Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Chapter 60e - Gen 2 - Granite

The carpet is rolled back into place, to cover and hide the contents of the hole.  Just in case any one walks into our room before Dad does.  I am worried about anyone else seeing it and the drama erupting before we have had a chance to sort out the gun stuff.

I glance at the clock on the wall, with irritation, suddenly remembering that I am due into work in less than an hour ... which is a pain because I now could really do without it.

I am not going to feel comfortable, leaving Mace to deal with all of this on his own.  Especially if the police are going to come into the house and start interrogating us, and ripping the house to pieces.  I have to deal with Dad too, because of the guns upstairs which might take a while.  Especially if  Mace is wrong and it does all go pear shaped for me.

I flip open my phone.  I do not want to let Mango down, but I really do not have any other choice.

           "Have Forrest's scan and test results come back yet?"
           "Yes, I was just about to phone you actually."  Mango laughs quietly  "He is clear on all counts.  There is nothing wrong physically.  I suspect, because of Forrest's past psychological history and how cut and dried his memory loss is.  I think we are looking at a case of dissociated amnesia."
           "That is good I guess."  I laugh  "Better that than anything else."
           "Yes I think so too, as long as it is permanent and not temporary."  he laughs  "So I guess we should test out your theory, and find out if this has indeed wiped away his phobia."
           "I seriously hope it has for Mel and the twins sake!!"
           "I will get Tapestry to bring one of the toddlers in for when your shift starts, then we can test his reaction."
            "Yeah ... about my shift."  I mumble quietly  "I am sorry ... I am going to be late, if I even manage to get there at all.  I have a mega problem at home which is probably about to explode pretty soon."
            "Nothing wrong I hope."
            "It depends how you define wrong."  I mumble  "I will tell you what is about to happen, but you seriously need to keep it to yourself until someone else tells you.  I haven't informed the police yet, calling them in is my next job  ... so please say nothing to nobody, especially not Forrest!!  He seriously could do without all this shit right now, not that we can keep it from him for long!!  As soon as the police start swarming all over our house, everyone will be talking about it."
            "I really don't like the sound of this.  You are not in any trouble are you?"
            "No not me."  I laugh at him  "I have just found a load of Gravels dodgy shit hidden under the floorboards in Forrest's house."  I mumble  "I don't know if you know, the police found a lot of evidence under the floorboards in his own house.  Well, it looks like Gravel has been sneaking in and using this house to hide a lot of his dodgy shit in, as well as his own.  I presume without Forrest knowing!"
            "You are joking me!!"  he snaps
            "No I wish I was!!"

            "How do you know it is Gravel's dodgy shit.."
             "Guns, knives, drugs, money, missing police files .... it is not going to be Forrest's is it!!"  I laugh at him
            "Shit!!  Gravel is STILL causing his damn trouble, all over the place, and he is not even here!!"  Mango snaps quite angrily. "We are all still suffering from the fall out of what he's done!  Is it ever going to end?!"
            "Yeah I know ... I can see we have a right nightmare coming from this."
            "How so?"
            "I am expecting the police to evict us for a few days while they rip this house totally to shreds.  I doubt they will leave a single floorboard unturned!! So for a start, I will need to get everyone rehoused while they are doing it, which is going to be a total nightmare with Mace being paralysed!!"
            "Well, there are spare bedrooms at mine if you need them.  I doubt Tap would mind you and Mace crashing his apartment ... it is all on one level, which is ideal for Mace. "
             "Yeah it is ideal, but being at yours is not really a good idea is it, with Coral ..."
             "Oh don't worry about her ... I will send her to Preludes out of the way.  So she won't be around to bother anyone especially not Slate and Amber!!"  he chuckles quietly  "I'm not getting any where with her, and Prelude has more chance of knocking some sense into her.  It gives me a good excuse to send her to him!"
             "Seriously, I wouldn't want to put you out!!"
              "Don't worry ... we could actually do with a break from her selfish stupidity!!  Lilly especially, Coral's behaviour is really upsetting her at the moment, which is causing more black outs.  Having Coral out of her hair and Amber here for a while might actually do Lilly some good."  he mumbles quietly
            "What about my shift today?"
            "Don't worry about your shift, you just do what you have got to do."
            "Thanks Mango, that takes a weight off my mind"  I mumble  "I will have to pop in sometime later to tell Forrest what is going on, so I will let you know what is going on then."

