Desperate for a fix of crack I’m out walking the dark streets needing to subsidize my habit. There are no free lunches these days so I pull my jacket collar tighter around my neck and my woolen hat down with a firm resolve. They offer some protection against the bitter northerly wind. My hands are shoved in my pockets, as gloves are far too cumbersome in my line of work.
‘Scratch’ Hilton is the name because I ‘scratch’ my victims with the blade I carry. Why not? It’s good to leave a calling card, doesn’t everyone these days? It also helps street cred when you’re a new kid on the block.
My line of business is burglary, although I’m not adverse to robbery with violence. Needs must when the devil drives.
The only trouble is, when it’s this cold there aren’t too many folk about late at night. I’ve tried a couple of houses, but they were all locked tight and there are no shops at this end of town. You’d think that someone would forget and leave their doors unlocked wouldn’tcha? I decide to head back to the brighter, busier part of town. Maybe there’s a bit more business to be had there.
No point in looking for my dealer yet, I have no money to hand over. Broken promises in the past got me a right pasting, I can tell ya.
A fragile looking, old geezer is coming towards me with his head down fighting against the wind. He holds his trilby hat on with his right hand, whilst gripping a walking stick in the other. Bumping roughly into him I knock him down noting that he hits his head on the pavement. That’s a good sign for me; he’ll be a bit dazed. I help him up and brush him down whilst at the same time, lifting his wallet from his pocket, palming it with practiced ease. He starts to walk away unsteadily. They’re so predictable these old folk, and its absolute child’s play. He has a few visible cuts and bruises but he seems okay. Not my worry though I have his wallet. I walk on and then duck into a shop doorway to check on the contents. It contains the usual library card, OAP bus pass and several notes. With a quick flip through I reckon there’s about £50 there, which is more than enough for my needs.
Then there’s a siren, which starts my adrenaline pumping, but it’s an ambulance. Taking a quick squizz around it looks like the old boy is now lying in the road. A couple of people are kneeling around him trying to help. Probably in truth they don’t have the first clue, except for the usual words “Lay still the ambulance is on its way”.
While I watch from the doorway, the paramedics check him out, and then work on him with those paddle things. Looks like the old geezer has bought it though ‘cos he now has a blanket covering the whole of his body and face. Oh well them’s the breaks as they say. If he’s croaked then the police will be on the way. That’s my cue to get lost.
I head out to my dealer and sure enough he is down the usual alleyway dragging on his favourite brand. Money is exchanged for goods, no questions asked and I take a quick fix to sort out my rattle, a sure sign of withdrawal. I love the mind-blowing experience the fix gives me; it’s almost out of this world.
As I turn the corner from the dark passageway I’m confronted by a tall heavily built man dressed in multi coloured rags. He wields a large jagged edged knife in front of me. With surprise on his side he plunges the knife into my gullet. “Nothing personal mate, you’re my second tonight. I’m skint and I need a fix”.
My knees buckle and I feel myself falling to the ground, strangely thinking of the old man I knocked down earlier. The man snatches the wallet from my jeans pocket as I hold my hand to the wound and watch my life’s blood ebb away, mingling with the rubbish in the gutter.
I sense I’m now floating like some child’s lost balloon in the heavens of the night sky. Within my inanimate state I look down as a passerby ignores my dying body lying amongst the filthy rubbish in the street.
Hurt by the indifference, I finally surrender myself and begin floating from star to star on my next journey.
© T K Geering Sept. 2011
You can find more of Geering’s work here: