Short story. Jim Private Detective cleans up.
The private eye saw Rose in the window, wrapped in the arms of a man, kissing him passionately, unaware that a camera with a long distance lens was clicking away exposing her infidelity.
Jim had been sitting in his car all night waiting for Rose to make an appearance, his training from a previous career enabled him to remain awake, only the empty flask of coffee gave any clue.
He watched his target through his camera lens as she left the block of flats, hurrying on her high heels. He wondered how women walked in shoes like those.
Stretching his long legs he followed her on foot down the busy high street. He found keeping her in view easy as her red scarf, casually thrown around her neck, wafted in the breeze making her easy to spot.
He kept a good distance between them, occasionally needing to stop and gaze into a shop window to avoid her seeing him.
She imagined no one would be interested in following her and Jim was good at his job; she didn’t see him.
Jim was a patient man and patience was an attribute one needed in his line of work, that, and an ability to just sit and watch and wait.
He didn’t fit most people’s image of a private detective, (dirty raincoat, chain smoking, borderline alcoholic,) appearing more like someone’s favourite uncle.
Balding slightly, steel-rimmed glasses, with a studious air, he could have passed for a College lecturer.
Jim got into the PI game after he left the army where they called him Bomber, or Special Forces Sergeant, James Cameron.
After leaving the army he found it difficult to fit into mainstream society until he started his own agency.
‘James Tracker. Private Investigator. Discretion assured.
Rose hurried, even those shoes. Jim tailed her discretely, she was keen to get home he surmised, back to her husband and children, to continue the lie she’d been out all night with “the girls”.
She was unaware that her husband had his suspicions and that he’d hired Jim to find proof of his wife’s lies.
These were Jim’s usual cases, exposing the activities of cheating spouses and returning runaway teenagers to their families.
About a year ago a formidable-looking man charged through Jim’s door. He stood nearly two metres tall, massively built, giving the impression he often got his own way. His greasy hair hung past his shoulders and a thick black beard almost covered his face.
“I need information and quickly, I want you to get it for me,” he boomed.
Jim decided it would be a good move on his part to accept the assignment, which he found, on being given further information, was to discover all he could about the Devil’s Warriors, a new outlaw motorcycle gang from interstate.
The man, who called himself Mack, had heard rumours that the gang intended to set up shop here in the city.
Mack needed to know the leader’s name, how many they were and their plans.
“There’s only room for one gang here,” he grunted.
Jim had contacts all over Australia, also ways and means of gathering information. Within two weeks he delivered all the information Mack had asked for, including the name of his rival, a vicious character named Karl, better known to his followers as Lucifer.
The gang had already purchased premises near Mack’s territory and would ride into town, thirty strong in the coming weeks.
Mack took the news badly. The look on his face would have scared a lesser man. Reaching into his jacket he threw a wad of banknotes onto Jim’s desk. “Thanks, maybe I’ll use you again,” he growled.
Jim had grave misgivings about being involved in a stoush between two vicious rival motorcycle gangs and didn’t want to be in Mack’s employ. Bad things were about to happen.
Six months after the Devil’s Warriors moved into the city, the drug culture worsened considerably, to where drive-by shootings became a common occurrence.
Bikies delivered warning shots to the houses of people that owed them money for drugs.
Local girls were being lured into prostitution and there’d even been a shootout in a city car park between the rival gangs.
The police arrested members from both groups but such was the code of silence no one would give evidence.
The violence in the city became worse, the police seemed helpless to curb the ongoing animosity between the rival gangs and newspaper headlines told of illegal activity escalating out of control.
Jim decided it was time to get rid of Mack, Lucifer and their bands of thugs.
It further strengthened his resolve after an encounter with Mack one hot summer’s day.
Jim’s daughter Jen was earning extra cash doing bookkeeping at her dad’s office, when the deep-throated growl of a dozen Harley Davidson cut the air as the gang rode menacingly through town.
Jim recognised Mack’s distinctive bike as he was standing outside his office and lifted a hand in recognition, the huge bike pulled over.
