Three friends go for a cycle ride along the North Kent coast and find a bag of money belonging to local smugglers and drug dealers. The drug dealers are soon hot on their trail to regain their money and the three friends soon find themselves in very serious trouble.
With twists and turns a complicated web of deceit amongst the drug dealers is woven and the unconcern they show for the health of their customers in the dangerous substance they sell is portrayed vividly. The gangland life appears very real and one that is shocking and violent and strangely often hilarious.
Nicola looked down at the mess on the floor; torn cigarette papers, sweet wrappers, shopping receipts and what looks like dirt is now spread out on the floor where Stef, her boyfriend, has emptied his pockets out. Nicola feels her face flushing with anger as she had only cleaned and dusted the whole flat twenty minutes ago!
"Stef!!" Nicola shouts.
"What ya want?" answers Stef from the other room in a 'do not bother' me tone of voice. Stef has a light-hearted outlook to life; he knows his put-on tone of voice will upset Nicola and feels she takes life too seriously.
"Get in here; now!" shouts an angrier Nicola as Stef's attitude does infuriate her.
Stef stomps his feet as he walks into the room; "What's the matter with you now?"
"Look at the mess you have made; you complain to me that I do not keep this place clean enough, how can I with you around?"
Stef looks down at the floor; "Nothing to do with me." he answers in a bored voice and starts to turn away.
"Stay right where you are, how dare you say that to me?" screams Nicola.
Stef turns and looks at Nicola's red face; "You wanna learn how to take a joke, yeah sorry, I forgot about that."
Nicola is off balance with Stef's calm voice and easy admission of guilt and she stares at him as the anger inside her slowly fades; "You bastard." she laughs; "Do it now please."
"Of course dear, is there anything else that you would like me to do?"
Nicola stares at Stef, not sure if he is being serious or sarcastic she decides that "No thank you." is the safest answer.
Stef nods in apparent obedience and walks into the kitchen for the dustpan and brush; opening the cupboard door under the sink he rummages around inside;
"Come on; where you put it?"
"Put what?" answers Nicola innocently from the dining room.
"The dustpan and brush; what else?"
"You had it last when you knocked my plant over."
"Oh yeah I remember." Stef laughs and opens the back door as the telephone rings.
"I'll get it." shouts Nicola.
Stef is closer and reaches it in two steps, picking up the receiver he says in a put on common sounding voice; "What'dya want?"
"Yo Dude, how yer doin?"
"Simon, good to hear from you Dude, how was the States?"
"Really great, had lotsa beer and bike rides."
"Strange mix, ouch!" shouts Stef as Nicola comes up behind him and punches him on the arm for answering the telephone.
"Hi Simon" shouts Nicola into the telephone as she walks into the kitchen.
"What's goin on Dude?" asks Simon.
"It's Nic being a usual pain, hey, hope you didn't spend too much on me present ya know I will get embarrassed." laughs Stef.
"You don't have to worry about that I got you nowt," laughs Simon, "I spent the money on a taxi to get to the airport."
"Thought you were going on the train?"
"Yeah I was, got as far as Rainham and there was a bomb scare at Gillingham. We sat and waited for about an hour and then got shunted back to Sittingbourne as they were meant to be laying on buses. I waited along with about a thousand others for half an hour or more, so got a taxi to take me to Paddington for eighty quid."
"Bomb scare? Didn't hear nothing about that." asks Stef.
"Yeah well, you wouldn't would you as you don't read the newspapers or watch the news on the telly do ya?" answers Simon, saying it as more of a statement than a question.
"So what do you want then? As you haven't got a present to bring over." answers Stef in a put on rough voice.
"Ha ha, sorry mate, now I got over the jet lag I was wondering if you and Nic fancy a bike ride."
"Where you thinking of going?" asks Stef.
"Down to the cliffs, maybe bit further to the river if you feel up to it, sure is a nice day."
"Sounds a good idea, could do with getting out of here, hang on." replies Stef into the telephone, covering the mouthpiece with his hand he shouts to Nicola to 'Get here!'
"What now?" shouts Nicola from the kitchen.
"Do you wanna go for a bike ride with Si?"
"Depends where he's going, I am not cycling 'till we are exhausted like last time!"
"Nah we're only going as far as the cliffs, maybe go the other side."
"As long as you promise not to go too far." says Nicola as she enters the room.
Stef uncovers the telephone; "Yeah, she's up for it; ouch!" exclaims Stef as he receives another punch on the arm from Nicola.
"She?" shouts Nicola, "Who's she?"
"Yeah all right." grumbles Stef in an angry voice as Nicola's punches hurt!
"That's cool I'll come right over as long as you two ain't gonna have a fight." says Simon in a nervous voice, he had witnessed their fights and arguments and would rather avoid the unpleasantness.
"She knows better," laughs Stef rubbing his arm painfully; "Give us a half hour."
"Yeah Ok see ya in a bit." answers Simon as he disconnects the call.
"That hurt bitch." says Stef as he puts the receiver down.
"I have got a name you know." replies Nicola in a sarcastic voice.
