FIRST Shakespir EDITION
Max Rudd © 2016
Cover Design by Aaron Weight
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Zig-Zig rocks with laughter as I tell him. The roiling crackle of noise, layered with an emphysemic undercurrent, no doubt an evolution of his courtship with expensive Russian cigarettes; draws foetid glances from the café’s other patrons. The soporific August sun has had weeks to insinuate itself into the nerves of the locals and to St. Tropez’s denizens the Moroccan mobster’s jollity does little to mollify them. Of course, the temperament of his fellow diners is of little concern to the obesity sat across from me, at his regular al fresco table. Arrogance seeps out of him, basking in the shadow of the two slabs of meat that compose his security detail.
I sip ice-tea, unperturbed.
“It is happening right now;” I tell him again. “While we sit here at our leisure, and may I say your choice of rendezvous is sublime, as always.” I take a moment and drink in the crop of belles in our vicinity. “I suggest you do something.” I add, almost off-hand.
Zig-Zig draws another cigarette and lights it. His jowls undulate with the tail end of the momentum caused by his recent explosion of merriment.
“I haven’t laughed so much in weeks! I should throw money at you: I need a jester.” He laughs again; I count five golden stalactites inside his gaping maw.
Declining his offer of a smoke I smile to, but not at his mediocre attempt at humour. No, my humour derives from what I can hear on the feeble wind; above the suburban burble, the waspish whine of a fast approaching motorbike. As the last waves of Zig-Zig’s second, trying, bout of laughter ripple through his excess flesh; the action shifts up tempo.
A trials bike, expertly ridden by my associate Ludovic catapults into the square, screeching to a halt amid a rubber-pungent fog. A nearby market trader ducks for cover as the bike narrowly misses his fruit and veg stall. Ludo turns in our direction, clicks his leather gloved hand and points at me; the sign that all is going to plan. The signal given he removes one of two black polyester rucksacks he is wearing and casts its contents high into the air behind him.
At this moment Zig-Zig’s good mood biles; he slowly lowers his dark glasses to confirm that motif on the bag is the monographed logo belonging to his own jewellery store; located less than a quarter of a mile away. A new sound erupts from him – I liken it to skewing a pig, as Ludovic discharges cash and jewellery across the square.
The café is suddenly empty of patrons and the square miraculously full of gannets.
Spurred on by a second squeal; his bodyguards become mired among the foraging masses; whether attempting to reclaim the stolen goods, or in pursuit of the rapidly escaping Ludovic; I don’t know.
It matters little, for this is the moment of Zig-Zig’s “Ahh.”
A curiously hollow sound for so dense a human being; it slips out of him, just as I slip the syringe out of his neck, leaving the 100cc’s of cyanide safe in their new home, naturally.
His face finds solace on the table top and, with a thumping tune in my head – making my blood rush: I breeze into the cafe. By the time Zig-Zig’s guards realise anything has happened to their employer, I’m through the kitchens and out the back door where, 500m away, Nadine sits at the wheel of her speedboat; waiting to whisk us away.
About the author
Max Rudd is an actor, writer and scriptwriter from Wymondham in Norfolk. He is the third generation of his family to take up the pen. His grandfather was the author of six novels published in the 1940’s, under the pseudonym Sidney Esmond. His father Ian Rudd had one book published during his lifetime; a novel for children: “The Refugees from Daffodil Cottage” (Minerva Press 1998).
Aside from pursuing his acting career Max is also working to re-publish the works of both his father and grandfather, a project which will also see the release of unpublished material by both. A new edition of “Daffodil Cottage” is now available on Kindle.
Max currently lives in Norwich and is working towards a move closer to London to better pursue his love of stage and screen.