Ian C. Smith
Crime Fiction

Wind gusted. He dialed her number.
While he listened he surveyed the area.
The usual youths loitered in their
usual manner. Beyond the shops an
unfamiliar vehicle was parked, a van,

but nothing else had changed. He saw
Hackney’s rubbish, dead leaves, sludge in
gaping gutters, yellowing fish and chip
papers frisking in the wind, the bricks
and mortar, sniffed that phone box smell. Six

minutes later he reached supporters
being drawn by the floodlights. Spot on,
he thought, mingling, overtaking
black and white scarves. He walked fast,
smiling at good-natured insults, past

programme vendors. When he was part of the
main bulk shuffling towards the turnstiles
he stuffed his beanie in his pocket.
Instead of joining the queue he continued,
walking against the flow, past the subdued

hum of the grandstand where the crowd thinned
and the light faded. He glanced back, turned
into streets he knew well. In the black
night his dark clothes blended with shadows,
a wraith. No sound. Then rendezvous.