At moments of adrenaline, scenes become a slide show. While chasing this idiotic man across the estate I had flashbacks to Primary School Playgrounds – little boys with pudding bowl haircuts and gap teeth, cackling baby hyenas, fascinated by what girls kept up their skirts.
Freeze frame. His zip hoodie is failing to keep up with him, clinging to his arms and shoulders like a clumsy parachute. I see chewing gum on the bottom of his right shoe. He’s looked over his shoulder. I’m looking over him and I already know the mistake he will soon make. As my old track and field tutor used to say – focus on the finish and allow it to take you.
Naturally, he veers into the garage block. I’m already pulling the iron bar out from the hips of my jeans. It was the easier route to take and also a dead end. He stares at the tall fence and thinks about climbing but then turns to me for parley. I check my running but before he can open his mouth I’ve swung low and smashed his kneecap. Wriggling like a wingless cranefly, I set to work on this vermin.
Tears dribble into the blood pouring from his mouth. His watering eyes click with mine. I suddenly realise; I’m looking at the same pathetic face his mother saw many times, cleaning his grazed knees as a little boy. Sadness overwhelms me. I bring the iron bar down hard, and put the poor boy to sleep.