Just taking a quick break from exam marking to post this third and final (so far) extract from The First Summer of Love.
Ally lurked in the shadows watching for signs of life. The flickering glow of a television radiated from behind dark curtains, a cat slunk diffidently along the top of the fence but there were no people to be seen. There was no one out emptying their bins or taking their dog out for a dump. It was 9.30 on a Tuesday and there was work and school to think about for the masses hiding behind their terraced walls. Ally’s nerves were screwed up to an almost unbearable level. He slipped his hand inside his jacket pocket, clasping his hand around the folded pen-knife. There, only a dozen feet away, nestled between a Ford Cortina and a Vauxhall Cavalier was a Volkswagen Golf GTi. Its silver VW logo seemed to wink in the rusty glow of the streetlights. He took one last look to confirm that the coast was still clear and saw that only the snooty cat watched him with interest from atop a shed. He swallowed hard and stepped out of the shadows, crouching low the way he’s seen soldiers do it in films. The knife was out now, its stubby blade slicing through the night air. He reached out and curled his fingers around the edges of the badge, giving it an exploratory tug. It refused to budge so he slid the knife behind it and pulled down.
There was a sharp crack of breaking plastic that caused the cat to jerk its head up to see what was going on. Another quick tug and the badge was off, gripped in the sweating palm of one hand. Ally’s nerve-endings buzzed as if they were charged with static electricity. He paused as if he was waiting for an accusing hand to clamp down on his shoulder but nothing happened. He moved off, maintaining his commando crouch until he was well clear of the parked cars, ready to toss the incriminating badge into the nearest hedge if anyone appeared. His stomach churned the same way it had when he had met Paula, his heart hammering Morse-code messages through his ribs. He disappeared back into the alley grinning.
When he got home he stashed the badge in his school bag, all the while waiting for the Police to knock on the door – brought there by some anonymous tip-off. He slipped his Walkman headphones over his ears and pressed the play button, Iron Maiden filled his head with screeching guitars. He switched off the light and tried to go to sleep before the tape would need flipped over to the other side.
To be continued… (hopefully!)
As a wee reward for reading this far, treat yourself to some sunshiney pop courtesy of Dundee boys Danny Wilson with their 1989 classic “The Second Summer of Love”
- A Little more from “The First Summer of Love” (billrobertson55.wordpress.com)
- 2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI Cabriolet (autoandracingnews.wordpress.com)
- I Love Summer Because… (thismansjourney.net)