Think I'll post a little flash fiction now and again. This is from way back when.
We huddled in our broken cardboard boxes in a shoe-shop doorway, and he told me about how to stay alive. It was only my second week. I didn’t trust him. I didn’t trust anyone. Me included. So l listened, and tried to spot what might be useful, and spot what might be bullshit, and spot what it was that he wanted from me. I thought to myself, if he touches me, I’ll break his fucking hand. He didn’t touch me. I thought to myself, I wonder what I really would do if he did.
In this new life, I didn’t know anything.
Shouts came from round the corner. Shoes slapping on tarmac. A man swearing. A man making a noise like a kicked dog. I got up to look. My bones hurt.
“Don’t,” he said. “Not our business. Rule number one, mind your own business.”
“You said, rule number one was never trust anyone.”
“It’s all rule number one,” he said. “All of it.” But he followed me anyway.
We poked our heads around the corner. A little way along an alley, a man lay all broken on the ground. We’d seen him earlier, standing in the middle of the road, talking to the moon. Three other men stood round him. They were kicking the man on the ground, taking turns, one after the other, like it was a dance.
“We should call the police,” I said.
“They are the police,” he said.
We walked away in the sick yellow moonlight and went back to our boxes.