The apartment door of number 23 is pulled open lightning quick. The Boy is breathless and panicked. He runs out of the door, running and running and running, thats all he has to do is run run RUN.
Three boys run after him, stumbling out of the apartment after each other, and then yelling at the Boy as he sprints down the staircase to the ground floor. They yell "come back, you tosser!" They yell "you're dead, you're dead!"
One boy with spiked brown hair holds a football under his arm. Another boy has a beer can in his can, crushed in his crenched fist. But the third boy, who has a bandage across the left side of his face, holds a much more deadly implement, a silver-bladed kitchen knife, and he is waving it above his head.
The Boy breathes raggedly, sandpaper lungs unbearable. He trips over each step, hoping against hope he'll make it to the ground floor.
The blood pulses in his ears.
His heart thumps like a jackhammer.
His chest is on fire.
THUD! He makes footing on the ground floor of the flats, skidding to the front entrance door, then shoving against the door in the same movement, not daring to stop.
He runs. The night wind is bitter, but bearable. It won't kill him, but the guys behind him might.
He makes his way to the park that lies about a hundred yards away from the block of flats. As he does, a light drizzle sprays the earth around him.
He hears the guys behind him yell in frustration at the rain, words non-existant, tribal yells all that exist.
The Boy starts to slow, not noticably at first, but very gradually. His weight is slowing him down. As it does so, he shouts at himself, but it comes out as a gasp.
He wishes in this moment, as he slows down considerably just inside the entrance to the park, that he didn't like pyshics so much at school. Wishes that he didn't have all this baggage on him, in both sense of the word.
Suddenly, the boy with the beer can bumps into him, and wraps his thick, muscly arm around the Boy's throat.
The Boy bites down into the flesh of the arm.
The guy screams in pain.
The Boy breaks into a run again, more desperate than ever.
The boy with the football has kicked the ball straight ahead of him, high into the air.
It hits the Boy, at the joint between the neck and collarbone, making him collapse.
The three boys hastily catch up to him.
The boy with the knife instructs the other two to lift up the Boy. They follow suite, lifting the Boy above the ground by the arms and legs.
Putting his mouth directly next to the Boy's ear, the boy with the knife whispers something. A silky, deadly set of words:
"Look what you got yourself in to."
He plunges the knife four times into the Boy's exposed back, covering the Boy's mouth as he does so.
With each thrust of the knife, his face remains stone, but his eyes are aflame with rage.
When he is done, he instructs the other two to drop the limp body of the Boy to the ground.
They leave him there. The bandaged-face boy kicks aside the Boy's glasses and then drops the knife a few metres away.
The Boy remains, lying on the grass, screaming in pain in his head, the only thing emanating from his mouth being the blood, slowly trickling out.
He hopes he can make it till the morning hours.