Burglary at Constantine Court

The Asian man opens the van’s back doors, and the three of them begin loading the electrical gear into the vehicle. They work quickly, and as quietly as possible. The white man, especially, is worried. It is his van. He is parked in a resident’s space (Alan has taken his Lexus to the office) and this square looks full of curtain-twitchers. There is a big police presence in the area. Before, on-campus accommodation was continually robbed and trashed by people from the surrounding estates. This resulted in a drop in Ucas applications, and the university was forced to treble its security budget. Now, cops are everywhere.

Some of the items, such as the big-screen television in the front room, take two men to shift. It must look conspicuous as hell. Their cover story is that Tom is moving out and the others are helping him. Moving where? Well, they haven’t worked it out that far. But no curtains twitch. They are loaded and driving off by half past.

Alan Carrack will discover the burglary three hours later. His reaction will be more or less what you’d expect.

The two men ride in the cabin; Tom Dubois, as befitting his status, sits in the back with the gear. The Asian man, who is driving, deliberately takes hard corners, so that Tom slides around. This causes much merriment in the cabin.

Twenty minutes later they are at a pub at Higher Broughton. For a nominal fee, the landlord will allow the goods to be stored in his upstairs room. In the office, a stack of money is split four ways.

The white man buys pints for the three of them. They toast a job well done. Tom feels like he belongs, is part of something. He knows this is a dangerous feeling, that he cannot trust these men, but the camaraderie feels true and irresistible. Yet the alarm may have been raised.

He says his goodbyes and leaves to derisive cheers. The moneyroll feels good in his pocket. He is walking towards town. He needs to find somewhere to rent, someone who will take cash. But first he’s going to have a pint and score some decent weed for once.

Dubious T finds the great crossing of Trinity Way and navigates his way to the city from there. He will rent near town, some student area. He vows not to return to Salford, and he knows he’ll never see Carrack again. But that turns out to be wrong.

Max Dunbar was born in London in 1981. He recently finished a full-length novel and his short fiction has appeared in various print and web journals including Open Wide, Straight from the Fridge and Lamport Court. He also writes criticism for 3:AM and Butterflies and Wheels. He is Manchester’s regional editor of Succour magazine, a journal of new fiction and poetry. He blogs at http://maxdunbar.wordpress.com

Pages: 1 2 3 4



2 Responses to “Burglary at Constantine Court”

  1. August 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm, Burglary at Constantine Court « Max Dunbar said:

    […] at Constantine Court By maxdunbar This short story is up now at Rainy City […]

  2. August 27, 2009 at 10:46 am, Rach said:

    Wonderful, a really great portrait of a scumbag.


Leave a Reply




Via email: