Nick Knight opened his eyes as his hand searched blindly for his ringing mobile phone. “Go away,” he groaned, tiredness and anger combined in his voice. Eventually locating it he picked it up carefully, being sure to avoid touching the screen and inadvertently answering the call. Squinting against the harsh white light in the otherwise pitch black room he checked the time. 03:17. Then he read the caller I.D. “Oh, fuck off, Graham.”
Hitting the red button to refuse the call he tossed the phone back onto the bedside table, rolling over and trying to get back to sleep. His eyes had barely shut when it rang again. Again refusing the call he cursed Graham under his breath.
“Put it on silent, Nick,” came his wife’s annoyed yawn.
“Yeah, sorry love.”
Police sirens could be heard out in the distance. Suddenly the landline sounded, as Nick’s phone began vibrating in his hand. Answering, he vented his frustration. “This had better be fucking impor-”
“Carson’s out,” Graham’s panicked voice causing Nick to sit bolt upright.
“What do you mean, ‘out?’” The sirens grew closer, the landline continued to ring.
“He’s escaped, Nick!”
William Carson, better known as Billy the Butcher, was the serial killer responsible for seven (known) murders, as well as attempted murders and kidnappings. The man Detective Nick Knight had identified, traced and arrested. The man who was serving fourteen life sentences with no chance of parole. The man who had sworn to fillet Detective Knight and serve him to his family.
“Oh, fuck.” That was all Nick could say. Lucy, his wife, was sat upright too, a worried expression painted on her face.
“Don’t worry,” Graham tried to reassure him. “He won’t have had time to reach you yet. We’ve got guys on route to you now.” Sirens were now coming from directly outside the house, blue and red flashing lights penetrated the curtains, a heavy fist pounded on the front door. Lucy screamed. The children could be heard crying in the room next door. “That’ll be them.”
Nick jumped into action. Leaving the call open on his mobile he leapt out of bed, hitting the light switch on the wall. The light was blinding but no seconds could be wasted now. “Get the kids, babe,” she barked at Lucy who was sat rubbing her eyes. “Pack a suitcase, a week’s clothes, only their favourite toy each.”
“What is-” she tried to ask.
“Carson,” he answered gravely, flinging open the wardrobe and tossing a ski bag on the floor. “Now fucking move it.”
Typically Lucy Knight despised such language, and if her husband ever spoke in such a tone to her he’d be sleeping on the couch for a fortnight. Not this time, though. She did as instructed, throwing on her dressing gown and tugging a suitcase from under the bed. Still the landline rang. More banging on the door. Exhausted and terrified for his family, Nick went to the window and tore open the curtains. Lifting the single-hung window he stuck his head out. “We fucking know you’re hear, now will you shut the fuck up?”
The phone and sirens went silent within seconds. Mumbled apologies from the dozen or so police officers could be just about heard.
“Thank you,” he sighed. “We’ll be out in ten.” Going back to the phone call with Graham he uttered two words before hanging up. “Fix this.”