The Standalones

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Ken Preston

24 June 2024

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

It had to be here somewhere. It had to be!

Fred mopped the sweat off his face with his handkerchief. This was hard, dirty work, but it had to be done. Danny was lying to Fred. It was the only explanation. Last night they had a holdall stuffed full of twenty-pound notes, and today they didn’t. No-one had broken into the house during the night, Fred was sure of that. And Lexi didn’t know anything about it, so she wasn’t going to nick it, was she?

No, Danny had obviously decided to hide the money somewhere and keep it for himself. The traitorous rat. Once Fred had found the cash, he was going to make sure Danny got an earful. They were supposed to be mates!

He had to have done it sometime during the night while Fred slept. Which surprised Fred somewhat, as Danny had been falling over drunk by the time they got back; in fact, they both had. Fred hadn’t exactly gone to sleep when he climbed onto Danny’s sofa, he’d passed out. And he expected Danny had done the same, especially looking at the state of him this morning.

But who else could have stolen that money? Those stupid kids obviously didn’t know where it was.

Fred gripped the wardrobe in Lexi’s bedroom and leant his weight against it. The

wardrobe barely budged. Fred mopped more sweat off his face. If only he wasn’t so hungover. Despite having closed the curtains, Fred was still wincing at the muted daylight spilling into the room. Every little noise seemed to be amplified to deafening proportions, and the headache tablets he had taken weren’t even touching the edges of the throbbing agony filling his skull.

And best not to think at all about the rumblings and gurglings inside his stomach.

But he had to get a move on. Lexi had left shortly after the kids had gone, but Fred had no idea how long she was going to be out for.

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