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So I’m hanging at the mall, waiting for Kane to finish his shift at the disgustingly greasy and fat-saturated food court stand where he works after school, and following any passing bare flesh with my eyes.   And this guy comes up to me.




“I know, buddy.”


“I know what you’re thinking.”

“Uh huh.   Sure you do.”

“I’ve thought it before myself.”

“Bet you have.   Go annoy some other kid, all right?   I’m busy here.”

“I know, man.   I know what you are.”

And for the first time, I stop and actually look at the guy.   Needs a wash, eyes a bit drug-fucked, picking viciously at a hole in the sleeve of his jacket.   Yeah, right.   Like this git knows anything about anything.

“Well, don’t tell anyone, will you?   Wouldn’t want to scare people.”

“Did she tell you to do it?”


“You know…”

“Shit, man – I have no idea what you’re talking about.   Just fuck off, will you?”

He moves away a little, and then comes back and leans in conspiratorially.

“She told  me, too.   But I couldn’t handle it, buddy.   Couldn’t fuckin’ handle it.”

Okay.   Got this guy sorted.   Ex-con who lost his marbles and is hoping I picked them up for him.   Dunno why he read my flesh-watching just now as anything more than normal teen perving, but he clearly thinks I’m a fellow sex offender/rapist/potential serial killer.   Gotta love living in the suburbs.

“Um – yeah, totally, man.   It just gets too much some times.”

He blinks at me, and wipes his nose, nodding.

“Fight it, though.   She’ll never know, kid.   You  can pretend it never happened.”

“Sure, dude.   You got it.”

“Did she tell you her name?”

“Uh – yep.   Absolutely”.

Doesn’t stop him grabbing at my sleeve and pulling my ear closer.   The stench of putrid stale human flesh and bad breath makes me shake him off just as he whispers a name.

Kane is pushing through the crappy food court chairs and tables, rolling his eyes and grinning at my apparent discomfort over my departing new friend.   The guy sidles off but I forget to watch him go, and as Kane reaches me and starts talking about the hot oil prank the chips guy pulled on the cashier today, I nod and grin and shift my weight, and slide smoothly back under the Jonathon mask.


But fuck.   Fuck.

Can’t be.   Coincidence.   Must have misheard the poor doped-up wanker – just had it on the brain lately.   There is no way.   Come on.   No fucking way.

How the fuck could he know Amelia?




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