Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds begins when Oddball receives an envelope containing a USB key and a brief note addressed to ‘David’ and signed ‘Uncle Stan’. Few people know Oddball’s real name but, more to the point, he knows nobody called Uncle Stan. It will be a few days before he discovers that he does, indeed, have a relative of that name. Unfortunately, Stan has already fallen foul of the London mob and the contents of the USB key don’t make any sense.

While investigating, Oddball comes across Jade, another relative he has never met. Sassy, tough, determined and a born fighter, Jade is not going to let go of the fact that her family has been murdered. In search of the missing USB, the mob targets her. Bad choice. Jade is well capable of looking after herself. But the Albanian mob is more than just a couple of lone operatives.

Head of the mob is Kreshnik Bushati. A heavy-bodied, power-hungry thug who has cut more throats and broken more heads than Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun combined. Nobody crosses his path and lives to boast about it. Oddball and Jade soon realise that to defeat him and bring him to justice – their own brand of justice – will take cunning and the backup of Oddball’s team from N2K. They are well blessed with both.

DEFYING THE ODDS

Stan jerked awake at the chime of the doorbell. “That must be the food delivery,” he called out. He eased himself upright just as Tommy came bounding down the stairs.

“Dad, where’s your wallet?”

“In my coat pocket, hanging on the hall stand. You remember how to do it?”

“Yes, no problem.”

But Stan stood up and followed him anyway. Money was too hard-earned to allow some unscrupulous delivery driver to rip off his innocent son. He watched as Tommy snatched up his wallet and made a mad dash to the door, ready to flatten anything between him and his crispy duck dinner.

As the young man pulled the door open, a sharp crack split the air. Then another. Stan’s eyes shot to the entrance. His son hunched over, clutching his middle. Masked men bustled into the doorway and pushed him backwards. Tommy’s body crumpled. Stan made towards him, seeing the gun turn from Tommy to him. Two more cracks ripped open his chest, slamming him against the wall. He forced himself away from the wall, took two wobbly steps, and tumbled onto the floor like a wounded stag. A three-man squad invaded his house. Elbows digging into the carpet, Stan dragged his failing body forwards, desperate to reach his son, who was lying in a spreading halo of crimson. “Tommy,” he sputtered, hand stretching toward the young man.

Doreen’s footsteps pattered from the kitchen. “No!”

Stan rolled to his side. Red droplets splattered under her feet as she crossed his river of blood, kitchen knife swinging towards the intruders. “Run—” A choking mixture of salt and iron bubbled in Stan’s throat. More shots sounded and, before his eyes closed for the last time, he saw a cardinal stain bloom on his wife’s white T-shirt, matching the smudges of paint from her earlier work with Tommy. The knife she had been clutching bounced on the floor as she collapsed. The last bullet had gone straight through her heart.

 

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