Taken from my latest book An Everyday Warrior, another true story, the story picks up from when I had received a phone call informing me that my father had taken thousands of pounds from some heavy Liverpool men. When payback time came around he was nowhere to be found and they looked to me for payment. Things did not look good as I struggled to find the money. I was informed that they were to visit my office and it wasn’t going to be pleasant. As I sat waiting for them my mind wandered back many years to a similar situation…
‘I was seventeen years old and was becoming more and more aware of how my father’s world worked. I wanted little part of it and was happy spending my days working and my nights drumming in a local band. On the evening in question, we had played a gig at a local nightclub and it had gone well.
It’s fair to say I was happy arriving home late that night, a couple of pints inside me and the accolades of a small crowd ringing in my ears. The next set of ringing I heard would stop me dead in my tracks and send a cold shiver up my spine.
It was about 11pm and the house was quiet with my dad being away on business, and my mum in bed having left me some supper out. As I waited for it to reheat, the phone brought me from my daydream. Given the time of night, I was surprised to hear it ring and answered it with trepidation. After all, does a phone call at that time of night ever bring good news?
Immediately my instincts were proved right as a rough, aggressive voice barked down the receiver, “Is Peter Morrell there?”
“No I’m sorry. He’s away.” I realise now that this was bad information to give out, I should not have let anyone know who was and who wasn’t in the house; but what did I know? I was a seventeen year old drummer in a rock ‘n’ roll band.
“Don’t fuck about son, we know he’s there and he’s about to get the hiding of his life. We’re in your town now, at a phone box near your street. Tell him to come outside to meet us.”
Sheer panic took hold as I tried to convince him that my dad was not around but they would have none of it.
“We’ll find out in a minute won’t we? Chicken shit he is. Ripping people off all the time. Well he has picked the wrong crowd this time.” With that the phone went dead and I became aware of my mum standing at the top of the stairs.
“What is it Si? What’s happened?” I just looked at her and it was as if she knew what had been said. She called the police and to be fair, it took them just minutes to get to us. After being told details of the call before they were dispatched to us, they had taken the time to check the local phone boxes and reassured us that there was no one around.
You could cut the tension with a knife and so it was no surprise that I nearly jumped out of my skin when the phone rang a second time. An officer motioned for my mum to answer it and then stood next to her so he could listen in. There wasn’t much he could do or say as he heard the caller tell my mum that my dad ‘wouldn’t be forgotten’ and that ‘things would happen soon.’ With that the phone went dead.
The officer could see we were terrified and tried to put our minds at ease. Turning to me he said, “Listen son, he sounded drunk to me. Given the time of night he’s probably had a few and will wake up in the morning with a sore head and a guilty conscious. We will be around all night so will drive past and keep an eye open, but try not to worry. Lock up the house and get some sleep. It’ll all be forgotten in the morning.”
I did as he said, but not before grabbing the baseball bat that was in the house and putting it by the side of my bed. I was taking no chances but prayed the policeman was right and that the guy was just drunk. Both my prayers went unanswered; the policeman wasn’t right and the man on the phone hadn’t been drunk…
The following morning as my mum and I tried to eat breakfast, the phone rang again and the same voice simply said, “If you think that was just a drunken phone call last night, think again. We are coming for your dad.”
I never found out how this issue was resolved, but I do remember the look on my father’s face when I told him of the matter. He tried to laugh it off but he caught my eye and we both knew the same thing; he was afraid.
And so, many years later, here I was in the office he used to occupy, with more bad men coming to see us. The only similarity here was that he had caused the problem; the only difference was that I was going to resolve it.
I was shaken from my reverie by a loud, hard bang on the door; they were here…’
The Kindle version of An Everyday Warrior is available now. Click here