskey Wars between Northside and Bellfield was a blood thirsty affair. In his great wisdom Renfield was providing guidance to his parish. The Bellfield blood that was spilled was well received he assured his flock. He was speaking on behalf of St Michael.  

They cheered. The crowd was in awe. He wanted more and more. 

Agnes Wilde had been assisting in the area. With the loss of the Mack family – or at least most of them – the people of Bellfield were ripe for the taking. As the fighting continued schools became too dangerous and the children had to be taught in basements and behind false walls. Agnes had been bringing supplies to such a set up. Her brother – Professor Henry Wilde – had given her text books. He had implored her to leave the supplies and return to The Shanties. He had wanted her to come to Filton but she wouldn’t abandon the Knock Knock club, not with Tawny and Tabitha there. Returning to The Shanties was the compromise they had reached.  

One of the Northside sweeps – an infamous practice of breaking and entering Bellfield homes in the name of the Northside constabulary policing the area. The captain leading the raid had recognised Agnes. What a fine spoil of war she had been. She was taken into custody and delivered to Father Renfield.  

St Michael burned his sinners. Renfield did the same to Agnes. She was murdered as many looked on. They were screaming for her end and it had been a painful one, entirely undeserving.  

Making a name in the Shady City was the intention. It certainly did that. There was talk of it everywhere. What Renfield hadn’t read in his religious texts was the people of Coldford City would respond to such actions and it wouldn’t be in fear. He turned to Dominick for the support of the church. His Eminence refused him. The response to the fiery fury that engulfed Agnes would be with more fire. When the Whiskey Wars were brought to an end Renfield was abandoned. Even his faith had escaped him. He found himself captured, held inside coarse brick walls.  

There was a girl there. She was watching him closely.  

“Hello, cunt,” she said.  

Tabitha glared at him. She was smiling but she was obviously furious. The tie wraps that held him to the chair ripped into his skin as he tried to struggle.  

“Did it hurt?” she asked him.  

He had been beaten already. Maybe that was what she referred to.  

“Did what hurt?” he found himself wanting to clarify.  

The Boss Lady laughed, finding his predicament quite amusing.  

“When you cook someone alive it’s bound to hurt,” said she with a snarl. 

Renfield was taken aback by the anger although given the circumstances he shouldn’t have expected anything less. It was striking though because she appeared so youthful. She struck him as a little girl with a real nasty appetite. His assumptions wouldn’t be entirely wrong.  

“The woman you burned was my aunt. She was a good woman. I want to know, did it hurt?”  

Renfield stammered.  

“A temporary pain. She was cleansed. Wigan embraces sinners but to be welcomed into the kingdom of God she had to be cleansed of her sins.”  

“And what were her sins?”  

“She was aiding heathen gypsies.”  

“By doing what?” Tabitha pressed. She was stood watching him with her hands on her hips. “Helping little kids stay safe whilst they learn their ABCs and 123s? That seems like a Holy thing to do. My grandma was a Wigan. Maybe you remember her, Delores McInney.” 

Renfield’s pupils dilated. He did recognise the name. This made Tabitha smile.  

“That’s right,” Tabitha went on, a little giddy at the reaction. “She did all that praying bull. She told me people couldn’t be saved. She read from Wigan’s books a lot. She was a real cunt about it. One thing she did do though was she gave whatever money she could to help others. That was something my Aunt Agnes had in common with her. Which makes me wonder why your church funds in Northside were all gathered up as you tried to slip away. I’m sure that’s something your head cunt Dominick Cole would like to know. One time I asked my grandma, ‘do you really believe Wigan gets to decide who is punished?’ She looked me straight in the eye and she said, ‘Wigan was put on this earth to embrace us. We cannot be saved but we can be redeemed.’”  

I asked her what she thought should happen to anyone who presumed to do Wigan’s work for him. She said, ‘Tabitha, if someone uses Wigan’s name for their own gains they will be punished. They should be cut and bathed in the salt waters. Every inch of their flesh will burn for an eternity.’ I did think at the time, ‘that’s a bit much but she was one of you Wigan lunatics so she always said shit like that. It got me thinking though, would St Wigan have condemned a decent woman like my Aunt Agnes for protecting children? The Northside constabulary had burned the schools and nurseries. Where else were they supposed to go? I think my aunt and my grandma would agree that’s bullshit.”  

Reflecting on Delores McInney, Renfield couldn’t argue with that. She was dedicated to her faith. She respected His Eminence because of his dedication. To her Dominick was an enlightened, faithful man – albeit overzealous at times.  

Delores was a true faithful. She believed they all could be redeemed, even her unstable granddaughter. The burning of Agnes would not have gone down well with her.  

“Don’t hurt me,” he cried. “Please! I beg you.”  

Tabitha gave a snorting laugh at first but she composed herself.  

“Pray to Wigan for his embrace, cunt. You’re going to be shackled so tightly it will severe your limbs eventually. You will burn for ever and you will live the rest of your days under the whip of monsters much worse than you. You will drown in a sea of misery and you will never catch your breath.”  

Renfield started to cry out. His pleading bounced against the walls of the Knock Knock club. Tabitha savoured the sound until he was eventually picked up. Murder in the first degree. Inciting violence. Stephen Renfield, you are now in servitude to The Boss.  


“They’re burning my paintings. Especially the ones that feature Julia,” David Finn was explaining to Harper Lane. 

“I’ve seen that. CPD are everywhere. We’ve had to close the gallery until they get the streets cleared.”  

“How’s my little besto?” David asked of Elliot.  

“He’s fine,” Harper replied. “He has no idea what’s going on.”  

“We are the children of Wigan and we know we can’t relent …”  

The chanting outside the gallery had been so loud David could hear it over the phone.  

“Harper, just take Elliot home,” David advised. His voice sounded a little shaky.  

Harper refused. “CPD are moving them on. It’s fine. I have too much to do. I still have to get the paperwork in for the auction.”  

“No,” David objected. “You can’t go ahead with that. Not with the way things are right now.”  

“They are just religious nuts,” Harper assured. “CPD are on it and Jean Luc at the Auction House is still willing.”  

“Just be careful.”  

“I will,” Harper assured. “Do you want to say hello to the little one.”  

David smiled, briefly forgetting his trepidation. “Sure.”  

The Au Pair was signalled. She carried Elliot across to the phone at Harper’s request.  

“Hey little man,” David said.  

“Duh!” Elliot sounded pleased.  

“You be good. I’ll see you soon.”  

When Harper returned, she said, “I got to go, Davey. I’ll see you tomorrow at the auction.”  


The day of the auction of the Finn painting arrived. Elizabeth Beckingridge had decided she wanted in on the action, especially when she learned The Cappy had shown an interest. She would be bidding from afar being back under house arrest. Presley Cage would bid on her behalf. 

Around me were the most mismatched collection of people ever to be found in the Shady City. There was Chick Owen, as I’ve already noted. He was accompanied by his brother Ronnie. Howard Bergman had brought Seth. They both acknowledged me with a smile and a nod. Tawny was there too, accompanied by David Finn. By special Law Maker arrangement Tabitha had made her presence felt. She claimed as one of the artists she had to be there. CPD had surrounded the area and were watching the situation very carefully.  

Given the location, the triplets were also there. Tabitha had been hugging Reggie when CPD officers moved her back, still wishing to keep a distance between the two. Tawny intervened before Tabitha began to behave very much like herself again towards the officers. I was glad to see this. Hopefully it meant she would maintain her distance from me. 

This evening – one which still remains quite cemented in my memory – Jean Luc Penn would be the acting auctioneer. It was the first time I had actually laid eyes on the Finn painting. It was beautiful in a shocking, car wreck kind of way. I could see Tabitha admire it.  

“We made a great picture,” she was saying with an arm around David. “I wonder how much we’ll get.” 

“I like the colours,” said Tawny. “Really eye catching.”  

“I chose those colours,” said Tabitha proudly.  

“Yes Liz,” Presley was saying on the phone as Elizabeth kept ranting about being confined to her manor. “Maybe if you …” he tried to say. “You know if you just …”  

I approached Howard. He shook my hand.  

“Good to see you again, Sam,” he said cordially.  

“Interested in the painting then?” I asked.  

“Elsa insists. She wants it for her lounge,” he laughed.  

Seth rolled his eyes.  

“For our next piece I think we should have me on a horse or something, ” Tabitha was offering her artistic vision.  

David was counting the CPD officers. He couldn’t shake the nerves. Harper and Gabrielle were moving around, keeping busy. Tabitha’s voice began to break into his thoughts.  

“Huh?” he asked. “Oh yeah, yeah, a horse,” he agreed  

Tabitha pouted. “Pay attention David,” she warned. 

“Oh no,” said Tawny. “Here comes trouble.”  

Arriving at the auction were two Wigans. One, the Wigan girl we know as River. The other, was His Eminence himself. The CPD officers had stopped them.  

“This painting is important to my church,” Dominick explained. “I’m just wanting to take a gander at what all the fuss is about and maybe buy it up for myself.”  

CPD couldn’t argue with that. It was after all a public auction. David started to count the CPD officers all over again, just incase there were a few he had missed.  

Tawny, being Tawny, decided to address the elephant in the room and greet her fellow baysider.  

“Dom Cole,” she said. “It’s been a long time. How are ye?”  

The Baroness was familiar with Dominick. They went a long way back as it happened. There were times when she had even babysat the little church leader. It didn’t last long though. Dominick’s father had decided her lifestyle wasn’t much of a good influence for the upcoming leader of the commune.  

“Tawny,” he returned. “You’re looking … well.”  

“What brings you over here?” she asked, pleasantly enough but genuinely wanting to know.  

Dominick’s eyes lifted to the painting. “Bab’s Tulloch’s Holy tits apparently,” he replied. “I heard ye suffered a loss of late. I know what that’s like. My condolences. You should know what happened to Agnes was not my will or Wigan’s.”  

River had reached out and clasp Tawny’s hand in a consoling sort of way but Tabitha slapped it away. 

“Don’t fucking touch her,” she snarled.  

Tawny put her arm around her niece and pulled her closer to her before CPD interest was caught.  

“No trouble here from me,” Dominick assured. “I’d just like to give my compliments to the artist. It’s striking work. It really is.”  

Dominick looked across to David. His bleached hair and unkempt appearance offered no mystery as to who the artist was.  

“I’m the artist,” Tabitha said. “I’ll take your compliments.”  

With a tentative air, the auction commenced. Marcus gave a nod to Jean Luc. 

“I’ll open the bid at £100,000.”  

“Fucking Hell!” David could be heard exclaiming.  

“100,000,” was the bid from Liz Beckingridge. 

150,000 from Howard Bergman.  

“Seriously, dad?” Seth put to him. “We’re going to hang that up?”  

“It’s art Seth,” Howard reasoned.  

200,000 from Chick Owen. 

“It’s a piece of history there Ron,” Chick was gaily in his explanation to his brother.  

I couldn’t help but notice Dominick didn’t raise any bid or even make an attempt to. It hadn’t seemed to escape Marcus’ notice either.  

225,000 from Howard Bergman.  

“I promise I’ll not ask for anything for the next five birthdays, Elsa had insisted. 

“That painting is mine,” said Chick.  

Ronnie had never known his brother to lose when he was so determined.  

Dominick was scanning the room and gauging the interest. CPD were watching him closely. He didn’t give them any fuss.  

350,000 had been Elizabeth’s call. “Presley, make sure my bid is registered.” 

I had been too busy watching the church’s vacant reaction after having kicked up such a fuss over the art piece.  

400,000 from Chick Owen.  

For a moment it looked like Dominick was going to make a bid but he shook his head and appeared to have changed his mind. He said something to the girl that accompanied him. She giggled. 

500,000. Now Elizabeth was becoming excited.  

550,000 came from Chick Owen.  


Chick Owen had won the day. Dominick didn‘t seem disappointed.  

“I don’t want anything transpiring here,” Franklin put the call in. “The auction is over. If you do not return to St Michael’s or to the bay you will be in breach of your sanctions Mr Cole.”  

Dominick turned. He was face to face with a broad chest of a man at first. He looked up and Golem was giving him his stoney stare of warning. Sophie Bergman was stood beside him.  

Dominick raised his hands. “I’ve seen all I need to,” he said.  

As he was leaving he called back, “enjoy the painting ya bunch a heathen bastards!”   

The could hear the cheers of his followers erupt as he stepped onto the streets.  

“Praise Wigan!” the cried.  

“I thought they were keen to get it back?” David said naively to Harper.   

It would seem that they had no intentions on bidding for it. It was sacrilegious trash. Whomever would entertain such filth should be punished. You cannot be saved. 


Chamberlain House on Hathfield was hearing the sound of rushing feet. Charlotte was running down the corridor. She hid from view as a man came after her.  

“I know yer in here,” said Dominick. “I seen ye make yer way. I will get ye one way or another.”  

