The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson
A black comedy in which the sad life of a Glasgow barber takes a bizarre turn.
his mother put great store by football. 'Maybe he does, Mum, but that's not the point.' 'Oh, aye. What is the point, then?' 'I don't know. They take all my customers. Make me look bloody stupid in front of everyone. They're all laughing at me.' He stopped when he realised that he sounded like a stroppy child with a major humph, lip petted, face scowling. Cemolina hadn't noticed. Either that, or she was used to seeing him like this. 'So, what are you going to do about it then?' Barney stared
James shrugged, didn't really mind. Barney smiled at the compliment. Assuming that it was a compliment, as he'd never heard of Kenny Dalglish. Resigning himself to his fate, he hurried through the rest of the US Marine and sent the guy packing. And such was his relief at escaping earlier than he'd been expecting, Malcolm Harrison handed over an unusually large tip and ran out of the shop. Barney pocketed the loot, turned with trepidation to Bill. He nodded at him, Bill took the few short steps
and trudged wearily into the kitchen. Agnes was making an uninteresting dinner, with one eye glued to a prosaic Australian soap on the portable television. As Barney clumped in, Charlene was having a fight with Emma's sister's ex-boyfriend's girlfriend Sheila, who was pregnant by Adam's gay lover Chip. 'Good day at work, dear?' she asked, her eyes never leaving the television. He grunted, took a glass from a cupboard, went to the fridge and poured himself some wine from a carton. Chilean
lay in front of him. Barney started suddenly, took another two steps back, almost stepping into the loch. Robertson had produced a gun, and slowly Holdall and MacPherson, who had been beating massive lumps out of Jobson, become aware of him. They straightened up, stared at Robertson, leaving Jobson bruised and bloodied on the floor. But through the badly beaten face, he still smiled, picking himself off the ground. Then he too produced a gun from inside his coat. Holdall and MacPherson stared
do that on this job and stay sane. 'This is a sick bastard we're dealing with, Sergeant, a sick bastard.' MacPherson nodded, continued talking. 'So far we've no idea what he's doing with the remainder of the bodies. Certainly, if he's got rid of them, we don't know where.' He paused, thinking for a second or two. 'I don't think there's anything else, sir.' Holdall shook his head, staring wearily at the floor. 'No, Sergeant, you're right. There isn't. We've got some sick bastard carving up