McAllen: Part Three

The conclusion of McAllen. Can Jayne and Hale sort out the hierarchy and solve the case? Missed the previous instalments? Part One and Two are available at a click.

I’m afraid the layout isn’t industry standard due to the formatting going wonky when I added each section.


EXT. JAYNE AND ROB’S GARDEN. EVENING.

SOUND OF DIRT BEING TURNED OVER AS ROB DIGS AND A RADIO PLAYS SOFTLY IN THE BACKGROUND. BIRDS TWITTER NEARBY.

JAYNE                   God knows where you get the energy. How can you do full day of work and garden afterwards?

ROB                       I’m supposed to be teaching you.

JAYNE                   (LAUGHS) I thought we’d decided I have the touch of death.

ROB                       So you’re going to sit in a deck chair while I do all the back breaking labour?

JAYNE                  Pretty much, I like the view. So, where exactly did you hear about this audit? Teach me that.

ROB EMPTIES A PLASTIC POT, AND PATS A PLANT INTO PLACE.

JAYNE                  (CONT’D) Alright, you just ask the right questions to the right people, nicely. Being nice doesn’t get you up the ladder, Constable.

ROB                       Happy where I am, thanks. I heard you had a drink with Hale.

JAYNE                   I had a lemonade. So?

THE DIGGING STOPS.

ROB                       All very cosy I heard…

JAYNE                   (INTERRUPTING) From?

ROB                       Matt said…

JAYNE                   (INTERRUPTING) If I was going to have an affair he’d be the last person I’d let find out.

ROB                       I got the impression you didn’t ‘let’…

JAYNE                   (INTERRUPTING) John was my boss, Rob, and he’s got problems. I’ve got to look out for him. No-one else will.

 

EXT. PUB ALLEY. DAY.

CARS IN THE DISTANCE. MUSIC LEAKING THROUGH A HALF-CLOSED DOOR. THUMP AND A GROAN AS JAYNE SHOVES MATT INTO A WALL.

JAYNE                   (INTERIOR) Matt was a few inches taller and a couple of stone heavier than me. So if I hadn’t taken him by surprise I probably couldn’t have pinned him to the pub’s outer wall.

JAYNE                   What have you been saying to Rob?

MATT                     Nothing.

CLOTHING RUSTLES. MATT’S HEAD THUMPS THE WALL AND HE GROANS.

MATT                     (CONT’D) Everyone knows you’ve got a thing…

MATT THUMPS AGAINST THE WALL.

JAYNE                   I’ve been good you, Matt. (BEAT) Stay away from Rob or you’ll be looking for another job.

 

INT. POLICE GYM. DAY.

TRAINERS SQUEAKING, MACHINES WHIRRING, FISTS HITTING PUNCH BAGS.

ROB                       Are you sure about this, Jayne?

JAYNE                   Of course, I’m sure.

JAYNE                   (INTERIOR) Of course I wasn’t sure, padding or no I was asking a very big man to punch me in the hands.

HESITANT PUNCH.

JAYNE                   you won’t K.O anyone like that.

FIRMER PUNCH. THEN ANOTHER. THEN ANOTHER. IN THE BACKGROUND A DOOR SWINGS OPEN THEN BANGS SHUT AS HALE ENTERS.

ROB                       Sure you’re fine?

JAYNE                   I’m weeping inside.

ROB CHUCKLES.

HALE                     (SHOUTS) Jayne.

PUNCH.

JAYNE                   Bloody hell.

ROB                        You alright, Babe?

JAYNE                   Fine, just, ow.

HALE                     Jayne, are you alright?

VELCRO RIPS OPEN AS JAYNE PULLS HER GLOVE OFF. GLOVE HITS THE FLOOR WITH A THUD.

JAYNE                   Stop asking me if I’m alright. (BEAT) See? I’m fine, fingers moving, wrist moving, everything’s fine.

HALE                     What were you doing hitting her?

ROB                       What am I doing?

JAYNE                   I’m here you know.

ROB                       Sorry.

JAYNE                   What did you want, John? And how did you know where I was?

HALE                     Detective.