With Peter having taken Francis to his tutor in Kingsgate, Charlotte was alone with her uncle. She emerged from the shadows and leapt onto his back. She wrapped her arms around his neck.  

“Are you sure about that?” she hissed.  

Dominick dropped to his knees and onto the ground.  

“Alright,” he admitted, lying out on the ground. “Ye got me.”  

Charlotte stood over him. “Here lies my beloved Uncle Dominick,” she said. “Gone too soon.”  

Dominick had closed his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest.  

“He’ll be fondly remembered,” Charlotte went on. “Even though he only had one nostril.”  

Dominck’s brow furrowed but he kept his eyes closed.  

“It was amazing how high he could jump, even though he was only two foot tall.”  

Dominick’s eyes flickered. His lips curled a little but he lay still.  

“What we will look back on the most is the great thick unibrow he had.”  

“Gah!” Dominick sat up.  

Charlotte erupted in a shriek of laughter.  

“Dom?” called the familiar voice of Bart.  

“We’re in here, Bart,” Dominick returned getting up off the floor. 

Bartholemew carried in a box. His eyes were still a little large from a mushroom trip. On the side of the box was the Harvester logo. The finest meat in the Shady City.  

“A parcel sent to the commune,” the carrier explained.  

Dominick spied the logo. “Did it come straight from the farm?” he asked.  

“I don’t know,” Bart admitted.  

Dominick opened the box. Inside were fresh meat packets. The first appeared to be a flank cut. He dropped it on the floor. The second looked like tenderloin. He dropped that to the floor too. The next was thin. It was the cheek of a man. Dominick could still see a razor burn on it. There was a bite mark there too. Then there was a foot and a hand. There was a smaller foot. Charlotte lifted out the skin from the face of little Lord Francis.  

At the bottom of the box lay a letter and Peter Millicent’s beads. 

The letter read: 

I want you to know I cried last night. You upset me. I cried because you hurt someone close to me. I had a teacher. He was the best teacher in the whole wide world. Yes he was! He helped me hear the sounds of the world. One day he was there and I could visit him any time I liked and then he was gone. You took him away from me. He was mine and you took him. I want you to enjoy your teacher. I want you eat every little bit. You took my teacher and made me cry. He was mine. He was so!  

I can never see my teacher again and that’s your fault. I’m so angry right now. You did it. You made me angry. 

Eat your teacher. Cook him well. Enjoy him. I’m going to make you cry. I will. I will so!  

Wigan isn’t going to want them. Their severed heads sucked cock. You made me cry! I hate you!  

I’m not crying anymore. I’m laughing. I’m laughing so hard my belly hurts.  

George Beckingridge 

Dominick dropped the letter. Charlotte was still holding the flesh of her brother’s face. Dominick said nothing.  

“Dom?” Bart tried to urge gently.  

Still the church leader said nothing. It was like he had fallen into some kind of feverish shock. Finally, he stirred and stormed from the room.  

“Dominick?” Bartholemew cried after him. “Where are you going?”  


Buddy Owen’s eyes opened. He was feeling a little drowsy after the beating but he could swear his dad was sat watching him.  

“Mornin’ Bud,” he said.  

Shit. The Cappy was sat watching him.  

“I just wanted to stop by and let you boys know I won the auction.”  

Buddy managed a smile. “The porno painting, bro that’s sweet.”  

The Cappy laughed too. “An Owen never misses, no matter what target they set in mind.” 

Chad and Cooper were awake too. Austin was sat by his own son’s bedside.  

“I reckon you should donate it to the museum. It can hang right next to the armour of the Greatest Northsider,” Oz suggested. 

They all chuckled.  

Buddy and his bros had had a lengthy discussion on what the painting actually looked like, having had only talk to go on. The bros had created such an image in their head of Barbara Tulloch I fear they were going to be disappointed. 

Chick dropped the golden asset onto the bed at Buddy’s feet.  

“I want you to hold onto this,” the father said.  

“I’ll put it right,” Buddy offered.  

“I’m leaving the decision of what to do with it up to you. You can either put it right and cover up the past or you can keep it as is and see it as a reminder that you need to better. Whichever you choose you should know I’m proud of you. I ain’t told you that enough but I am. Your spirit is a pain in my ass more times than none but that spirit of yours is unbreakable. You’ve got it in you. If these golden balls right here ain’t a symbol of that Owen spirit I don’t know what is.”  

“Good thing I made the golden cock then,” Buddy grinned, his unfaltering spirit being a pain in the ass all over again.  

“Don’t push it,” The Cappy warned. But then he started to laugh.  

He really was in quite a jovial mood.  

Earlier that afternoon, The Cappy had spoken with Tabitha.  

“Your boys are home, safe and sound,” he reminded her of the triplets. “You and I had a little agreement. You said there was someone who had embezzled funds in the Owen name. You promised me you would tell me who. I’ve kept my end of the bargain. So what do you say?”  

Tabitha did consider being petulant. It was almost like an instinct with her. Chick had stuck to his end of their agreement. The triplets were home and getting Marcus from the Boss’ grip couldn’t have been an easy task.  

“You should have a word with your rabid bitch, Marshall Cooper,” she told him. “Reginald always suspected he was running guns and drugs and all sorts. He needed money. He used your name through Beckingridge to open a new account. They wouldn’t object because they were told you agreed.”  

“Do you have proof of this?” Chick asked.  

“Isn’t fifty nine fucking dead bodies proof enough?” Tabitha returned. 

“Not in this city,” said Chick.  

Chick arranged for the Beckingridge Firm to send him all the information they had to him personally. He had left a message with Marshall saying he wanted to talk to him as soon as he returned from Tokashima. In the meantime, the bros appeared to have learned their lesson. At least they had learned some lesson.  

“Crikey? Is that the time?” Austin put in. “We better go Chick.” He patted Chad’s leg affectionately. 

Chick stood. “I’m proud of you,” he said to them. He paid special attention to Dale, who’s own father was absent from these discussions. “I’m proud of y’all”  

“Kappa So!” the two elders cried as they were leaving.  

“Kappa So!” the bros returned.  

“Coops? Coops?” Buddy asked.  

“Yeah Bud?” 

“Where am I going to hide this damn cock?”  

Chad sniggered. 


Chick found himself at a van in North Coldridge. The van had collected the painting from the Auction House and It would make its way to Owen Estate.  

“I asked that any tears, blood splatter or damage from being down in Northside wasn’t touched in anyway,” The Cappy was reiterating on the phone to Ronnie. When he approached the van it looked like it had been left behind.  

“Those dumb ass boys gone and abandoned my painting,” Chick groaned. He made his way straight to the back. He pulled the doors open, noting that they had been left unlocked. Inside sat the painting that had caused such a fuss. The young Kappa So brothers who had been entrusted with collecting it must have hopped out to drain the snake, bless ‘em. He had a good mind to take the painting and have them believe it had been stolen. Teach the youngins a little lesson.  

“Cappy!” A frat boy called from the front. “You had better come see this.”  

Chick went back to the front where others were pulling the bodies of two Kappa So brothers out onto the park gravel.  

“What the Hell?” Chick exclaimed. Both boys had been decapitated.  


The rear of the van had been closed.  


Chick had been following behind only to see half of a body fall back whilst the other half fell forward. Standing before them, with the flames of retribution tearing into the back of the van was St Michael. He steadied his great sword again. Breath escaped his helmet in a fine mist.  


He knocked Chick to the ground. Chick tried to scramble. He drew his gun. The steel of the helmet would protect him. His vital organs were covered. He just had time to aim when the sword was driven through him. He gasped.  

“You cannot be saved,” said the attacker.  

Charles ‘Chick’ Owen better known as The Cappy, steadied his gun.  

“Suck my God balls,” he said.  


He caught the Templar in the femoral artery. His armour only allowed a small gap to wound. If it wasn’t treated right away it would bleed out.  

Chick Owen coughed up his own blood. As he his mind slipped away to whatever afterlife there was waiting for him, he thought of his precious dynasty. Give em’ Hell, were his final instructions.  

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Knock Knock: Episode 57: Salvation

Tabitha told Elizabeth that she would have gladly made her number one in the Freefall Massacre and she meant it. Even as Elizabeth held the gun to her face she still didn’t shy from that fact.  

“Go ahead, cunt. Pull the trigger.”  

“I bought this club. It now belongs to me,” Elizabeth stated. “A good friend of mine was keen on your aunt getting back here and there she is. You are in debt to Beckingridge and I will collect on it.”  

“Send me invoice,” Tabitha challenged.  

Law Makers were watching the club closely. They had done so ever since the Boss Lady returned from the grave. A group of them descended upon them. They intervened. Elizabeth started to complain as she reattached her prosthetic leg.  

“You’ve violated the terms of your injunction,” they told her.  

They placed her back under house arrest, to be escorted back to Beckingridge Manor immediately. Tabitha said nothing more. Those that knew her though would know she was thinking if any strings started to be pulled against the Knock Knock Club she would have to visit the Beckingridge Tower again. Clearly she hadn’t made her point the first time. She would get herself the sixty.  


The Green Eye prison in Northside, a part of the city I rarely ventured into, had been taken over by the Fleet of Bellfield, a group within Coldford, loyal to the Mack family and still with a score to settle after most of the family were wiped out and their distillery taken from them. The Northside constabulary were holding the innocent people of Bellfield in fear with their so called sweeps. Drastic measures brought by Siobhan Mack, the last standing of her name had given her people hope. They could now rest a little easier but as Northside licked their wounds they still counted the Mack Distillery in their control so the hope of Bellfield couldn’t last forever.  

I now bring you to the High Court in City Main where word of this was reaching the ear of Her Honourable Judge Doyle. With information from Agent Reynolds who had bore witness to the events in the west, the truth would reach the city of what was going on in the areas best forgotten about. 

“The evidence of mistrials and murder of the inmates at the Green Eye prison is currently being viewed, Your Honour,” said Kutz. 

“Those protesting on behalf of the Mack girl, did they act legally?” The Judge asked him.  

“As legally as could in those situations I suppose,” Kutz leaned back in his chair across the desk from Her Honour. “The Tulloch’s had control of that jail. If evidence so far is to be believed they abused that trust. One way or another there was going to be violence that day.” Kutz laughed. “Tricky fellows.” 

He removed a statement from his files. 

“A young girl named Kiera Luna was who brought us the evidence captured some footage of it on a phone. Such a young child has seen so much. I admire her spirit though because despite all that she went through she still managed to gain the footage. She has a strong sense of doing the right thing which gives me great hope for the future of Bellfield. The fostering program is being set up.”  

The door knocked and then on scene arrived Law Clerk Diane.  

“The witness is here, Your Honour.” 

She smiled at Kutz who was leaned back in his chair watching her from over her shoulder.  

“Send him in.” 

The Judge and her colleague were presented with a man in a faded track suit. He had a thick gold chain around his neck, his head was shaved and he had a pretty nasty bruising around his face. This was made more unsightly by the large cold sore on his bottom lip. His name was Kez Tulloch. He was a lesser name from a lesser family but since the Tulloch’s were technically ruling in Northside he had been brought in with some interesting news for the Law Makers. He wished to downplay his own part in the Green Eye loss. Having to retreat back to the distillery deep in the heart of Bellfield didn’t sit well with him.  

“Have you signed your statement, Mr Tulloch?” Asked Kutz. Karyn Doyle had no words for him. Instead she watched his nerves hunching his shoulders. Kutz beckoned him to take a seat.  

“I have,” Kez agreed.  

“If you could relay what you told me to Her Honour I would be most appreciative,” said Kutz. “What happened at the Green Eye?” 

Kez leaned forward in his chair. He rested his elbows on his thigh.  

“They told the prisoners they could go free,” he said. “Liam told them they had been released and that they were over capacity. When they started to walk away he gunned them down. They weren’t trying to escape. They were told they could go.” 

Judge Doyle’s lips tightened.  

“Thank you,” said Kutz with a smile. “You have been most cooperative. You may go.” 

Kez stood again. His sight set immediately on the exit.  

“Just one more thing,” Kutz called him back before he could leave. “Your cousin, Liam, said the same thing about you. He said it was you whom told the prisoners that they could leave. He said it was you who gave the order to gun them down. He said it was also you who brought Agnes Wilde into the hands of Wigan brother Renfield,” here he tutted. “They were burned like we live in the dark ages.”  

“That’s a loada shite,” Kez protested. “Liam was the one giving it tight about being the Greatest Northsider. He was the one giving the orders.” 

Kutz stood. “I believe you,” he said. “I am quite a good judge of character and when I look at you I don’t see a man even capable of having people follow orders to that extent. You will not be charged for the slaughter of the Green Eye inmates. You will also not be held accountable for the murder of Agnes Wilde. The Wigan church are calling religious rites which is a whole other set of problems. However, you are but a minnow in this pond and we’re fishing for a larger catch.” 

Kez breathed a sigh of relief. “I can go then?” He asked. He was still wary of Judge Doyle’s scarred eye.  

