It’s Cormac Brown’s Friday Flash Fiction time again.

Last week there was a three way tie, with sentences submitted by Randal Graves, MR Macrum and Lewis J. Peters.

All’s well and good. Choose any sentence you want….but Lewis J. Peters then throws down an extra challenge, suggesting that we try and use all three sentences in one story. Well, I have a problem of not being able to say NO to a challenge, so here is my entry for this week…..(The starter sentences are in blue)


But Vladimir Putin will always permit break dancing, especially after loads of Vodka.”

“Yeah, well Labbi Siffre, that singer bloke, his name sounds like a sexually transmitted disease.”

“Don’t care, ‘cos your mum has got ‘pendulosis,’ because her tit’s hand down like…”

“Yeah, pendulums, I’ve heard that one before. Right, err, so your sister loves….”

“Will you two shut the fuck up and carry on digging.”

“What’s eating him? A bit touchy today isn’t he?”

“Dunno, but your sister loves cock that much, that she….”


“Just dig the fucking hole.”

The two jokers in the hole looked up to see the gun pointing at them.

“Okay, okay. Calm down, we’re digging. Fuck’s sake….”


Startled birds flapped their wings wildly and small creatures scurried about in the undergrowth, frantically trying to escape the noise that had disturbed them.

“Holy shit, Ronnie. What the fuck you go and do that for? Aww, man. His fucking brains are all over me.”

John dropped the shovel and started wiping himself down.

“We can leave the gobby little shite in it when we’re finished.”

“He was just a fucking kid, Ronnie.”

“Don’t matter, John. He would have got us into trouble one way or the other. I never liked him from the start. He should never have been given a job in the first place.”

“You really are a twat, Ronnie. Too fucking gung-ho,” John stared at him from the six foot by three foot hole he was stood in, picking a piece of flesh from his left cheek.

“Don’t push me, John…don’t fucking push me. Now finish the hole or you’ll be staying in there with him. I’m going to take a piss.”

John bent down to pick up the shovel and took his mobile phone out of his pocket, jabbing frantically at the keypad with his thumb.

Ronnie Walsh turned and walked away from the hole. He took his cigarettes out of his jacket pocket, lit one, took a long pull on it and blew a huge cloud of smoke into the cold afternoon air before disappearing into the nearby bushes to relieve himself.

Back in the hole John sent his message and put his phone back in his pocket. As soon as he heard the cell phone notify receipt of the text message he knew there was no going back.


“I think that should be deep enough.”

Ronnie turned round. He could see the head and shoulders of John, huge piles of soil on the other side of the hole.

“Good job, John. It made it a lot easier having that little shit helping you though. Come on,” Ronnie reached down, offering John a hand, “Get yourself out and have a smoke while we wait. Shouldn’t be too long now and then we’ll be laughing all the way to the Caribbean.”

Not with me you won’t, you crazy fuck.

John took Ronnie’s hand and pulled himself out of the hole. He turned and looked back into it, at the dead body of his colleague.

“Why’ve you covered his head?” Ronnie asked.

“I couldn’t stand looking at his dead eyes. They were creeping me out.”

“Here you go, mate,” Ronnie handed John a cigarette and lit it for him.

“Cheers. You know,” John inhaled and blew the smoke out of the side of his mouth, away from the air between them, “You didn’t have to kill the kid. He was only fucking about. That stupid game he played was his way of keeping his nerves at bay. Behind that front he put on, he was just a scared kid. A goldfish in a pool of sharks, you know? Fuck, he probably didn’t even know who Putin is.”

“He was just doing my nut in. Enough about him anyway, what you gonna do when you get your money? Where you off to?”

“I dunno really, I can’t think straight. I guess I’ll just wait until I’ve got the money in my hand before I make my plans. After that though,” John motioned to the hole, “We might not get paid. He liked the kid, you know. He saw something in him, maybe a bit of himself or something.”

John finished his cigarette and flicked it away, watching as it somersaulted in the air before landing on the damp ground with a hiss.

“He’d better fucking pay us, or there’ll be trouble. I aint offing someone for nothing. No, no, no. No fucking way, John…”

Ronnie’s phone rang in his pocket. He fished it out and answered it after checking the screen.

“Boss? Yes, boss, right where you said. Yes, it’s ready. No, no problems. Yeah, they’ve done a great job. Well, there was a bit of an accident with the kid….well….look, he was mouthing off….no, boss….he was getting right out of hand. FUCK”

“Problems, then?”

“He’s round the corner. Two minutes away. Ah, fuck him. I’ll take him out if need be. I aint scared of him. I aint scared of nobody.”

Ronnie flicked his cigarette into the hole and spat on the dirt.

“Told you about the kid didn’t I?”

The sound of crunching and snapping twigs caused them both to turn round. The car came to a stop yards from them, its engine purring like a kitten. The car’s headlights illuminated the area as the afternoon light was slowly turning into night. The engine idled as the driver’s door opened; a tall, suited man eased himself out of the car.

“Ronnie, the boot,” the driver nodded to the rear of the car.

