A short piece or grungy urban fiction, with some adult themes. This is part 3 and Paige Turner has left her terrified friend Mia to take the money and gun they found to put it back by the charity shop.
Paige Turner (thanks to her joker father for that name) was nearly six foot, mixed race though not so as you’d know it from her complexion and preferred women to men, though she’d not turn a guy down if he paid. She’d tried the family bit, and hated it, broken the sod’s collarbone and been set up by his mate’s who worked for the Met. Having done six months for assault and acquired a liking for skunk she found herself homeless and addicted, the former okay, the latter terrible. If it hadn’t been for a chance encounter with Mia Shusighs (six being Paige’s shoe size, Mia having such tiny feet she could easily wear children’s shoes) she’d probably have killed someone, or herself. They made an odd couple: the ultra nervous intuitive Mia and the overconfident logical Paige keeping the other from tipping over into disaster. Someone had said they were like Pooh and Piglet, not that Paige knew who the hell they were, but Mia explained. She even found the House at Pooh Corner and read it to Paige. Paige thought it daft, but it was with that she’d confessed her illiteracy and Mia had taught her to read. If only she’d had teachers as caring and cajoling as Mia rather than the mix of psychos and neurotics that had been foisted on her.
The lights of the High Street made her slow her pace. All she had to do was dump the laundry and leg it. Maybe she should keep one of the bundles of cash. Finder’s money, you know. Still, best not. They had a little spare, they didn’t really need it. Though imagine what they could do with all that? Yeah. She laughed despite herself. They’d get so high they blast into fucking orbit.
She had stayed on the far side of the High street from the passage down the side of the charity shop and slowed, hugging the shadows of the Evergreen Cafe and BetFred bookies. As she drew alongside the passage she heard voices, arguing.
Nervous now she pulled as far back as she could, straining to hear what was being said. It was angry, guttural and foreign. East European probably. Shit, those were mean dudes. Wouldn’t go with any of them, whatever they offered. Even Paige knew they’d not take prisoners, however hard she punched. Footsteps made her freeze. One of the men was hurrying up the passage towards her. She stepped back into the doorway…
Someone grabbed her ankle. Some skank was bedded down in the bookies. Instinctively she kicked back and hit something.
‘Ow! Shitting hell.’ The hand that she’d loosened grabbed at her leg again. ‘You come here, bitch.’ Terrible Terry, the stinky scouser. Just great. Bloody octopus never willingly let go.
At the same time as Paige clocked the man in the passage clocking her, she turned and punched hard down where she thought she’d seen Terry’s eye glinting in the street light. The crunch was satisfying and painful as something around her knuckle popped on contact. Never hit blind, they taught her inside, but needs must. ‘Sorry, Tel, mate,’ she hissed.
She was free but now she was in full view, watched with both curiosity and suspicion by the squat saturnine figure opposite. No longer thinking she turned and legged it back the way she’d come.