smokeheads extract #4

OK, so here’s the fourth extract from Smokeheads, hope you like it. If you do, why not buy the book here? Just a thought.

This wee scene features some arguing, some violence, some whisky tasting, some coke sniffing and a car crash – yay!

Smokeheads, extract #4

Bad feeling hung in the car. Roddy pushed buttons on the stereo.
‘Fucking cheap shite,’ he growled. ‘Piece of crap bollocks.’
He got out a hipflask, took a swig and passed it to Luke, sitting impassively next to him. Ethan was wedged between Molly and a forlorn Adam in the back. The Oa sped past outside, a rough blur of greens and browns. Behind them, heavy clouds were roiling over the ocean.
‘I know what you’re all thinking,’ Roddy shouted. ‘I’m the bad guy here. Well, fuck that. We’re talking about over a million fucking quid. If it’s such a great idea, why doesn’t one of you invest in his little plan, eh? See how you like it?’
He drove one-handed, reaching into a pocket for his coke case. He flipped it out, tapped a line onto his steering hand and snorted. The car swerved round a bend too fast then he regained control.

‘Easy, man,’ said Luke, passing the hipflask into the back. Ethan and Molly passed. Adam took it and stared at Roddy.
‘You think I can’t see you glaring at me?’ said Roddy into the rearview mirror. ‘The silent treatment is schoolboy stuff, give it a fucking rest.’
‘Why don’t you give it a rest,’ said Adam quietly.
‘You haven’t shut up since we got to Islay. You’re a big coked-up bullshit machine, running on the sound of your own voice.’
‘Fuck you, dipshit.’
‘I think we all need to calm down,’ said Ethan. ‘Why don’t we just pretend this little outing never happened, OK?’
‘It’s not as simple as that,’ said Adam, taking a big swig from the flask.
‘Guess what you’re drinking,’ said Roddy, laughing.
‘Go to hell,’ Adam snarled.
‘Go on, you know you want to.’
Furious as he was, Adam still couldn’t resist the challenge. He took a sniff then a sip. Hard to taste straight from the flask, pewter and polish contaminating the palate, but he got a massive raw boot of peat, at least 40 ppm, followed by green apples and mint, then syrup and raisins. It was impressive. Young and a bit showy, but huge body. He’d never tasted it before, but the gimmicky flavours suggested the one distillery where they were always dicking around with new expressions.
‘Bruichladdich,’ he said.
‘Go on.’
‘Peaty, but not enough to be the Octomore,’ he said. ‘A Port Charlotte?’
‘Which one?’
Roddy tilted his head. ‘I don’t know how you do it, it’s a fucking gift.’
‘Don’t patronise me, you fathead prick.’
‘I was paying you a fucking compliment.’
Adam chucked the flask into Roddy’s lap. ‘If you think I’m such a bloody expert, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and back me up?’
‘There’s a big difference between telling Caol Ila from Lagavulin and running your own business, trust me.’
‘I wouldn’t trust you as far as I could throw you.’
‘What’s that supposed to mean?’
‘You’re nothing but a self-centred jerk-off, looking out for number one.’
‘Of course I am, you’re the same, everyone is,’ said Roddy, glancing back. ‘The difference is, at least I’m fucking honest about it.’
‘I’m nothing like you,’ said Adam.
‘Yeah, you’re a fucking hypocrite,’ said Roddy. ‘You’re only upset because you didn’t get your own way back at the distillery. You’ve always been like that, a spoilt little arsehole with delusions of moral superiority.’
Adam was surprised to see his own fist moving fast towards the front of the car, clumsily catching Roddy on the side of the head somewhere behind his left ear.
‘Shit,’ said Roddy jerking forward and making the car lurch. ‘What the fuck?’
He looked round and swung his left arm wildly behind him, missing Adam but catching Ethan on the nose with his elbow.
‘Ow,’ said Ethan, holding his hands to his face.
‘Jesus…’ said Molly
‘Watch out, man,’ shouted Luke, bracing himself against the glove compartment.
They all turned and saw a large ram too close in front of them on the road, a sharp bend just ahead. The car swung violently as Roddy grabbed the wheel and lunged for the pedals, trying to regain control, but it was too late. They felt a huge jolt as they smashed into the ram, the car pitching sickeningly out of balance, spinning and skidding then tipping up onto its side, all in a blur, each of them trying to brace themselves for the impact, then suddenly they were upside down and tumbling, crunches, rips and screams filling the air as the car crumpled down the cliff side, Adam briefly noticing the thick, grey wall of cloud rolling in from the sea before he felt a sharp crack to his head, a white flash of incredible, burning pain, then everything went red then violet then black.

About Doug Johnstone

I write things
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