Football by Lewis Dunn

‘You’re not from round here, are you?’ the inflection in the brute’s voice intimating violence. I ignore him and the howling of his group, spotting the corner ahead, quickening my pace, debating whether to bolt as soon as I turn it, the idea of running giving in to their intimidation, urging them to make a move. 

It’s been a shit day. For month’s I’ve craved a return to normality. Fans back in the ground, the atmosphere and the passion. I’d eyed the fixtures with anticipation, marked off the one’s I’d fancied, looked at the train times, the days they fell on and whether they were 

financially viable. I’d chosen this one out of spite, the romanticism of a football past, a time of hooliganism, turned on by the notion of danger. 

Everyone I know vetoed it, the group I’d travelled with for years, close friends and their dad’s, generations handed down. It left me with a quandary, an air of stubborn stoicism that I just had to satisfy. There were others going that I knew, people more adept at handling the situation, Stone Island and cans of Stella, rightly pissed off because the brewer’s lowered its potency. 

I turn the corner and make the decision to run, bottles shattering to my left and right. I’m supposed to turn round and stand my ground but not one of those cunts I travelled with is in sight. I’m completely alone, ostracised and praying for the sight of a copper, anyone in a position to help me. 

I wouldn’t mind but we got fucking beat, you’d think they’d be in a more jovial mood, kebabs and pints, coke and shagging. I keep on running, chased by a pack of feral psychopaths, not sure whether I’ll survive, dreaming of the station, desperate to escape. 

Published in Issue #17

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