No more than 5 minutes later had things began to stir up. As usual, the boys took the normal path through the estate of Elmsgrove. Rob bid farewell to Ben as he disappeared behind the door of Number 8 Goody Drive, at which point Ben would continue through to the end of the drive and enter a dingy alley clad with spray-painted walls and urine soaked floors.. His house was just at the other end of the narrow path and across a main road. Despite the appearance and putrid scent of this alley, Ben felt pretty safe. It was almost always empty during the week, because a lot of the Townies and 'yobs' tend to only hang around this point at the weekends. Ben had sometimes watched from his window. There were often fights, the idiots were always caught smoking god knows what and on one occasion, some drunken sod through a rock at Ben's window. It ended up hitting the Satellite Dish below, which was just a big middle finger to him. Not quite as bad as glass crashing into your bedroom though. It was pretty much a relief that Ben would walk through the alley alone at this time of the day.
Of course, for this particular day, that wasn't quite true.
1 hour earlier, Oakwood Academy Football ground.
"Nice one Scottie! Kicked the crap outta that little death loveh!"
"Aye, won't be swearin at you again fer a while now will he?! Bloody goth scum!"
Scott Warnick was getting compliments from pretty much everyone he knew after the fight with Ben. It wasn't something that made him smile, but on the other hand, he felt no guilt nor empathy for the guy. If anything, the emotion that Scott felt was anger mixed with a sense of justice. He was still proud of what he did, no matter how overwhelmingly easy it was for one of his stature to do so.
Scott had had been sent home two thirds through his last lesson. Apparently, an anonymous person had been to a teacher about the fight and Scott's parents had been rung. There was a suspension in place and news of possible expulsion. Scott suspected that the 'snotty little snitch' was Ben himself, although he had no evidence to support this.
He was currently at the school gate with a couple of friends who decided to play truant so they could talk to Scott on his way home.
"Come on, let's go already!" said Nate Gibson, a yellow toothed smoker with a hoarse scottish voice. In response to his call, the gang of badly raised teenagers set off.
"Yer know wha' I think?" asked Liam Terry, a brain-dead British Scoucer with as little amount of hair on his head as brain cells in his body. "I think'ya should bang him again. Yer know, go fer round two like ya normally does, this time to sho'im why 'e should neva' snitch on the Warny!"
"Totally, like go mental on him yeah? He could get you expelled for what 'e did!" added Tod Shaw, the dark-skinned elder of the group. Also the one who buys all the beer with his fake ID.
"Wer duz the li'l snot live den?" asked Liam.
"Near that alley by Elmsgrove Road, just behind the estate." replied Scott, eager as the others to rip the same guy to shreds again.
"Let's 'ead ova dere and jump 'im!"
"Cept he dun't get out for another like 20 minutes." said Nate.
"There's a booze shop nearby." said Tod. We could get wasted first, make the fight more fun!"
In unison, the four of them cheered and trudged along the journey to the alley where they would wait for Ben.
The present time, in the alley near Elmsgrove.
Ben set foot in the alley. Then another foot. A third... fourth... fifth... sixth...
"Dere he is lads!" uttered an all too familiar voice. The voice of one Liam Terry.
"Well in Tezza (Ben knew this to be Terry's nickname). You found the little wretch!" replied the one voice Ben hated more. Scott Warnick. Ben froze to the spot in fear. A second passed, followed by another. And then, Ben turned around and ran. The four behind him immediately gave chase, bearing down on Ben inch by inch. Ben's target was Rob's house, he would be safe by the time he reached the front door. But he was never going to make it.
"You won't even feel those first setta bruises I gave you by the time we're done with you!" Scott shouted. Suddenly, something hit Ben's back with brutal force and smashing him against the pavement of Elmsgrove estate. A round of punches drilled into his back, followed by another. He screamed in agony as the other three kicked his shins and hips.
"Get the hell off him!" Ben thought he was saved, until he realised this was Scott's voice. "I wanna finish the bloody goth myself!" The other three backed away and Scott got off his back. Ben struggled to get off the floor himself but was kicked back down again. Two grotty hands grabbed his weak body and flipped it over. Scott bend down and went to hit Ben in the face. But then he stopped. He screamed. Ben had kicked Scott Warnick in the crotch! The buff psychopath doubled over in agony, his sidekicks staring at him in shock. Ben was breathing heavily. He pushed himself up from the floor, but once again, was interrupted. Scott had regained control of himself, brandishing a knife!
"I'll kill you, stupid bloody goth!"he screamed, kicking Ben's chin, causing him to topple onto the floor once again. One punch in the chest... two... three... fou-
But no. The fourth one wasn't a punch. Ben began spewing up blood. He couldn't speak anymore, only choke on the red liquid hurling through his throat. He gasped for air, writhing and wriggling with pain. And then his body went very very still. The fourth one wasn't a punch.
It was a stab.
"Oh my god!" screamed Tod. "He got the knife out!"
"Run!" shouted Nate and the others didn't need to be told twice. Scott realised what he had just done. Partly from the the pain he still felt in between his legs, but mostly for the guilt he now felt for what he had just done, he knelt on the road of Goody Drive and screamed. For the first time in three years, tears of sadness and shame dripped from his face. He could not blame the alcohol. He could not blame his friends. He could not blame the knife. He could only blame himself.