Grannies of Doom and Action Plans
When Sam woke up the next morning he knew what he had to do and also realised that he couldn’t do it alone. For this adventure he would need some help. He wasn’t sure how to say sorry but he was going to have to be brave. He had dealt with Nigel, been arrested and lost in an alternate reality: he could do this.
There was only one place Sam knew he could find the answers about Krishna. He took a deep breath. If Sid knew what he was about to do, he wouldn’t ever question his loyalty as a friend.
‘Sammy!’ Sam entered the teashop and braced himself for the grannies.
‘You came back and so soon!’ Pat rushed towards the door. Sam smiled and held his breath, to avoid the smell of mothballs.
‘What do you think?’ Pat playfully asked Sam.
Sam shrugged his shoulders.
‘You know…’ Pat stood up tall and gestured upwards with her eyes. Sam looked at the ceiling, he couldn’t see anything.
‘No silly.’ Pat did the same again with her eyes. Sam had no idea what she was doing. Granny Steve caught Sam’s eye, she pointed a finger to Pat’s hair, behind Pat’s back. Sam finally caught up.
‘Do you like?’ Pat came closer to Sam’s face. He could smell stale mints.
‘Er, it’s nice.’
‘Oh am glad you like it.’ Pat smiled, her false teeth, yellowed with age.
He looked at the hair, it looked exactly the same as the last time he came in here, it was still purple.
‘Where are my manners, sit, sit.’ Pat gestured over to Sam’s usual table.
‘Milk and a rice crispies cake?’ Steve asked.
‘Yes, thanks.’ Sam sat down. What had he got himself into? Sid was going to owe him big time for this. Steve returned with the milk and cake.
‘Where is Ethel?’
‘She is at her taekwondo class.’ Pat answered. Of course she is Sam thought, it was weird but made sense. He knew that limp was for show.
‘How is your mum?’ Steve asked.
‘Little Sidhartha?’ Pat sat down next to Sam. ‘What a sweet, kind boy, an angel.’
Sam tried not to laugh as he drank his milk.
‘He must be a dream son for his mum.’ Pat added. Sam raised his eyebrows.
‘Just like you of course!’ Sam didn’t have time to prepare for the pinch that Steve gave him. That granny certainly had the biggest hands Sam had seen on a woman.
Pat got out a hankie from her pocket. ’Oh dear you seem to have a little…’ She spat on the hankie and wiped some milk from Sam’s face.
‘There got it.’ Sam froze; he couldn’t quite believe what had just happened to him.
‘Nope, my mistake, just another bit there.’ She wiped the hankie back across his cheek. Ug, Sam tried to swallow the sick that climbed up his throat.
‘Leave the boy alone.’ Steve playfully punched Pat’s arm. Sam tried to wipe his mouth on the back of his sleeve.
‘What are you doing here without your mum?’ Steve asked.
Sam cleared his throat. He wasn’t’ sure how to approach the subject. Should he ask them straight out about what happen to Krishna? He had seen many a man and women cut short by the grannies when they wanted a piece of gossip. He wasn’t sure if they would tell him anything, what made him special?’
‘Er, I came, I wanted to help Sid. His dad, Krishna Tandon, what happened?’
‘Krishna, yes! That was a sorry tale. Got himself into a bit of bother, that boy did. Pat blew her noise on the hankie. Sam supposed that was one way to describe committing fraud and then being on the run from the police.
‘Sweet boy, used to come in here, when he was little. Loved a Chelsea bun, he did.’
‘Do you remember that time he pretended he was undercover?’ Steve added.
‘Yes, yes!’ Pat added. ‘ He was investigating the pet shop across the road. He thought they were stealing goldfish.’
‘Why?’ Sam was puzzled.
‘Well, he and his friends had goldfish then one night they disappeared. He was convinced there was a black market in fish and therefore the most logical place to do it was the pet shop.’ Pat tried to clarify.
‘Okay, that is a bit strange.’ Sam carefully took a sip of milk.
‘Silly boy, didn’t have the heart to tell him that the fish probably had, you know.’ Steve sat up, dead straight in the chair, with her mouth open and eyes shut.
‘Gone to heaven.’ Pat finished Steve’s sentence.
‘What happened?’ Sam felt like he hadn’t learnt anything that could help him.
‘Well, he was a sweet boy but his dad, well, let’s say Pat wasn’t a fan, were you Pat?’
‘No, I wasn’t. He took him out of school and made him work, said he had to earn his way.’
‘Poor boy, had trouble finding a job to look after his family, when he was older.’
‘Why didn’t you tell me and Sid that you knew his dad?’
‘Didn’t think he would want to talk about it, we don’t like to gossip, you know.’ Pat smoothed down her apron.
‘What did he do wrong, to run away?’
‘Well, you didn’t hear it from me.’ Pat looked round the café. Only one man and his dog sat on the other side. ‘What we heard can’t reveal our sources though. We heard that his boss at the furniture store.’
‘Dodgy fella.’ Steve added.
‘His boss asked him to you know…’ Pat whistled and gestured with her hand. Sam looked puzzled.
‘Fake some stuff.’
‘Cheques and other stuff. He convinced Krishna to do one job and then used that to blackmail him to do the rest.’
‘Nasty man.’ Steve growled.
‘Indeed, so Krishna had to do it again and again, then the boss of the boss in the furniture store then wanted hi to do it again to steal money from a bank! He said no.’
‘Krishna did and they didn’t take it so well and threatened his family and him so he had to disappear.’
‘Where is he now?’
‘No one knows.’ Sam breathed a sigh of relief. At least only him and Sid knew where he was.
‘What would happen if he came back?
‘I don’t know, he would have to turn himself into the police, well that is if they didn’t catch him first.’
‘Are they looking for him then?’ Sam questioned Pat.
‘You could say that.’
The door tinkled as it was opened. Sam looked up to see Scotty’s mum. He gulped. Had she overheard what Sam had just asked? He wasn’t sure but the look she just gave him terrified him.
‘Mum’s the word.’ Pat touched her nose.
‘Or should it be grannies the word.’ Steve winked. ‘Sergeant, what can I get you, the usual?’
Sergeant Williams looked over at Sam and gave him a nod. He nodded back and decided he needed to leave, fast. He left some money and ran out the door. ‘Thanks.’
‘Bye Sammy.’ Pat waved to him as he left.
It sounded to Sam that if he didn’t find Krishna he would be doomed.