Jen stepped out of the office at the same time and Jim saw the gleam in Mack’s eyes as he laid eyes on the eighteen-year-old.
“Hi Jim, and who’s this?” Mack growled, his black eyes scanning Jen’s slim body.
Jim laid a protective arm around his daughter’s shoulders. “This is my daughter, she’s home from university, she’ll be returning in a few weeks,” his voice held a warning.
“Fancy a ride?” Mack asked Jen, his tone suggested he meant something more.
Jen stared in awe at the bikie’s body. He was wearing a sleeveless tee shirt, his bulging arms covered in tattoos and his teeth gleamed white against the black beard.
She gave him a shy smile which gave her father chills. He saw it impressed her that Mack was showing her interest.
“Go back inside Jen.” Jim ordered.
“Jen, that’s a pretty name.” Mack drooled.
“She’s off limits Mack.”
“See’y Jim,” he opened the throttle and roared up the highway.
“He’s a dangerous character Jenny, keep away from guys like that,” Jim warned his daughter when they went back inside.
“Dad! I can look after myself,” she said, picking up her mobile and storming out.
Jim and his wife Alison were beside themselves with concern when only a few short weeks after their young daughter had first set eyes on Mack, things deteriorated to such a degree that Jen was spending more and more time inside the bikie enclave.
Jim tried unsuccessfully to convince her to see the danger she was putting herself in but she seemed to be under Mack’s spell and nothing her parents said made any difference.
As soon as Jen’s safely back at Uni, Mack and the other lowlifes won’t know what’s hit them, Jim thought.
Alison tried to talk a little sense into her daughter and get her to return to her studies.
“Mack will respect you more if you show him you’re not like the usual girls that hang around bike clubs,” she pleaded to her daughter’s sense of pride.
Jim thought he’d start the war off small with a Molotov cocktail through the Devil’s Warriors’ headquarter’s window.
‘Lucifer’ was furious and retaliated with a drive by shooting at the Sewer Rats club house.
It was as if it had mortally wounded Mack when someone blew up his Harley one night; the explosion caused half the town’s people to lose their sleep.
The violence escalated, retribution followed retribution, helped along by Jim’s knowledge of explosives and stealth.
Jen and Mack still kept in touch while they were apart and it concerned Jim that his beloved daughter would be home again soon and that the relationship would escalate. He needed to finish this once and for all.
His plan was to destroy the Devil’s Warriors’ headquarters causing them to assume that Mack’s gang the Sewer Rats had been responsible.
Waiting until the next new moon when the night sky was in darkness, Jim carried out his plan.
He’d purchased an ancient unregistered diesel truck and quietly parked it outside the Sewer Rats’ club house.
He could hear the men inside laughing, planning their next illegal activity or sharing out their ill-gotten gains.
Jim filled the rusty old vehicle with diesel fuel, the truck bed contained several barrels of petrol.
Dressed in black clothing, he slipped out of the driver’s cab as quietly as he could and crossed the road, carrying a rifle and the bullets needed to penetrate and ignite the diesel.
He positioned himself in the shadows.
Taking aim, he fired into the old trucks’ fuel tank, the resulting explosion rocked the quiet suburb, and blew Jim off his feet, temporarily deafened.
The fire quickly spread, engulfing the club house. Flames shot into the night sky and Jim saw leather cladded men running from the building, like the sewer rats they were leaving a sinking ship.
Jim casually walked away as fire engines raced to the scene.
It was a few days later that the Sewer Rats retaliated.
“Massacre on the Streets,” read the newspaper headline.
‘The police arrested several members of the Sewer Rats motorcycle gang today. They are accused of the slaying of Douglas Mackintosh (Mack), on the streets of our city. Tough new laws are being implemented to give the police power to enter club houses, question members and force them to leave the state.’
It was a quiet night, Jim sat in his car, he sighed contentedly.
He was investigating a man whose wife said he was a “cheating bastard.”
Taking a sip of his coffee, Jim settled in for a long wait.