       As soon as I have finished talking to Mango I checked on Clay, who is still sleeping soundly.  I jump onto the bed next to Mace, who is lying there with a big grin on his face while he is playing with his ring.

          "Was that a good idea telling Mango?"  he frowns at me
          "He is fine don't worry!!  He is like Tapestry ...he won't say anything."
          "Still, you shouldn't have said anything until you have spoken to Dad."
          "I couldn't let him down or lie to him!!  I needed to knock my shift on the head before the bedlam starts, or I probably would have forgotten the time and gone AWOL on him."
          "Yeah I guess that is one good thing ... you won't be working today!"  he smirks at me before he starts laughing as his hand starts wandering.  "Honey fix!"
         "SOD OFF MACE!!"  I frown at him  "What the hell is wrong with you?!"
         "What?!"  he smirks at me
         "Drama is about to erupt again.  I am here worrying myself stupid and all you have on your mind is sex as usual!!  Dad is about to walk into this room any minute, and you are BANNED remember!!"
          "I am just trying to take your mind off the worry and prevent your face from wearing those worry wrinkles permanently."  he laughs as he runs his fingers over my frowning brow.  "You are getting old and there is only so much wrinkle cream you can use before your skin sticks like it!"
          "Shut up you idiot!"  I laugh at him

Mace smirks at me as he pulls me towards him. I don't stop him, and start kissing him just to shut him up.

We are miles away in our own little world when a loud bang makes me jump away from Mace.

Dad is standing in the open door way laughing at us.

          "You two are deaf!!"  he chuckles  "Three times I had to bang that door!"
          "Sorry!"  I laugh at him
         "Do you two ever do anything else, other than lying around half naked mauling each other?"  he laughs quietly as he leans into the cot and stares down at Clay.
          "Not really."  I smirk at him
          "Hello little man."  he smiles down into the cot 
         "Dad!!  Don't wake him up!!"  I tut at him as he picks Clay up
          "He is already awake!!  I probably woke him banging the door."  he chuckles  "You two were just way too busy sucking face, to notice that he is lying here staring up at the ceiling."
           "Funny!!"  I laugh at him  "Clay was obviously happy enough doing it, or he would have been crying for attention."
          "You know this boy is way too quiet.  He hardly ever cries, unlike Amber who never stops!"
          "Oh he cries plenty at night, when we are trying to sleep!"  Mace laughs at him
          "I have never known a baby to be so quiet ... "  he frowns at me  "You don't think there is anything wrong with him do you?"
          "Other than his parents ... no there is nothing wrong with him!!"  I laugh at Dad.  "He is content.  Mommy Mace here is taking very good care of him, he has nothing to cry about."
          "You need to stop with the Mommy shit!!"  Mace slaps me playfully
          "You saw that didn't you Dad!  Mace abuses me something chronic!!"  I smirk at him  "He is always beating me up if I do not do as I am told!"
            "Sod off!!"  he sniggers  "I do not!!"

