Eleven

My next attack was easy. A guy, a fucking idiot, was parked up at the side of a winding country lane up above Huddersfield. It may have been Kirkheaton, or Kirkburton – I’m not sure of the area – but he sat there looking down at his mobile phone as cars crept cautiously around him and into a blind bend, into the path of oncoming traffic.

I parked a good ten metres behind him and waited for a lull.

The lad’s door was unlocked, and I could see when I leaned across him to undo his seatbelt that he was probably early twenties. Tanned, bemused, oblivious. I could also see that he had a young girl in a blue school uniform sat in the seat beside him. Probably no older than five or six, probably his daughter.

“DON’T LOOK AT ME!” I growled at her through the pink balaclava as I dragged her father from his seat, both of his hands clasped around my wrist as I tugged violently at the collar of his jacket, my other hand waving my hammer high in the air as a beacon of threat.

Come with me, or I’ll set Gary the fucking hammer on you.

I pulled him by the throat as he gargled and kicked, and led him through a gap in the dry stone wall, throwing him down onto the grass where we could conduct our business without being seen.

THWACK!

THWACK!

THWACK!

THWACK!

It was textbook. The whole operation had taken less than a minute. I left him behind the wall and fled, and as the endorphins hit I pushed the accelerator harder and harder – barrelling down narrow country lanes and past farmhouses and tractors.

Faster and faster I moved, whooping and laughing, the Fiesta’s little engine screaming and stuttering as the steering wheel was snatched from my grasp – a direct result of the front nearside wheel making contact with the pavement.

Modern cars probably don’t have this problem, I thought to myself as the world inverted around me. There are some types of power steering now available which completely sever any mechanical connection between the driver’s steering wheel and the car’s wheels on the ground…

Coins and empty vodka bottles floated around my head, as if suspended in a NASA anti-gravity chamber.

…which probably means that any impact to the front wheels, such as hitting a pothole, isn’t felt by the driver through the steering wheel…

The car somersaulted twice before coming to rest at the bottom of a steep grassy embankment.

…resulting in an overall less-engaging driving experience, albeit less manual and arduous. Possibly better suited to city drivers and large commercial vehicles.

The car was totally fucked. I tore off the fake number plates and placed them in an old screwed-up carrier bag alongside my balaclava, my hammer, and my empty vodka bottles

“Terry? It’s Gav. Is t’low-loader free? I need you to come an get me mate…”

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