This was not the first time the man had wandered these alleys, and at first he had been content with those like the bum. Old and used, the kind of people who are not noticed let alone missed. He was not looking for the old and the weak that could be easily thinned from the herd, no he was looking for something in its prime. He didn’t care if it was a man or a woman, white or black, all he cared about was the hunt.

            It was hot and the prey had been sighted.

            A diminutive figure stepped out of the shadows, waving a gun in front of him. His face was partially hidden by the hood of his sweatshirt but the man could still see enough. Sweat dripped down his brow and onto his face. He was black and young, quite young, hardly more than a boy really but apparently old enough to acquire a gun.

            It was hot but not nearly hot enough to make up for all that sweat or the way the gun shook in his hands.

            This was no veteran criminal out for just another bit of business. This was a boy who had a long scar running along his wrist and how it got there was probably not much of an accident. This was a kid who, if his dad didn’t beat him, that probably meant he didn’t have one. This was a boy whose mother drank too much and didn’t think enough. This was a boy who didn’t go to school and his brightest hope at a future lay in the nearest Burgerking. This was a boy who had a gun and was frantically searching for a way out.

            It was hot and the prey smelled of desperation.

            “Hands over your head”, this boy of a man said, false bravado in his voice as he wondered just what he was doing. The man obliged, reaching up to the sky with two meaty palms. It was good that the alley was dark, otherwise, the network of scars running along the man’s arms and face might have been seen and that wouldn’t do, would it? After all, you had to give someone hope before you could rip it away.

The End

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