The walk home

Aiden shuffled his way toward home.  It was about 20 blocks to his apartment, though most nights it didn't seem quite so far as he relived some of the more profound characters and moments of whichever film he had just watched.  

Tonight was definitely not one of those nights.  Instead of immersing himself in the character he had just watched, he relived the incident that happened after the movie.  He kept hearing his own undignified squawk ring out in his ears... followed closely by the stifled giggle of the cute young woman who had saved him from a face plant.

It was late in the day.  What little sun there might be left in the day was blotted out by thick clouds that looked the colour of lead.  It suited his mood well, but as much as he enjoyed a good bout of self pity he was hoping that it would not rain.  He quickened his pace while wishing he had more weather protection that the woolen sweater he had chosen.

He passed an older woman on the sidewalk.  She gave him a disgruntled look and gave him a wide berth.  Aiden furrowed his brows in consternation as he realized he had been muttering to himself.

He took a turn onto Peppett Street, wrapping his arms around himself as the wind buffeted him.  It was definitely going to rain.  Along here it was decidedly darker.  The street lamps were on, but obscured by the old trees and their thick foliage.  The buildings were also taller.  Old four and five story tall brick relics where half the lights were dark.  

He quickened his pace again.  He hadn't realized he had slowed down.  It was amazing to him how a dark mood could steal your vigor and turn motion into a lethargic and energy draining act.  

He heard the start of the rain before he really felt it.  The trees provided some shelter to start, but every gust of the wind provided a little shower of cold fat drops that managed to get down the front of his shirt and into his face.  Aiden shrugged up his shoulders and walked with his head down.  His shaggy hair providing some protection on the back of his neck.

He continued walking.  His eyes tracking each of his steps.  He watched as the toes of his sneakers became dark and cold with wetness.  Before long it wasn't just the toes of his sneakers but the whole top, and his feet were cold.  He kept catching himself muttering and stopping... it didn't make him feel any better and only made him seem like a crazy man.  He was wet and miserable.

He noticed the pair of shoes facing him a second two late.  He tried to stop but his momentum carried him through and he rammed right into another fellow on the street.  This time he was not caught and soaked himself further by falling on the sidewalk.  He apologized as he gained his feet and looked up into the face of the person he had just collided with.

He stopped his apology in mid sentence and took a step backward.  Nothing had prepared him for the baleful glare that he was receiving.  There was more than annoyance in those dark brown eyes; there was death in that gaze.  

He took a couple of paces backward, his mouth working but no sound coming out.  He felt a knot form in the bottom of his stomach.  he collided with a person behind him and felt a pari of hands shove him forward... making him stumble to his knees.

"Why don't you watch where you are going?"  Came the gruff voice that accompanied the shove.

"I... I... I'm sorry."  He stammered as he tried to regain his feet, but another set of hands pushed him off balance. His wet hair was in his face and he couldn't see in front of him as he tried desperately to gain his feet.  Another shove from a different direction and he fell heavily on his side, right on the edge of the curb.  His hands splashed in the puddle that had formed in the gutter.  He saw the shiny bumper of a car very close to his head.

He pushed himself up out of the puddle... his hands in the puddle and his knees on the sidewalk, but a heavy kick in his rump threw him right off the sidewalk.  His went face first into the street and didn't get his hands up in time to prevent a painful concussion and scrape into the asphalt of the road.

He lay there and groaned for a minute.  What the hell had he done to deserve this!?!  He rolled onto his back and opened his eyes, reaching up to wipe the hair and water out of his eyes.  He vaguely heard a car door slam as he lay there sputtering.

He looked up and saw three men all looking down at him.  Where he expected to see the mocking grinning faces of bullies he instead sa three older grim faced men looking down on him.  He heard footsteps behind him and turned just in time to see the boot coming for his head.  He flinched but the kick caught him in the back of his head.  The white flash of agony accompanied that hard kick.  It made his world spin as he splashed around trying to recover.  Another kick in the stomach knocked all the air from him.  It caused him to gasp and gag, unable to breathe.

He heard the jingle of keys as they slid into a lock and looked up.  The one who had just kicked him was opening the trunk of the car in front of him.  Aiden started to scramble away.  This was trouble.  Another boot to the ribs rolled him over into the street.  He cried out in pain, but it came as a whisper; he had no breath.  His hair was in his eyes again, but he sensed a shape looming and tried to wriggle away.

A fist slammed into his face.  Driving the back of his head to the pavement hard.  Hands were grabbing him and pulling him back toward the car.  Toward the car!  He started trying to flail his arms but they gripped him tightly.  He felt a moment of being lifted and then the world was spinning as he was rolled into trunk.

The world would not stop spinning.  He opened his eyes and through the hair he saw two of the men leaning into the trunk.  He tried to prop himself up but another fist smashed the side of his head.  Everything went black for a moment as his head absorbed the impact.  He felt himself go slack as he collapsed down into the trunk.

"Hold him" one of the men said as they turned him over.  They pinned him down in the bottom of the trunk and he felt a sharp lance of pain in his buttock.  It took him a second to identify the feeling of a needle lancing through his wet clothing into his body.  He squirmed but hey had him firm and his strength had fled.

They released him and the trunk lid closed with a slam leaving him in darkness.  He felt whatever they had injected him with begin to take effect.  He tasted blood while his thoughts raced away into unconsciousness.  The last thing he heard before he passed out was the roar of the engine coming to life.

The End

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