JAYNE                   Detect then.

ROB                       (MURMURED) Sure you’re alright?

JAYNE                   (MURMURED) Fine.

HALE                     We found the second Mrs…

ROB AND JAYNE KISS AND HALE CLEARS HIS THROAT.

HALE                     (CONT’D) Fancy a crack at her?

JAYNE                   John, (SIGHS) it’s my day off. You can’t keep doing this, you’re going over your DI’s head. Persistently. It’s not fair on Channing.

ROB                       Jayne…

HALE                     (INTERRUPTING) Would you like that in triplicate, sir?

HALE CROSSES THE ROOM AND THE DOORS BANG OPEN AND SHUT.

ROB                       I’m guessing that’s not what you were going for.

JAYNE                   Not particularly.

 

INT. JAYNE AND ROB’S KITCHEN. EVENING.

KETTLE BOILS AND CLICKS OFF AND ROB POURS WATER INTO TWO MUGS.

JAYNE                   I upset Hale, didn’t I?

ROB                       Just a bit, I think.

SPOONS RATTLE AGAINST MUGS IN UNISON.

ROB                       It gotta be hard, right? Going back to being a sergeant I mean. And you… you…

JAYNE                   (INTERRUPTING) Being his boss? God, he’s such an arse sometimes.

ROB                       Maybe you should talk to him about it, you’re going to have to work together either way. Dragging it out isn’t gonna help.

PAUSE, TEA IS SIPPED, THEN SET DOWN ON THE TABLE WITH A CLUNK.

JAYNE                   Maybe this was a mistake. But he’s a great detective; I couldn’t let him get drummed out as a scapegoat. It was a high-profile case but he wasn’t the SIO…

ROB                       (INTERRUPTING) He can’t keep acting like it’s the old days.

JAYNE                   Trust me, he’s not acting completely like it’s the ‘old days’. Nor would I let him. It’s you first, you know that?

PAUSE.

ROB                       What should we have for tea tonight?

 

INT. PUB CORRIDOR. NIGHT.

THUMPING MUSIC IS MUTED THROUGH THIN WALLS. EVERY SO OFTEN A DOOR TO THE MAIN ROOM OPENS AND THE SOUND OF CONVERSATION, CHEERING AND A TELEVISED FOOTBALL MATCH SEEPS IN.

JAYNE                   (MURMURED) Sorry about yesterday, John. Maybe I shouldn’t have said those things in the gym.

HALE                     (MURMURED) At all? Or just in the gym?

JAYNE                   You can’t keep doing this. (BEAT) People think we’re sleeping together.

HALE                     There wasn’t much sleeping involved.

JAYNE                   Hale.

HALE                    You never used to care what people thought. Now it’s all flash suits and…

JAYNE                   (INTERRUPTING) I’m superintendent and you’re a sergeant.

PAUSE.

JAYNE                   (CONT’D) Sorry, that was harsh. (BEAT) I answer to my superiors, you to yours. That’s how it works; you can’t cut Channing out of the loop.

HALE                     A degree and some courses under his belt and he thinks he knows better than me.

JAYNE                   You earn respect…

HALE                     (INTERRUPTING) Parroting me, Jayne? It’s not the same. Thirty years service, do you…

JAYNE                   (INTERRUPTING) Understand? I’m a woman in a man’s profession, John.

PAUSE.

HALE                     You’re a damn good copper and everyone knows it.

JAYNE                   So are you. (BEAT) Do you want me to have a word with Channing? If I ever see him.

HALE                     You intimidate him.

JAYNE                   Fine, I could intimidate him for you.

HALE                     You should’ve seen his face when he realised Irving was a thieving bigamist. Did y’know he was catholic?

JAYNE                   Irving?

HALE                     Channing. Thought I’d have to call an ambulance. Maybe there’s a God, turns out the crash was just a coincidence. If being too drunk to drive’s a coincidence.

JAYNE                   Makes you wonder. (BEAT) Come on then, I’ll buy you a fruit juice as recompense.


For more from Jayne and Hale try The Mason’s Arms. For other short fiction try my archive or Weekly Serial page.

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