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Byline: Until Our Blood Is Dry by Kit Habianic

EVERYONE seemed to realise the danger at the same time. The crowd thinned and dissolved and everyone was running. Hooves thudded in pursuit. Batons fell on bone and flesh. The cries of the injured men filled the air. He felt heat singe the back of his neck as a horse bore down on him. Something hard and heavy caught him across the back of his skull.

He went down.

HE opened his eyes to find his dad, Dai and Dewi bent over him, taking cover under a hedge. The back of his head pulsed pain.

When he touched the spot, his fingers came away red and sticky.

Dai looked close to tears. 'They could've bloody killed you, Scrapper Jones.' Dewi held up his hand. 'How many fingers, lad?' 145 'Give over,' Scrapper struggled up onto his elbows. 'Still got my f*****g marbles.' 'Language,' Iwan scolded.

Scrapper peered out from under the hedge. What he saw made him suck in his breath. Groups of police roamed the hillside, beating any man they could catch. Fallen bodies littered the field, horses charging past and over them. The walking wounded dragged their comrades to safety. At the top of the field a group of men, faces bloodied, clothes ripped, were staging a half-hearted fightback, but they were outnumbered and out-armed, bare limbs no defence against batons and horses and dogs.

'The pigs are out o' control,' Dai whispered.

'Are you soft in the head?' Iwan rounded on him. 'They're teaching us a lesson.' Then Scrapper spotted the kid, the one with multi-coloured spikes for hair. He was standing alone on the field, a squad of shortshield officers pelting towards him. The kid held out his arms to them, as though in surrender. The batons fell on him.

Scrapper heard the crunch of resin on bone, saw the kid spit broken teeth. Two pickets ran to help, but the police beat them down and dragged them away. The kid crumpled on the ground.

Beyond the field, the coking plant gates opened and the coke trucks slipped away.

'What the f*** is this?' Until Our Blood Is Dry by Kit >Habianic is published by Parthian at PS9.99 CONTINUES TOMORROW
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 3, 2014
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