Brothers

The front door slammed. Gary bustled in and planted himself at the head of the kitchen table. A place has been laid for him. Peter paused from eating his breakfast and raised his left eyebrow.

“You’re late.”

Gary sneered.

“The world doesn’t revolve around your watch.”

“Pity. Otherwise you would have been on time. Shall I cook something for you?”

Gary thumped the table with his fist.

“I’m not here to eat fucking bacon and eggs!”

Peter shrugged.

“Just offering.”

“Do you have it?”

“No.”

Gary is half out of his seat in disbelief.

“Are you fucking joking?”

“It is not time yet.”

“Yes! Yes, it is!”

“You rush into things.”

“What do you mean?”

“You are reckless.”

“And you drag your heels. Peter, the patron saint of detail.”

“Miaow.”

“I’m glad you think this is funny. You’ll be laughing right up until you have a bullet in your head.”

“It will work out fine.”

Gary almost to himself.

“They’ll kill us.”

“That is not part of my plan.”

Gary raises his voice.

“The plan was to secure the package this morning.”

Peter looks at his watch.

“It is still morning.”

Gary throws his empty plate and it smashes up against a cupboard.

“The Russians don’t give a shit about semantics! They’ll blowtorch our balls off!”

Peter sips his tea.

“The Russians are not the problem.”

Gary is confused.

“Then who is?”

“You are.”

“What…what do you mean?”

“I know what you have done. The Russians do too.”

Gary is ashen-faced.

“You’re making a terrible mistake!”

“My mistake was trusting my brother.”

Friendship

When Steve was away, she only had two tasks to complete in the squat. Feed his cat and clean the litter tray. Except the cat didn’t like her. It always hissed and spat at her. Putting his food down or cleaning his toilet did not mollify Lucifer. It was a good name as this particular cat probably had been cast out of heaven for bad behaviour.

Lucifer would often follow her then hide in the shadows only to rush out to try and trip her. He often did it when she was at the top of the stairs. That bastard cat was a reincarnated killer, she was sure of it.

Sometimes she would be sat at the dirty kitchen table smoking a cigarette and Lucifer would be sat in the opposite chair, staring in the impassive way cats do. You know, the ‘Exactly who the fuck are you?’ look.

She could hear his thoughts and they would talk telepathically.

“Look at the state of you! I don’t know what Steve was thinking, letting you into our home.”

“At least I am a human being.”

“Sister, we both eat out of tins so don’t play the human card.”

“You eat mice!”

“Okay, I’ll let you have that one.”

The odd thing was, when Steve was back, Lucifer would seek her out, not him. She realised she spoke to Lucifer as if he was a human all the time now, Steve thought she was mad. Reality was, the conversations with Lucifer were better. All Steve had going for him was the squat. Lucifer still tried the stair trick but it was more a game rather than malicious intent.