BLACK, WATCH & TARTAN
by Dirk Robertson
Dirk Robertson is a writer, actor, and consultant specialising in the field of medial and social affairs. His novels Higland T'ing (1998) and Bad Day for a Fat Boy (2003) are published by the X Press. He is currently at work on a new novel.
It was a cold winter's night in a part of New York you won’t find highlighted on the tourist maps handed out by the concierge at the Plaza. The Brotherhood For All Things White and Aryan were having their weekly meeting. Their headquarters was halfway up a badly lit alley where the only other resident was the wind whipping in from the Hudson. The three leaders were there that night, as were the Brotherhood's entire membership. They were one and the same.
Damp slime ran down the bare brickwork. Rays of thin yellow light leaked from the solitary bulb hanging from a frayed brown cord.
There was a nasty smell permeating around the building which no-one had ever been able to identify. Imitation Nazi memorabilia were strategically placed on shelves nailed around the walls.
All three had a common dream; to rid the country of all races not white and not Aryan. Each, however, had their own special dream which they nurtured every waking moment of their lives. Tonight, each of their desires would come true in a way they could not have possibly imagined.
Marty, who was fat and hairy with two little piggy eyes and a puffy face, wanted more than anything to be able to walk in a regimented goose-step, just like his heroes. He'd practised over and over again but to no avail. Matters had not been helped when his face had been opened up with a knife a few months ago by a peace protester.
Marty and his swarm had been chanting racist slogans one sunny afternoon and this big guy had just attacked him for no reason. The resulting uneven scar had made him look even less like a leader than ever.
Billy was small and weedy, covered in spots and had a lot of hair. Unfortunately, most of it was growing out of his nose. He lived for the day that he could talk with an accent like a statesman of the master race, high pitched and precise. He'd even bought a pair of eye glasses (though his sight was perfect) to help him look the part. The eyeglasses had indeed transformed him.
Then there was Minty, who had a burning desire to be able to perform the perfect Nazi salute. He was so long and thin he looked like a human shoelace. He was almost permanently irritated because he could never get a proper haircut. His hair was so thick and curly that if he stood under the shower for ten minutes, it was eight before his body was wet. Billy’s hair had been a source of self-hatred for him ever since high school, when it had seemed that he had been the only boy unable to have a Bowie cut. He'd tried, but it had ended up looking more like something out of Cheech and Chong. The uneven sideburns hadn’t helped either.
Tonight's meeting was exactly the same as every other one which had preceded it. An old projector, running and black and white film of their heroes was being drooled over as each of them in turn tried to perfect their objective. The marching was shown again and again.
The speeches were run endlessly and they studied the salutes in every detail. Each one took it in turn to do their bit whilst the others provided comments. It was always bad-tempered because none of them could stand criticism and so they never got nearer to their goals. Marty still walked like Marty, Billy still sounded like Billy and Minty couldn't get the hang of the complex salute. Things were not hopeful.
They consumed more bitter cups of coffee and then got onto the Thunderbird. Alcohol always made them feel like Masters of the Universe. They tried to edge nearer to their dreams to emulate their heroes but it was no use; their efforts were useless.
Billy looked unhappily into the slop floating around on the top of the mixture of Thunderbird and spittle and sighed.
"I just can't get it. Do you think if I stop taking dairy products it will improve my voice?" He threw the question out to no-one in particular. Marty strode from wall to wall for the umpteenth time. "I just can't get the motion right." He grunted to himself whilst Minty tried to do a press-up. He stopped and lay on the filthy wet floor. "It's all in the arm motion," he whispered to himself, mantra-like. Marty swigged the last of the Thunderbird and slammed the bottle down on the rickety old table propping up the projector as the film came to an end. "This is a waste of time. It's not happening, let's call it a night." The others nodded in agreement. They were all fairly drunk by now as some bottles of strong German beer had been inhaled along with the Thunderbird.
They stepped out into the deserted alley and looked from left to right to make sure no-one saw them. They always did this completely oblivious to the fact that there was no-one around to care, because the Brotherhood's was the only building in the alley.
The rusty old padlock was put in place, like it had been done a thousand times before, and the three specimens made their unhappy way towards the park which led to their respective homes. A full moon bathed everything in a kind of strange, eerie glow.
They had just entered the park, through the gate which was never locked, when they heard a sound just off to their right, by the small lake.
