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qwertyman
August 19th, 2016, 10:47 AM
I wrote this as a character exercise for the MC before I started writing in earnest. Having finished the novel and re-read the letter, it's the same bloke. For non-Brits, Wormwood Scrubs is a prison.

Wormwood Scrubs
Scrubs Lane
Shepherd’s Bush London April.22nd. 1993

Dear Clive
You may be surprised to get a letter out of the blue like this…. I only get to send one letter a week so you can imagine it’s pretty important. You can tell from the letterhead that I got a spot of bother to deal with, that’s no sweat; I can do that standing on somebody else’s head as they say in here.

I know what people are saying but the Elephant and Castle betting scam was a fit-up. It’s one thing to scam a bookie but another if the bookie is your father-in-law…it’s not my style. It didn’t happen. By the way I was a little hurt that you didn’t turn up for the wedding. Funny, but I have heard from a few people that their invitations went astray, maybe yours was in the same batch. I’ve heard that happens a lot.

The reason I am writing is this, before the trial I was trying to get a little dosh together and I dropped nearly seven grand in a poker game at the Welshman’s gaff. The trouble is I lost it to Phil Baxter. Who, it seems, is not only well represented in the Scrubs but is well represented in my cell. I have until Friday to repay the debt. I know this because ‘Claw Hammer’ Henry told me. Do you remember him? He was mixed up in that crucifixion business at Dirty Mary’s.

If I tell you that wages in here are £1.40 a week, I think you can guess where this is going. I need to get seven grand round to Phil Baxter’s by midnight Friday. - I know you’ll think I’ve got a nerve to ask after the fire. But I think we’ve all moved on since then.

About your niece, I swear I never knew. Well we’d all heard rumours but if I’d known the half of it - on my sainted Mother’s grave I would never have touched her have steered well clear.

On the plus side remember I telephoned that Spanish Builder for you and put the shits up him, no reward asked it was a favour. People do each other favours in this life Clive. – So - it sort of balances out. Like, don’t worry about a wedding gift, I’m not expecting dick. You know you’ll get it back - I’ll work it off like I did in the old days. Or something else if you know what I'm saying, whatever you want… God be with you. I pray for you.

Regards to the Family………………… Pete.

PS. Remember Friday midnight, tens and twenties, used notes.

escorial
August 19th, 2016, 10:58 AM
so many questions..who is Clive..what's he about...good luck with the novel....

jenthepen
August 19th, 2016, 09:20 PM
Great little character sketch. I feel I know not only Clive but all his unsavoury cronies too. I especially like the sound of Claw Hammer Henry - I hope he featured in your novel. Good luck with getting it published, keep us up to date with its progress.