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Songs of Bliss


Jock and Ken pocket a few of the sachets and leave, shutting the door to the
laboratory behind them. As they pass the padlocked stable door neither one of them will
look at it. Davie has the car doors open for them as they leave the building. Car doors slam,
marking their exit just as they announced their arrival.
Upstairs Doctor Jasari looks at his lab rats. He makes a choice. The new girl. He
goes over to her cell, sits on the bed and gently, very gently, starts to stroke her thigh.
Jock and the brothers McCoist retrace their outward journey. As ever, the
homeward trip seems to take less time. Jock sits forward on the rear bench, his arms
running along the backs of the two front seats. He is strung out. As the digital clock on the
dashboard counts down toward five o?clock in the morning the sky begins to lighten. They
are all fighting to stay awake.
The coming of daylight, which Jock thinks should refresh the m, seems to weigh
them down. He won?t let his boys see how frayed he is. One last move. He?s planned for
this. He has three farm complexes under renovation and a number of other properties
coming up for sale. It?s the right time of year. Finish the work and sell. By Autumn he
wants shot of the lot, shot of the cash flow problems, shot of the whole bloody place. He?s
under pressure. He feels his age. One more deal and he can quit. Cash in the bank and
Spanish horizons every morning. Things to tie up. Loose e nds. The toss of a coin.
“Davie, I want you out at the farm first thing Monday morning. Check the grounds,
make sure our mutual friend hasn?t left any shit lying around. Make sure the bodies are
disposed of properly. I don?t want fucking rats dragging fingers off into some gobshite
farmer?s barn.”
“Aye, boss”. Davie yawns. He?s only just getting the feeling back in his toes. The
car?s heater makes him feel heavy, as if he?s sinking. He?s ready to submerge. Drowning
holds no fear, especially now that he has realised what the Boss wants him to do. He
shudders at the thought of visiting the farm again.
Jock turns towards Ken, who seems less inclined to throw the car around now.
“Ken, we need to call Shaun in next week, Wednesday probably. We?ll need to give him a
taster, work out where to shift the gear, how best to run our wee test. Tell him I?ll see him
at the club, early doors. Price it down to start with, same as a couple of E?s, ramp it up later
when it gets a bit of a reputation.”
Ken nods, concentrating on the road. They?re hitting the main trunk road now on the
outskirts of Bideford. He and Davie will drop Jock off at the house in Westleigh before
heading back to Snuggle?s and the flat above the club that they share. Added protection.
“All we need now is a name”, Jock continues, “something to create brand loyalty, if
you get my drift.”
Davie has dipped beneath the plane of creative thought. Twilight. Ken spots his
younger brother drifting away and shakes his head. The boy has no stamina, but there?s
nothing new in that. He makes a left, heading down towards Instow. “Won?t the stuff do
that?” he asks.
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