Water dripped incessantly from the underside of the concrete on the underpass. it had been muggy, warm, suddenly a downpour from nowhere. Pulled in on the hard shoulder of a national primary, flashers on, hiding in plain view, the best way. Waiting.
It had been organised in a hurry over the previous forty eight hours. Delivery of the packages had gone wrong, the original courier suddenly “departed” from the organisation. The well oiled machine had kicked in almost instantly, mobile phones buzzed until the re-routing of the three foreign visitors had taken place. We’d met their european cousin this time last year but he had moved on to another location. The “Three wise men” as we had nicknamed them had a meeting in Cork and after the initial flurry of excitement at their arrival , the delivery man was to meet me on his way home. First, he had to complete his normal duties to avert suspicion. Look innoccuous they said. We try to do our best.
Where the bloody hell is he? Trucks pass into the night, I turn back having averted my eyes from the strong headlights, just in time to see the red glows reflecting off the asphalt as they carry on receding into the pitch black. The Chairman is to meet me in a quiet watering hole to give me further instructions on overnight storage. Because of the change in plans it looks like I’ll have to hide them out at my gaff before moving them on to the next destination the following day. Who can I tell? Who will believe me? Until I have them in my possession I won’t believe it myself.
I ponder on the lunacy of the last few months, the incessant travel across Britain, onto europe, the late nights passing time in hotel rooms watching foreign channels, the clandestine meetings in smoke filled foreign cafés, wined, dined while all the time the serious work was going on in the background. They worked while we played, (or so it seemed). The hard work had all paid off though, and for me tonight was the end result, the culmination of it all. I’m looking after them for a mere twenty four hours before passing them on again.
Still no sign, I check my watch, it’s much later than I thought.
Suddenly, there it is, a yellow flashing indicator in the middle of a long line of traffic, all held up by one slowcoach at the front wending his way home after a nights festivities.
The car pulls into the side in front of my pickup. I raise the lid on the rear cover and walk to the front. “Hi Peter, how’d it go?” “Good night” he replies. “A result, We were longer getting away than I expected but we made good time. This is Flann, have you met him before? He’s one of us, was on duty with me tonight in Cork”. I meet his firm grip, they are both a lot taller than they look on the TV.
“I put them in here so they wouldn’t be seen”. Have you something to cover them with?”
I point towards the multitude of Safety jackets and raingear that I had thrown in for just this purpose. “Okay Flann, lets have a look at them, we may not get the chance to see them together again!” He pops open the boot. I get my first glimpse, sodium light reflecting off the silvery curves and blazoned crests.”They’re bloody gorgeous Peter” Flann retorts, ” I can see what all the fuss is about!”.
“Make sure that the big fellah gets them back to Dublin tomorrow night or my head is in a sling, the captain is showing off those two the day after.”
I help them load into the back seat as the Sponsored car pulls off into the stream of traffic.
For one glorious day, They’re ALL MINE,