“Just one more thing,” Kutz saw fit to add. “A knife was given to the Northside Ball Boy during an Athletic and Northside match. A little birdy told me it was you who put it in his hands.” 

“Mr Tulloch, I find you guilty of inciting violence. I hereby sentence you to ten years of servitude to The Boss.”  

“No!” Kez screamed. “It wasn’t me.”  

Kez was at a loss. It wasn’t like he could stay in Judge Doyle’s office forever. The moment he stepped back outside though, his servitude to The Boss began.  

“On to next business,” began Kutz. “Sanctions on the Chapter House …”  


“Whoever this group is they are sweeping round through Filton if the path we’ve been following is right,” said CPD detective Murray Gaines.  

Billy groaned over the phone.  

“How can be missing this?” he asked.  

“They must be blending in, bro,” Murray suggested.  

“Keep on it,” Billy ordered. “I’m coming in. I got the Office of Law Makers on my ass about this and it doesn’t help with the damn church campaigning to have my job.”  

Billy Owen’s place as commissioner was hanging by a thread. Ronnie was fighting it out well against Peter Millicent but it was only a matter of time before The Cappy suggested he step back so they could regroup. Now, he had some maniac group to contend with slaughtering his officers, most of which where his brothers for life.  

It began in North Swantin it had moved up through Cardyne. At first sights it looked as though the chaos was making its way to Main. Now it seemed a little detour to Filton was on the cards. More police presence had been placed wherever they felt it would hit next. All this did was serve up more of his officers for the slaughter. First instincts told Billy that they had been making their way to CPD. Where would be better for cop bashing than the cop house in Main?  

“Bring it on, motha fucka,” had been Billy’s sentiment.  

“Where you going, dad?” asked Richard ‘Ricky’ Owen as Billy was grabbing his coat and keys for his car. 

“I gotta work,” he said. “Some shit going down. They’re trying to take my job so I have to be on the ball.”  

Ricky looked a little disappointed. He and Billy had planned on spending the day together.  

“We’ll catch up later,” said Billy.  

“As you like,” said Ricky.  

“Ya gonna be good?” Billy asked.  

“Yes, sir,” Ricky replied.  

“I’ll be back as soon as I can,” the father promised. “Why don’t you go down to the clinic, keep Bud company. Remind him of how much retard he is.”  

Ricky laughed.  


The Boss is home to desperate men, each more hopeless than the last. When such wretches have nowhere else to turn they quite often embraced religion. Peter Millicent presented legal counsel and Wigan’s forgiveness. With this he heard the desperate cries of the Boss’ slaves often. His visit this particular day I’m now discussing had been an answer to the prayers of a man named Ross. Ross was caged for the murder of two CPD officers. Slaughter would have been more accurate. He was the brother of Wigan monk Issiah who suffered a great fall thanks to Billy Owen.  

Ross had stabbed the CPD officers on Chamberlain Docks. He had cut out their tongues and their eyes. By the time the corpses were discovered, gulls were pecking in the empty sockets.  

“Will Wigan forgive me, father?” Ross asked. 

Peter, sat separated from his lost soul by bars, replied, “The punishment is the work of St Michael, not for our own hands. Wigan embraces the sinners who repent. Be strong, my brother.”  

Ross took comfort in Peter’s words. As he was leaving he said, “be careful father. It’s not safe for our folks out there.”  

“Rest,” Peter urged.  

There was an uneasy feeling in Peter’s chest that day. Visits to the city were always difficult. He was dedicated to his calling though and no imminent danger would hold him back. The danger wasn’t imminent though. It was present and it followed him across the yard as he made his exit. He was struck on the back. He gasped and fell forward into long thin arms. Those arms pushed him up and helped him steady. 

“Hiiiiiii!” said the young man in front of him with a grin.  

Peter looked around from some guards but before he could call for help the young man had grabbed his face with a sweaty palm. His long fingers curled around his cheek.  

“You should watch your back,” he said.  

Peter called for the guards. 

“You’re a teacher, aren’t you? You teach people things.”  

“I don’t know who you are but I have to go,” said Peter.  

The young man pulled him closer. The guards were descending upon him.  

“Step back!” they cried.  

I’m George Beckingridge,” he said. “You killed my teacher.” He pulled Peter closer and licked his face. He bit into his check and threw him forward. The guards had intervened. 

“Kappa so!” George was screaming.  

Peter departed in a rush clutching the devil’s bite on his face. The chanting still sounded behind him. 


We tend to attach value to everything in this world. Everything has a cost. The Penn family held the highest value in sentimental things. As auctioneers they learned the value of people’s stories. They know what people would give for a piece of history. History lay in a ceramic plate Simon Penn held. It didn’t cost much but to him and his brothers it meant a great deal. The plate had been set into three equal thirds. On each third were distinct decorations. One had a blend of colours, vibrant and swirling. One was more erratic. It had a series of splashes. Some of those splashes fell onto the third section which was decorated with some colour but more focus had been placed into geometric shapes. The plate drew a smile from Simon. He heard the scuffling sound of his brother’s footsteps behind him as Reggie joined him in the kitchens. Simon raised the plate.  

“I found mother’s plate,” he beamed.  

Reggie smiled too. “I haven’t seen that in ages.”  

“I was sorting through some of mother’s things. I thought it would help.”  

He didn’t want to say he feared their mother’s things would become destroyed; their history lost.  

“She loved that thing,” Reggie grinned.  

“Remember just last year that art agent, Clover, was here for dinner?” Simon asked. “Dad brought that plate out. He tells Clover we did it so he’s going on for hours about artistic expression. Dad didn’t think to tell him we did it when we were like five years old.”  

Reggie chuckled at the memory.  

“It does show artistic expression,” he maintained. 

“You kept coming over to my section,” Simon noted.  

“Our minds were merging. Our artistic expression became one,” Reggie teased.  

Simon laughed.  

“You just didn’t know how to stay in the lines.” He pointed to a splash of pain. “That was you.”  

Reggie shrugged jovially.  

“I was improving yours. What’s that meant to be?”  

Here he pointed a shape on Simon’s section that was difficult to decipher. Simon inspected it.  

“I don’t know. I think it was supposed to be a flower or the sun or something.”  

Reggie returned his memory to the art agent. 

“That’s right. Clover started to go on about how the boldness of the brush strokes highlighted anguish and inner turmoil.”  

“I was five,” Simon replied. “I was just trying to stop you eating the damn paint. Clover thought it was something we did just that day. Can you imagine, the three of us as we are now sitting around the table painting our plate.”  

