The Standalones

Chapter Thirty-One

Ken Preston

28 June 2024

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

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Chapter Thirty-One

Ratzo was back in Euston Station. Seemed like his second home these last couple of days. Hopefully, this would be his last visit for a while. Once he had the missing cash and he got Frankie and the twins off his back, he could relax.

This was where it had all gone wrong, after he bumped into that girl, Chloe Martino-Yamawhatever. But this was where he was going to make it all right again. Thanks to Lexi.

Ratzo and Lexi had known each other for a long time. They had been friends at school, both of them too socially awkward and uncool to be able to fit in with their peers. And somehow, over the following years, they had never lost touch with each other. They had remained friends.

It had been strange to see Lexi transform from an awkward, shy girl into this tattooed, loud, angry rocker.

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It was through Lexi that Ratzo had found out where the money was. Lexi had no idea that the money had originally been Ratzo’s. Although that strictly wasn’t true, was it? Who knew who originally owned that cash? It had gone through so many different hands on its way to Frankie Henderson, the trail was almost impossible to follow back.

Lexi had told him about how she found the money that morning, whilst Danny and Fred slept off their hangovers. The idiots had been so drunk they had just dumped the holdall of cash in plain view by the front door when they got inside the house.

Lexi had told Ratzo about her plan to use that money to get back in with that boy she used to go out with. She’d thought it was his cash! Ratzo hadn’t told Lexi the truth. She didn’t need to know that it was actually Frankie Henderson’s money. Anyone who knew that was bound to wind up neck deep in trouble with Frankie and his henchmen, and Ratzo still had enough affection for Lexi that he didn’t want that.

But she had told him where she had hidden the money.

Ratzo placed the flat of his palm against the cool metal of the left luggage locker, Number 249. Clever girl, that Lexi, hiding it here. Ratzo held the padlock, tilting it slightly so that its steel face caught the light from the ceiling. He hadn’t got the key, but that didn’t matter; he had a bolt cutter in his backpack. All he had to do was wait for a quiet moment, slice open the padlock, and retrieve the bag from the locker.

He’d be out and on his way long before anybody noticed.

Ratzo glanced over his shoulder to check if he was alone, and froze.

There was a copper standing right behind him! Did they know? Had somebody grassed him up?

The policeman didn’t seem particularly interested in Ratzo. He said something into his handheld radio.

Ratzo remembered to breathe. Alright, it didn’t look like the police were here for him, but he could hardly break open the left luggage locker while they were hovering around.

Stuffing his hands in his pockets, Ratzo sauntered past the policeman as nonchalantly as his jangled nerves allowed.

He would just have to come back later, when things had quietened down.