Chovihani (ice-capades)

(The following is an extract from the novel Chovihani. This is a work in progress and so will get more editing done to it etc… enjoy the bitch anyway.)


“Hey, shit for brains. Stop tweaking, put that feckin’ pipe down and pass me those bottles.”

Big Paddy looked at his cousin Gerry blankly, his eyes as big as dinner plates. He blew out a massive cloud of smoke and placed the glass pipe on the ground. He handed Gerry two empty plastic bottles, one and two litres.

“Have you made sure they are completely dry?”

“Of course.”

“Good man. Now pass me the pills.”

Big Paddy handed ten boxes of Sudofed cold and flu remedy to Gerry.

“Okay, give me a hand popping them all out and into this coffee grinder. Now watch and learn.”

Gerry ground the pills into a fine powder and placed a funnel into the two litre bottle. He poured in the powder along with half a cup of Ammonium Nitrate fertiliser. Then he took a can of starting fluid, squeezed the air out and poked a hole in the bottom with a screwdriver. He then poured the liquid ether through the funnel into the two litre bottle. He repeated the same process with another two cans.

Big Paddy watched on in amazement. Suddenly the whole process had become fascinating to him. Everything had become fascinating to him. He felt like a chemistry student. He wiped the sweat from his brow and reached for a cigarette.

“No!” yelled Gerry. “Do you want to blow us both to kingdom come, you great big omadhan?”

“Sorry, Gerry. I’m just learning.”

“Ok, pass me the batteries. In fact no, don’t feckin’ touch them. Your hands are wet, you great big sweaty cunt.”

Gerry reached for the 3 AA Energiser batteries himself. He took a tubing cutter and tightened it into the centre of the first battery spinning it around to create a cut.

Big Paddy passed Gerry two pairs of pliers.

“Good man, you are catching on.”

Gerry took hold of both ends of the battery with the pliers, pulling each side of the casing off. He then unrolled the lithium strips from within the guts of the battery. He did the same with the other two.

“Be very careful when you are doing this.”

Paddy nodded.

“See how there are two strips in each battery? Well you definitely don’t want the one that has mettle around the edges and never get water on them or they will set alight. Don’t do this outside if it’s a cloudy day.”

Today the sky was clear blue and the two cousins were outside in the centre of their trailer camp.

Gerry cut the lithium strips into small pieces and began to drop them into the two litre bottle along with the other deadly chemicals. He then took a bottle of Red Devil lye and removed the cap, pouring the lye into it. He emptied this through the funnel into the bottle.

“Now comes the dangerous part.” He grinned.

Paddy’s face lit up with joy on hearing his favourite word.

“Just get ready to run if it goes wrong.”

Gerry took a bottle of mineral water and poured some into the top. He added this into the bottle with the mixture and repeated once. He held the bottle up to the light and stared at it with wonder in his eyes.

“Come on baby. Come to daddy.”

Nothing happened.

Paddy shook his head.

“Hmmmm,” said Gerry. “Shit.”

Just then a bubble rose from the bottom of the bottle and popped at the surface of the liquid.

“Ha ha ha! Now we’re cooking with gas. Did you see that?”

Another bubble rose up and then more. Gerry quickly put the lid back on and tightened it. He began to swish the bottle around gently.

“Are you timing this?”

Paddy looked at his watch and nodded.

“Let me know when five minutes is up.”

“Ok, now.”

Gerry unscrewed the cap a little. There was a hissing noise and the mixture began to bubble some more. Gerry screwed up his eyes and turned his face away. There was a stench of ammonia. After ten seconds he tightened the cap again.

“Ok, that’s a bit sore on the eyes. Lesson learned. I should have remembered that from the first batch. Pass me the mask.”

Paddy passed Gerry a dust mask stuffed with cotton wool. Every five minutes, Gerry repeated the same process, adding more lye every twenty minutes, shaking the bottle vigorously for about eight seconds, then loosening the cap.

“You’ve got to make sure you keep burping the baby to keep the dope rolling.”

Gerry did this every twenty minutes until he had used up two thirds of the lye. This continued for two hours. Then he took another empty one litre bottle and placed the funnel into it and a coffee filter into the funnel. Gently he poured the mixture, a little at a time, through this. Once the one litre bottle was filled he tightened the cap on it. He then took a second one litre and a half litre bottle cap, making holes in both of them to which he pushed a rubber tube through, sealing this with ductape until it was airtight. He removed the cap from an empty one litre bottle and replaced it with the cap with the tube. He took a box of iodised salt and filled the half litre bottle to about half an inch from the bottom. He poured a two litre capful of Liquid Fire onto the salt, tightly screwing on the top attached to the tube. He swirled the half litre bottle from left to right for about four seconds. Then he squeezed it and released it, sitting it back down on the ground. Smoke began to fill the one litre bottle penetrating the liquid.

“Look, Paddy. It’s Christmas.”

It seemed as though it were snowing inside the one litre bottle. When the smoke stopped Gerry removed the top with the tube from the one litre bottle, tying a knot in it and putting the other top back on. He shook the one litre bottle hard, counting to thirty. He then put the funnel into a jar with two new coffee filters and poured the liquid through them. A large amount of crystal like substance remained in the bottom of the bottle.

“Ok, let’s get back to the caravan.”

Once inside Gerry cut the top half off the bottle and took a hair dryer to dry the crystals.

Then he smiled triumphantly. “Didn’t I always tell you I should have been a scientist?”

Paddy shook his head. He couldn’t remember Gerry ever having told him anything of the sort. “Can I get a hit, Gerry?”

“Patience, man. Let’s get it weighed and separated into clipper bags first, then you can take some personal. You mustn’t get high while you are making this stuff.”

“Crystal methamphetamine,” said Paddy warmly.

“That’s right. England won’t know what’s hit her.”

“It’s amazing what you can learn on the internet. This stuff makes crack and smack look like camomile tea.” Gerry laughed. “They said it would never make it over here from America. Well all that’s changed now. I want you and the boys to take taster bags of this into Sheffield to hand out to all the junkies for free, along with my mobile number. They will call; there is absolutely no doubt about that. There’s a new sheriff in town.”


About danielkenyon

I was born in England in 1977, with Irish ancestry and graduated in literature at the university of Ulster in Northern Ireland, where I took a great interest in the troubles and paramilitary activity. I have been travelling and living around Europe since 2000. I lived in Prague for one year where I worked in the adult tourist industry and walked the mean dark streets, dealing with pick pockets, Russian Mafia, Nigerian drugs gangs and Bulgarian Gypsy prostitutes. I have lived in Palermo, Italy, since 2007, where I have extensively researched Sicilian history and the Mafia. Like a moth to a flame, I am drawn to the poorest and most crime ridden areas to gain inspiration. For me, the invisible or untouchable people are the most real and human of all. They feature heavily in all my writing. My latest fact based crime thriller is called The Savage Heart of Palermo. Much of the book was inspired by real people, places and events. All names have been changed to protect the guilty and myself. I myself am an ex criminal and drug user who has spent periods of time in prison, hence my interest in crime fiction and noir. I have a wealth of experience to draw from. I always write from the point of view of the criminals and the police are very marginal in my books. I find them boring. Some of my characters are like myself, 'bad boys turned good' and others are just bad to the bone. I am currently working on another crime thriller and para-paranormal noir romance about Irish Travellers and Romany Gypsies, entitled, The Bare Knuckle Fighter. I am also reviewing my memoirs from Prague, entitled The Dark Streets of Prague and hope to have them to a publishable standard before long. My real life is stranger than the fiction I write. As you will find, in The Bare Knuckle Fighter, I am interested in playing around with and hinting at the paranormal (hence para-paranormal) but never rendering it completely supernatural, as I want to leave the reader with more questions than satisfaction. Paradoxically, I am a die hard sceptic who likes the idea of the unknown. I am self employed and work as a writer, editor, journalist, translator, English teacher and general dog's body. I live each day at a time on the fringes of society. I have no idea where I will be in ten minutes time, let alone ten years. I am fluent in Italian and have translated books, including scuba diving manuals and the Universal History of Islam. One of my hobbies is reading Italian noir fiction in which crimes are rarely solved. Italians are the masters of pessimistic style crime thrillers. I hope you will be reading my work soon and that you will have strong feelings about it.
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