Running with Danny
The days and weeks, even the months can roll by without any sight or sound from Danny.
A temporary truce declared on the street, safe to walk about, no more of his wild screaming to announce the start of another one of his demented runs .
Somebody said he had died, some wished he was dead, he's moved away another said, either way you never could be quite sure.
At one time you could always guarantee his presence.
Never still, always on the move, always on the flow, like the sea, a wild sea, there were never any doldrums for Danny.
He would run the streets howling like a rabid wolf.
Windows smash, doors crash, lights dim and curtains twitch, all doors were closed to Danny.
Then the drink or drugs would kick in, a relief of sorts.
No silken sheets or feathered pillow, no bed of sand.
He sleeps where he falls, rough respite, such a sad sight.
What dreams or thoughts would pass, if any, through his tortured mind.
In an instant you regret leaning out of the window in the dark.
Watching the moon and stars on a crystal clear night, fag and a beer for company.
Your eye catches the sudden movement beside a builders skip, a hunched figure shuffles into view.
Too late, the tell tale glow of the cigarette, the window light, enough to alert him you were in...too late to close the main door to the flats.
The howling begins, Danny has returned...for a midnight run.
Your turn for a knock, you listen and watch through the newly fitted door spy.
"...a panoramic view..." the leaflet promised.
He stands shivering, black shrunken eyes set in congealed blood and spittle, his breath harsh and shallow.
A request for cash no doubt is on his mind, the usual, for one so desperate.
But then that’s Danny, tell me something new.
You hear him call.
'...I need some cash...a quid...two quid... that’s all I need...?'
You mime his plea for money as his lips move, his script never changes.
He never asks for any more than a few pounds.
You don't reply but think...it's always the same request, cash, cash, cash, never food or shelter, just money, nothing ever changes.
What's two pound you think, hand it over and he'll piss off, he never does.
If you let him in things will go missing, to be sold, traded, or given away.
The new door gets kicked, hinges creak, the steel bar holds well.
"...one ton before bending..." the security card reads.
Vile expletives mingle with his crazed demands for cash.
You never, ever, underestimate Danny.
For one so slight and frail he can move from a shuffle to the speed of light.
If you offer nothing but contempt a blade appears, punch, kick, stab then away he flies.
He calls out again.
'...I’ll go… I’ll go I promise… just a pound and I’ll be off…cross my heart and hope to die...?'
You remain silent, you pray he tries another door.
You think , it's always a promise, promise, promise, nothing but another promise.
Danny never keeps his word.
You watch him fall back against a neighbours door.
His face resembles the flag of some newly formed war torn country.
Slashes of bruised blue flesh and fresh violent red cuts lie beside old scars that score his broken face.
He sways from side to side as if a sudden breeze has caught him.
The flickering yellow landing light draws him in shadow.
A silhouette, a hunted thin animated figure, cinematic against the wall.
A bleak picture show, dark, like film noir, the last showing of Danny.
The final curtain soon to fall on dying eyes.
With each blink, a frame of his past, a lost life slips away.
Another cry, another plea only this time softer.
No loud banging on the door, only a gentle scratching on the glass.
'Please... please... I need some... !' he sobs.
He slides to the floor.
A bottle breaks, blood, cheap wine and urine flow.
Danny stops running.
The lights go out.
They say he was running for three, five, maybe ten years or more?.
Who knows...who cares...who cares about...Danny...no one.
The picture show was crap.