            "Like his fanny slaps really hurt you!"  Dad laughs at me  "When I have seen you and Forrest, in the past, knocking the living daylights out of each other over stupidity!!  Now that was abuse, even if it was mostly mental and not physical!"
            "Oh and here we go again ... having a dig at Leafy!!"  I laugh sarcastically  "You two are as bad as each other!  I bet you have always got your heads together plotting the next dig!!" 
            "Seriously Granny .... Instead of being constantly cooped up in here, Mace should be out, enjoying himself and getting plenty of fresh air, while he still has the chance."
            "He is enjoying himself,  mauling me and his pencil."  I smirk at him, which makes him roll his eyes at me  "Seriously, Mace is the one choosing what we are doing!  He is happy staying inside most of the time, aren't you."  I smile at Mace who smiles back at me.
           "We both know what it is like inside!  Having no freedom or sense of time, those four walls and the boredom are going to drive him crazy!!  He has not experienced it yet, so he doesn't fully realise what he has coming to him.  He needs to be out  making the most of his freedom and you, who has experienced it, should be encouraging him!"
         "How would you know what it is like inside?!"  I laugh at him  "It is not like you have ever served time!"
         "Oh I have."  he smirks at me  "I have served three months in Blue County."  my eyes widen, I am shocked!!
         "Well you kept that one quiet!!"   I frown at him  "So you HAVE been a naughty boy!!"
         "Not exactly.  Obviously, I didn't serve time for my own crimes!!  I would not still be on the force if I had."  he laughs at me  "Me and another fellow officer, went in undercover to stamp out a serious crime racket going on inside.  Being on the inside was the only way we could stop it."
         "So you haven't served proper time."
         "For the most part yes.  We had to blend in and exist like a normal prisoners ... so we became prisoners.  We were treated exactly the same as the other prisoners, because none of the prison guards actually knew we were in there undercover.  Some of the prison guards were actually a part of the racket, and it was them we needed to take down."  he smiles at me  "so yeah, I know exactly what serving time is like, because I have done it."    

          "So if the guards didn't know you were in there undercover - how did you do your undercover work?"  I frown at him
         "Only the Governor actually knew that we were undercover police officers.  He was the one who made us aware of the problem.  He asked us to help him put a stop to it.  It was too big for him to handle alone and he didn't know which of the prison officers he could trust."  he smiles  "We were hauled into the Governors office from time to time, especially after staging fights ... that is where  and how we conducted our operation and had contact with the station and outside world."

Dad suddenly starts laughing at Mace

          "So what is with that big grin on your face Macey boy?"

 Mace flashes his hand at Dad, showing off his ring.

           "Oh ... so you have asked him to marry you already!  That was quick."  he grins at me then starts laughing  "I never doubted that he would say yes."
           "You knew?!"  Mace frowns at him
           "Yeah ... he showed me the ring earlier."  he smiles at Mace while I hold my breath, hoping he doesn't slip up and say anything about the surprise marriage that I am planning next week.  "So I guess an engagement party is in the planning, before the trial starts."
           "We haven't really thought about it."  me and Mace glance at each other for a moment  "I'm not sure a party is the right thing to be doing right now."
           "Why not?"  he frowns at us  "Mace never usually misses an opportunity to throw a party."
           "Oh don't I know it!!"  I snigger
           "So ... there is going to be no engagement party?"  Dad frowns at me, then Mace.
           "Unfortunately the timing is a little off."  I stare at him for a moment.  "I ... I think everyone will be a little preoccupied with something else ... something we need to talk about."
           "Why don't I like the expression on your two's faces suddenly?"
           "Probably because you are not going to like what is coming!"  I mumble
           "So you didn't want me in here just to tell me you two are now engaged?"
           "No ..."  I mumble  "There is something I need to tell you and I need your help with something."

I jump off the bed, nervously not really looking forward to what is coming.

