Adam sauntered along the road with an arrogance that bothered some people and frightened many, nearly everyone from the local shopkeepers to the staff in the benefit office, who through their misfortune had dealings with him. The superior feeling it provided him with intoxicated him with a real sense of power, especially when passersby felt forced to cross over to the other side of the street. Adam was still only 19 years old, but already well known to the authorities.
Although standing over six feet tall and heavily built, Adam was not particularly muscular, clearly showing the effects of a poor diet. He would shout at people knowing the intimidating effect this had and was very familiar with getting what he wanted, often high with not only his own self-importance, but other substances by way of his drug abuse. He abused others as much as he abused himself and seemed to enjoy both, the cost of his copious vodka drinking and drug habits not being a problem since the trade in stolen items through burglary and his weekly benefits came to a substantial amount. Adam's associates behaved in a similar way, sharing almost everything from used needles to the pirate copies of the latest movies and porn films. Even the girls in the gang were shared. It was the way that life was lived by these people where nothing or nobody was spared.
Adam's natural mother was separated from his father and led a seedy life, living as a single parent. Never married and consoling herself with casual lovers and one night stands, she managed to provide herself with a little comfort and some money, but as soon as these partners met with Adam, they would usually make a hasty departure never to be seen again. Annie used men as much as she was used by them and Adam had become a method of getting rid of those who would hang around too long getting a little too comfortable in the house she called her own even though it was provided through benefits.
Freddie had been a semi-professional boxer until a couple of years ago, when he had retired from the ring and although he had not seen fame had made a comfortable living. Nowadays he worked the doors of various nightclubs and continued to use his experience to good effect. Very capable and with a strong sense of fairness, Freddie was normally placid always appearing to be well in control of himself and so it was unusual to see him grumble his way down the street mumbling some profanity quietly to himself feeling at the end of his tether and although he still loved his wife, felt unable to any longer tolerate her constant demands.
Later that evening, when in a popular facility he frequented for his training purposes, Freddie had become really moody as he’d abandoned his session as a dead loss then found himself within earshot of Adam using a public telephone. The language he heard being used was full of expletives, swearing out loud demanding that a taxi be sent to pick him up. It sounded as though he speaking down the line to a bit of dirt on the sole of his shoe. He had finally slammed down the phone almost breaking it. There had been no preliminary talk, just the short demand. It must have been clear where he had called from as he never made mention of it.
Freddie looked at the face that had sent the demand and took an instant dislike to what he saw. The young face of a type who caused trouble and grief to people like himself even though it provided him with a living. Freddie didn't like his job as a doorman as he was forced to mix with some of the dregs of society. Out of control vicious drunks, often leaving in a different fashion to their arrival on two feet.
Standing up and facing the youth, Freddie asked, clearly irritated:
"Who were you talking to like that? Everyone here has to listen to all your foul language," he added.
"Piss off, creep."
The sneering reply was delivered with one nostril slightly raised above the top lip.
The combination of Freddie's frustrations, his abandoned training session and what he’d assumed to be Adam's verbal tirade against his mother or a young wife or girlfriend then to be followed by the abuse he himself got, caused him to see red. He lost it completely. He instinctively struck out, though if he’d thought, just for a moment, he would have noticed he was not wearing any heavy, padded boxing gloves. The straight left-handed jab thrown while moving off the forward left foot was directed into Adam's face. Into that sneering nostril that had so enraged him breaking the nose and flattening it. Just a split second after this punch he followed up with a right uppercut rotating his body around off the right foot.
The speed of the second blow ensured that before it was completed, the impact sent skewer-like fragments of cartilage upwards and into Adam's brain before his head had any time to move.
Adam was dead before he hit the floor and had made the fatal mistake of thinking that everyone was the same.
© Louis Brothnias (2005), Rev 2 (2007)