“Flesh and Coin: Random Acts of Violence”

(The estimated reading time for this is 2 minutes)

© 2015 by Craig Saunders.  All Rights Reserved.


Our world is sometimes a hard place to stomach. Me, I live in a pretty soft world. It’s relatively safe, as places go. Little crime. But enough. I don’t think anyone’s ever said, “There’s too little crime for my tastes…”

Or, at least, no one sane.

As a youngster, I’d go to pubs, bars, clubs. Drink, drink some more. Friends and I would trawl the bars of whatever city we happened to be in.

The thing is, drink can make people beasts. Some people, though…they’re beasts to begin with. Holding themselves in, like they’re wearing a mask, maybe. They drink, the mask comes off.

One night, in a pub in Norwich, Norfolk, there was a big guy, hitting a little guy. The little guy was, frankly, going to end up in a hospital, or dead. A couple of friends and I saw the start of things, and the end.

So, the little guy comes into the pub, goes up the big guy and says something. I don’t know what it was—I never will. The big guy wasn’t tall, but obviously did weights, and he was also a violent man. The little fella? Just looked ordinary.

The man with the muscles beat the crap out of him, beat some crap into him after, just so he could get more out. Dragged him from the pub, carried right on. Then, both of them just…left. We left. Police came, paramedics came, asking in the pubs if anyone saw either man.

No one did. They just…disappeared.

Dead? Licking wounds? Finally found his way to hospital (the little man), or, prison (the big man)?

I never knew, and I can’t say I ever really thought about it afterward. At least, until I sat down to write this story about a family named the Mulrones. I’ve written about this family before, in a story called Scarecrow. They’re no strangers to casual violence.

This is a story about them…but also, as so many stories, has other threads, too. It’s about a hospice, about people who care for little or no reward, on the one side…and evil, on the other. Maybe it’s about people getting what they deserve, even though it might seem that mostly, they don’t.

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell good and evil apart, though, and sometimes they wear the wrong faces…

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