           "You are going to need to sit down, this may take a while."  I mumble as I take Clay off him and place him back into his cot.  I go and sit down on the couch and Dad follows me.
           "So what do you need my help with?"  he frowns at me 
           "Something from my past is just about to come back and bite me ... I think."
           "Are you in some sort of trouble?"  he frowns at me as he sits down
           "That all depends on you." I roll my eyes  "It depends if you will help me clean it up or arrest me for it."
           "Come on let's have it!"  he tuts at me.
           "Do you remember the small deserted warehouse on the edge of no mans land?"
           "Yeah."  he mumbles  "I have noticed the eyesore is not there any more littering up the sky line!!  They have pulled it down ... exactly what they should do with the other deserted warehouse in the middle of town."
            "Yeah, they pulled it down sometime while I have been away."  I mumble
            "So why are you asking me about that place?"  he frowns at me
            "The Brownie mob did a job there.  I am talking years ago, when Mace was about six."  Dad frowns thoughtfully as he glances at Mace "It was a drugs deal.  It was not theirs, it was one they were gate crashing.  They had been tipped off by a very reliable source when and where the deal was taking place, so they decided to hijack it.  They planned to swoop in and take the drugs as well as take out those involved in the deal because they were dealing on the Brownie patch."
           "You took part in this job I take it?"  Dad frowns at me, and not in a good way.
           "No, I didn't.  I was too drunk - so they left me behind sleeping it off.  Mace has told me they used to spike me on purpose when Gravel was going on jobs with them.  So they could leave me behind and I wouldn't see him."  Dad starts chuckling

          "I think that was one of those times, they spiked me and Gravel went on that job with them."
           "What makes you think that?"
           "I will get to that in a minute."  I mumble  "The job went wrong.  It turned into a blood bath, those doing the drug deal, three of the mob and about a dozen police officers were all faded."
           "I know all about that case.  It is actually known within the force as  "The No Man's Land Masacre"   Nobody, to this day, has ever been caught or punished for the crime."  He looks glum, which confuses me  "The perpetrators swooped in, took the haul of drugs, faded over twenty people and vanished.  It is thought they had inside information, leaked from the force.  There was a police operation attached to that case, it was going to be a big drugs bust for the force.   Only the police informer miss lead them, the timing was all wrong, and the perpetrators swooped in before the law and left a right mess for the force to clean up ... the blood bath you mentioned."  he mumbles as he looks down.
           "Didn't the miss leading informer get done for it?"
           "No, someone got to him before the law could.  He was faded, probably by the perpetrators, to shut him up.  His murder is attached to that case, so like the case, it is still an unsolved mystery."  he rolls his eyes  "I have always suspected the Brownie mod were involved, but it could never be proved.  Whoever covered their tracks, did a damn good job!!"  he snaps
          "Yeah, it was probably Gravel - the king of all sneaks!!  I snap  "How would you even know about that case anyway?  It is not in your jurisdiction." 
          "One of the officers hacked down ... was Pebble Rock ... my brother."
          "Oh Shit!!"  me and Mace just stare at each other for a moment.

I suddenly feel like this has just gotten a whole lot worse for me.

         "I will never forget the day they informed me about Pebble!!  I panicked when they told me Sugar and Raspberry police were involved.  I phoned Gravel in a blind panic, to make sure he wasn't one of the officers involved." he mumbles
         "Funny that!  I did exactly the same thing on my way home.  I made a nonsense call to Gravel to make sure he was still alive and not one of the faded officers.  We both worried for nothing, because I can guarantee he organised the whole damn thing!!"  I snap sarcastically 

