A normal alleyway in a quiet little town in Northern France. It was a fairly normal afternoon. The weather was nothing to comment about but, being English, I shall. There were no clouds in the crisp, blue sky, but the sun did not shine exceptionally brightly and it was a cool, almost cold, day. The alley way was as normal as any other alleyway and ran between the stone back gardens of the terrace houses. The alleyway had an almost murky smell to it on this particular afternoon. It was the second week of the new year, and the bin bags that had lined the walls only a few days before had been removed, but the pungent aroma had not. The walls were high, so as to stop burglars easy entry, and tooo keep the houses hiddenn from the school children that usually came this way to and from the schools only a few streets away.
To young Davey Hertz, the walls seemed forbidding and almost another enemy, for the walls knew. The walls knew exactly what happened almost every afternoon at half four, as he made his way home for St Mary’s School for the Physically Disadvantaged. But the walls never told. they were faithful to the enemy and kept his pain silent.
It was almost half four now, and Davey rushed down the alleyway, cautiously glancing behing him to see if they were coming. Most of the kids in his class were picked up by their parents from the school gates, but Davey’s father had said that he didn’t need it. He wasn’t disadvantaged, as such. He could walk home himself without falling down in a fit like some of the students at St. Mary’s. It wasn’t really a disadvantage, his father said, he was just stupid.
His father said it was his own stupidiy and the boys said it was his weakness, because they could use it against him. And then oftern did.
But not today, Davey thought as he practically ran down the alley. Today he had been prepared. He had money, and people liked money. He had taken it from the jar his mum kept on the top shelf. The jar was huge and full of money, and Davey was sure no one would notice the few franc notes he had taken out. His father had enough money anyway.
He got to the tall, wooden gate to number twenty five before he heard the shound of another’s footsteps. Another two pairs of feet pounded on the cobbles a little way behind him. Not far away. Not risking a glance behind, Davey broke into a run and sprinted towards the end of the alleyway. But it was not use. It just wasted energy.
The tallest boy, the Big One grabbed the back of Davey’s St Mary’s sweater and dragged him back, lifting his feet a few inches off of the floor. The other boy, the scary One, laughed and came around to look at their catch. Davey didn’t squirm, knowing it just made the Big One angry. Instead, wriggled a little, so that he could reach into his front pocket, and pulled out the money. The Scary One saw the money and grinned.
“Look wht he has for us today,” he laughed, “How much is it, ver?”
Davey offered the money to the Scary One. He didn’t take it, but stepped forward,, and evil grin painted on his pale face.
“I said, how much is it?” the Scary One repeated, spitting out the words.
Davey, unsure what to do and unable to do much else, offered the Scary One the money again. He just knocked it out of the way and grabbed Davey by the neak. Davey could feel the movement as his weight was shifted from the Big One’s powerful grip to the Scary One’s thin, spike like fingers.
“We don’t do this for the money, ver,” he said, “We do it for the pleasure, and as our survice to the state getting rid of monstres like you.”
Davey felt pain in his stomach, the pain he had been waiting for, and was dropped to the floor. His thin legs bucked under his weight and he fell to the floor. The Big One and the Scary One stood over him. The Big One spat down, but the Scary One held out a thin, spider-like hand. Davey didn’t take it. The Scary One laughed, and then crouched down to speak with Davey.
“Go on then, ver,” he spat, “Call for help.”
The Big One laughed at the Scary One’s joke, byt the Scary One remained silent. He stood again, threw in a well aimed kick for good measure, and let the Big One get on with the rest.