Snapshots, part one: Luke’s Night Out

I know, I’m a horrible person. Almost two months without a post, disgraceful! To make up for this, I’ve some lovely little short stories for you – Snapshots! Well, they’re little and they’re short, its up to you if you think they’re lovely or not.

Anywho, enjoy! Part 2 will be published next week, and from now on I promise to not let life get on top of me to the point where I neglect this hub for my insanity. Is anyone ever reading this? Helloooo…?

Luke Todd is taking the big city life all in his stride, falling in love with the city he now finds himself in. From the Tesco’s on Newland Avenue to the Haworth Arms, Hull is all his for the taking. Going out on the town with his friends for the first time since arriving in Hull, he feels like the king of this new found world. The decadent buildings that soar into the sky are monuments to his achievements. The neon lights above many of these buildings seem to shine down on Luke. Even in Luke’s eyes, which are now ensconced by the city, his friends become his servants, ever faithful to their king.

But now his servants decide they are hungry. This is when Luke’s world comes crashing down around him, for they realize they don’t have a penny between them. A hunt for a friendly take-away begins, one that could perhaps let them have food for free. But the more they hunt, the more the city seems to spit and snarl down on them, Luke especially.

Hull is nothing like the pastorals greens of Luke’s previous home back in the little village of Covenham. There, everything is always so simple and slow, everyone knows each other and everywhere is wonderfully calm and serine. Here, everything has now become so complicated and fast, no-one knows anyone and everywhere is bitter and dangerous.

They find themselves scouring dark, damp streets and their even darker and damper innards that seem to swallow them up as they walk. The growling cars and vans and buses that speed along the road seem to curse and threaten Luke and his party as they walk, almost as if they want to pounce on them and dig their claws deep into their nervy flesh.

The strangers on the streets gush and slither past them, like an uncontrollable river. Luke and his friends have a job trying not to drown. Finally, all sense of rank is broken and Luke embraces his former servants, now realising they are all on the same level of desperation. They stick close together and move as one, rather than Luke leading the whole group.

Finally, a place is found, but will it be cheap? Luke and his friends venture forth, away from the swarming torrents and relentless growls and into what maybe a last shard of Luke’s former kingdom. A greasy burger flipper greets them, greasier than his food.

‘Please,’ asks Luke, ‘have you anything that’s cheap?’

Their travel-worn faces and exhausted voices touch the burger flipper, but this is impossible to see from underneath all that grease on his face. He hands the group a generously piled paper plate full of scraps of various foods.

‘Free of charge.’ he says.

The group gaze at him with dumb-struck adoration and begin tucking in, with muffled and blocked variations of ‘thanks’ issuing forth from their grease-laden lips. They turn to leave, but the vision of that horrendous world outside smacks them hard in the face. The strangers outside, who charge up and down the streets, seem to create a barrier that seems impossible to penetrate. And the vehicles on the road seem to have stopped speeding, but now seem to gaze hungrily through the window at Luke and his friends, waiting for them to sink into their fangs.

However Luke steps forward, filled with a warm meal and a renewed sense of vigour. He feels his sense of leadership return to him. He will lead his friends out into that doom-laden world and back to Thwaite Hall, without fear or desperation.

Opening the door, he steps out, and begins his journey homeward…

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