          "I knew a few of the Raspberry Hill and Sugar Valley Officers that lost their live that day, because I had worked with them in the past.  I was informed about that particular case, obviously because of my brother."
          "You had contact with your brother after the force faked your fading?"  I frown at him
          "No, we fell out years before that, before my Slate was born.  We hardly spoke, only when it was necessary and we came into contact with each other on a professional level.  After I moved to Sugar with your Mother, he practically disowned me like the rest of my family.  You've always known they didn't approve of the colour mixing.  Pebble thought I had been faded by Sage Brownie, just like everyone else in the force.  Obviously, he would have had to be told the truth eventually, when I started to climb the promotion ladder and was no longer just an ordinary police officer.  Unfortunately he didn't live that long."
          "I'm sorry!!"  I mumble
          "So why are we talking about this ... "  he frowns at me  "If you did not take part in that job, how could it catch up with you and get you into trouble?"
          "When the mob got back off the job, I was woken up by a load of shouting and screaming.   I ended up having a huge fight with Fudge because he was beating Mace half to death, who was only six.  I was trying to stop him."  Dad's eyes widen  "Fudge told me to get rid of the evidence ... ten guns that were used in that job ... "  I look at him sheepishly  "I normally would NEVER have touched or hidden a murder weapon for ANYONE, but on this occasion I did.  I took the guns without arguing, so that I could get Mace out of there and away from him.  Fudge was so angry with Mace, I thought he was going to fade him.  He actually told me to dump Mace into the lake with the evidence - that is how mad he was!!"
          "Why was he beating Mace?"
          "Fudge took Mace on that job with him."  Dad's face twists  "Mace screamed while the mob were hiding, waiting to pounce on the deal.  A spider ran up his leg, and his screaming alerted everyone to the mob being there.  Fudge blamed Mace for the three mob members they lost.  I think because the three faded bodies, that they had to leave behind, could have lead the law straight to the mob!"
          "Stupid Man!!"  Dad snaps angrily  "He should never have taken a small child into a situation like that!!"

         "Exactly what I used to think and tell him all the time,  It was all part of his criminal training apparently and I was told to mind my own business."  I laugh sarcastically.  "After I got Mace away from Fudge, me and Forrest had to take Mace to the hospital, he had a broken arm, missing teeth and needed a load of stitches, he was in a right mess!!"
         "So, what did you do with the guns?"  he frowns at me 
         "I still have those guns ... hidden under the floorboards, in the bathroom upstairs."
         "WHAT?!"  he shouts quite loudly  "You had BETTER be winding me up Granite!!"
         "No ... seriously ... there are ten guns upstairs that were responsible for the No Mans Land Masacre."
         "HELL!!!!"  I sit watching his face doing somersaults  "I CAN NOT believe that YOU ... YOU of all people have had the evidence ALL THIS TIME, that can prove who murdered my brother!!!   he starts shouting again  "Are you really that STUPID!!??  Holding onto those guns ,,, You are asking to get yourself into serious trouble ... YOU are an absolute IDIOT!!"
          "YES I AM AN IDIOT!!"  I yell back at him.  Him shouting and calling me an Idiot makes my head snap.  It was always his favourite insult when I was a child and I used to hate it.  "Being an IDIOT is a crime in your book .... so arrest me for it ... get it over and done with!!"
          "Gran just SHUT UP!!!!"  Mace jumps in and yells at me  "The last thing we need is you two kicking off at each other!!"  Mace scowls at me  "Dad it is not as bad as it sounds!!"
         "YOU THINK?!"  he snaps angrily  "He has ten murder weapons hidden upstairs, that could get him locked up for the rest of his life for BERRY'S SAKE!!   And why have you not mentioned this until now Mace?"  he frowns at Mace angrily  "This is not one of the things you told the police about."
         "I was six years old, I barely remember it.  I had actually forgotten all about it until Gran reminded me earlier, and I only remember it because of my broken arm and the teddy bear Granite gave me."
         "Seriously, you three boys are going to be the death of me!!"  he snaps
         "When you hear the full story you will see it is honestly not as bad as you think.  Especially as far as Granite's involvement in it goes!!"  Mace smiles at him.
         "Just when I thought you had grown up and was done with all that crap!!  Now you go and dump this on me!!!"  he shouts at me quite angrily
         "Well I'm sorry to disappoint you."  I snap sarcastically   And I AM done with all that crap, as you damn well know!!   However, I can not change what I did in my past, even if that is not me any more!!!!"  I snap back angrily as we just sit there glaring at each other.

I'm a little surprised when I glance at Mace, to see him so calm.  He did not even flinching all the time that Dad was shouting.

