A brush with reality

It had been a very long time since there’d been this many of the O’Connell clan in one room, particularly one containing neither a bar or a judge.

Uncles, aunts and cousins for as the eye could see. It wasn’t a pleasant sight. I can honestly say that if I still had my left eye I’d have probably close it anyway.

The Good Lord had been mighty generous to our family when it came to broad shoulders and narrow minds but he’d been a heck of a tightass in regards to good looks and the ability to tolerate dentists. To an outsider it must have looked as if a very angry ginger circus was in town.

I’m pretty sure Pa and Uncle Frank being in the same postcode as each other violated at least a dozen a court orders and it was the first time anyone had seen Ma since my fourth birthday.

Don’t get me wrong. It was nice to see them all. Well, not to actually see them of course. That was a cruel and unusual punishment for anyone as I’ve already mentioned. It was however nice that they’d made the effort.

Not that I imagine they had fuck all else to do. In this part of the world the pubs still don’t open until after lunch and nobody even bothers fighting till after seven these days and being as it was only a quarter after ten in the morning I was as good as it was going to get. To be fair with all the pipes and tubes sticking out of my fucking body I’d have probably drawn a crowd right up until happy hour started. Their isn’t much to do round here anyways and being a wanted criminal on a life support machine meant I was pretty much Madame Tusaudes and fucking Disneyland rolled into one. If anyone had been smart enough to charge for admission and sell beer they’d probably have been able to buy that new MRI gizmo they keep banging on about.

That’s the problem with the public sector.

No initiative.

It’s no wonder the waiting lists are so long.

Not that they’d been a big a problem for me. Very rarely will you hear of a ten month waiting list to get eleven bullets pulled out of you, even in a recession. Seriously. It’s worth thinking about. If you’re one of them poor bastards sat at home with a tumour the size of a hamster in his brain, you might as well shoot yourself. Whilst they’re fishing about for the lump of lead they’ll probably whip that malignant wee bastard out too. Be bloody rude not to once they’ve already got the lid off you.

The Reality Group were a bit of a mystery round these parts. Four months ago they built a huge warehouse eight miles outside of town and once a week a spanking great lorry would arrive in the afternoon and leave heavily laden after dark. I’m a sucker for a mystery, especially one that that didn’t seem keen on paying protection money.

I still didn’t know who they were, what they did or what was in those lorries. The only thing I’d learned was that they take security quite seriously and that fucking with Reality can be very bad for your health.

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alexdawson

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