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Khalid gazed at the sky, it was sulky and looked obscured with clouds. That was evident that it was about to rain. He needed to find something to eat before he finds shelter. Ever since he was abandoned by his foster father, Khalid had opted to being a clochard on the streets.–A clochard c-m thief actually. He had become a petty pilferer on the street of the city. Virtually everything on him was stolen, well except for his acquest which was the talisman on his neck. The cloths he had on him two months ago when he was deserted by Meshach had turned into rags Khalid at first never nurtured the intention of stealing another one but when he realized that people had misperceived him as a deranged being due to shreds on him and they never ceased to always run away from him–Khalid ventured into stealing his first loot which were knickerbockers, a camise and leather sandals.
After the successful operation, Khalid had enjoyed it. The feeling was sweet and beguiling to him.Practically he had seen the whole roulette as a kind of game he derived pleasure and fun. How he had to pick his victims first, then take copious time to study his them before making his move to filch their belongings had always oozed him a great kind of achievements. He now took pleasure in pilfering others people belongings and also saw it as the only way to survive in the city because the people he had always gone to meet for help most especially when he was starving and direfully in need of anything eatables always snubbed him while some always choked him with a contemptuous look. Khalid had often gone for days starving on the street while the seldom times food passed through his mouth it had always been grubs from leftovers on the street probably left for dogs. Khalid at first survived at the lenity of this cruds without any complaints.
Now after Khalid ventured into stealing his first loot, he vowed never to beg for anything again, he would rather steal than beg from inconsiderate people around. While Khalid had pulled countless of exploits in stealing to affirm his this decision, he was never ready to stop. Even though he knew the act was not good, Khalid had found a way to shift the blame on Meshach who abandoned him when he needed him the most and the Larabas that delightfully absquatulated his loved ones that could have debated him from becoming a petty thief. He never had to go starving for days before eating when he had mastered how to patronize pricey canteens without a dime or sometimes with stolen money.
Khalid heaved a sigh inwardly as the sulky sky beckoned a warning of a deluge. He knew it would rain, and with the way the sky was grinning at earth he was sure it wouldn’t be a light rain. It was a great deluge underway.
However, as proficient Khalid was in stealing–he hadn’t been able to steal a shelter for himself. So every nights when sleep came to his eyes; he reposed at the spot where he was–often times he found solace under the truck which trucker might have parked to lodge in a hotel, while sometimes he waited till his environment was deserted before he entered an abandoned warehouse to sleep. But this particular night; Khalid had neither found a truck nor an abandoned warehouse to hide. He continued walking along the street, searching desperately for where he could see where to hide. It was getting totally dark and cloudy, but Khalid didn’t stop walking. He walked far, far perusing the surrounding if he could find any vacated shops not under locks but didn’t find any. Wind that preludes heavy rain was already blowing on his face while comfortless cold was descending on him; Khalid was feeling chilling.
Khalid was still roving around the street when he was crossed by five scary looking thugs. At first, Khalid thought they were the regular vagrants that paraded the environment insearch for victims to reave off their loot; so he decided not to quail. Five of them, though young possessed a muscular body. The heftiness they imbibed made Khalid look a mosquito they could just squelch in their palm without exhausted the littlest energy in them.
“Hey dude! Over here.” One of the punk with a flaxen hair on ellipsoid head yelled at him. Khalid scoffed and decided to keep moving; he wasn’t ready to flinch at the sight of galactic Goliaths double-crossing him.
“Gboom! Gboom!!” Two hard whacks on his face corrected the impression. His eyes became woozy for some time while his sight became bedim that he nearly thought he was seeing his mom’s crying for him, by the time his eyes finally clear he saw the Goliath that hit him on the face grinning at him. Khalid knew more than just to be deceived by that because the grinning carried venom–it was like a snake smiling at someone.
“What’s your name little brat ?” One of them asked him. The one probably with with toughest look among the thug
“Khalid.” His voice quailed in fright.
The thugs looked puzzled at hearing the name. Khalid to suburb area meant something of great exorbitant; something powerful. But the young dude standing before them didn’t look much like what his name described; he looked more or less like a toothpick.
“Is that your real name or nickname ?”
“Real name. Khalid Kenz it is.”
“Oh! Your momma must be dumbed to give you that name ?” One of them jeered while they all sniggered.
That didn’t go down well on Khalid, his mom was his estimable jewel not a subject of laughter. His mom didn’t deserve the scurrilous snide and that was something he was going to rebuff.
“What your mouth you old riffraffs–if my momma was dumb I’m pretty dam sure yours was a perfect dumb b—h.” Khalid cussed.
The boldness at which Khalid talked back at them made them stare at one another and then gazed back at him with bewilderment. How dare he had the nerves to talk back at them in such manner ?