         "I told you Mace, telling him was a very bad idea!!"
         "Just shut up and give him a chance to think!"  Mace laughs at me
         "Now he has started shouting, it is game over!!"  I snap at Mace, as I sit there watching my Dad's face which is fuming
         "He will be fine, as long as you don't fly off the handle, just keep your damn mouth shut!!"  Mace snaps at me  "Look at you, you have both got your backs up!!  You set each other off, that's your problem!!"  he tuts  "As long as you don't shout back, Dad will calm down in a minute, won't you Mr Volcano Head."  Mace laughs and surprisingly so does Dad.  I just frown at the pair of them, now quietly laughing at each other.
        "My Volcano Head?"
        "It's what we use to call him when we were kids.  When we did anything wrong, he always used to erupt like a volcano and start shouting.  If we spoke or shouted back, his shouting just got worse, but if we sat there quietly without reacting to his yelling, he soon calmed down and talked to us properly.  The longer he shouted, the worse the punishment."  Mace smirks  "Turn on the water works and he is the one in trouble."  Mace starts howling  "Really, Dad is a big softy underneath and very easy to play."
         "Granny wouldn't know that!"  Dad starts laughing with Mace  "He was the one who always yelled back and kept the volcano rumbling on for hours, even days sometime!!"  he laughs  "Gravel had me taped from an early age, just like the rest of you ... Granite was the only one who never got it!!"

I sit a little bemused watching them both, now laughing at each other.  It kind of hurts that Mace knows my own Dad a lot better than I do.

Dad has now calmed right down and Mace starts to explain everything that I have told him to Dad.  I just leave him to do it, he is probably doing it better than I could right now.  My blood is still boiling from Dad shouting.

I listen for a while, then my mind wanders off as I stare at the corner of the room where Gravel's shit is hidden.  I think for the very first time  ... what if there is something hidden in amongst it all that could also come back to bite me.  That would be just my luck right now!!

          "GRANNY ..."  Dad nudges me bringing me back to reality
          "These guns are they just loose under the floorboards?"
          "No.  They are in a clear sealed plastic freezer bag, that has never been opened since the day the guns were put into it."  I mumble  "Fudge told me to wipe the prints off the guns before I disposed of them ... but I never did either."
           "Did you touch any of the guns before they went into the bag?"
           "No.  I watched them all going into the bag, it was sealed, then Fudge thrust the bag at me."
           "So who did you see touching the bag - before and after the guns went into it."
           "Fudge, Anise ..."  I see Mace wince at the mention of his Mother  "... and me.  I can't remember seeing anyone else touch it.  Mace probably touched it while I was carrying him home.  He was riling in my arms because of the pain.  I struggled to carry him and the bag."  I roll my eyes
            "Did you take it straight to the bathroom to hide it?"
            "No, I hid the bag in a bush in the garden, then after Forrest stormed out, I hid it in the bathroom and it hasn't been touched or moved since."
            "So you have never opened it?"
           "Why was Anise touching the bag?  Did she go on the job with them?"
           "I honestly don't know if she went with them ... I was too hammered." I glance at Mace
            "I don't remember Mom being there."  Mace mumbles
            "It was Anise's job to collect the guns up ... it is what she did every time they returned from a job like that.  She collected any weapons or incriminating evidence and disposed of it.  We never knew how or where, but I presume Apple Lake was one of their main places."

