Nigel Williams
Writing as:
N. Williams
N.C. Williams
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Aspirational conman Bryn Jones gets more than he bargains for when he decides to follow in the footsteps of his hero and attempts to pull the con of the century.

"May contain adult themes...and a few nuts."

Now available as Kindle download and paperback novella.


New Mexico, USA.

New Mexico, USA.

   The first flash of sun breaks through the rain-heavy clouds as the rattle of the shutters disturbs an otherwise peaceful morning.

   The trundle of metal trolley wheels upon the cobbles of the street precedes the sight of the crate being pushed towards the idling van. 

   Two pairs of eyes watch from afar. Night-vision glasses help to define the label stuck to the side of the wooden crate. ‘Exotic Spices from Exotic Lands.’

   A voice whispers into a cell phone. “Bravo-one, from Bravo-three; package on the move, over.”
“Copy that!”

   As the crate is lifted into the rear of the van, a careful note is made of the New Mexico licence plate. 
   Next stop Santa Fe Municipal Airport.
   “Do we follow?”

   “No need. We’ve got people at the airport. We’ll let it run and get Europol to pick up the British side of the operation.”

South Wales, UK – Two weeks later.

   The traffic across the Severn Bridge had been almost non-existent. Since the new bridge had been built only vehicles travelling between the Midlands and Wales tended to use the original crossing. The lights of the new bridge glowed against the black sky to the south as Roy cruises towards his destination in Cardiff. Thirty minutes later, the sign for the entrance to the docks looms ahead. 

   The wipers of the Audi work overtime as the driver squints through the windscreen. The giraffe neck of the huge yellow crane swung slowly, lowering a crate behind the black outline of the warehouse.         Taking a cigarette from his pocket, he wipes the mist from the screen and cracks open the side window before shielding the glare from his lighter.

   The smoke fills the car, but the warm taste of the tobacco is a welcome relief from the tedium of sitting cramped for hours. 

   Set to vibrate, his cell phone shivers in his pocket. He flicks an inch of ash out through the window and speaks. “Does it ever stop raining in this fucking country?”

   “At least it’s dry in here,” the metallic voice chuckles nervously. “Looks like you’re clear!”

   Dropping the phone onto the passenger seat, he puts the car in drive and slowly rumbles along the back-lane to the warehouse. He checks his watch, three-fifteen; just as arranged. They were on time. The time and place had been set days ago but he wasn’t a man to take chances. He covered all options, that’s why he is still at large whilst others are eating porridge at Her Majesty’s convenience. 

   He arrived at the docks three hours early, and had watched the nightshift go about their business; loading and unloading dozens of crates and boxes from the container ship tied to the dock. Now it’s his time to make a delivery and to collect something from one of those crates. This would be the last job for a while. He had booked a holiday in Thailand – a welcome break from the constant rain and wind that seemed to blight the country. It would also get him out of the picture for a while. 

   The Audi rolls to a halt beside a small corrugated iron shed, one of dozens littered about the rear of the warehouse. The shadows of the cranes and numerous buildings, used for God only knows what, are ideal for a clandestine rendezvous. 

   HM Customs and Excise constantly sniffed around the port twenty-four-seven, but Roy Davies knows they wouldn’t be bothering him tonight.

   At a little over six-foot-six, Roy isn’t a man who could pass through a crowd without being noticed. But his face is a strange mix of plain and forgettable. He pulls the collar up to his ears and hunches over as he trots from the car to the rectangular halo of light cutting through the jet-black wall of the warehouse. He knew the door would be open, it had all been arranged. His contact will be standing on the other side, sheltering from the gusts of rain lashing around his unprotected trouser legs. He should have worn a longer coat. Too late now! Get the job done quickly, and get back to the apartment a.s.a.p.; that was the plan.

   Roy stops at the door and taps a code with his knuckles. The door opens to a smiling man no taller than Mickey Rooney and looking just about the same age. “You Mickey?”

   “What do you think?” the little man grunts. “Not going to be called Usain built like this, am I? Come on in. I need to close the door.”

   Roy squeezes through the narrow gap and gazes at the mountains of wooden and steel crates filling the enormous edifice. “Like Raider’s of the Lost Arc.” He feels the need to elaborate when Mickey looks at him as if he’s on a day trip from an asylum. “The last scene, in the film, when the crate containing the arc gets stowed away in some government warehouse…”

   “Right,” Mickey nods, still fixing Roy with the odd expression. “You coming to get your package, Indiana?”

