So, we finally find out what happens to Frank. Is Syd going to smash his head in with a hammer for absolutely no reason, or will sense and reality prevail? I know what you *want* to happen, you bloodsuckers. Am I going to give it to you? Read the first two parts here: Part 1 Part 2
He held the hammer in his right hand as he descended the steps to the bar. The building was old, made from dark and heavy wood, expensive wood. Over the years, it had been repaired with cheaper, lighter wood. The piebald effect gave the place a style of its own, though it was not stylish. If a person wanted style, if a person wanted nice surroundings, wanted to meet friends, to flirt, to chat, to eat, there were other places in town. This was a place for drinking.
Frank Miller was sat at a table with his back to the function room. It would be easy. A little tap, a lot of blood, and no more bludgeons for breakfast. He approached without impediment, without drama. Nothing happened on the way to the table. Nothing intervened to stop him. Miller’s hair was wispy, the remains of a full head of blonde locks. Syd could see the shape of his skull underneath. He knew Frank had been tough in his day, but there was no way a skull so old could withstand the smash of Syd’s hammer.
Miller’s scalp was pale and dotted. There was a vein which pulsed. He stared out of the window at the day over an array of empty glasses; he was probably scowling. Frank Miller was always scowling. Even sitting down, the man was clearly tall. He had only one coat, which hung on a hook near the main entrance. It was floor-length, covered in road dust. The whole town was covered in road dust.
Syd stopped behind Miller’s chair and planted his feet. The noises in his head had stopped, replaced by a wasteland of cold silence. The hammer lay in Syd’s right hand, resting against his thigh, but he did not lift it. Instead, he found himself pulling out a chair and sitting down. He was close enough to see every wrinkle, like canyons in the old man’s face. Frank’s skin was thick and chewy, cured by long years labouring under the sun. Deep within the fissures lay his eyes; they glinted like armour beneath the heavy brow. Here was a man who could not be bluffed.
Frank scowled at him.
Syd transferred the hammer from his right hand to his left and extended the empty one in greeting. “Let’s bury the hatchet, Frank,” he said.
Frank nodded, grudgingly, though his eyes were still narrowed with distrust. Syd gripped tight to the hammer in his left hand. If Frank noticed the hammer, he didn’t show it. He shifted his gaze down to Syd’s hand and then back into his eyes. He began to lean away from Syd but he did not break eye contact. The old man reached into a bag by his feet and pulled out a piece of fruit, placing it in Syd’s outstretched hand.
“Bury the hatchet,” said Frank Miller.
Syd lay the hammer on the table and took the fruit. It tasted delicious.