Hard As Nails


Gemma sat on her high horse, as she destroyed the beer mat in front of her.

“You know, I do really love my work. I could never do a desk job; discussing with the girls whether I would rather have a French permanent manicure with glitter tips or just have my cuticles tidied or maybe a mini hand massage and polish before we head out for lunch to discuss whether semi permanent lash extensions actually do give you longer, thicker and natural looking lashes. What do you think?”

The day so far had dragged, the frustration building in Gemma’s chest. Waiting for the word to come through that the raid was on nearly drove her crazy, pumped her with adrenaline and made her mouth work faster than ever.

“Do you know that Fake Bake is the most popular spray tan and you can go get it done in your lunch break? Go in peelie wallie and come out half an hour later bronzed and sun-kissed?”

The D.S. downed the rest of his pint and picked up Gemma’s glass.

“Right you. We’re out of here. I cannae take much more of this beauty therapy talk. I’m no’ having my eyebrows waxed and I’m delighted to learn what a vajazzle is so that I’ll recognise it if the wife ever gets one but there’s only so much a man can take.”

Gemma threw down the remnants of the shredded mat and headed out after D.S. Lazy Bastard. Her work here was done, having nearly driven him off his head with girlie talk for the last hour. She’d spared no details and had particularly enjoyed watching his discomfort at her description of vaginoplasty and when she’d asked him what he thought about his wife getting a ‘designer vagina’ she’d nearly ruptured her stomach muscles trying to keep the innocent, wide-eyed act going. Oh yes! Several points had been scored tonight against that misogynistic, chauvinist bawheid.


The icicle filled air caught Gemma’s breath as she headed for the cop car, and she chittered out loud as she took the keys from her jacket pocket while wondering whether or not the heating would decide to work in the old wreck she been given to drive today. Bawheid had headed off to Greggs for a sausage roll and she’d been told to wait at the corner of the high street for his quick get-away.

The sudden pressure of a sharp point of cold steel under her chin almost shocked Gemma as much as the slobbering face that was viscously pressed up against hers. The disgusting smell of sour milk and rotten fish coming from his breath hit Gemma as the man pushed closer, whispering crudely into her ear.

“I know who you are ya wee hure. Yer gadgie’s no’ here to protect you noo,” the creature spat out at her.

“Get your repugnant paws off me or I’ll see that you end up a piece of meat lying on a abattoir’s sluice,” Gemma hissed back.

Gemma grabbed the attacker’s wrist and twisted and at the same time brought the heel of her boot down sharply onto his toes. Twisting his wrist more, Gemma forced him down onto his knees and grabbed the cheap little penknife from his grip.

“Is that the best you could do mate? You had more chance of assaulting me with your halitosis then this wee toy. And have you got amnesia or something? I told you to stay away from me or I’d nick you the next time you tried to sexually harass me. So you’ve had your chips this time you auld jakie, you’re coming with me down to the station, you pile of shite.”

Gemma cuffed the man and threw him into the back of the car, the smell almost making her dry bowk.

Maybe a lunchtime pampering session wouldn’t be a bad idea after all.

~ fin ~

Fiona Johnson lives in Argyll, Scotland and writes under the name ‘McDroll’. Her love of all that is dark in Scottish crime writing can be found at ‘I Meant to Read That…’ and while her own short stories also dwell on the darker side of life, a twist of Scottish humour is never far away. You can follow her blog, and via @mcdroll on Twitter.