Flash fiction from David from the ‘Confused’ trigger
MAKE NO MISTAKE By David R Graham
Adam Goodman’s sense of welbeing increased as the 17:02 pulled into Bridlington rail station. Finally, his housing transfer was completed. He had said good riddance to Doncaster and within the next hour he would move into his new bungalow in Sewerby.
Thirty minutes later, Adam boarded the 510 bus and arrived in Sewerby at 6:03. He was tired and hungry after his long journey, during which he had sustained himself with the thought of a pint and a hot meal in the Ship Inn. Having eaten there on previous visits, he liked the pub’s friendly atmosphere, wholesome food and choice of ales and beers.
When he entered the pub, Adam was pleased to see that, other than a group of suited office workers, seated round a table to his left, the pub was relatively quiet. He did not like busy, noisy, pubs. Happily anticipating a good meal and a pint, he closed the door behind him and moved towards the bar.
He was almost there. When he heard someone shout out.
‘I DON’T FUCKIN’ BELIEVE IT!’
The words were loaded with a mix of aggression and disbelief.
A nervous shiver flushed through Adam’s body. He jerked his head to his left, in time to see one of the office workers on his feet. His tie was askew. He was well built and looked strong. His face was suffused with blood. Worse still, he was glaring at Adam with murderous intent.
Watching the man swaying on his feet, Adam realised, with a sinking feel in his stomach, that the man was drunk.
Unable to move, Adam watched the man approach.
‘You’ve got a fuckin’ nerve. Comin’ back here, Grossman!’
‘My name’s not Grossman,’ Adam said his voice hoarse with rising apprehension, ‘It’s Goodman.’
‘Is it now? Not very fuckin’ original, is it? Grossman! Goodman! Couldn’t you come up with something better than that. After fifteen years! Eh?’
‘My name, is, Goodman,’ Adam said reaching into his jacket pocket to get his wallet.
‘That’s a pile of crap, Grossman! Did you really think anyone would forget your murderin’ face?’
Adam’s wallet was not in his jacket pocket.
The man moved closer.
You must have a fuckin’ death wish! Comin’ back here! After what you did!’
Adam took his eyes off the man. With growing anxiety he searched the rest of his pockets
The man balled his fists and moved closer.
‘Well your wish is about to be fulfilled, Grossman!’
‘My name isn’t Grossman! It’s Goodman. I’m Adam Goodman,’ Adam said in a placatory tone as he continued to search his pockets, in the forlorn hope that he had missed his wallet.
‘There ain’t nothin’ good about you, Grossman! You don’t know the meanin’ of the word!’
Adam’s anxiety bordered on panic. I must have left it on the bus.
The man moved closer.
I had it when I got on at Bridlington.
The man moved closer. Others joined him.
I’ll have to call the bus company. Right away. The number might be on a bus stop.
The man was suddenly towering over Adam.
Adam jerked his head up in alarm.
The punch caught him high on his left cheekbone.
The impact jarred his whole body.
The pain shocked his nervous system.
He was being attacked!
Why? What had he done?
Terror seized his whole body.
His arms flew out to his sides.
He fought to stay on his feet.
He spun across the bar room.
His attacker followed.
He crashed hard against the street door.
He shook his head.
His attacker closed in.
His vision cleared. His attacker was almost on him. There were others behind him.
He had to flee. To escape. He wrenched open the door. He dashed out to his left. Not knowing where he was going.
His pursuers were closing in.
Panic overwhelmed him.
He stopped thinking.
His vision distorted.
He charged into the side of a vehicle turning into the car park.
The impact and momentum rolled him to his left.
He tumbled between the vehicle and its trailer.
The vehicle jerked to a stop.
He fell across the trailer’s chasse bar.
His attackers pounced on him.
He gripped the edge of the trailer. Tried to pull himself to his feet. A stunning blow struck him between his eyes.
The impact plunged him into darkness.
He did not feel the rest of the blows, that pummelled the life out of his body.
‘So. You finally did it Carl?’ Detective Sergeant Baldwin said in a tired tone. ‘That temper of yours has finally got you facing a murder charge. How many times have I warned you?’
‘That fuckin’ creepy bastard deserved what he got. You know what he did to Elaine Greene an’ her little girls.’
‘Carl, Carl, Carl,’ DS Baldwin said in exasperation, ‘You haven’t got the brains you were born with. Have you?’
Carl Foulstone did not answer.
‘The man you and your mates beat to death, wasn’t Martin Grossman. His name was Adam Goodman.’ He had just moved here from Doncaster. You killed the wrong man. Carl. An innocent man.’
‘No way! I recognised his evil mug, the moment he walked into the Ship. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. He must have been mad coming back here. He was mad when he attacked and raped Elaine and her girls. He deserved to die the way he did.’
‘You killed the wrong man. Carl. And make no mistake. I am going to do everything in my power to see that you go down for murder. I am going to see to it. That you go down for a very long time.’
‘No way! I don’t believe you! You’re wrong!’ Foulstone said with ill-concealed fear. ‘It was Grossman!’
‘No Carl. You killed Adam Goodman. Grossman has been in the maximum security wing at Wakefield; for the best part of a year, for assaulting two highway patrol officers with a car jack.’