Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The Debt Collector

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It was the kind of place that could drive the strongest to suicide and weaker souls to murder. Cammie stared out of the window watching the cars trundle past; even at this late hour there was a constant hum of engines. The room was lit by the glare of the petrol sign that flickered outside his window - the green hue giving the place a 1950s horror movie feel. He felt empty, he always felt empty at times like these. Empty, dirty, lonely. Each time he said it would be his last, but then there was always the next time. The roar of a landing plane briefly drowned out the cars outside and shook the building to its foundations, but it couldn’t drown out Cammie’s thoughts.  There was a knock on the door. Cammie didn’t move. He continued to look out at the cars and the lights on the runway in the distance. Another knock, this time more urgent. He sighed and slowly made his way to the door.
“Who is it?” he said.
“You know who it is.” A voice said. “Open the fucking door Cammie.”
Cammie did as he was told and was immediately pushed backwards by a brutish hand.
“Where’s my fucking money?” Robbo shouted.
“Easy tiger.”
Robbo grabbed Cammie by the shirt and lifted him up, crashing his back into the wall.
“Don’t you easy tiger me!”
“I can’t fucking give it you from up here can I?” Cammie could smell the alcohol on Robbo’s breath.
Robbo gradually lowered Cammie back to the ground.
“Don’t do anything stupid,” Robbo stared at Cammie as he went towards his wallet.
Cammie got his money out, carefully counted out what he owed, and handed it over. Robbo snatched it from his hand and inspected it in the half light.
“It’s real,” Cammie said. Robbo put the cash away and got up close and personal with Cammie.
“This is your last warning sunshine. Don’t ever short change one of my girls again.” Robbo said and slapped Cammie across the face. Cammie staggered backwards.
“You charge too much,” Cammie said, holding his face where the back of Robbo’s hand had caught him.
“If you don’t like my prices, go elsewhere, but you know my girls are the best.”
Cammie shrugged.
“Whatever happened to mates rates?”

“You lost that privilege a long time ago Cammie, you know the rules. I might be smiling, but I don’t forgive or forget.” With that Robbo turned on her stiletto heel and walked out of the door.

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