The Standalones

Chapter Twenty-One

Ken Preston

18 June 2024

Silhouette of a rock band against a spotlight and the words The Standalones

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Chapter Twenty-One

Ratzo had put it off as long as he could, but eventually he knew he had no choice but to go and own up to Frankie that he hadn’t got his money.

As usual, they met at the warehouse, and as usual the twins were by Frankie’s side.

“Look at this, lads,” Frankie said. “Look what Ratzo’s got for us.”

The twins looked at Ratzo and then at each other, their brows furrowing.

“Can’t you see it, lads?” Frankie gesticulated at Ratzo. “It’s right in front of your eyes.”

The twins’ puzzled frowns only deepened.

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“Nothing! That’s what Ratzo’s got for us lads, absolutely nothing!”

Ratzo held out his hands in a gesture of sorrow. “I’m sorry Frankie, really I am, I almost had the money, I’m telling you I saw it, but it were that Fred, he took it, he took it all.”

Now it was Frankie’s turn to look puzzled. “Fred? Married to Irene, that Fred?”

“That’s right Frankie.”

“Danny Lamb’s mate?”

“That’s right Frankie.”

“Well, now there’s a turn-up for the books. I never told Fred to go get that money.”

“He said you did.”

Frankie rubbed at his chin. “Did he now?” He thought about this for a moment. “Maybe it’s time I sent the lads round to visit Fred.”

Ratzo breathed a quiet sigh of relief. At least Frankie’s attention was diverted elsewhere for the moment.