Paying Your Taxes (490 Words)

I've been watching them for a while, always loitering around the gates of the park. Harassing people as they go by, claiming their patch, their turf, their place in the world.

The problem is the sheer amount of them, some nights there are only four or five and I fancy my chances, others there are ten or more and it would be suicide.

I stroll past nonchalantly on the other side of the road, take a look at how many there is tonight.
I count four and decide its now or never, carry on up the road then cross over when I'm out of their sight.

Before I start back towards them, I check my jacket. After the would be muggers in the alley, I undid the cuff seams and now carry two, foot long lengths of two inch steel on me.

A subtle flick of the wrists and they slide out into my hands, it’s a move I have practised in front of the mirror hundreds of times. I tuck them back in and carry on towards their fate.

I amble down the road, bracing myself for what lies ahead.

True to form they are blocking the path. I'd have to step into the road to get by without troubling them, so I head straight towards the middle of them and politely ask them to move aside.

This gets their attention and they close ranks, the leader speaks up, he's a big lad got a few inches and stone on me. Looks like he knows how to handle himself as well.
"You want to walk on my patch youse got to pay your taxes bro"

My fingers tremble, itching to push the rods free but I can't make the first move, they need to deserve the justice I dish out.

So I go to try and walk through them as if he hadn't spoke to me.

He pushes me in the chest, making me take a few steps backwards, he's a lot stronger than me. I start to worry I've bitten off more than I can chew.
"Like I said bruv you wanna get past youse gotta  pay"

I look at my shoes and as say as meekly as I can " I don't want any trouble"

This makes them cackle like Hyenas , one gets his mobile phone out, starts filming me.
"Smile boy, you're going to be famous!"

I look directly at him, let the anger take over and snarl "Make sure you get all of this son."

With the much practised flick the bars drop out, I set my feet, ready for what ever they can throw at me.
The big man steps forward "Looks like we got ourselves a …."

Before finishes his sentence I crack him across the jaw, sending blood, spittle and teeth flying.
He drops to the floor like a rag doll.

I turn to the remaining three and say.  "Time to pay boys"

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