Blane sat comfortably, if in a permanent state of distress, at the bar when he heard a voice he had hoped he wouldn’t hear again.
‘Blunt, you spineless swine,’ it toned from behind him. His inside twitched but he didn’t move, held his breath and hoped for it to pass. He knew he had failed when he was tapped on the shoulder and swivelled around in his chair.
That’s how the evening had started.
From thereon he had felt like a cornered mouse trying to crawl up a slippery wall, kept running but to no avail. At one point he thought he saw Dylan drop something in his drink, but the thought passed and soon he forgot.
Loud coarse laughter still hung in the slowly moving car, when Dylan brought it to an abrupt halt.
‘Get out,’ he said to Blane.
Blane laughed, slapped his thighs, but didn’t move.
Dylan reached across and opened the door.
‘Get the fuck out of my car. I know you’ve been thinking you are something better all night, so be better at walking and make sure you don’t get wet. Out,’ he barked at last.
Blane was reluctant in his movement, turned to look at the other two, who kept quiet.
‘Come on now, be reasonable guys.’
‘Either you get out in the next ten seconds or I am gonna hit you so hard…,’ that sentence lingered as Blane got his legs to take him outside.
Rain of the drizzly kind that got through everything greeted him, gusts of wind blew from all directions at once and it took no time till he was wet to the bone, still staring at the tail lights of the car that was quick to grow small, then turned off.
He took his lead, and followed, his feet soon dragging through deepening puddles of water, the streets desolate and badly lit, his mind still somewhere on cloud nine.
He stopped walking for a moment to shout abuse at the people who had first forced him to stay and were now nowhere in sight.
‘You fuckers,’ his fist punching air as his rage rose. He was getting cold winding himself up further.
He would show them, those two meagre rat like creatures that crawled up Dylan’s ass, would never stand up to anyone, they hadn’t changed in their habits since their schooldays. Given the chance now, he would confront his own fears and stand up to anyone of them, tell them exactly what he thought, instead of feeling like fifteen and at school again and acting accordingly.
But the brave person he proclaimed to be had caution in his step, turned often to check the surroundings through the weather, and started shaking in the cold. There was a foul taste in his drying mouth and he kept raising his head to capture the rain and rinse.
Raindrops, one, two, three, many. He counted them as they fell from the sky, everything was slow.
When he turned the corner he saw them again, the two acolytes remaining in the background as the taller one he mistook for Dylan wrestled with a somewhat smaller person who was trying to pull away but was being held in a firm grip, then slapped or so it seemed from a distance through the rain. Grappling and groping followed as Blane got closer. They had turned him out and now he would turn on them. Neither planning nor clear thought were on his side and so once close enough he started raising his voice in a battle cry and charged towards the three, who froze in their movement, only the smaller person kept moving, pulled and pushed, until she was flung in the gutter. Coordination he thought, as he was about to reach the first of them, who stepped aside and caused Blane to trip over an outstretched leg.
Easy he thought, as the speed of his charge catapulted him through mid air, his hands stretching forward to brake his fall, until he landed somewhat softly on a pile of garbage bags, felt the little feet of a rat scurrying away, across his hand, stopping briefly inches from his face to stare at the intruder. His hands slid through the bags onto the pavement as he attempted to push up again, came up on a wooden part of an instrument that may have belonged to an electric guitar or bass at one point, fingers gripped and he yanked the object out from underneath the bags as he got up. Pulled so hard that the moment it was freed, the force itself spun him around, and the neck of the guitar swung to be halted by neck, shoulder or head of one of the three, perhaps the one that had tripped him, but one he could now clearly identify as being no one he had ever met before. The man ducked away, his hands seeking the point where the bodiless neck of the guitar had struck.
Blane’s face, a frantic expression, deep set fear taking a hold, as the two other men approached. There was shouting and the wailing of a woman.
They were the wrong people.
The thought flashed through his mind as he calculated options, swinging his weapon in their direction, his feet doing the little steps of boxers, circling, he thought, with a certain elegance as he kept swinging. His face a contorted grimace, his mind working slow. He swung as the woman came up, seemed to sleepwalk towards him, hesitated turned, then got pushed into the gutter again, her fall softened by the stash of leafs blown up and down the road. And the men’s attention back on him, constantly approaching it seemed. Blane used the marshal art skills he had picked up watching movies, they looked good, but had little effect and it was becoming clear quick.
There was grabbing and he swirled, hit whatever he could with what had once been a guitar playing love songs around campfires. A fist hit his ear, made his head ring momentarily then he lashed out further, hit harder till he struck gold when the neck of the guitar hit an eyebrow and split it, blood blinding the retreating attacker. He laughed inanely and shuddered at the same time.
The woman reappeared just then, crawled out from the gutter and was now wrapping her arms around his legs, wrestling them, trying to bring him down. At first he tried to shake her off, but when panic set in he hit her with his weapon, heavy blows to back and shoulder, then the head, her high pitched squeals getting right under his skin.
Meanwhile the last of the men approached again.
Blane beat her until flesh burst and blood squirted from the bashed in face and suddenly he was alone, the street empty, the woman back in the gutter and the men gone. He was panting with rage like a mad man, his hand tightly gripped around the weapon, shaking and ready to lash out again.
Then he walked.