a pint of strong lager
‘Hey, what are you doing?’
He had a right to ask, I suppose, as I had grabbed him and pushed him against the wall. I held his shirt collar tightly, in my left fist, pushing it into his throat. My right hand was poised to punch him, but as he watched it, I kneed him in the groin. I saw the pain in his expression and the fear in his eyes.
‘You’re Jimmy Roberts,’ I stated, and light began to dawn. ‘I’m Marie Dunn’s big brother, you’ve probably heard of me.’ I paused, as his body visibly shrank, his shoulders drooped and all resistance ebbed away. He knew who I was, and could imagine what was coming.
It was then that I did punch him, just below his diaphragm and his spent air hit me in the face. It was followed by a groan. I repeated the blow, then stepped back and released him, so that he crumpled and collapsed. He tried to turn away from me, but he found he couldn’t move and breathe at the same time.
I waited until his panting subsided, then kicked him in the ribs. I heard a crack followed by his scream. People were occasionally passing the mouth to the alley, but knew better than to intervene. He became silent and I briefly pressed the sole of my left boot onto his right hand.
As he began to whimper, I realised that I too was breathing heavily. I stepped back, pretended nonchalance, as I took a pack of Rothmans from my jacket pocket. After I had placed a cigarette between my lips, I looked down at him. I flicked my lighter and without taking the ciggy from my mouth, inhaled the smoke and expelled it through my nostrils.
He was pressing backwards, against the wall, holding his ribcage with one hand. ‘It takes two, you know,’ he managed to spit out, together with blobs of rich, red blood.
‘I’m well aware of that; I don’t need a biology lesson from you. But she’s only fourteen, and being so much older, you should have known better. To take precautions for one thing …’ His expression told me that she had not told him her age. ‘I know she looks older, dresses like twenty-one, but she doesn’t act like it, as you would have learned, if your mind had been on other than what was in her pants.’
I finished my smoke; threw the remnant into the gutter behind me.
‘So what do you want me to do? Do you want me to marry her?’
I laughed, loudly. ‘That’s the last thing I want, for her to be married to a toe-rag like you.’
‘Nothing!’ I could see that he did not believe me. ‘Except of course, to stay well away from her. I just want you to remember this moment, the next time you’re charming a young lady, with a view to getting her into bed.’
As soon as the last word had left my mouth, I kicked him as hard as I could. Although aimed at his abdomen, my boot connected with his thigh, but he still yelped. As he reached out to defend his lower body, I again trod on his fingers, and twisted my foot until I felt the bones break. His mouth opened wide, but the only sound was of his stomach contents splashing on the pavement. From the smell, I concluded that he had also suffered an exodus from the other end.
‘Please, don’t … I’m sorry, I …’
My final act was to stamp on his genitals, and then I walked away.
‘Did you see that Jimmy Roberts, son?’
‘What did he say?’
‘He said he was sorry.’
‘Do you think he meant it?’
‘She loves him you know.’ My mother stared into my eyes.
‘Well, I don’t think she’ll be seeing him again.’
‘Perhaps that’s for the best.’ She paused. ‘I’m only pleased that you saw the lad, your father would probably have beaten him up.’
Bio: Roger Noons
Having spent the best part of thirty five years writing reports on such subjects as ‘Provision of Caravan Sites for Travellers’ and ’Aspects of Pest Control in the Urban Environment’, Roger Noons began even more creative writing in 2006, when he completed a screenplay for a friend who is an amateur film maker. After the film was made, he wrote further scripts and having become addicted, began to pen short stories and poems. He occasionally produces memoirs and other non fiction. He has begun to perform his poems, and has just published ’An A to Z by RLN’, an anthology of 26 short stories. He intends by the end of the year to have followed that up with a novella.
He is a member of two Writers Groups and tries his hardest to write something every day. As well as CafeLit, he has had credits in West Midlands newspapers, The Daily Telegraph, Paragraph Planet, Raw Edge and a number of Anthologies.