PHOTO PROMPT © Peter Abbey
‘What’s your tag?’
Ethan jumps, aerosol sputtering, prickles of black paint hitting his new trainers.
There’s a girl – narrow shoulders humped under a too-big coat – standing at the edge of the footbridge.
‘Get lost,’ he says.
‘Help me across and I’ll clean your shoes.’
The bridge funnels the wind, the smell of urine, the whiff of a distant kebab hut. His stomach rumbles. The thought of the paint splatters hits him hard in the chest.
‘Help me.’ Her voice feels like icicles sharp against his ear, before melting, seeping into him.
He takes a step.