Day 177 – Attack and Release

I don’t even know what this is about. I just named it after a Black Keys album!

Word count: 763

The train picked up speed quickly, screeching engine, and disappeared down the track. It was the end of a long day. Amongst the tired and weary travellers on the Tube that day, Joe gently jogged down the steps and out into the station car park. Joe was eager to get home; eager to wolf down some food and stretch out by the T.V to watch some mindless programmes.
As he reached the street level, another train shrieked to a halt at the station. It had reached that point in the evening where everyone had grown fed up of the city and needed to retire home. This time of night brought a lot of bleary-eyed travellers and those who just wanted to sleep where they stood. Joe, at least tonight, could be pigeon holed with them. Most nights he was full of energy and enthusiasm, but his trip to the gym had completely worn him out. He hadn’t been in months, in fairness, so he may have been pushing himself harder than he should have.
Joe stepped out to cross the street when he heard a yell. He wheeled round and saw a woman walking along the pavement, a black car following her. She was shouting back at the people in the car, her steps quickening. Joe’s conscience immediately triggered his inner superman. Gathering all the strength he had left in him, he marched over to where the girl was walking.
The poor girl was almost running in her high heels. She was throwing angry looks back at the people in the car, swearing at them to leave her alone. Joe managed to catch up with the girl.
“Hey! You ok?”
The girl stopped and gave him a funny look, as if to ask what it was to do with him?
“Are these men following you?”
She stood on her back leg and folded back her arms, chewing her gum threateningly visibly. The car slowed too, and at that minute Joe knew he should have just crossed the street and had never gotten involved. But he was involved now, he could not back out. The girl might still need help, even if she didn’t believe it herself.
“What’s it to you?” a deep voiced man pushed open the passenger car door and leaned out.
He wore sunglasses, even though it was dark.
“This lady didn’t look as if she wanted to be bothered by you,” Joe qualified his presence.
“Well that’s between me and her, isn’t it, stranger?”
The man got out of the car and stood to his full height of at least six foot three. Joe, the lowly five foot elevener, gulped.
“Listen, I’m sorry for intervening. I just wanted to help.”
“Well you gotta stay away from other people’s business, dontcha?”
From behind the big man, Joe saw the girl turning her back on them and toddling off down the street, calling someone as she ran. Meanwhile, the man was converging on Joe. Joe looked around and couldn’t see anyone nearby – not that anyone nearby would help. It was London. Those that helped got this. Those that didn’t want this looked on.
Joe began edging backwards, holding his hands out in preparation for defence. The man was now half a metre away and already has his fist clenched, ready for the attack.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to, I got the wrong end of the stick, no harm, eh?”
But the man wasn’t listening and threw a hard punch right into Joe’s stomach. He was winded and fell backwards to the floor. By the time he had hit the pavement, a kick had been thrust into his side. Joe was reeling in pain. He was trying to remember all the moves to render an attacker defenceless, but his mind was consumed with fear and pain that it simply went blank.
Another kick and a punch to the face and then he felt someone delving into his pockets. Through a bloodied and soon-to-be black eye he saw the man bring out his wallet and pocket it before walking casually back to the car and heading off down the road, no doubt to catch up with the same girl Joe had so vainly attempted to rescue.
Joe picked himself off the ground, holding his side, and he looked around at the people walking by who had just got off the Tube. They were gawping at him as if he were a drunk. No one came to his aid, no one at all. But this was London, Joe thought, what did he really expect?

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~ by S.G. Mark on April 1, 2012.

One Response to “Day 177 – Attack and Release”

  1. This is something that most likely happened this evening somewhere in the world… strange beasts, us humans. There may still be places where people wouldn’t passively watch as others are attacked… I hope…

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