LORDS OF HULL: Part 1 KABBOO & SOTH by Ben Harding

Daniel walks across the overpass, his shadow staggering behind. Licking the tips of his fingers, he tastes the saccharine remains of unremembered liquor. There is sudden retching and coughing with no rhythm. He spits an insoluble lump onto the pavement and pauses briefly before moving on.

His long black jacket flows out in the wind, fighting wildly against the current. Clutching his arms to his chest as a bilious pharaoh, his thoughts are numb. His head sways and he blinks slowly, each eyelid a moment apart.

He spots someone approaching and thrusts his right hand deep into his jacket pocket, grasping tightly on a blunt knife. A weathered grey car drives under the overpass spewing a wave of portent drones and revs. The headlights swell and contort the environment, reshaping the night into a localised nightmare. 

The assailant is close now. A white rope is coiled around their wrist; at the other end a black dog gags uncontrollably, the rope wrapped tightly around its neck.

Daniel fastens his grip on the knife and drops his eyeline in a botched attempt at misdirection, preparing himself for the worst. But the figure passes him without altercation or interest. He releases the knife and brings his hand back to his chest.

A phone rings. Burying his hand into the waistline of his jeans, he reveals a polycarbonate black mobile. Placing it to his ear, he murmurs, ‘Hello?’

‘Please don’t hang up, this is an import…’ the recorded message is stopped. The messenger’s voice lingers in his mind and blurs his volition. Shoving the phone back into his jeans, he swears loudly. Hearing the obscenity echo back towards him and off into nothing, he smiles contemptuously.

To be continued…

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TP Hyland