They both laughed at the idea. 

“Dad couldn’t contain himself anymore when Clover asked Marcus why he chose those particular colours,” Reggie carried on. “Marcus told him he had been considering the contrast between the calmness of the sky blue and the vividness of the red. It represented the conflicting emotions of life. It was only through the passion of the red you could reach the serenity of the blue.”  

“That’s deep for a five year old,” said Simon. 

They both laughed heartily once more. Reggie looked to the plate again.  

“Do we have to put mother’s things away?”  

Simon sighed.  

“Just to keep them safe, like.”  

Reggie nodded. He was about to say something else when they were interrupted by Leona. She clasped Reggie’s hand. She gave Simon an expression that suggested she was unsure of him.  

“How are ye, Simon?” She asked, pleasantly enough.  

“I’m fine,” he responded in a tone that was a little shorter than he intended. “How are you?”  

“I’m well. The baby is well,” she answered but she was looking to Reggie.  

“Si found a plate we painted for mother when we were kids.”  

“Awww, isn’t that’s sweet?” She said.  

Reggie passed her the plate and she began to inspect it. Simon could feel his fingers tighten as he watched her handle the heirloom of great sentimental value.  

“Over on the bay our faith guides us. We don’t really see things personally the way you city dwellers do. It doesn’t make much sense to me.”  

“It works for us,” Simon said. “It’s me that wants to keep it.”  

Leona smiled again, still with the plate in her hand. 

“Reggie had I have been praying for yer ma and yer pa too.”  

“You know our mother was Albans church every Sunday, right?“ 

“That’s alright,” she replied. “Wigan embraces all sinners.”  

“You didn’t know her,” Simon snapped.  

He wished he hadn’t for Reggie’s sake but Leona’s presence was wearing his patience incredibly thin.  

“She’s honouring mother, dickhead!” Reggie snapped back. Evidently his patience had been wearing thin too.  

“What did you just call me?” Simon wanted to be sure. 

“You’re acting like a dickhead,” Reggie confirmed.  

Simon’s eyes widened and his lips tightened. He bit his tongue. Reggie was never going to listen to him. He was seething though. 

“Things are just a bit …” he started to say but Reggie was still frustrated. His head ached like there was a hammer drill on the inside of his skull. His leg was throbbing and he had a haze in his eyes that was inhuman. Simon took pity on him. He checked his own temper. “I’m sorry, Leona,” said he. Any sincerity was drawn was from the fact it was his triplet to whom he was really apologising.  

“I forgive ye,” she said. “I understand.”  


“What did you just do?” Simon cried as the plate shattered.  

“I’m so sorry. It was an accident.”  

“Like Hell it was,” Simon growled.  

Reggie shoved his shoulder.  

“Watch how you speak to her,” he warned.  

Simon was so frustrated by this point he didn’t care.  

“Don’t touch me,” he spat at his brother.  

He didn’t want to argue. He didn’t trust himself with the sight of the broken plate. He just wanted to get out of there. He wanted to pick the plate up and see if it could be repaired. It was just a stupid ceramic plate, painted by three over privileged children but it meant so much to mother. He had wanted to keep it. That Wigan bitch dropped it deliberately. He wanted to hurt Reggie then. He wanted to hurt him real bad. Reggie shoved his chest saying something about his wife. Oh how he wanted to hurt him! 

“It’s okay, Reggie,” Leona was saying. “I’m sure he didn’t mean it.”  

“I didn’t mean it?” Simon snarled. “Just get out of here.”  

Leona’s hand brushed Reggie’s shoulder.  

“Don’t talk to her like that,” the youngest triplet warned.  

Simon had had enough.  

“What are you going to do?”  

Leona squealed as Reggie lunged forward. He grabbed Simon but Simon twisted his arm and shoved him away.  

“You’re already hurt. Sit the fuck down!”  

That haze in his eyes was getting worse. The drugs were hitting hard. Reggie wasn’t easily dissuaded. He was a survivor after all. Seeing Simon scowling at him annoyed him because he knew he was wearing the same expression and it was like looking in a mirror. He lunged again. This time Simon side stepped. Reggie caught his face. He tried for a second hit. Simon shoved him away again. Reggie swiped at him. He could go straight for his leg and put him out of it. He jabbed his shoulder instead. Reggie jerked but he didn’t seem to register the pain. Before it could continue Marcus stepped in the way.  

“Enough!” He barked.  

Leona had taken a step back to observe the scene.  

“Take a walk,” Simon was ordered.  

As he passed Leona he didn’t look at her.  

“Yeah, just you walk away!” Reggie goaded.  

Simon turned back, almost shoving Leona aside as he did so.  

“Are we not done?”  

“I said take a walk!” Marcus cautioned again. “Now.” 

This time Simon did look at Leona. He shook his head and stormed off.  

“He’s a dickhead,” Reggie hissed to the eldest triplet of the middle.  

“I don’t care what happened here. It’s finished now,” was Marcus’ response. 

Reggie sniffed. He lowered his gaze and prepared for an oncoming migraine.  

“Am I clear?” Marcus pushed further.  

Reggie managed a nod.  

“I’ll clean up,” he offered in reference to the plate.  

“When Simon returns you will pick up the pieces together,” was Marcus’ instructions then he departed.  

Reggie crouched next to the shattered memory. Leona had waited until Marcus cleared the kitchens before she consoled her husband.  

“I’m sorry,” she said. “The last thing I would want is for your brothers to turn on ye.”  

Reggie sniffed again.  

“I’m just not used to this,” she continued. “Over on the bay we don’t fight amongst ourselves. We live a peaceful life and I don’t think I would be happy with our baby here. I’d be worried for them all the time. You need to heal too. The pressure from your brothers is getting to you. Marcus is your boss. Simon answers directly to him. What do you have? There’s nothing here for you. It’s not a good environment for a child either. Look what growing up here has done to you. I have to go back to the island. I want you to join me. Come life a peaceful life with me.”  

Reggie lifted the broken plate. It was a chunk from Simon’s section he had clasped. There was a blue splash over his geometric shapes. Reggie remembered the teacher scolding him.  

“Remember to stay in your own section.” 

Simon spoke up for him.  

“He’s helping me,” he had said.  

Reggie leaned his bead back and closed his eyes. The pain wouldn’t go away but he could at least find some peace from the worst of it.   


“That no good, lying, bead rattling son a bitch!” Billy roared, almost knocking the table aside.  

This particular slur was directed towards Peter Millicent.  

“I can appeal,” Ronnie advised “but they are going to just keep calling for your resignation.”  

