In a small park beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge a forlorn teenager is hiding from the world behind the branches of a huge weeping willow.
Thirteen year old Graham ‘creepy’ Crawley shivers in fright as the residents go about their business oblivious to his presence just metres away.
Graham ran away from the family home in Parramatta two days ago after an argument with his parents leaving his mobile and his dog Rex behind.
Pencil weighing a mere 40kg the runaway nervously peers through the dense canopy half hoping to see his mum and dad telling to get home because Rex and little brothers are missing him terribly but the streets are empty except for a few stragglers.
His stomach growls in hunger Yeah come on arsehole grow some balls and go find us some food, i am starving’
Graham tries to ignore the little voice in his head but he has to admit that he could the eat the whole Macca’s menu if given the chance and with a final glance to see if the coast is clear he steps out into the night.
The Rocks is an historic part of Sydney with buildings dating back to the early 1800’s, its residents enjoy million dollar views and drive BMW’s and Mercedes Benz around enjoying their inner city lifestyle but Graham really couldn’t give a shit about the locals and their fancy cars all he wants at the moment is to find some food and a place to crash.
Luckily he finds a discarded box of fries on a table outside the local KFC , as he scoffs them down in one mouthful Graham notices a row of terraces down the end of a side street that look promising.
On closer inspection he notices that the terrace on the far end is boarded up with a condemned sign pinned to the front door ‘This is perfect now all i have to do is find a way to get inside.
A Harley Davidson is parked outside the terrace next door and a light is on upstairs but otherwise no one else is around so Graham creeps down the side lane and enters into a small courtyard.
Another notice is pinned to the back door warning that trespassers will be prosecuted but Graham ignores the warning sign and twists the door handle and to his surprise it opens and knowing that there could be drug addicts or squatters inside he takes a moment to listen for any sound of danger than he walks inside.
He automatically hits the light switch and Graham gets another pleasant surprise when a old dirty bulb flickers to life ‘Holy crap what next? A fridge full of chicken nuggets and choc chip ice cream would be nice’ but the space where the fridge should is empty ‘Oh well can’t have it all’
Graham suddenly remembers that the neighbours are still so he switches off the light and guided by the moonlight he walks upstairs to hopefully find a mattress to sleep on but all of the bedroom are empty but strangely a length of rope dangles from the ceiling out in the hallway and without a moments hesitation he gives it a good hard yank and a set of stairs lower down.
Staring up into the darkness the lonesome teenager is reluctant to take the first step but than the annoying little voice taking up his head space decides to add his two cents worth ‘What are you waiting for you pussy,just walk up the stairs because the attic could be full of sausage rolls and fairy floss but on the other hand you could enter a portal to another universe and worse still you could crawl up the anus of Uranus and disappear into the brown for eternity’
Graham rolls his eyes because it is bad enough to have an overactive voice in the head who doesn’t seem to know the old saying ‘silence is golden’
Once his eyes have stopped rolling in their sockets Graham takes a deep breath and hurries up the stairs into an attic full of cobwebs and dust motes and once his vision has adjusted to the darkness he notices an item over near a dividing wall.
A large wooden chest that looks like it hasn’t been opened since Aladdin lived in a cave shimmers in the moonlight beckoning Graham over for a closer look.
With visions of Gold coins, stolen treasure or even a few playboy magazines Graham quickly opens the lid to discover nothing but old black & white photos and newspapers.
Slamming the lid closed in frustration the impact loosens a few bricks from the dividing wall and they fall into the neighboring attic.
Worried that the people next door might have heard the commotion Graham waits for a few minutes but the only sound comes from a dog a street away so after prying a few more bricks loose he crawls through the gap.
Not usually one to steaky beak into other peoples business Graham opens the manhole cover and listens once again hoping that the occupants are asleep so he can sneak down and grab some food from the fridge but suddenly a voice is heard ‘Come on John i think that we should stay put for another week because i have a feeling that something is about to happen.’
‘Jesus Cathy, we have been here twiddling our thumbs in this shithole for far to long. I say that we pack it in and tell the boss that it is a lost cause’
‘Lets give it two more days John and if he doesn’t show then i agree we call it a day, now stop stop jabbering and eat your apple pie’
‘Apple pie’ Graham gasps ‘I would donate my left nut to science if i could taste just a spoonful of that pie’ but just to be safe he waits for an hour or two until all is quiet.