"Yeah, well I keep forgetting what it is," laughs Stef "right now I'll call you Joe as you can make me a sandwich or something nice to take with us."
"You can make your own sandwich, I'm gonna get changed." laughs Nicola as she brushes past him and goes into the bedroom.
Stef and Nicola live in a ground floor flat on the outskirts of a seaside town on the north Kent coast in England. The flat is large, as the building, built in the eighteen hundreds and of Victorian design, was originally built for a wealthy land owner to be a home for his large family of nine children; and as many servants to look after them!
The house originally had a lounge, two dining rooms, a library, large kitchen and servant's quarters on the ground floor, with an equally large cellar beneath. The cellar had been divided to accommodate more servants and had also been used for storage of hay for the horses. Upstairs was divided into two floors with each floor having a lounge, two bedrooms, with a modern kitchen and a toilet and wash room.
Stef and Nicola are lucky in renting the ground floor as this included a small private area of the back garden that led directly from their back door. The area is about three metres square and surrounded by a high hedge of green privet, giving them a little privacy from the other tenants. The cellar below them remains empty as it is cold and slightly damp and unsuitable for living in.
Immigrants from Poland live in the flat above; two young couples in their early twenties. One couple do night work at the local supermarket and the other couple work during the day as casual labour on a nearby chicken farm.
The top floor also houses immigrants; three families from India who seemed to be involved in two restaurants and a Take Away. They do not appear to be short of money as each family owns a Mercedes and they have a multitude of children!
Even though they all live in the same building their paths seldom cross. Stef and Nicola work long hours; Stef as a forklift driver at a haulage company about thirty miles away and Nicola as a qualified staff nurse, who is often called to work long hours at the local and other hospitals.
Stef is a swarthy looking individual; about two metres tall with close cropped light brown hair sitting on top of a round chubby face that looks ten years younger than his true age of twenty five years. His body looks muscular, but is betrayed by the pot belly that hangs over his leather belted blue jeans. A belly that is due to the long hours spent in his forklift truck and the five pints of brown ale that he drinks each day.
Nicola is three years older than Stef and appears delicate compared to Stef; being a good twenty centimetres shorter with a slim body and long brown shiny hair that reaches to her shoulders. Dark brown eyes look out from a thin face that appears to have seen troubled times. Slight worry lines are making an appearance across her brow and her eyes seem shadowed from lack of sleep and appear dark against her pale skin.
Nicola looks through her wardrobe for something to wear over her blue sweatshirt and black slacks. Choosing a pale lightweight jacket she puts it on and looks at her reflection in the long wardrobe mirror. Twisting to the left and then to the right and with a stretch of her arms above her head she appears satisfied with her choice. Removing the jacket Nicola lays it carefully onto the bed and looks down at the array of shoes and trainers that cover the bottom of the wardrobe. Picking a pair of silver coloured trainers she flicks off her slippers and puts the trainers on, she ties them up tight and reaching over to her bedside table picks up a book and starts to read.
Nicola likes to read, especially romance novels and this one, about a girl in Jamaica has become very exciting; and Nicola is finding it hard to put down! Avidly she reads, imagining herself on a Jamaican beach in the arms of a strong, Jamaican hotel owner when Stef snaps her away by shouting her name repeatedly, and loud!
Annoyed to be taken away from the Jamaican sunshine Nicola throws her book down on the bed and with a; 'I'm coming.' goes into the kitchen; where Stef is still shouting.
"Alright, alright I'm here what's all the fuss?" says Nicola as she enters the kitchen.
"Where you been? You been gone twenty minutes!" demands Stef in his loud voice as he knows what Nicola has been doing.
"I've been getting changed." Nicola replies defensively.
Stef eyes her up and down; "Changed?" he asks in his indignant voice "All you've changed is your trainers!"
"Well I been doing other things"
"Like what? Reading your soppy novel, I bet."
"Maybe." Nicola replies with a small smile on her face.
"I can see you have, your eyes go all soft and dopey looking."
"They do not," Nicola exclaims; "Have you made sandwiches for me?" she asks looking at the sandwich filled plastic containers on the worktop.
"No they are mine, and there is no more bread left, well only what's in the freezer."
Nicola looks dismayed and upset that Stef has used all the bread, before she can pass comment Stef laughs; "You don't think I'm gonna eat all them do ya; especially the lemon curd?"
Nicola looks at Stef's smiling face; Stef does not like lemon curd and despite his denial had obviously made sandwiches for her as well as his own.
Nicola smiles sweetly in reply, her whole face changing, the smile making her look younger and somehow more vulnerable; "Thank you kind sir, you are like Winston in the book I am reading."
"You'd better watch your language or I might confiscate your sandwiches." says Stef sternly, now with only a hint of a smile, as he feels jealous of Nicola's romantic dreams; even though they are only stories in a book.
Nicola is saved from answering as the front door bell rings several times; Stef runs to the front door and opens it quickly to a stressed looking Simon.
"About time you answered it I been standing here for ages."
"We never heard it, you have to push it dead centre to get it to work." apologises Stef.
"I weren't sure if it was working or not, till I heard you running up the hall; you ready then?"