It didn’t take long for Yoseph to officially declare the BMW a write-off. He sent me a message to say it needed a new engine but probably wasn’t worth it. End of the line for the Beamer, an anti-climatic thud in a Turkish man’s shed in Ennis.
Time to hit Donedeal.
Lashed her open. Car section. Stuck up a few pictures and a quote for €600. Hoped for the best. Nothing happened til the next day. Then the phone rang. It was a foreigner in Dublin. Wanted to know how far it was to Clare. I told him and he said: ‘Oh.’ And he hung up.
It rang again a minutes later. Sounded like the same fella but he was different, just foreign too. Living in Tralee. Would I take €400? I would, and his two hands with it, but I played it cool and said: ‘I’ll think about it. Come tomorrow and take a look.’
‘Ok,’ He said. ‘But I need to be back for Church, so we need to meet in the morning.’
‘Yes,’ he said rhetorically. ‘Church.’
In the morning, he arrived with his father. They were both Romanian and driving a blue car. Yoseph was in his shed talking to two Polish fellas. The BMW was looking nervous in a damp parking space by the far wall.
Stephen was the buyer’s name. I didn’t get his father’s. They wanted to know about turbos, and speed and why are the wipers missing?’
We checked again. Sure enough the fuckin things were gone. I looked around in the hope of spotting a mong running out the gate but there was no sign. It was a stealthy theft done long before any of us arrived. This didn’t bode well for my dreams of €400.
Then we checked the boot and they were there, like two preying mantis camouflaged between the interior carpet and a bag of rubbish. The last mechanic had taken them off and left them there (who knows with mechanics anymore?).
Then Stephen said: ‘I want to hear the engine. Is the battery ok?’
The battery was more extinct than flat, but I didn’t mention this, just said: ‘Sure start her up and see how you get on.’
There was an absurd click as he turned the key, like someone had invented the precise sound of a car that hadn’t a notion of starting. Stephen continued to try but the wonderful dead orchestra kept playing her hopeless tune so that the father shook his head and asked me: ‘How much you want for this?’
Click click click.
Yoseph arrived just in time and asked: ‘All iz ok?’
This lead to the procurement of jump leads which proved completely useless, but Stephen was a holy man and not to be deterred. ‘How about €350?’ He asked. ‘You give me €50 off for luck?’
I let this settle, gave the Sunday morning crows a chance to squawk, and then shrugged and said: ‘Ok, then.’
The oul fella took out a ball of money and we did the count, then the logbook, and then it was time for them to go and that’s when everyone realised there was no way for them to get the car out of there. They’d need to tow it, with a special BMW Towbar key that attaches to the front, a key that was entirely absent at the present moment, which was inconsiderate of the heartless tool because it threatened to scupper the whole deal.
Wind blew. Rain spattered. Time twisted her ankle. Mass musta been on now too cos the father and son were getting quare impatient. The only obvious place to hope for the Towbar key was in Yoseph’s shed.
We all trounced in. Dark shadows, full of purpose and religious zeal. The Polish lads giving us suspicious looks. There was no simple solution to be found, only a rusty iron with bits of threading on it. It looked like something that fell off a Russian tank in 1968. The Romanians saw potential here and, after a quick fire discussion in Klingon, they rammed it into the front of the Beamer and attached it to a tow rope which they then wrapped around their own hitch.
After that, it was time go, they might still make communion. Stephen sat in the BMW and let physics and gravity and his father’s blue car yank the Beamer into a reluctant free wheel. He held a thumb up through the driver’s window as the current of catholic hope pulled him back to Tralee and to somewhere in his mind where he was sure it would all work out. I let a wave go as they disappeared around the corner and then I felt for the money in my back pocket and I gave a few pound to Yoseph and we said goodbye and I went home.
Mokusatsu – A Novel by Mick Donnellan.
(Includes Worldwide Delivery and Postage) Charlie’s out on bail and back on the sauce. Still devastated over the events of El Niño, he drinks to kill the pain and robs all he can to feel alive. But the past won’t give him peace. The police want him in jail. Kramer’s old crew have a price on his head, and his new employer has big plans to carve out his own niche in the criminal underworld — with Charlie at the helm. Roped into a series of audacious heists and ingenious schemes, he finds himself involved with illegal diesel in Westmeath, stolen cash machines in Mayo and violent debt collection in Galway. Couple that with his regular income of stealing wallets and robbing shops and you have a cyclone of a man roaring down a path to destruction. And bringing everybody with him. And then there’s Karena. The beautiful girl that may save him — but maybe she should know better? At times dark, others touching, and often comic, Mokusatsu is a fiction readers feast of Irish Crime Writing.