Minty saw her first. She was young, pretty, and Asian, and stood completely alone, looking up at the moon beaming through the cold night air. She was totally lost in her private thoughts. Otherwise, she would likely have heard the vicious trio creeping up on her, with lust dripping from every fibre of their being.
Though they hadn't discussed it, they knew exactly what they were going to do. Marty got to her first, and slapped her across the face. She was so small and delicate she fell with the impact of the blow, her sari ripping on the rough ground. The sight of the teenage flesh was almost more than they could bear. She looked up at them with a strange look in her eye.
"What's your name?" Marty said.
He could hardly get the words out, he was so excited. The answer meant less than nothing to him. He didn't even know why he'd asked. The other two waited their turn panting with anticipation. "Narita," she whispered.
Marty unbuckled his jeans and crawled forward, the moonlight reflecting off his hairy backside. Narita's next words cut through Billy and Minty's thoughts: what had she been doing in the park alone?
"I'm sorry." She looked Marty straight in the eye and smiled. There would not be a day, hour, minute or second from now until his death that Marty would not regret sticking his arse up in the air.
Narita moved her focus away from Marty, her eyes now on the massive shape which had flown through the night and had landed a few feet away from Marty. He saw his left buttock, bloody and ripped, lodged between the jaws of the fifteen stone Rottweiler, long before he felt any pain. He opened his mouth but no sound came out.
Marty fell over to one side, semi-conscious, like a newly felled Canadian Redwood. The remains of his economy jeans flapped around his ankles.
"That's BLACK." Narita said simply, pointing to the hound from hell. It seemed to smile back, as most of Marty’s buttock continued its journey down the dog’s digestive tract.
Billy suddenly stood on his toes. The reason was an even larger heavier Rottweiler which had driven itself between his legs and fixed its jaws around his scrotum and now stood completely still. It did not crush or bite any part of Billy; it just stayed there with Billy’s groin lodged between two jaws capable of exerting ten tons of pressure per square inch. A great pool of saliva gathered on the ground. The dog looked like it was enjoying itself.
"That's WATCH." Narita said to Billy. A further explanation of the origin of the name was not required.
By now Minty had quite wisely legged it. He was actually pretty fast on his feet, but to no avail. A third Rottweiler rocketed out of the woods and cut off his escape. It took a great big munch out of his shoulder, destroying the nerve ends and decimating the muscle. Minty dropped to his knees as the Rottweiler stepped back and sat down with a philosophical look on its face. Minty let out a shriek of pain and horror.
Narita took a few steps towards him and congratulated Minty.
"Well done, you nearly guessed his name."
She patted TARTAN gently on his head. He let out a little growl of quiet contentment. Narita put her fingers to her lips and whistled. BLACK trotted happily over towards Narita and TARTAN.
Each dog sat, on either side of Narita and all three of them just gazed at Billy, a few yards away, on his toes, with WATCH still in his original position. That's exactly how they were when the police came. Old Mrs Maginty, who lived in the block overlooking the park, had called them when she had first seen the attack on Narita.
It was a long night for Billy. Narita had forgotten the release command for WATCH. The fright had affected her memory. At least that's what she told the police. WATCH and Billy had been lifted and transported, as one, to a police vet, where WATCH had been sedated. Two nightsticks were broken before the jaws were finally forced apart.
Billy could have been sedated, but Doctor Patel pretended to be busy on another call when the full details of the night's events were explained to him. It hadn't helped Billy's cause that Doctor Patel was Narita's uncle. Just one of these coincidences which happen in life, every now and again.
He'd always warned her about going out in the park alone, but she'd always said you're never alone with BLACK, WATCH and TARTAN. She’d named them after her Scottish cousins who were so enthusiastic about all things Celtic.
As for the Brotherhood? Well, each one, in his own way, had a legacy from that night in the park. Marty, with only half a bottom now, would always walk in a strange and surreal manner, just like a goose-step. A kind of half shuffle, half leap. Billy developed a high pitched whine perfect for making speeches about racial purity and Aryan blood. It was also rumoured that he was impotent now. Ironically, WATCH never actually bit him--it was just the stress. You can see how it could affect someone in that way, can't you?
And Minty? Well, once his shoulder healed, and it took a while, he had a permanent spasm which caused his arm to shoot out without any warning in a classic Nazi salute, night or day.
It just goes to show that if you wait your turn, all your dreams will come true, one way or another.
|Webmaster: Tony 'Grog' Roberts [Contact]|