by Stewart Wilson
My dreams were in colour last night. This in itself was odd, normally I don't notice things like that at all. But this one was in colour. That grainy kind of colour that smacks of British 70s gangster films, Ray Winstone beating people to a messy pulp, where half the special effects budget was saved because the blood was real.
Broken, muddy ground. Wasteland by the railway track leading through the city. Reflection of the streetlights on clouds casts the sky a dirty orange-yellow. A stolen car on fire over to one side, kids on jacked motorbikes circling it, revving high and fucking up the bikes. They'll just steal more tomorrow, they don't care.
Pan around to my face. Shadows dance in the firelight. Short jacket, black as ever. Bag full of coins and batteries in one hand, crowbar in another. Five people with me but I can't make out details. I know them and they know me. We're a gang, a family. We're always there for each other. Never alone.
The bike-kids see us. Their older members have already fucked off, they know what's coming. The engines rev higher, into the red-zone. The kids squaring off. This isn't our place but we don't care. One of these fucks jacked my bike. Nobody steals from us. First rule. My eyes lock with one of them. They broke the rule. They need to learn.
A kid with blond hair spiked up starts screaming. He can't be more than fifteen and he's bellowing a tribal war cry. In my dream there's Japanese war drums in the background. The kid snaps and the bikes leap forwards.
Blondie is coming straight for me. I sidestep and put the sock in his face. There's a sickening crack and he comes off the bike, blood streaming from a broken nose. I'm dissappointed. In my controlled rage I had hoped for his neck. The bike skids away and I advance.
The sock is discarded and I bring the crowbar down on his shin, hard. Another crack, louder this time, as the bones in his leg break. Again on his arm. Red mist clouds my vision. I want to beat this fucker until there's only paste left. His cries of pain are vindication. Payback for what they have done to me.
I look up and there's a skeleton stood there. Open cloak around it. Scythe in hand. I drop the crowbar. I've done many things in my life in this dream, but never killed anyone. And seeing this makes me wonder if tonight I am going to start.
No. I'm an evil fucker. I will break legs and knock out teeth and cut people up, but I will not kill. I want this cunt to remember what he did to me. I want him to live to correct his mistake. Because I know that every waking second from now on he's going to be thanking me for leaving him alive.
I snap back to reality. "You. You or any of your mates thinks about stealing from me and mine again, we'll finish what we started. I'll force feed you your bollocks." The kid is white, nodding in abject terror. "Now fuck off before I change my mind."
Somewhere in the mess left over from the beating we dealt is my bike. We don't take the others. That would make us no worse than this scum. We're a proper family. So we take my bike, and we leave. Our stuff will be safe again.