           "So it was out of character for you to do it."
           "Yeah.  It was my one and only time.  It was always Anise's job, I guess to make sure it got done properly .... I never normally had anything to do with the weapons at all ... like I've said before, I was only ever in it for the booze and drugs ... I didn't even take a cut of any of the ill gotten money."
          "No, he used to give his share to me and Tarragon."  Mace starts laughing 
          "So what about the weapons that you used?"  he frowns at me  "Did you dispose of your own or did Anise always do it?"
          "I never used weapons!!"  I smile at him
          "Like I'm going to believe that!!"  Dad laughs sarcastically 
          "Seriously Dad, he didn't!!  They used to go armed with guns and knives ... Granites always refused to take them, he used to say his weapons were his fists!!"  Mace laughs
          "So any jobs you did go on ... you went unarmed?"  he is really frowning at me.
          "Yeah."  I mumble
          "That was a little stupid wasn't it?"  he frowns at me
         "I was too high or hammered most of the time to even think or care about fading!  If it was meant to be it would have come to me."  I laugh quietly  "Besides, I would NEVER intentionally fade anyone for any reason, especially not their shit reasons!!  I refused to take their weapons, because if I had ever ended up having to use them and faded someone, I would never have lived with myself!!!   I always punched my way out of problems."
          "Earlier you said you have hidden guns and knives in this house from Forrest."
          "Yeah I had a knife and gun here ... but they were only for mine and Forrest's protection.  Having them doesn't mean I have to use them.  There weren't even any bullets here for the gun!!  Waving them about in most cases is deterrent enough and that is all I ever did with them!!  I did not go out and fade people for fun like Gravel and the rest of them!!  I did everything that I could to avoid it."
           "So, how many people have you actually faded?"
           "NONE!!"  I snap angrily  "Okay people have faded by my hand, but only those in hospital beds or on an operating theatre, that could not be saved ... I have NEVER faded anyone intentionally.  I save lives not extinguish them!!"

          "Where are the gun and knife now, that you had here for protection?"
          "Gravel hauled them in for evidence ... when he arrested me."  I laugh  "Possession of a fire arm was one of the thing I was done for."
          "Yeah I remember, that is why I was confused about you saying you didn't use weapons."  he laughs quietly  "Why did you keep that bag of guns between hiding it and you getting locked up."
          "I was spooked.  Nine of the mob came back off that job, but Fudge gave me ten guns to dispose of in Apple Lake ... the extra gun really spooked me!!  It looks just like your old gun.  It has a marble patterned grip."  he just stares at me blankly  "I was being sentimentally stupid, I kept the gun because I convinced myself it was your old gun stupidly I know.  However, now I am beginning to think I wasn't being stupid as far as that gun goes.   You gave him that gun, so now I actually think it is your old gun upstairs!!  Gravel used it doing that job, and gave it to Fudge to dispose of with all the rest."
         "Oh so. that is why you was sneaking about upstairs and asking questions about my old gun earlier, instead of the bullshit reason you gave me!"  he frowns at me
         "Yeah, partly."  I mumble
         "You need to show me that gun."  he snaps as he stands up
         "Before I do that ... there is more."  he rolls his eyes at me
         "Oh Granny ... what now?!"  he mumbles miserably
         "Don't worry ... this is not me this time."  I laugh  "I have a third hiding place, in this room.  Gravel knew about this one, he caught me sneaking into it once, and after that I tried not to use it.  I checked it out just in case I had left drugs or booze in it, but we have just had the shock of our lives ... I thought the space would be empty, maybe a bottle of vodka or a small bag of coke at the most.  However it is now Aladdin's cave."
         "What do you mean?"  he frowns at me
         "It's best I just show you."  I laugh 

I laugh at the expression on his face as I pull back the carpet and he stares at the contents of the hole.

          "Seriously Granite?!"  he stares at me in amused disbelief.
          "Trust me  NONE of this shit is mine!!"
          "I SERIOUSLY hope not!!"  he snaps  "Without taking anything else into consideration, there are enough drugs there to have whoever is dealing them, doing some serious time!!"
          "There was only one broken floorboard in my day.  The hiding hole seems to have grown over the years.  Since I left, another five boards have been broken."
          "This is Gravel."  he snaps  "I can see the Mace Wood cold case police file that has vanished."
          "Yeah .. Gravel has obviously been using this house as another place to hide his dodgy shit."  I mumble  "I doubt even Forrest knows any of this is here.!!"
          "How could he not know!!  There is a ridiculous amount of stuff there!!"
          "Trust me, Forrest would have gone ape at this if he had known, especially the weapons!!"
          "He might not have liked it, but Gravel has been holding a gun to Forrests head all this time,  just like he did T and Mace."
          "Yes I know, but after Gravel was arrested, Forrest would have told the police it was here if he had known.  He came clean about everything else he knew, so why would he hide this?"
          "I suppose ..."  he mumbles  "But ... this is a hell of a lot of stuff for someone to hide in someone else's house without them noticing!!"
          "Gravel has a key to this house and I suspect he has been sneaking in while Forrest is at work."  I mumble  "Forrest lives alone, so he could sneak in here and not be distrubed."
          "More guns ... and all that money!!"  he snaps  "I seriously don't know what went wrong with that boy!!"
          "He was an evil little brat when he was a child, you just never saw it!!"
          "You haven't touched anything have you?"  he frowns at me
          "No only the carpet and the floorboards when I lifted them up."

