The heavy grey mist blanketing Bournemouth provided some degree of camouflage. Ahead, a slight shimmer of the air as if being warped and twisted quickly became a soft susurration of wind as the 10:45 trolley-bus, the last along this route, passed on its way to dock for the night. An angry wind swooped up from the ocean side, its salty taste igniting unwelcome memories. The small, limp body in his sack stirred. In the pub across the street the lights went on and movement within made him hesitate and become warier. Several minutes passed before the pub once again was plunged into darkness. Hands numbed with coldness, he adjusted the oversized potato sack slung over his shoulder and continued along Fisherman’s Walk.
Ahead, the marquee above the Palladium Cinema had been turned off. Closed for more than an hour, he had been among the last to leave. His prey moved again. Damn! The chloroform must be wearing off. His pace quickened. Newspaper wrappers that once housed fish and chips, swirled about in the wind, companion to other detritus carelessly tossed aside earlier that day. A grease-stained front page from The Guardian pasted against the wall by the wind captured his attention. He smiled when he read its headline:
Gangs Unhampered by the Police
Synagogues Burned Down in Many Cities
Then, lifting his boot, he sent it on its way, turned into the alley beside the cinema and continued to the rear of the building. The wind howled as it raced across rooftops and between buildings. It reminded him of wolf packs set upon their prey. He hesitated and surveyed his environs. Sheltered, he abhorred the lingering odor of piss, cigarette butts and ...