The Hambleworth Riot

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

One young man gets caught up in the mayhem of the riots in the summer of 2011 in the UK. This is the story of individual experience and his inner-battle for a safe and law-abiding future.

Terror and fury swept through urban streets. Youths ran here and there, released from the control of those with power over them. Gleefully, shops were looted, people were robbed, buildings were burned to the ground. The violated cut saddened figures as the throngs moved on, disappearing and reappearing like ghosts travelling through social networks. Shock, anger and fear gripped those who looked on at the carnage. Massed ranks of blue helmets sprayed the shrapnel of missiles fuelled by hate. News reporters licked their lips, scribbling furiously in notepads, photographers captured the morning’s images. Pent up aggression spectacularly unleashed on an unsuspecting society.

Down a dark, tree-lined country lane, into a clearing and over the green, past the Post Office and Fox and Hounds pub, alongside a softly babbling brook and grand church, sat a white house with thick walls, small windows and a thatched roof, nestled snugly between the buildings of Hambleworth and the trees of Newston Forest. Rose and Jim Nelson sat in front of the television listening to the sound of Mr Nelson’s newest classical CD, while images of England’s inner-cities being torn apart lit up the screen. Mrs Nelson took a sip from her glass
“Rioting in Croydon now Jim.”
Jim Nelson snorted, awoke briefly from his slumber and tut-tut-tutted, before his eyes blinked, his body relaxed again and he drifted back off to sleep. Rose Nelson gazed at the television and took another slip of her rather splendid Chardonnay.

In the room immediately above, MC Slaughterhouse walked, or rather, bopped, up and down his bedroom floor, pausing at each end to cross his arms across his body and hunch his shoulders, before frowning, flicking his head at the mirror and saying things like “you lookin’ at me bruv?”, and “yeah yeah yeah, just give me the fuckin’ money pussy’ole”
“Pusssy’ole. PUSSSssy’ole.”
Yes, he liked how that was sounding now. Sensing dryness in his mouth, MC Slaughterhouse made an ‘SCH’ (South Central Hambleworth) with his fingers, before going to the kitchen to get a glass of orange squash, and maybe a cookie.

MC Slaughterhouse had learned long ago that the creaky stairs made it impossible for him to avoid the cringeworthy attentions of his parents on the way past the living room, nonetheless he bopped quickly by in the hope that they might ignore him.
“Snookums!” came the inevitable and annoying high-pitched call. He froze and shuddered, he would have to deal with this ‘Snookums’ business soon, or his rep’ in the ‘hood would take a fearful battering.
“Whaaat?” he moaned.
“Come and look at this sweetie, some other MC’s are making a terrible mess”
He forced a few more steps towards the kitchen, determined to be uninterested in what his mother was watching before curiosity won. He trudged towards the living room, abandoning his now-perfected bop to avoid irritating questions about what was wrong with his legs. Confronted with the chaos on the TV, MC Slaughterhouse’s eyes grew wide and his pulse raced. It was happening, his homies ruled the streets and the pigs could only stand and watch. For years MC Slaughterhouse had longed for the day that he and his fellow street thugs could throw off the shackles of oppression and just for a moment, stick it to the feds who harassed them so much. (He had never been stopped and searched as such, but PC Andrews had spoken to him in the street one day. MC Slaughterhouse knows his rights and told PC Andrews as much. Well, he had tried, the drama of the moment had got to him somewhat and PC Andrews was rather confused to hear that the boy in front of him “rights my knows”. Nevertheless, PC Andrews hadn’t harassed him since, so now MC Slaughterhouse proclaimed his end of Hambleworth a no-go area for the police.)

MC Slaughterhouse raced up the stairs, tearing off his sweater as he ran. Shut away in his room he retrieved his hooded jumper from the cupboard, pulled the waistband of his jeans halfway down his buttocks and tied a bandana around his face. He quickly practised the bop-walk, which, when undertaken quickly, looked as if one knee had fused and he was on the verge of collapse. No matter, he was confident it would come naturally at the appropriate time. MC Slaughterhouse threw some gangs signs before making a gun shape with his fingers and pulling an imaginary trigger. He ran back out into the corridor and passed the grinning face of his younger sister.
“Where you off to, MC Wendyhouse?”
He would have to remember to carry out the drive-by shooting he had been planning for the last few weeks.

MC Slaughterhouse opened the front door and stepped into the cool summer air.
“Where are you going darling?”, came the inevitable call from the living room. MC Slaughterhouse rolled his eyes and muttered,
“Ok, well don’t be late please”, came the inane reply.

Adrenaline rushed through MC Slaughterhouse’s body as he jogged down the quiet street. There was not another person in sight, he could imagine the pompous residents of Hambleworth cowering in their homes on this night of rage. He had seen on the news that the Police were too few to respond to every area where rioting was occurring. That almost certainly meant that PC Andrews was elsewhere, leaving MC Slaughterhouse at liberty to wreak terror on Hambleworth. But a riot wouldn’t be a riot if there was only one participant, he turned into Coleville Lane and knocked on Killer Kev’s front door. It was answered by Killer Kev’s mother.
“Hello Mrs Henderson, can Stuart come out?” (Killer Kev’s name was not Kevin, nor was it Killer for that matter. He had liked the name Killer, and since he was already making up a name for himself, he thought he might as well finish the job. Besides, it would help keep undercover police off his trail.)
“Oh hello. I’m sorry, he’s got a bit of a cold, he’s in no state to be out galavanting.”
“Ah, really?” MC Slaughterhouse peered round Mrs Henderson, but could see no sign of Killer Kev. “You don’t think he would be ok to come out to do ..... stuff?”
“I’m afraid not, he’s been terribly sniffly, he’s curled up on the sofa with a cup of Bournevita.”
“Oh, ok. Thanks Mrs Henderson”. He trudged back to the village high street, where he paused to consider his options.

