Dawn 8 – Stranger Than Fiction

The girl on reception that had checked in the BIL had gone off somewhere and another rather pretty blond girl had taken her place.  I reckon she was about 19 or 20.  I walked quickly up to the counter and in a breathless voice gave my BILs name and said I was in room 212 and that I had checked in about half an hour ago but had managed to shut my key in the room.  Could she really help me out as I was late for a meeting and give me another key. I gave her my best smile and my deadliest gamma death stare at the same time.  She blushed and stammered and then said certainly sir in a very heavy Eastern accent.  She handed me the card key, I smiled and walked quickly to the lift.

Second floor.

Hotel quiet.

Dead quiet.

silent foot fall.

212.

Muted voices in the room.

Card key slips into the slot.

Red indicator goes green.

Handle down and I am into the room.

There was money and papers all over the place.  Not in a disorganised way but in piles.

Vinnie Jones time

“Hello Girls and boys, would you like to tell me what the fuck is going on here?”.

BIL Shot to his feet like he had had a cattle prod rammed up his arse and bleated “NORMAN”

Gina shot to her feet and shout “Who are you, what are you doing, how dare you, call security, get out you beast” and then darted toward the phone.

She was quick, but I was quicker and then she went to hit me.  I grabbed the wrist of the flying hand turned it through an arc and she found her self on the floor enjoying a home office approved hold known in the trade as a flying angel.

I continued mode a la Vinnie

“I think my Brother in law was in the process of doing the introductions when you decided to try to give me a slap” I applied the pressure to her hand ever so slightly so she winced.  “No manners some people”.

“Let go of me it hurts” she gasped

“Its meant to” I said wittily,  rapidly trying to work out what was going on.  “I tell you what Gina, I’ll let go of your hand providing you promise to be a good little Dee, but one wrong move and I’ll rip off your arm and beat you to death with the bleeding stump, do I make myself clear”

She didn’t say yes but she did say “Dee, how?”

I let go of her hand and she whisked it towards her and sat on the floor rubbing her hand and wrist.

BIL looked at wide eyed and mouth open like a friggin goldfish in a bowl.  It got too much for me and it was certainly too much for Gina who snapped “Oh for God’s sake shut your mouth and say something will you.  Who is this person?”  The word “person” was spat out, as if she was only grudgingly acknowledged that I was a member of the human race.

BIL opened and shut his mouth and then croaked “Its Norman, he is my Bother in Law”

“Oh fuck You’re Dawns brother” she suddenly looked frightened “I didn’t mean for things to go as far as they did” she stammered

“No dont, no..” Said BIL holding up his hand and walking across the room.

I turned and faced him and pointed at him with my right hand

“Shut up shit head, I want to hear what she has to say and if you interrupt again I will remind you in no uncertain terms just how rude it is to interrupt.  Do I make myself understood?”.

“Are you going to take that?” asked Gina in disbelief

“Yes he makes living fighting wars and killing people.  He would kill us and know we were dead before we did,  so yes I am going to take it  and I am going to listen to him and if you have any sense, you will do the same thing”  His voice was getting shrill towards the end of his little speech and he was clearly not a happy chap.

“So we’re cool then?” I asked

He nodded. and then said “Why are you here Norman?”

I laughed and said “Well, you know its funny you should say that, because I was just about to ask you exactly the same question”

There was silence and they looked at each other

“Right then, why don’t we all start by getting nice comfy in this hotel room.  Lets all sit down and you can tell me what the fucks being going on and then we can have a nice cup of tea and be pals”

They sat, but they didn’t exactly start spilling the beans and I got the feeling that they didn’t feel too paly towards me.

After a painful silence I said “Ok so let me ask a few simple questions to get this session going shall I? Lets start with how do you know each other?

“Uni” they said together.

“Ah yes good old Bangor, is that where you met Alan as well?”

“Yes” she said slowly, “How did you..”

I held up my hand.

They say confession is good for the soul and maybe they are right, but it is also good for making what seems like a very complex situation very simple.  I was tired of all this poncing about when suddenly the dam burst.  I would have thought it was going to be him, but it was GIna.  I think she had just had enough.

“We all met at Bangor.  I was going out with BIL and Alan was sort of going out with Dawn.  Fiona is my step sister and she was a year above me.  We all went to France fruit picking one summer.  It was all very “studenty” ( she did that quotation mark thingy with her fingers) we lived in a real gite, an old sort of barn and had barbies and drank cheap wine smoked pot and ate bread and cheese.  Oh we read Satre, Pagnol and other great stuff some of us wrote poetry and started that ground breaking novel. All very bohemian” she said with a wry smile. “It was sunny and we were bright young things who were going to change the world.  We were tanned, fit and all in love or so we thought.”

“So what happened?”

“He fell in love with Dawn and on the rebound I fucked Alan.  He was very clever was Alan, a professional bull shitter and destined to be a carer academic, he had no intention of dirtying his hands in the real world.  He came from a very good family.  Talk of yachts, well connected friends and family not to mention the paintings they owned, but as I was to find out later it was all in the past tense. In reality nobody in his family had ever really worked or done anything and Alan was no different.  He was spoilt, but he knew people and the system and so he always had money and drink.”

She took a big breath “Fiona left uni and went into publishing and a few years later her first book was published.  Initially everyone said she had used her position to get herself published, but when they read the book everyone thought it very good and so it no surprise that she sold well.  Things hadn’t gone so well for me and so when our parents died I got the house.  It was really Fiona’s, but she didn’t need it but didn’t want to sell it either.  Alan didn’t really have a pot to piss in but he was full of bull and managed to persuade some old friend of the family to give him a seat at the university at XXXXXXXXX and so we moved to Peterborough.  How very suburban in comparison to those halcyon days in France”

“But you work for Fiona and her publishers don’t you?” I asked

“Yeess sort of” she said hesitantly and then sighed.  “She asked me to help with her admin and research.  There wasn’t much to it really and then Fee dried.  She was suffering from “writers block” – she did the finger thingy again.  Fee had told me that the stuff she had published was from our summer in France with a bit of padding here and there and I assumed that it was her stuff.  Then it really got to her and she was very depressed.  Suicidal.  I love my sister and she has been wonderful to me.  I was seven when my dad died and only eight and a bit when my mum decided to marry Fees dad.  My dad was everything to me and I thought he was everything to my mum.  I think he was, but I didn’t understand the adult world.  In books you get wicked step sisters, but I got an angel.  She used to take me to see my dads parents and to his grave and never told me not to be baby when I would wet the bed or start crying because I missed him.  To see her falling apart was more than I could stand.  I took her back to France in the hope it might jog her out of her black hole.  If anything it seemed to make her worse.  Then one day, out of the blue she told me how one day when we were due to leave France she had picked up all the note books that were lying around the gite.  It was just before we went back to uni and she put them in her rucksack.  When we got home she forgot about them until several months later when she read Dawns stuff and was just blown away by it.  To cut along story short -she gave a little snort at the little joke-She did a bit of padding out here and there but her books were all written by Dawn during our time in France, and that’s why she couldn’t write anymore.  It was Dawns material.”

“Dawn?” I said incredulously “Wrote”

“Oh yes” they said together

“Books”

They nodded and Gina said “Not only was her stuff bestseller material but she had produced enough to produce four books.  That is some going”

“Well I’ll be” I said “So what’s all that got to do with now and where does Dee come into it?”

To my surprise BIL started to yak ” There was reunion, you know one of these Friends Reunited things and I was contacted by Gina and Alan.  I didn’t know about Fiona then.  Dawn didn’t want to go and in fact was really anti me going.  We hadn’t been getting on well and I had my suspicions that she was in love with someone else, well put it this way she wasn’t in love with me.  Anyway we had a huge fight and I ended up going on my own.  We all met up again” he pointed at Gina “And it was like all those years hadn’t happened.  We spent the weekend together and it was like we were back before we went to France.”