The toughest man slogged towards him and bent his head to maintain the same height with him. Then he grasp him by the collar of his camise shirt. He said, “Hope you realised the person you are talking to ?”
Khalid scoffed, then struggled to free himself from the hold, but the thug held firmly on him making sure Khalid was finding it difficult to breath. He was choking–his eyes were already wet, wet with pain; wet with tears.
“He hasn’t realised who he is talking to maybe we should make him to.” Observed the Goliath thug.
“And how are we going to do that ?” Questioned the piqued third thug.
“We need to teach him a dam lesson ?” Answered the toughest thug still holding him.
By this time, it had already started raining. The five thugs with Khalid were already beating by the heavy waterspout; thus the punks were happy because the rain would serve as supplement to the pain they wanted to inflict on him.
The toughest guy released Khalid’s neck then pushed him into the cluster mud, while Khalid was gulping for air he snuffed the dirty liquid through his mouth; that got him coughing hard while the thugs busted into laughs. Khalid rose up from the mud and tried to run away but the Goliath thug quickly overtook him and gave him another whack that sent him back into the mud; Khalid tumbled this time and fell sprawling, savouring the dirty mud. Then the toughest guy plunked inside water, pulled him to stooping position before using an adze blade to tear away the clothes Khalid had on. Now Khalid was totally naked inside the dirty mud. Weeping tremendously as the five devils melted pain on him.
“You haven’t seen anything you small brat. You have no inkling idea how we searched for you. Is either you return the bucks you stole from you motherfvcker or we gonna slit your throat assh0le.” The fourth thug who had maintained silence the whole time said while he carefully delved another knife from his pocket.
It was then Khalid realised the main reason why he was being attacked by the hoodlums. He must have probably stolen from one of them in the past hence the reason they tailed him to this point to pass their revenge on him. And now that he was totally impecunious, how was he going to return the money to gain his freedom ?
The quiet thug walked behind him and held his neck close to his chest then he started cutting Khalid’s blonde hair with already broken bottle. The bottle sliced through his skin bringing out blood from the flesh. After cutting all of his hair away, then they carried him up and hauled him at the wet ground, his head bashed a stone and more blood spurted out of him. He coughed and vomited blood on the ground. Even as his clothes had been ripped out of him his skin was grazed and bruised. He was racked with pain all over. He was feeling heavy cold and at the same time battling with pain that savouring his body.
The five men, the five touts, began to administer beatings on the poor boy. They kicked him vigorously, one of them carried again him high up and threw him hard on the floor. Another tap of blood opened on his nose and mouth. There was a deep gash on his forehead where he had it on the hard floor. He was beginning to lose consciousness now. He couldn’t cry anymore. The pain was just too much for him that Khalid craved for death to clasp him away. Death was the only that could snatch him from hoodlums, from excruciating pain.
He began to crawl away from them, even as he did so they accompanied each movements of his with kicks and heavy beatings. He jerked to every impact of the hits on his naked body. Khalid smiled dolefully as his eyes fought to be shut tight while still crawling away. He later noticed his attackers had scrammed off leaving him to die inside the rain.
Galaxy of bruises and injuries shone on his unclad body as he slowly crawled down the quiet road, the blood that gushed from his back forming a trail behind him. Even a snail would have taken offence at his slow pace, but each crawl sent a shiver of pains all over his body. There was a time he wanted to surrender to the darkness looming over his consciousness but the voice in his head urged him to heave one more crawl after another. One crawl at a time, slowly but surely, he had to move on. One, two, three, rest. One, two, three, rest. He was in the middle of a long but quiet street. It was dangerous to remain here; he had heard many stories about desperate people that populated the city. They would find nothing wrong in beheading helpless young boys like him. He crawled forward, more determined than before. He decided that even if he was going to die, he wasn’t going to lose any part of his body to any hoodlums or thugs that presided over the night.
He heard the crickets chirping in the distant as he heaved painfully. He even thought he spotted a parliament of owls among the few trees in the street because he could see many pairs of shinning orbs in the branches.
For over an hour, Khalid crawled limb-by-limb away from his attackers. He remained immobile for a few minutes, exhausted and out of breath; the pain was killing him. When he thought he could not go on anymore he gave up and stopped crawling.
His eyes went blurry, fighting hard to be shut down. He was about to die, Khalid heaved a sigh and tried to make out a figure in the rain that walked to where he was; the figure was tall, lanky and at the same time blessed with a burly body. The figure didn’t look like a thug though; but Khalid understood more than that– he didn’t look like a thug didn’t mean he was a saviour — the figure carried a capricious face that was at first neither smiling nor frowning. The figure stooped before him and examined his wan naked body on the ground. Khalid saw blurrily as the figure held the talisman on his neck and probed more into it before a feint smile that only revealed his two incisors appeared on his mouth.
“Help me. Save me. Please don’t kill me.” He muttered with his last strength and collapsed on the wet ground.
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