Suddenly Dad starts choking and getting upset

         "You have spotted it haven't you!!" Mace mumbles  "Tami's jewellery."
         "Yes."  he chokes  "I did not want to believe that he had actually done it ... but this kind of proves it.  I seriously don't understand why he would even want to do it!!  His own Sister who never did him any harm!"
         "Has he not been asked why he shot Tami?"
         "Yes, he was asked, before they shipped him off to Berry.  El and Crimson have both asked him.  He just laughed at them, exactly the same reaction they got from him when they asked him why he shot you."

I just stare at Mace who stares back at me ... we both have our theories, but they are best not said, or we might just upset him even more than he is.  I just stand watching him as he tries to pull himself together.

          "You need to show me the gun, that you think is mine."  Dad frowns at me  "If you are right and it is my old gun, then Gravel definitely played a part in The No Man's Land Masacre.  There is no way that he can riggle out of it either.  That gun is registered in his name!!  It's just a very good job I had the sense to transferred that gun over to him legally, otherwise this could have come back on me!!"  he snaps
         "He would have let you take the rap for it too!!"
         "After everything he has done, I can just imagine that he would!!"  he snaps   "And Berry help that boy if he turns out to be the one responsible for robbing my brother of his life, as well as my daughter!!"
          "What am I going to do with all those guns upstairs?"

          "Obviously the force need them, so that case can be put to bed.  I, like many others who lost family that day, are still waiting for answers!!"  he stares at me for a moment  "But first we need to clean you right out of the picture before I get El and Crimson in here.  We will have to move the guns and put them with that lot!"  he points towards Gravel's stash.
           "What about if I'm wrong and it isn't your old gun."
           "It was a one off, so it more than likely is.  My initials are engraved on the gun, so I'll know for sure without even opening the bag."  he smiles at me  "Even if it isn't my gun, he ran the mob that did the job, and like you said, he probably organised the whole damn thing!!  So they won't think anything of Gravel having that evidence."  he laughs to himself quietly  "Gravel can take the rap for his own shit, without anyone else having to suffer because of it!!"
           "So you are not going to arrest me for it?"  I smile at him 
           "By rights I should.  Withholding vital evidence from a crime as big as the Masacre, is a very convictable offence!!"  he smirks at me sarcastically  "However, the very last thing I want is you losing everything, going down again for your past drunken stupidity.  Slate, Clay and Jasmine's lives have be wrecked enough by Gravel, without you adding to it!!  I am just glad you didn't take part in that job and are not responsible for fading anyone, which makes it easier for me!!" 

Dad starts chuckling to himself quietly

           "Yet again you have been a pawn in Gravel's games!!  Some might even look on it, and say you have preserved the evidence, that we all thought was long gone.  I for one thought I would never know."  he smiles at me  "I think the law has punished you enough don't you think!!"

I sigh with relief.  Mace was right.

           "But don't get thinking you have got off with this scot free!!  Just because the law won't be punishing you, it doesn't mean that I won't!!" Dad wags his finger at me. "I won't sleep for weeks, knowing I've had to bend the law, yet again, to clean up one of your lots shit!!"

I glance at Mace who is now really laughing at me.

           "Oh boy!!"  he sniggers  "Are you in for some earache!!"