"I said leave me alone! Just shove off and leave me be!"
"Why? We're having such a lovely conversation. I'm only talking, aren't I? And we need someone to talk to, don't we?"
"Go away! Stop following me!"
He's still keeping pace with me but he's gone quiet now. I'm refusing to look at him. If I ignore him perhaps he'll go away. He did last week.
Why did I have to walk through Seven Dials? I should have known better. I should have learnt my lesson by now. Avoid Seven Dials, Matthew!
But I don't pay attention, do I? I don't pay any bloody attention when I'm walking. Suddenly I'm out of Covent Garden and bam! Seven Dials where this manic hides out in the shadows by The Cambridge Theatre. And now he won't leave me alone.
"Oh, oh, we're on a bit of a jog, tonight, aren't we? Gonna need to pick up the pace, so I am. Going out for a night on the town? In that naff get up you'll get your face laughed off. Serve you right and all. You miserable prick."
He's still keeping pace even as I'm already half way down Earlham Street. People are still out, enjoying the atmosphere, although it's getting on towards dusk. The shops are closed but the food vendors in their little tents are still there. The smell of the Tandoori from one of them almost makes me stop.
"There's an ugly bugger! About as ugly as you look most of the time. Goodness, what filth walks around on the streets of this city, eh? What a load of fucking losers, eh? A lot like you, what? Parading your fucking ugly, filthy mug all around town like you do."
Ignoring them is the best policy. Just keep walking. Play deaf.
I hike my rucksack up and keep my eyes facing forward. I don't look at him. He'll get tired eventually. He'll leave off. He'll find somebody else to pick on.
"Ignoring me now? Oh, don't think I didn't see you casting an eye in the direction of that foreign rubbish they call food nowadays. Hungry, aren't you? Want to stop and have a bite, don't you? I bet I know what else you want a bite of."
"Will you leave me alone! Go away! Why are you following me? Fuck off! Just fuck off! Leave me alone!"
I keep walking, shaking my head and waving my hands to get rid of him. These creeps! Why don't the police pick these people up and put them in an institution where they belong? Dangers to society! All of them. London is simply infested with these nutters.
But he's still there, latched on to me like a tick. How am I going to shake him if shouts and swats don't work? People are stopped and staring at me and this lunatic. Some have even taken out their phones. Good!
"Ring the police! This nutter won't stop following me! Ring the police, somebody, please!"
That'll scare him, I think. The attention'll drive him off.
Except it doesn't. He darts in front of me, trying to black my way. I dance left to dodge him but he anticipates and gets there first. He keeps blocking me until I can't control myself and start screaming.
"You fucking lunatic! Get out of my way! Just bloody fuck off! Go bother someone else!"
But he doesn't. He keeps leaping and dancing in front of me.
I spin around and try to go back the way I came, but he's suddenly in front of me again. I turn back round, and there he is.
"Where are are you going, eh? Not going out on the town? Don't want to snog any drunken fat-arsed whores tonight, eh? Doesn't surprise me! Dickless wonder that you are, you bastard. Whores are too good for you."
From a side street, I see two bobbies appear, their yellow florescent vests reflecting the lights from the food venders and illuminated shop fronts. People are still gawking, clutching their half-raised phones.
"Everything alright, sir?"
"Oh, thank God! This nutter is bothering me! He..." I turn, finger raised to point him out. . .
...and he's gone. Disappeared! He's bloody disappeared into thin air!
"He was just right here! Followed me all the way down from Seven Dials. Utterly mad bloke! Where did he go?"
One of the bobbies opens his mouth to say something, but the other one raises his hand to stop him.
"Have we taken our medication today, sir?"
"Medication? What? What are you talking about? I don't take any medication!"
"Little bottle, sir? On the bedside table? One every morning, one every evening?"
"I told you, I don't take any medi-"
Forgetful little shithead, aren't we, Matthew?
A/N The photo at the top is of the Cambridge Theatre at Seven Dials in London.
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Black Lives, Like MineShort Story
Urban shorts and flash fiction focusing on "black" lives: those of minorities, the marginalised and people outside of mainstream society. The stories (1,200 words or less) are multi-ethnic, multi-genre, multi-style and multi-national. In this collec...