“I have to be honest” Said Gina ” I never forgave Dawn for taking him away from me and I was so angry at how she treated him like dirt when she had him,  that I saw a perfect way of getting my revenge and our little Emily Bronte to put pen to paper. I started a blog sort of based on something she, Dawn that is had written.” She pointed at the BIL “He would leave it up on the Pc at home and set it as a default page on his web browser and surruptiously got Dawn to read it and then to comment and ultimately correspond with Dee

“But who is Dee, does she exist” I persisted

“Ah yes, well you see about four of us girlies had a bit of a drunken lesbian romp after a party here one summer.  I think we were in our first year, I cant remember, it was all a bit of a laugh really, not a real serious thing just a bit of kiss and  fondle and touching in the shower together.  One of the girls had been at school with me and had gone to Oxford and was called Dee.  She and Dawn really hit it off and they stayed in touch for quite awhile.  We found out and used to tease Dawn about it but then she got really pissed off with us and we dropped it.  It must have been her legal studies eating away at her sense of humour.  So  I decided to model my blog on Dee as I thought she would be now.  It was a simple as that and she took the bait and started writing to Dee.  She never came out and asked “Are you THE Dee?” but it was obvious she remembered Dee and still had feelings.  I just fuelled that part of the  inspirational fire and he did his bit by making Dawn want and need Dee more and boy did we her fire burn.  We have enough material for a trilogy of books and some short stories”

“Have you indeed” I said

They looked a very happy pair as they nodded without even realising they were doing it. “Fee has finished the first book and that has just come from final editing there is an advance on the other two PLUS film rights.” Gina gloated.

“Well that’s OK then” I said “But erm I have three other questions.  Number one is where the fuck does Alan fit into this little love triangle number two is who was the other bloke you picked up in  Bourne and lastly what about all this money that’s lying around”

“Oh well number one is easy.  Alan has been sleeping with female students for years.  I let him get on with that and in exchange he lets me have the man I really love and we have a happy family setup, no hang ups” She beamed at me as if she hadn’t a care in the world.

“And the other bloke and the money” I prompted

“That’s Jon,  Fiona’s husband.”

“I thought they were divorced”

“Well yes, they have divorced for some kind of legal or financial reason.  He deals with the financial side of Fees writing.  He negotiates the film rights and contracts etc.  He was bringing us our cut of the first book and the advance of the second two” said BIL. “Cash” he added just in case I hadn’t worked that out for myself.  There was a lot of wedge.

I looked at the two love birds, the money and then out of the window.  I suppose I knew more or less all I wanted to know, but know the question was what to do about it. On the one hand Dawn had been a right pain at times and could be really unpleasant.  However that didn’t change the fact that in the first instance Fee had originally nicked Dawn’s material.  The naughtiness was compounded by the fact that Gina and the BIL had deliberately set out to get Dawn to write and in the process had fucked around with her emotions and mental health.  I reckoned that Gina and the BIL were worse and Fiona.  I also noticed that the dastardly duo skipped over the little matter of the threatening to blackmail Dawn.  I wasn’t bothered about the fact that the BIL was over the side with Gina that was not my problem and would come out in the wash.  My big consideration was the effect all this would have on his kids.  All in all I decided what was done was done and I saw no reason why anyone should rock the boat too much, after all these books were a nice little earner.

Silence.

“So then killer what are you going to tell your sister?” asked Gina.

“Nothing, but my client will be very interested in what you have told me” I said

“Client?  you didn’t say anything about a client, I thought Dawn was your sister” she said

“Ah no, you see you got the wrong end of the stick there.  My wife was his sister” I said nodding at BIL ” My Client is his wife”

I stood up and they followed.  “What are you gong to do?” asked BIL.

“I think you mean what are we going to do.  First off there are going to be some changes which will include Dawn getting a suitable payment for the original material and a financial settlement for the most recent stuff.”

“What if we dont agree” said the BIL

“I will expose you two as blackmailers and Fiona as a fraud and a thief”

“You can’t do that” exploded GIna

“Why not?” I asked

“We’ll fight you in the courts” said the BIL

“Oh really and you think the publishers will be happy to see their name in the papers.  I dont think so pal”

“So what happens right now” asked Gina after a few seconds stony silence.

“Well as I said that really depends on how you want to play things, but I will start by having a few quid from this pile here for my time and expenses as a result of your little jape” as I picked up two packs of fifty pound notes ” Plus an initial ex gratia payment  for my client as a good will gesture on your part plus some money to take his kids away on holiday” I picked up another 3 packs of money and put them in my pocket

“But its ours” he protested flecks of spit shot from his mouth

I looked him in the eyes and saw a greedy forty something sado.

“Look shag Do yourself and everyone else a favour, don’t be an arse all your life take a day off”

I went to leave the room and he stood in front of me and blocked my way.