When he hears one of the couple snoring away the starving teenager lowers the staircase and creeps down the gloomy hallway and the snoring gets louder when he walks near a bedroom ‘God’ the voice in his pipes up ‘It sounds like someone is trying to start a broken down chainsaw but i digress, lets go find that pie and maybe there will be some ice cream and sprinkles’
Graham is about to say that nobody has sprinkles on apple pie but he doesn’t want to encourage the voice so he trundles silently into the kitchen and opens the fridge door.
Every shelf is crammed with enough food to feed a dozen sumo wrestlers for a month and sitting pride of place is three huge slices of apple pie on a plate.
Not even bothering to see if there is any ice cream Graham crams one slice into his gob and swallows it down in one bite.
After devouring all three slices in record time Graham grabs a plastic bag from beneath the sink and fills it to the brim with food then he drags the bag back to his terrace and after eating a slice of ham he falls asleep on the threadbare lounge only to be jolted awake four hours later ‘What in the fuck John did you go sleepwalking last and raid the fridge?’
‘Not as far as i know Cathy but pray tell me what has got your undies in a twist’
‘Don;t take that tone with me John because you know very well what i am talking about. the fridge has been cleaned out but worst of all john is that you ate the rest of the apple pie knowing full well that i was going to have a slice for morning tea plus you even had the gall to leave the dirty plate on the counter’
John who looks like one of the bikers on that TV show ‘Sons of Anarchy’ knows that it is useless trying to reason with his wife just tells her that he ‘ didn’t touch any food’ grabs the keys to his Harley and walks out the door.
Graham is in hysterics as he listens to the couple next door arguing but he has learnt his lesson so from now on he will only take enough food to fill his belly and not pig out like a well, a pig.
Once his enjoyment dies down boredom quickly settles in, Graham is tempted to venture outside but his parents have probably reported him missing by now and he is having to much fun to go home just yet so he decides to go and scope out the terrace on the other end of the building.
Cutting through the couples attic is his surprised to see that there isn’t a dividing wall so he slinks over and lifts the manhole cover and listens to see if anyone is at home and almost immediately a voice a voice drifts up from below. ‘Come on Eileen give us a kiss’
I have told you a thousand times Mr Redpath that i am your care giver not your girlfriend plus you are old enough to be my grand father’
‘Please Eileen just one kiss i will even put my teeth back in’
Having know interest in a toothless old coot Graham goes back to his terrace and finishes of the contents of his stolen goods.
Two nights later Graham decides to visit his neighbours to see if there is any one treats to be had and when he hears the chainsaw starting up he ventures into the kitchen and he almost cracks a fat when he opens the fridge door because staring him in the face is a gigantic chocolate cake.
Grabbing the cake with both hands Graham scurries back up to the attic and started to devour the cake bite by bite but then he hears the lady below berating her husband and what she has to say causes him to slam his arsehole shut, ‘Did you enjoy eating the chocolate cake John? Because let me tell you that i mixed in enough laxatives to make a buffalo shit non stop for a week’
John has heard enough ‘Cathy Quinton i have heard enough, i haven’t been raiding the fridge plus you know as well as i do that i am not a huge fan of Chocolate so why would i eat it?’
Cathy leans in and stares deep into her husbands eyes and from experience she knows that he is telling the truth, but if John hasn’t been steaking the food who has been?’
A strangled cry from above answers her question.
Graham knows that if the doesn’t make it to a toilet real quick he will spray his undies so he runs downstairs to his terrace pulling his pants down on the way, with a sigh of relief he sits on the throne and unleashes a liquid torrent not seen since biblical times.
After visiting the toilet ten times over the following hour Graham starts to develop an arm like Popeye from all the wiping and to make matters worse he has used all of the toilet paper.
