Sunday, 4 August 2013

The first thing.

The assailant hated hitting people in the face. It always hurt.

He sat back, nursing his hand, but relieved that his victim had gone down without much of a fight. Of course, being surprised in an alley from inside a large skip doesn't leave much room for counterattack, but the prospect of bruises always slightly worried the assailant. He was a man many would describe as handsome, himself included, and he preferred to keep it that way. He sighed as the pain began ebbing away, and turned back to look at the unfortunate soul laid flat on his back on the floor. It had rained recently, the assailant noted with displeasure, as he rolled the now damp body over and began searching its pockets. Thinking of his targets as 'it' made him feel better. No chance of feeling guilty that way.

The man rose, one more wallet and another phone in his possession. He'd put the phone for sale online when he got back, buy some things with the credit cards before they could be cancelled. Pulling off his mask, he took a deep breath, filling his lungs with the muggy night air. There would be a storm soon. He turned and made his way out of the alley, delicately stepping over his victim and avoiding puddles for fear of the splashes being heard. Turning right, the assailant headed off down the street, towards a main road. There were always people there, whatever the time, and he could easily get himself lost for a while before slipping off home in safety.

The road was still fairly bright thanks to the faded yellow streetlights and tacky shop signs lining it. He always felt at home in places like this, especially after dark - each downturned face a comrade of the night going about their business, in equal parts oblivious to and wary of what was going on around them. The assailant always felt quietly superior to all around him in such settings. He knew he could handle himself, whatever the situation, with the confidence of a young man on a mile-long winning streak. The nervous, jumpy bodies around him turned him into a predator, a lion prowling through a herd of gazelle. He smiled to himself at the thought. The creature he had subdued in the alley certainly fit the part. The poor thing had frozen at the sight of him leaping out from his cover, and barely had time to react before the assailant pounced on him, knocking his defenseless body flat in seconds. It was pure poetry. David Attenborough couldn't have faulted his technique. "A lion, eh?" he chuckled. "Maybe I'll do something with that. A nickname or something."

Lost in thought, the assailant did not hear or see the large car speeding towards him as he began to cross the street.