Tick Tock. Tick Tock. 5.43am

Distracted once again by the clock on the wall, I didn’t see the fist this time, my head pistoning to the side with the force of the blow, blood spewing out into the air. In my dazed state I watched as it landed, adding another layer to the modern artwork being created on the white tiled floor.
“You really are a stubborn bastard, aren’t you?” the voice of my friend, now my enemy said.
“Victor, just do what you have to do” I said between cracked and broken lips. I had been sat, tied to this chair for almost six hours now.

Tick Tock. Tick Tock. 5.52am

Victor was getting a little pissed at me, I could tell, as his goons continued to work me over. A tooth added some mixed media interest to the modern art on the floor.
“You will give me the account numbers eventually” Victor spat at me. I admit I was finding it hard to hold on.
He circled me, flicking his nails with a switch blade, his weapon of choice. I shivered and looked desperately at the clock again. I only hoped to hell I could hold on a little longer.

Tick Tock. Tick Tock. 5.58am

“Let me tell you what will happen if you don’t get wise, my friend” said Victor.
I looked at him from where I now lay having been thrown, chair and all onto the floor. I could barely see him through my swollen eyes. This was not good.
“First, I will instruct my men to break your legs, followed by your arms” Victor almost looked sad.
“After that, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be in your skin. Oh, for that matter, neither will you soon, after it’s peeled from your miserable bones” he smiled and my veins chilled with the cold I saw in his eyes.
“Why did you move the money Vladimir?” he whispered close to my ear “How did you know?”
He was referring to our joint drug operation. The deal we had attended earlier that day turned into a bloodbath. I was not supposed to have survived it. Victor’s men had tried to take over the negotiations. Instead, one of my own men had shot our customer, causing the whole thing to be a write off. I had been brought to this abandoned building for execution when Victor had a call to inform him that most of the money we had was no longer in the accounts. I had moved it an hour before the deal went down.

Tick Tock. Tick Tock. 6.01am

Just a little longer. I needed to be sure.
“How long have we been friends?” asked Victor.
I looked at him, refusing to answer. Result? Another fist in the face.
“Don’t try my patience any longer Vladimir” his voice was flat and emotionless.

Tick Tock. Tick Tock. 6.05am

“And what’s so fffing interesting about the damn clock?” I had a sneaking suspicion that Victor was losing his cool. He kicked me in frustration and indicated to his men to set me and the chair upright again. He paced around me like a predator about to pounce.

Tick Tock.Tick Tock. 6.08am

I knew I had to act now while I was still alive.
“You never were very bright, Victor” I said as clearly as I could through swollen lips. Anger glittered in his eyes.
“I am not the one tied up” he laughed at his own joke.
“You worked out that I had prior knowledge of your plans and moved the money. Do you really think that I would not put in place some security?” I asked him.
He raised an eyebrow in question.
“What time was your daughter due to start her shift at the hospital this morning?” I could see him pale as the impact of my words hit him. He looked at the clock and then back to me.
“That’s right 6am. My men would have picked her up by now when I didn’t call them”
“You bastard!” Victor yelled knowing he was beaten.
“Do you want to know what their instructions are if I don’t call by 7am?”
I knew then that I was home free. I would have smiled at this, but it hurt too much. Maybe it was time to retire.