“You’re supposed to be good, cuz,” Billy complained. “What you bringing this shit for?” 

“I warned you about this church. I told you it would come to this.”  

What it had come to was Billy being stripped of his title as commissioner of police.  

“With everything you told me you did just be glad its only your resignation they want,” said Ronnie. 

Billy had called The Cappy but the orders from the top were the same.  

“Step down, graciously. They’ll allow you to quote some family trouble. You say you want to dedicate more time to your son.”  

It grinded Billy’s gears. It really fried his bacon and he didn’t like his bacon being fried.  

“No good holy book thumpers!” he was still grumbling as he pulled up at CPD to make the announcement. The press had already gathered.  

Billy gave him the old ‘it’s me not you,’ like he was dumping a bitch who got fat. He gave a shout out to his son Ricky. He thanked the city. He even offered all the success in the world to the one who would take his place like he was slapping lipstick on a dead whore.  

He was met with applause. He danced their dance. Can he go now? No, he couldn’t go just yet. They had to announce who was looking to fill his pants. He also spotted Peter Millicent at the door. He couldn’t leave without having a word.  

Peter watched him approach.  

“Will you be returning to civilian life?” he asked.  

“This ain’t over,” Billy growled.  

Peter replied, “I wouldn’t have thought so.”  

Billy gave his guttural laugh, standing head and shoulders above the Wigan priest.  

“Watch your step,” he said. “This leaves me with a lot of time in my hands and I may just visit.”  

“You look a little stressed out,” said Peter. “I think a day at the beach would do you good.”  

“Looking to the future of CPD and Coldford in general,” was being called behind them. “We are pleased to announce our new Commissioner Frankin Rhodes.”  

Billy’s head turned slowly as Franklin, formerly of the Good Gang stepped up to his position as commissioner.  

“A nigger!” Billy roared.  

Peter frowned at him but he was no longer paying attention to the Wigan priest.  

“I’m being replaced by a spear chucking ass bandit!”  

“William!” Peter exclaimed. He didn’t seem to realise how loud he was being.  

“How can they? How can he even? I can’t… I gotta … A’body knows!” he insisted. “A’body knows …” and at that he stormed out.  


“Good evening folks and welcome to the Knock Knock Club. I’m your host, Tawny. You can call me Tee.”  

The club door opened. A group arrived. There was a rabble of voices.  

“Enjoy yer night. Enjoy yer grub and above all enjoy what ye have because life is short.”  

Tawny watched from the stage as the new arrivals took a seat at what was normally the Mack’s table.  

“Let’s get the fun started,” Tawny called as the music from the in house band began to rumble. “C’mon girls let’s see what you’ve got.”  

As Tawny stepped off stage the Knock Knock girls began to dance on in a parade of sequins and feathers. At the Mack table a glass of the name sake liquid was slid along. A woman’s hand caught it. She took a sip. When she saw Tawny approach she stood, finishing her whiskey. She opened her arms and the Baroness embraced her tightly. She kissed her cheek. Tawny peeled off the skip cap she wore and playfully tapped her chest with it.  

“Ah Siobhan yer looking gorgeous,” Tawny said. For the woman was Siobhan Mack of Mack Distillery.  

Tawny held her out to get a better look at her. Siobhan laughed. Her hand raised to a scar on her cheek left behind by the troubles she had seen of late.  

“Tabby!” Tawny called. “Siobhan’s here.”  

Tabitha crossed from the bar where she had just arrived from the balcony above.  

“How’s it going?” Siobhan asked the Boss Lady.  

Tabitha held her foot out. The Law Maker clamp made a fetching addition to her red dress attire.  

“Still grounded,” she said. She laughed and she hugged Siobhan. When they had greeted Tabitha pulled David Finn forward. He gave a nervous wave.  

“This is David Finn,” Tabitha introduced. “My co artist.”  

Siobhan laughed. “That painting caused a real fecking stir. I always told Paddy his arse would get him in trouble one day.”  

“Round of Macks!” Tawny called to the bar.  

When they sat to a drink Siobhan asked Tawny, “I’m so sorry for what happened to Agnes.” 

She was watching Tabitha take shots with David. David almost spat his out. He and Tabitha were laughing heartily.  

Tawny managed a smile. She passed a glass to the Mack girl.  

“Go on,” she said. “Get that down ye.” 

Agent John Reynolds was pleased to see Siobhan welcomed to the Knock Knock club. The Whiskey Wars had dampened a great many spirits but that of the Macks was never one easily diluted. 

“How are you doing?” He asked her.   

“It’s good to get into the city,” she said.  

“You’ve had a hard time. It’s been real far out,” he said to her. “You’ve earned the chance to kick back but we have a situation here. Someone has been leading a slaughter. Do you think it could be the same one in Allford?”  

Siobhan considered all that had been lost that night. Their camp in Allford had been raided by Northsiders as the war continued to rage. There was a great knight among them. He had slaughtered most of them in a vengeful fury. It caused her to reach to the scar on her face without much thought.  

“It is,” she confirmed. “It has to be.”  


Owen Inc. had been responsible for a lot of the issues that faced the city of late. It would be easy to set them as the villains in this case. With Billy taking over CPD, The Cappy feeding rivals to alligators and Howard Bergman being the victim in an insane plot to clear the Owen name from a murder they had committed they would in every way be considered the villains. It wasn’t for me to decide who the villains were. The Penns were equally as deplorable as were the Beckingridges. The Fullertons too had their underhanded deeds to answer for. They all had their reasons and they all had those among them who genuinely wanted the best. For the Owen family this was cousin Theodore ‘Teddy Owen, brother of Billy. He was a good man. He had come to Coldford on Chick’s insistence because he was a good man. This was a rare find among the Owens who were mostly self-serving and dangerously ambitious. Chick had some good intentions as previously mentioned but it could be difficult to trust his natural ruthlessness. Cut throat was what life in the Shady City had to be. It was a pleasant surprise to meet an Owen who was a more considerate man. If you had told me that Teddy and Billy were brothers, I might not have believed it without proof. Teddy was well mannered, naïve in some ways but he had the Owen shot that never missed. There was no better place for him than among the Hickes Agency AKA the Good Gang. I liked to believe Detective Joel Hickes would have been proud to have Teddy among his ranks. He served them well. That being said, carrying the Owen name coupled with the shooters on his belt gave some cause for concern. Such a naysayer was Sophie Bergman who watched Teddy sat across the desk from her looking about himself with a boyish wonderment.  

‘This is a nice office,’ he thought to himself.  