Just when an element of doubt was entering MC Slaughterhouse’s mind, something caught his eye, a jagged rock of a size that would sit nicely in his palm laying in the gutter only a few inches from where he stood. He grinned, picked it up and considered the weight and texture. This was a good flinging rock. Looking up, MC Slaughterhouse saw the sheet glass window to Mr Smith’s Butcher. It was calling him, taunting him almost. He raised his hand to launch his newly acquired missile. He would have to act fast, rioting was not about considering the consequences. Imagining the sound of shattering glass he felt butterflies and dropped his arms, looked at the rock and tossed it from hand to hand. MC Slaughterhouse reassured himself that this was not a socially-conscious considering-of-consequences, no, this was ..... this was..... an opportunity to work out how to cause the most destruction possible with one rock! MC Slaughterhouse felt a destructive urge flow through him, he raised his arm, took careful aim and, a dog barked. With the silence sharply disturbed, his stomach leapt in fear, he dropped the rock, sprinted down the street and hid behind the oak tree on the green, where he waited, panting.

After five minutes and with the people of Hambleworth still too terrified to leave their homes, MC Slaughterhouse emerged from behind the tree. Snorted a contemptuous laugh, reminded himself that it would have been too easy to smash Mr Smith’s shop window anyway and wandered jauntily off down the road.

The only problem with rioting in Hambleworth, MC Slaughterhouse decided, was a lack of satisfactory targets. To damage someone’s home seemed excessively aggressive, the shops were too easy, to damage a car risked an alarm going off and MC Slaughterhouse had forgotten to bring any matches with which to burn down any buildings. With the street still absent of any human activity, he considered what else Hambleworth might offer as a good victim of some good rioting.

Ten minutes later, MC Slaughterhouse fled from the scene of the crime, convinced he had heard sirens in the distance. His heart raced, a smile licked his lips and wind rushed through his hair. 3 of Mr Bunnings’ cows, once sleeping peacefully in their standing position, had thudded to the floor and were making pleasing moo-ing sounds by way of complaint. MC Slaughterhouse vaulted the fence and hid behind a bush, beside the babbling brook. He had stepped into lawlessness, there was no turning back now. Emboldened, he stood up and marched back towards the high street. Cows could stand up, he was about to do something that could not be reversed, fingering a piece of flint in his hoodie pocket.

Back on the quiet street, MC Slaughterhouse peered up and down the road, looking for five-oh. When none appeared he darted to the opposite pavement and stopped at the community centre where he scratched “fuck the feds” into the door. He had found the piece of flint somewhat difficult to control and it looked more like “tuck the reds” but no matter, Hambleworth now bore the scar of the night’s mayhem.

Happy with how his rioting was progressing, MC Slaughterhouse began to walk in the direction of home. He was amused thinking of his innocent parents, in total ignorance of the outlaw living in their midst. But wait, what was the point in all this rioting if he didn’t actually get anything out of it? On the telly they were escaping with trolly-loads of electronic goods and Nike trainers, what did he have to show for this night’s pandemonium? He looked around and saw the front window of a house, open about 4 inches. The room was dark inside, indicating that no-one was immediately present. MC Slaughterhouse crouched down and peered into the room, indeed no-one was there and better yet on a shelf beside the window was a collection of china models. A smiling cat wearing red dungarees caught his eye. He glanced quickly up and down the street, crouched down and reached into the room. His fingertips touched the prize, nudging it slightly. Pressed against the window frame, his shoulder hurt, he withdrew his hand, stood up and turned his arm in circles while he considered his discomfort. MC Slaughterhouse didn’t want to risk any bruising which could be a giveaway in any police investigation. He retrieved a stick from the roadside and managed to nudge the china cat to within reaching distance. He stretched and clutched the item. He stood and smiled happily back at the looted china cat. A real cat brushed up against his leg, causing MC Slaughterhouse to yelp in a way that he would really rather forget, and sprint home.

In the weeks and months after the Hambleworth Riot, MC Slaughterhouse decided to turn his life around. The night of madness made him realise he had gone too far, he was in too deep, if he carried on he would end up in prison or dead. He hoped one day, after he had dealt with his own demons, he might get some sort of mentoring job, where he could talk to other kids from the ghetto and help them not make the same mistakes he did. He would talk knowingly of the glitz and glamour of the gangster life and philosophise insightfully about the pitfalls. He watched the news with his parents, an endless procession of his fellow rioters being arrested, dragged through the Courts and prisons. He looked proudly at the china cat on the mantelpiece and breathed with a smile.
“What was that, MC Slaughterhouse?”
“Nothing Mum. Oh, call me James will you?”.

Submitted: April 02, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Patrick James. All rights reserved.

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