Ronnie walked to the back of the car and popped open the boot. Dead, bloodshot eyes stared up at him.

“Boss, I thought that was my job. You’ve already done it.”

“Just get it out of the car and into the hole.”

Ronnie pulled the body up by the arms, its head flopping backwards like that of a child’s rag doll, and hitched the dead weight up onto his shoulder. He walked over to the edge of the hole and shunted the body into it. It landed on top of the dead kid with a thud.

“I hope this doesn’t affect our agreement, boss,” Ronnie said, staring into the hole at the two corpses, his right hand resting on the butt of the gun in the front of his jeans.


“Hands where I can see them, Ronnie, and turn round slowly.”

“Now, steady on boss. We can sort this out like gentlemen.”

“Hands, Ronnie.”

Ronnie slowly turned round, his hands at his sides. The gun was pointing at his head, his boss’s finger caressing the trigger. Ronnie looked over at John and then back at his boss.

“Look, boss, I….I’ve done us a favour with the kid. He was a gobshite who would’ve mouthed off about everything one day. We’d have been in the shit ‘cos of his mouth. We’re better off…..”

“Ronnie, you really are a wanker. I know we’ve worked together in the past but…taking the kid out ‘cos he was getting a bit mouthy is going too far.”

Ronnie looked straight at John, who stared at the ground to avoiding eye contact.

“John, you fucking squealer! I can’t believe…you grassing little….FUCK!”

Ronnie spat the last word, grabbing the gun in his waistband. In a swift movement he aimed at John, but the gun spun out of his hand, his thumb and index finger joining it on the ground a yard from him. He turned to his boss just in time for a second bullet to rip through his forehead, taking the back of his head into the hole, seconds before he fell backwards into it, joining the kid and the woman.

“Fill the hole in, John.”

“I…can’t…believe…what’s…happened…here…today. This is bad…this is so bad. I knew there was gonna be one killing, but three. Fuck.”

John just stood there, motionless and staring at the hole.

“John….JOHN! Just fill the hole in and forget what happened today.”

I am not supposed to remember any of this. How the fuck am I supposed to forget what happened here?”

“Maybe that will help.” A backpack landed at John’s feet. “There’s more than enough in there for you to disappear and start a new life. There are also details in there about an offshore bank account. Just go and get away from all this, John.”


“I’m not your boss anymore.”

“Okay. Ryan. But what are you gonna do?”

Ryan Jacobs turned and walked back to the idling, silver, Mercedes.

“I’ve got business to take care of.”

The End.

If you didn’t get where this was from, may I suggest you read last week’s FFF #16….THE DEAL.

The usual applies. Leave a comment below if you like…..and thanks for looking!


Filed under crime, david barber, david barber's fiction world, friday flash fiction, the payoff

19 responses to “FFF #17……THE PAYOFF.

  1. Proves that love is blind – Marie should have seen it coming from Ryan's sly smile. I can see the start of a serial of epic proportions.Nice one again.Regards, Lewis

  2. As Lewis says, I can see a serial coming. Or rather I hope I see one coming. Very well done and you set the scene well.

  3. You fucking beauty! That was a helluva tale. I enjoyed that fully, great.

  4. I'd say you did the challenge well. More than well. Damned impressive…

  5. Accept a challenge?? You crushed the challenge!!! Man, taking care of business takes on a whole new meaning with you. Great freaking job!!!

  6. Wow! That was great. It really wrapped up the story well. As the others said though, it could go on even further…I enjoyed that! Well done. :)((Hugs))Laura

  7. Great story. And you nailed all three starters.

  8. Doc

    A great tale, as always. The only thing that threw me off a little was the word "floor" was often used instead of "ground", "dirt", or "earth". It confused me on the setting a little. Are they inside digging a hole in the floor? No, they are definitely outside. This is a nitpicky little thing, but I thought I'd point it out. A solid tale.Doc

  9. Thanks everyone for stopping by. I had some fun with this over the weekend and I think I just about managed to get away with all three starter sentences, although the 'Putin' one was maybe a bit ropey…Doc, thanks for noticing and point taken. I suppose it's a case of getting used to using different words for the same thing. Thanks.Regards all and depending on next week's starter sentence I may visit Ryan Jacobs again… David.

  10. Very well done! Agree with the others, I hope there is a serial coming.

  11. Rum

    nicely done — hope to see this guy again

  12. Jelena, thanks for stopping by and your comments.Chad, appreciate your comment. He may return this weekend, depending on the starter sentence.

  13. Doc, your comment has been fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.

  14. I left a comment here. It is now gone.Something about needing a Brit-to-Yank slang dictionary? No?

  15. A very brainy tale. I dig the fact that you write up characters worth revisiting.Don't listen to über, mate, she's no right bird.

  16. Thanks Randal, I never listen to women. I live with 3 of them…..well 2 of them are only 5 & 3 but they all talk rubbish! Ye, yes dear….I'm coming………… 😉

  17. Clever man! Well done. Lots of cracking lines in a well told twisty turny tale.

  18. Jumping in late here but that was a great story!

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