He hadn’t become uncomfortable in the silence that fell between them as Sophie inspected and Golem awaited instruction. Teddy cut the figure of a gentlemen so he clutched his hat on his lap and awaited the lady to address him.  

‘He was atypical of an Owen,’ Sophie thought. The Great States family was blessed (and cursed) with a confidence that stole scenes wherever they went. Teddy was humble though.  

Finally Sophie raised her hands and signed to him. Teddy engaged her in eye contact and despite not knowing what she was saying, he nodded politely to show she had his attention.  

“Ms Bergman would like to know how you are finding Coldford so far,” Golem explained.  

“It’s a mighty fine place,” Teddy replied. “I heard there are parts that are less than desirable but I see that as a chance to make it better. Kim is a fine leader and her team make me feel so proud to be here and be a part of it.”  

Golem reiterated this sentiment to Sophie who took Teddy in again in her blazing stare. She still couldn’t believe Chick’s cousin would be so down to earth, especially not when his brother was Billy. 

“Do you plan on staying in Coldford permantently?” Sophie wished to know.  

Teddy again nodded.  

“I would very much like that, ma’am. There’s a lot I can do here and I’d like to make myself useful.” 

Golem looked at Sophie’s expression. He knew it well. She wasn’t buying a single word. Sure, he had been pivotal in rescuing Reggie Penn. Sure, he had met with the Good Gang in the Great States. He wouldn’t have had to if one of his kin wasn’t causing chaos. This brought her to her next question.  

“Your cousin, Buddy, appears to require some extra attention. Will you be supporting him?”  

Teddy nodded again to show he had heard her words, told through Golem. 

“Ma’am,” he said. “Sir,” he addressed Golem. “That boy has caused a world of trouble. I can’t help but feel responsible for that. You see, we were close. Because of a disagreement with some family members I had to step aside. I wasn’t there for Buddy as I should have been. I’ll always regret that. I’m here now and I would like to make amends all round.” 

Sophie raised her chin as she read the words on his lips. Golem was about to reiterate them but she waved him off. He knew the wrinkle in her nose was her trying to understand an Owen taking responsibility for anything.  

“You have ill will against your family?” she asked of him, flicking her long fingers into the words. 

“We’ve had our troubles but that’s not what’s important to me. What is important is moving forward. Buddy is my concern, and that boy can be deeply concerning sometimes. He can do so much though. I will show him and I know that’s what his daddy wants. If this city is willing to have me she becomes my concern too.”  

Sophie was glaring at him at this point. Where was the Owen bravado. Where was that Owen spin? If the kindly cowboy figure was an Owen, where were the rolling cameras? 

“I’ll submit my arms to your office,” Teddy agreed. “If that will please you, ma’am. I would like to support my team as soon as possible.”  

An Owen willing to give up their guns!? Sophie was starting to feel like she had fallen into another dimension. Are you sure this is William’s brother? She would have to ask Golem later. Never, to her historical knowledge, had an Owen willingly submitted their arms.  

She raised her hand to her chin in sheer disbelief and she signed, “Thank you.” 

“He seems like a nice man,” Golem said when Teddy departed.  

“He’s an Owen,” she reminded Golem.  

She did scold herself for the lack of trust but with the mess that Cousin Billy had caused, believing a soul like Cousin Teddy was a difficult pill to swallow.  


You had better come up to the Chapter House Ronnie had told his cousin, Billy Owen.  

Billy had been drinking, ignoring his phone. He was trying to figure out what he was going to do next.  

“They took my God damn job!” he groaned.  

He drank some more.  

“Chill, daddy,” his son, Ricky had said. “They’ll find something else for ya.”  

That was right. it wasn’t going to be easy with the Law Makers now wanting to know why he was arguing with Isaac Bergman on the docks. He would swear to the Almighty, the ginger bitch Ruby and the jew were in it together. They were in on trying to make his life harder. To add cherry to that cake, to put the hat on the real turd pile that was his life, his job – which he was damn good at – was given to away to some cross dressing, sword swallowing pansy.  

A’body knows pansys can’t be cops. Shit, a’body knows that.  

“Fucking bull shit,” Billy grumbled as he took another drink.  

His phone rang again. Ronnie had tried to call him twenty times already. He finally answered. That was when he was asked to come to the Chapter House.  


The white Cooper SUV sparked into action. He was way too hammered to be driving but luckily Pearl, the sharp girl that she was, navigated safely despite the blurry vision.  

“What’s Buddy done now?” he asked himself as he stepped out of the car to quite a commotion. The crisp cool air sobered him.  

“I’m at the Kappa So Chapter House where the bodies of twenty five young men have been uncovered. The slain twenty five are believed to have been Kappa So brothers. They suffered severe lacerations. Most of them were beheaded. CPD are now arriving on scene to investigate. I’m Sandra Wake of Coldford Daily news.”  

Kathleen, who had spotted Billy arrive gestured to Sandra to cut the broadcast immediately.  

Billy noticed a few of the younger bros look his way.  

‘What’s everyone’s deal?’ he was wondering.  

“Billy!” Ronnie was calling him.  

“What’s going on, Ron?” he asked.  

“Come on,” Ronnie ushered. “It’s bad Bill. You better come with me.”  

Billy followed his lawyer cousin through the crowds. The Cappy himself was present.  

“Bill!” he called, almost sobbing.  

Billy was sobering fast. Even Marshall Cooper had nothing to say and he was always barking his head off. Austin must have come in a hurry. He was still in his zoo gear. He had removed his hat and was holding it to his chest.  

What a mess! Twenty bros killed. It was a fine mess but why was a’body looking at him like he was about to take a leap off a bridge? 

Charles, his cousin, his mentor, whom he looked up to shook his head. Without saying anything he wrapped his arms around him.  

“I’m so sorry,” he whispered into his ear.  

Billy was just about to ask what the Hell was going on when over Chick’s shoulder he saw the body of a Kappa So junior. He was hanging by his feet. He was headless. As the body swung Billy read the name Owen on the back.  

It was the red sneakers he recognised. He had told him they made him look like a Dorothy. He had laughed it off.  

“I’m going to the Chapter House,” he had said that morning.  

“Take some whore money,” Billy had said, giving him a hundred bucks.  

The body kept swinging. They couldn’t remove him until CPD got there.  

“You be careful now,” had been Billy’s last words to him.  

He had smiled  

“That’s my boy!” he screamed.  

The Cappy gripped him tightly.  

“That’s my boy!”  

Chick held him steady. Billy was screaming, trying to shake him off but the Cappy didn’t release his hold.  

He was going to be a scientist. Save the world and shit.