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'SPARE me the beginner's guide [...]; MORNING SERIAL.

Byline: Until Our Blood Is Dry by Kit Habianic

'SPARE me the beginner's guide to revolutionary socialism, Scrapper Jones.' 'F***'s sake, Dai. You're better'n this.' There was a pause. Scrapper thought he'd got through to him at last. But the sound of an engine shattered the moment. He saw something flash beyond the trees, then a police car appeared, behind it a minibus, windscreens and windows shuttered under metal grilles.

'Here we go,' Dai shifted his weight, flung both arms around the marble angel as the vehicles raced towards the bridge.

Scrapper wriggled away from him. He leaped onto the wall, arms flapping windmills.

'Stop,' he yelled. 'You got to stop.' The police car accelerated, flashed under the bridge.

Scrapper's arms flailed faster. Looking down, he saw faces peering up through the minibus windscreen. Dai bellowed triumph, gave the angel a mighty shove. Time bent and warped into freeze frame. Scrapper turned, hid his eyes, heard and felt the thud of stone on metal. The bridge shuddered.

As Scrapper lowered his hands, a crow burst out of the hedgerow, cawing fury. Black wings flapped inches from his face. He caught a glint of sharp blue eyes as the bird rose squawking and vanished beyond the trees.

Was this his hand over his mouth, his heart hammering the back of his throat? Were these his feet lurching away from the wall? Was this his body, legs leaden, spine rigid with shock? Was this the sky above Ystrad, that dark triangle his pit? Was the railroad calling him towards it, urging him to flee? Or was this where it ended, on this bridge? He heard shouts floating up from beyond the tunnel, footsteps thudding up the embankment. Instinct seized him.

There was a ditch up ahead. He dragged himself towards it and leapt in. The ditch was deeper than it looked. He peered out.

Dai had clambered onto the wall, huge body braced to jump.

Scrapper pulled the bracken over his head, waited to hear the thud of a body hitting the road.

Until Our Blood Is Dry by Kit >Habianic is published by Parthian at PS9.99 CONTINUES TOMORROW

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 20, 2014
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