   Following the little man, Roy notices his legs are bowed like Rooney’s and the little man is clearly finding it difficult to walk without discomfort. He doesn’t fancy Mickey’s chances of out running him if the cops come calling. That could be a problem.

   Mickey pulls a small torch from his pocket and shines it at a label pasted onto the side of a crate. He smiles then beckons Roy over. “Take a look at this,” he says, as he slips a catch on the lid and waits for Roy to join him. The lid is thrown back and Roy nearly screams, as a fully inflated rubber sex-doll springs out of the box.  “Shit! What the hell are you doing?” Roy hisses.

   Mickey almost doubles over laughing. “It’s what I call a jack-off-in-a-box. Get all sorts of shit through here. Surprising how many people buy this kind of crap…prefer the real thing myself.” 

   Mickey wipes the tears of laughter from his eyes and steps to the next crate. “Here! This is yours,” the little man says as he picks up a pry-bar from the top of the crate and begins to prise the wooden lid from the box. “Give me a hand,” he grunts as he nods towards a large screwdriver lying on the concrete floor. The crate is labelled ‘Exotic Teas from Exotic Lands.’

   Taking the screwdriver, Roy forces it into the gap Mickey has created and begins to help force the nails from the wood. A loud crack makes him jump as the last of the nails surrenders as the lid breaks free.

   The old man peers over the side of the box and Roy nearly laughs as he watches him struggle to reach the pile of straw stuffed into the top. “Well don’t just stand there,” Mickey growls. “You’ve got longer arms than me. You need to take that shit out first. Your stuff is at the bottom, below a false floor.”

Dropping the straw onto the floor, Roy finds a dozen large bags labelled ‘Saffron’ huddled together in the space. Each one must weigh a couple of kilos.

   “Isn’t this my stuff?”

   “Nah. This is something a lot dodgier. A new legal high, so I’m told. Can’t believe there’s such a thing, but I bet the kids will snap it up…until the first one’s die. Been flown from the States into Amsterdam and shipped by sea to here.”

   “No such thing as a legal high,” Roy says.

   “This is supposed to be the exception. Been developed in the States. I’m told the cops won’t be able to do anything about it if it’s found, but it looks like the importers aren’t taking chances.”

   “Hard to tell it from real saffron.”

   “That’s the funny thing, really. Probably still do time if it’s found – for evasion of taxes on the saffron. Be quick!”

   “This must be worth a fortune?”

   Mickey nods his head. “It probably is. The saffron is worth more than the shit next to it.”

Roy quickly lifts the bags from the crate and carefully arranges them on the floor. The false floor is several inches from the bottom of the crate and he knows the rozzers would have no trouble finding it if the crate had been searched. A small canvas strap had been conveniently stapled to the panel. Roy pulls at the strap and the panel rises on one side, hinged at the other. Inside the secret compartment are another dozen bags labelled ‘Saffron.’

   Mickey explains, “Made sense to bag them up the same. Couldn’t really label them as ‘Drugs,’ now could they?”

   The sound of the word makes Roy suddenly nervous. He has made many illegal runs for his boss over the years but never handled drugs. Roy doesn’t like drugs, but this is different. Not only is he going to pick up a substantial bonus for this job, he also knows that these drugs are different. ‘It’s not what you think,’ he begins to explain.

   Mickey holds up his hand. “I know. I’ve been told. It’ll still get us in the shit if we’re caught, so get a fucking move on.”

   Roy’s bags are placed on to the floor next to the saffron when Mickey suddenly goes rigid. 
   “What’s wrong?”

   "Here that?’ the old man says.

   “What?” All Roy can hear is the
noise from the crane cables slapping against the dock. Then he hears it too and catches a fleeting glimpse of a blue flashing light. “Shit! It’s the cops!”

   “Grab your shit and go,” the old man shouts as he waddles off at an unbelievable pace towards the exit.

   The sound of car doors slamming outside meant Roy had less than a few seconds to make his own escape. There was no time to grab the full load. Two bags were all he could carry and that would leave him unable to defend himself in a fight with a copper. He dropped to the floor and grabbed one of the bags and realised he had lost track of where he had put his own consignment. In panic, he no longer knew which bags contained the drugs and which had the saffron. They were both labelled the same and looked to be the same colour. So much for the best-laid plans and all that shit.

   Roy grabbed the nearest bag and took off like a scolded cat towards the exit as the flashlights of several burly coppers raced into the warehouse.

End of Sample.

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