‘John there is someone up in the attic, go grab a torch and take a look while i hold the fort’
The harried husband yanks on the rope to lower the staircase then he shines the light all around the attic Cathy what if there is a werewolf up here, if it rips my throat out then you will become a widow’
‘I will take that chance now get up there before i kill you myself’
John climbs the remaining two steps ‘There is no one up here but the chocolate cake is on the floor so some one was up here but that also means that someone was in our house’
When John walks back down into the hallway his wife grabs his arm ‘John what if it was Brett Price he could kill us in our sleep next time’
‘Cathy Price is an adult he wouldn’t be sneaking around an attic and come down here to steal some cake, that is something that a child would do so stop worrying, now what’s for tea because i am starving’
Chicken casserole John, it will be ready in about ten minutes’
‘Chicken again Cathy, that is the fourth time this week you must have been a chicken farmer in a past life or something because you sure do love your chicken’
It isn’t by chance that the couple are currently residing at 4/126 Oceanview Drive the Rocks, they are both constable’s with the Australian Federal Police, they have been hunting notorious contract killer Brett Raymond Price for over a decade but the killer has managed to elude them every step of the way.
The Price family grew up next door at 2/126 so the couple are working undercover because by all reports Price is back in town so the authorities are hoping that he will return to the place where he grew up but that leaves John and Cathy Quinton in the firing line.
Graham’s bowels are still doing somersaults and with no toilet paper at hand he has no choice but to go searching for some so he enters the attic and walks over to Mr Redpath’s terrace.
The sun only set an hour ago so Graham knows that the old man is likely still awake but with his guts threatening to explode again he has no choice but to go down stairs and take a few rolls of toilet paper so the lowers the steps and creeps along the hallway looking for the bathroom.
Opening the bathroom Graham is happy to see a pack of four rolls on the floor, but his smile vanishes when his bowels tell him to take a seat and buckle up.
The stench hits him hard’ Jesus that stinks, even the sewer rats will run from that one’
‘Hello who is out there? Did someone just die a gruesome death because it sure smells like it’.
‘Come in here right now, i have a shotgun and i am not afraid to use it, so show your face before i turn you into minced meat’
Timidly Graham enters Mr Redpath’s bedroom to find that the old man is bedridden and there is no shotgun in sight ‘Who are you and what are you doing in my house?’
‘Huh, don’t you remember me grandpa? It is me Graham your favourite grandson’
‘Come closer boy so that i can see you better, why course i recognize you now, it is good of you to visit but why are you stinking up my house and walking around with a pack of toilet paper.
‘Sorry grandpa but i ate a dodgy piece of chocolate cake and got the squirts but i am alright now and i was restocking the bathroom with toilet paper but enough talk why don’t i go make us a sandwich or something’
‘No need Graham i only ate an hour ago plus my caregiver will be here in a few hours, now take a seat and tell me why it has taken so long for you to visit’
The odd pair spend an hour talking about girls, motorbikes and why hair grows down there in your underwear.
When Graham hears a car door slam outside he knows that he should go before the caregiver walks inside’ I gotta go now grandpa, it was good talking to you but i have to do some homework’
‘Sure thing Graham thanks for taking the time to talk to me but before you go let me give you a little something’
Reaching under the mattress Mr Redpath pulls out a wad of notes and hands Graham a $10 bill ‘Here you go boy, now take care and come back anytime you want’.
‘Sure thing grandpa, it was nice talking to you’
‘Holy shit Cathy, they just said on the News that a man has been murdered over on Trinity Street which is only five minutes from here .
Cathy wanders in wiping her hands on an apron ‘What did you say John, i am in the middle of making a chicken pie’
I said a guy was murdered down near the shopping centre, the newsreader said that it looks like a gang related shooting but i believe that was Brett Price that did the bloke in’
‘Price is coming home Cathy so i think that we should call for some backup before the doo doo hits the fan’
‘Calm down John if Price is close and notices any unusual activity he will turn tail and we might never see him again, i say we just sit tight and let him walk into our trap but go call the lieutenant and let him know that we believe that our target is getting close and to have a team on standby’
‘Will do love, um that pie smells good but i hope that there isn’t any bones this time’
‘It isn’t my fault if someone didn’t do their job in the factory John now shut up and go set the table’
Taking a snooze on the lounge Graham is dreaming about losing his virginity to his hot teacher Miss Thomas, a tent is taking shape in the front of his pants and things are about to reach a climax when he is jolted awake by the sound of breaking glass ‘Holy shit someone is trying to break in’
Brett Raymond Price once inside quickly makes himself comfortable in the familiar surroundings, he wanders from room to room dredging up memories both good and bad.
Price is tall and lanky with fiery red hair that he usually hides under a tattered Canterbury Bulldogs baseball cap but his hair isn’t his most distinctive feature, his eyes are a dark brown almost and people have said that when he stares at you it is like looking into the dead eyes of a great white shark.
