Work in Progress

Although I frequently decide to concentrate only on one book at a time, I inevitably find myself with more ideas than I need, so end up with several works in progress. At the moment, I’m busy with several new books, including book 3 in the Relic Black Thriller series:

McClure Logistics, Carsgate Road North, Inverness 5:15am

Having walked the half-mile from the main road, they stop at the gates. It’s still nice and dark and none of the neighbouring units are lit up. Continuing through the gate and up to the front of the building, Relic Black pauses and turns to face the road.

“What’s up?” says McKay.

“Thought I’d keep a look out.”

“Away tae fuck. Get inside wi me. Ye need to ken how to dae this—I’m no always gonnae be here tae hold yer hand.” Ali McKay digs into his pocket and pulls out two pairs of latex gloves.

Relic stifles a groan. He takes the gloves and pulls them on, then waits until McKay has unfastened the locking bar and the lock on the side door. Pushing the door open, McKay steps inside.

The place looks the same as on their last visit, almost forty-eight hours earlier. Fortunately, nothing has changed, which suggests no-one else has been in the unit. Aside from the ancient portacabin that passes for an office, rolls of carpet and racks of laminate flooring take up most of the storage space. But it’s the two chest freezers that are the focus of McKay’s interest.

Crossing to the corner, he lifts the lids of each one in turn. He stares down at the two men currently taking up residence and satisfies himself that the bodies of Fat Frank and DCI Callaghan haven’t been touched.

“Still dead, then?” says Relic.

McKay grunts. Using two lengths of timber, he props open the lids of both freezers, just in case no-one thinks to check inside. “Let’s get this done afore some fucker comes nosin around, eh?”

Relic climbs the two steps into the office and picks up a handful of papers and files from the desk. Stuffing them into an empty carboard box, he carries it to the corner of the unit nearest the entrance. Leaning a few offcuts of carpet against the box, he pulls a bunch of loose papers out and crumples them up. McKay finds a bin bag of rubbish and adds the contents to the pile.

“That be enough?” says Relic, picking up a sheet of newspaper.

The other man surveys their work. “Aye.” Taking the Coke bottle from his jacket pocket, he unscrews it. Pouring half the contents over the rubbish, he dribbles the rest across a few rolls of carpets. Replacing the screw cap, he nods to Relic.

Twisting the newspaper, Relic takes out the lighter he bought for the occasion and sets fire to one end. Waiting until McKay has stepped outside the building, he leans down and lights several bits of paper and card around the box. The flames flicker for a moment then there’s a whoosh as the material takes hold. Relic steps through the door.

“Leave it open,” says McKay. “Dinnae want the place to burn to the ground afore the brigade get inside.”

They stand for a minute, watching the blaze, then cross the yard and follow the road back to the car. As they round the corner, McKay takes the burner phone from his jacket and makes a call.

“Fire brigade, please,” he says in a high, sing-song voice. He pauses, grinning at Relic. “Oh yes, I’m just walking my Chihuahua along Carsgate Road North and it looks as if one of the factories might be on fire. That’s right, yes. I believe it’s called McClure Logistics. I’d hurry along if I were you, young lady, before it really takes hold.” He ends the call and throws the phone into some bushes at the entrance to the Arnold Clark repair shop. “Seven minutes. Eight, tops.”

Back in the car park at the B and M Garden Centre, they stand by the Audi for a while, listening. Within a minute, a distant siren whines into life.

“Harbour Road?” says Relic.

“Aye. Be comin past shortly. Wanna stay and watch?”

Relic laughs. “Nah. Reckon it’s time for breakfast. I’ve got bacon and eggs if ye like?”

McKay nods. “Aye, why the fuck not?”

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