Excerpt from Frozen Out/Assets

23 November 2009

Water gurgled between the piles of the dock and the car’s tyres juddered over the heavy timbers. Somewhere a generator puttered on board one of the longliners tied up at the quay.

The driver turned off the engine and killed the lights before stepping out of the car and taking a deep breath of fragrant summer air, still and laden with the tang of seaweed. He looked about him carefully and took a short walk along the quay, watching the boats for any sign of activity.

Satisfied, he opened the passenger door. He lifted the passenger’s legs out and then stooped to drape an arm over his shoulders. Grunting with exertion, he hauled the passenger to his feet.
‘Waas goin’ on?’ the passenger slurred as the driver steadied himself, planting his feet wide to keep them both steady on their feet. He half supported, half dragged the passenger the few metres towards the gangplank of the nearest boat.
‘Come on. Almost there.’
‘W-w-where’s this? The passenger asked and staggered against the driver.
‘Nearly there,’ the driver muttered to himself as much as to his passenger. He braced one booted foot on the heavy timber parapet running the length of the quay, braced himself and quickly straightened his back as he tipped the passenger headlong into the blackness below. The splash competed for a second with the muttering generator on board a nearby boat and the driver stood still, listening intently. Hearing nothing from below, he nodded to himself and padded back to the car.

A moment later the engine whispered into life and the car vanished into the night.