“Move”

“Not until you give us our money back”

“Its not yours. I have already told you that you that we can either come to a nice little business arrangement or  be an arse which will me we expose Fiona as a fraud and you two as blackmailers.  I think the sensible approach for all concerned is to negotiation a reasonable agreement, but if you don’t want to do that then that’s up to you”

I really didn’t expect him to punch me in the face, but he did and he did it with surprising force.  My  nose broke and although not the fist time it still hurt and blood cascaded and my eyes filled with tears (cos I am sensitive like).  I staggered backwards caught completely off guard and a second blow blow hit my cheek.  I heard the sound of breaking bone – his hand not my face.  I got my act together and unable to hit me he directed a kick to my nuts.  I blocked the kick and grabbed his foot and yanked it upwards with considerable force.  His leg went up and his head went back and as he did so I twisted the foot inwards and round with both hands.  He howled in pain as I either dislocated or broke his ankle. I didn’t know which and to be honest I didn’t much care.  He hit the floor like a sack of spuds moaning.  At this point in an unprovoked attack II would normally have stamped on his face, however we are family and I could see this causing problem the next time we had lunch at his mothers.  I dropped to one knee and grabbed him by the hair at the side of his head instead and pulled.  You know the hair just in front of the ears – the old school masters hold.  I then spoke unto him in words of one syllabub which even a tosser like him would understand.  I prevailed upon him to see reason and not to continue in this foolish act or the hand of the Norm would smite him down.  Permanently.

I stood up and as I did so he made a sudden movement with his right arm and attempted to grab my leg.  I stamped on the fingers of his injured hand and kept my weight there.  He squealed and convulsed in pain and brought his knees up into a sort of foetal position and gasped for breath.  His other arm flayed around wildly and he yelled.

“What is your problem, which bit of wise don’t you understand”  I applied more pressure to his hand “Just stop trying to fight me please” He whimpered.  Great blobs of blood dropped from my nose on to his face and shirt.  He squirmed and tried to block the blood falling on him.

My face was throbbing and my cheek didn’t feel so great either.

“I wouldn’t be bleeding over you if you hadn’t decided to whack me.  You really should have taken your own advice and been sensible shouldn’t you.  You’re greedy that’s what your problem is.  Well I have just upped my fees and will takes some extra to cover the dry cleaning”  I leaned over  and took immediate payment by way of another pack of fifties from a bundle on the dressing table.  I took my foot off his fingers and he pulled his hand to him and nursed his injured fingers.

More blood plopped on to the BIL.

I picked up the receiver and dialled reception.

“This is MrXXXX in room 212.  My friend Uncle Norman will be leaving this afternoon and I would like his bill adding to my account please.”

She confirmed that the room for 327 would be added to 212 and I thanked her.  I put the receiver down.

Gina was crying and looked at me. “Sorry” she said

“Apology accepted.  Now then I suggest you two get your act together and clean up in here and then take him to A&E. We will talk tomorrow when you are both ready to be sensible”

“How will we contact you?” she said

“Gina you’re forgetting that if you shack up with him that we will be the next best thing to family. I know where you two are and Rambo here knows where I live, but if you like I will send a couple of my men to pick Fiona up.”

“What if she refuses to go with them” I smiled a friendly bloody smile whish I suspect wasn’t too friendly at all “Oh she’ll go alright,  they are ever so persuasive and charming and she wont really have much say in the matter.”

she looked alarmed.

“No please don’t do that, I’ll speak to her and explain what has happened.  Its better coming from me after all this bit of the problem has been caused by me.”

“Norman” she said quietly looking at the floor “I am sorry this has happened”

“So am I chicken”

“Do you think we can start again on a better foot next time we meet?”

“I don’t see why not provided you two act sensibly”

She then stood up and held out her hand I took it and we shook hands.  She managed a sort of smile.  I stepped over the BIL and grabbed a towel from the bathroom for my nose.

“You can see he tripped on the bed clothes”  before heading to my room.

I changed and cleaned myself up, it was time to go home.

It had been a very long and weird week.  One of the weirdest I have ever had and I had had enough.

I wanted a bath a curry and several Cobras but more than anything I wanted a little Estonian minx.

I missed L.

One Response to “Dawn 8 – Stranger Than Fiction”

  1. dl says:

    Glad to see you’re back, and in your usual excellent form. I’ve had a few episodes to catch up on – fantastic reading!

    Cheers,
    D.

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