Price was the eldest of four brothers and from an early age he had a fascination with weapons particularly guns and knifes.
His family used to travel up to Nundle where his shooting skills help to bring down over one hundred feral pigs.
Price was a natural when it came to using a high powered rifle to kill a pig from long range and he took great delight in slitting a hogs throat to put it out of its misery then feeding the entrails to his dogs.
He was loner who patrolled the streets at night with a slug gun and any family pet that had the misfortune to get in his sights was put down and left bleeding in the gutter.
When he turned fourteen he held up a corner store with a knife and escaped with over $500 a fortune for a teenager.
Word soon got around that he was a kid to avoid at all costs and many locals knew that it was only a matter of time before he murdered some poor soul.
When his parents heard the rumors swirling around the suburb they confronted their wayward child and gave him an ultimatum either go live with his uncle Cliff out near Dubbo or go into a boys home until he turned eighteen.
Price chose to go out west and live with his uncle but he soon got in trouble and even his uncle who was a brutal man couldn’t control his short tempered nephew.
Three months later Cliff Crawley was found with his throat cut from ear to ear plus he had been slit open with his intestines splattered on the living room carpet.
Brett Raymond Price was suspected of committing the heinous crime but he had disappeared into the bush, the police believe that he made his way to Queensland where he hid for eighteen months.
Tired of hiding out in central Queensland Price enlisted in the Australian Army using a fake ID, his shooting skills were soon recognized by his superiors and he was drafted into the special forces where he quickly developed into an elite sniper.
When Australia and its allies entered the second Gulf War Corporal Price soon honed his skills recording over 120 kills but his evil ways soon came to the fore and he once again began to enjoy the killing shooting both the enemy and civilians alike.
To avoid an international scandal Price was arrested and placed in the brig, knowing that he faced life imprisonment he bribed a guard and escaped to Oman and from there he made his way to London and soon found employment as a contract killer.
He was a sniper shooting his victims from long range but now he prefers to get close to his target killing them with one knife thrust to the neck.
Now he is back in Sydney squatting at his parents old terrace in the Rocks waiting for the heat to die down after his latest hit.
He has dyed his hair blond and has recently began wearing blue contact lenses, his mobile rings and the killer smiles ‘Yeah it went as planned, i killed him with a gun liked you asked just make sure that the money is put into my account or i will hunt you down and kill not only you but your whole family’
Up in the attic Graham is scared out of his mind and in his hurry to escape he trips and falls ‘Shit’ the voice in his head snaps’ Can’t you do anything right now go to Mr Redpath and get him to ring the Police’
‘What in the fuck’ Price mutters ‘Whoever is up there stay where you are or i will shoot your head off’
Grabbing his Ruger pistol and his razor sharp bowie knife the killer yanks on the length of rope then races up the stairs into the attic but there is no one in sight.
Reaching the Quinton’s attic he stops in his tracks when he hears a couple talking in the terrace below ‘Did you hear that John, someone in up in the attic again’
‘I heard Cathy and no arguments this time, i am calling in for some reinforcements, Price is to dangerous for us to handle on our own, have your gun ready while i call the lieutenant’
Knowing that he has to stop the cop from calling in Price quickly lowers the stairs and scampers down the hall into the living room and before the two cops can react he aims his pistol at them ‘Now don’t do anything stupid and i will let you live’
‘Okay both of you throw your phones on the floor then go sit on the lounge and put your hands above your head’
Knowing they have little choose the cops throw their mobiles on the carpet, Price keeps an eye on the pair while he smashes the phones with his Doc Martens.
Pointing his pistol at John he orders him to remove his shoelaces and tie his partners hands behind her back and once that has been done Price uses the other lace to tie around the male cop’s hands.
Searching the kitchen cupboards he finds a roll of duct tape then he returns to the living room and puts a strip of tape over both of the cop’s mouths and for extra protection he ties the tape around their hands and also around their ankles. ‘Alright Batman and Robin sit tight while i figure out how to dispose of your bodies without being seen’ John and Cathy Quinton look at each other with tears streaming down their faces, they know that Price will show them no mercy so they say a silent goodbye and wait for the end’
Will the Quinton’s survive their ordeal?
Will Graham be able to call for help?
To find out the answer come back and read the final chapter coming soon.