The unsuspecting Steve ambled by the shops. A car horn blared as a Poshey waved a fist while tailgating a commoner in a smaller car. A classic manoeuvre from the Snook School of Motoring. Distracted, Steve saw a Poshey couple strolling toward him. The lady wore designer clothes and pushed a designer buggy for her designer baby. A pagoda umbrella with frilly trim completed her look. The gentleman by her side wore a stiff shirt, stripy tie, tweed jacket, red trousers and expensive shoes. Their noses were firmly in the air. It looked as though they were going to force him off the pavement.

All of a sudden, Gronk briskly darted in front of the Posheys, making them stop.

“I say, old boy,” the man exclaimed in a loud voice, which made another Poshey couple turn to look.

Undeterred, Gronk barged into Steve. But, instead of shoving the smaller man aside, his shoulder stopped dead.

“Do you mind?” Gronk shrilled as he stood back and jabbed a spindly finger into Steve’s chest.

“Yeah, I do actually.”

“Run along and be a good chap…” Gronk leant in, “or I will destroy you. I’ve heard you do martial arts…” he paused to smirk. “Is that your token tough thing?”

Steve stood toe-to-toe and looked his enemy in the eye. He grabbed Gronk’s coat with both hands and shifted the taller man sideways into a nearby walkway, forcing him against a brick wall. Steve rammed an elbow into his throat and spoke, measured and slow.

“Shut the fuck up… for once in your life. I mind you trying to push me about. I mind your boy being a bully. I mind your girl cheating and…” he fixed a steely stare “…I really mind that your ratbag of a wife’s lies.”

“How stupe…” A gasp for breath. “… stupefyingly banal,” Gronk croaked. He sucked in some air “…you feeble-minded… f… fool.”

“Do I look like I care what you think, Guido?” Steve snapped.

That name visibly shook Gronk. The sheer audacity of the blighter, he thought. Stiffening, he heard echoes of Gweirdo from the playground.

Gronk looked down and shuffled his feet. “Thi… this is absurd. It’s going to be a doddle beating a no-mark like you.”

Steve’s elbow edged tighter into his windpipe. Gronk began to rasp and cough. On the other side of the street, Munter, Griselina and Gideon tried to see the altercation.

“Where are they?” Gideon asked.

“Down that walkway.” Munter replied.

“What are they saying?” Griselina lisped.

“I can’t hear,” Gideon said.

“Shurrup, the both of you!!” Munter shushed, “Let’s get closer so I can hear.”

Copyright © 2023 Callum Stanford.  All rights reserved.

Author: C.Stanford

Writer, blogger, outsider, survivor.

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