J and D had a good day at the market, they shifted a lot of gear. They were successful together.
Tired with money in their pockets they packed up the stall, locked the van away and went for a drink.
The Old Duke was a quite traditional, a few dark and secluded spots away from the bar, a good selection of real ales and European lagers. The highlight was the small plates menu.
J and D sat down with some food and drink and started to relax.
Murmuring from a nearby table started to get louder, odd words started to make themselves clear above the background noise. There was some menace in the words, a sharpness, an edge, a need to create pain.
D looked over. The words stopped. Eyes were fixed on J and D. It was not comfortable. D looked away.
The group got up and walked slowly over to J and D, one of the group poked D in the arm, it was almost a punch, enough to bruise.
J said, “We’re going now”. The group said nothing.
J and D got up and pushed past the group as gently as they could.
D’s foot touched one of the group’s feet. He was shoved hard towards the door, he blundered into J. The foot’s owner quietly said, “You’ll pay for that!”
J and D started walking fast as soon as they got out of the door. They heard footsteps behind them getting louder. They started to run, the group did too.
D fell, the group were on him kicking and spitting. J turned and shouted, they stopped for a moment, D got up and ran. The group didn’t follow.
They ran home to their 19th floor flat, threw themselves down on the sofa shaking.
They didn’t say a word for 30 minutes.
J got up and said “tea?”, D nodded.
While the kettle boiled, J washed some dishes in the sink and stared out at the other blocks of flats. He didn’t really see the countryside in the distance. He did briefly notice some movement on a roof top – kids doing drugs, he thought.
A small hole appeared in the outer pane of glass, cracks radiated from it, a bullet dropped inside the double glazing.