The full title of the book is 'Dog Shit Alley leading to Memory Lane'. At first I was going to shorten this to Memory Lane, but eventually I made the decision to stick with the full title.
The book is divided into two parts, The Alley, and Memory Lane. Although the book often looks back at social changes over the past fifty years, most of the background is set in 2016. The book is not yet available, but presented here as a preview is the first, shorter part. Although it forms a part of the larger piece, it can be read as a story in its own right.
Cycling to and from work in the Summer had undoubtedly been seriously hard work at first. The steepest hill could not be conquered without dismounting and completing the ascent on foot whilst pushing the bike, all the time coughing, hacking, spitting and gasping for breath. After a day's work, the fumes from the cars were the last thing that Bull needed. The exercise was supposed to be a cure for his lack of fitness, and it was killing him.
There is an old cliche that says that nobody likes a smartarse. Bull's doctor was a smartarse, and Bull did not like him, or his diagnosis and prognosis after he had got the results from his appointment complaining about chest pains.
After blood tests, fitness tests, and a barrage of other tests at the hospital, the doctor had told Bull that there was certainly something wrong with him, and that something was a tendency to eat and drink too much.
Bull, in his mid-thirties, thought that people could mistake him for somebody in their mid-twenties, and told the doctor so.
''Mid-forties,'' said the doctor, and told Bull that he had patients over fifty who were fitter than him.
The doctor then proceeded to tell Bull that if he continued eating, drinking and smoking E-fags the way he was, then a heart attack by the time he was fifty was well on the cards. Lack of fitness, excess of fatness, and high blood pressure would see to it.
So, Bull's doctor was not only a smartarse, he fancied himself as a stand-up comedian too. He might think that it was good practice to soften the blow with a lighthearted approach, but such humour fell well short with Bull when he was on the receiving end.
Bull said that he had given up smoking two years ago and now only used E-fags, which had to be better than tobacco. The doctor riposted by telling him that although the E-fags were better for his general health, reducing the risk of cancer and other diseases, the vapour was still partly responsible for his poor lung capacity, and he was still addicted to the nicotine. Together with his poor diet and lack of exercise, it all contributed to his ill health.
So rather than waste time and money in the gym, Bull gave up the E-fags, bought a bike, and started cycling the four and a half miles to work every day, and then back home again in the evenings. He thought that giving up the E-fags would be hard, but a couple of days walking up that fucking hill, pushing the bike, choking to death, soon strengthened his resolve on that one.
As Summer marched onwards towards Autumn, Bull became more and more competitive with himself. At first it was just to see if he could get another ten yards up the hill before he was forced to dismount. On the day that he finally made it to the top of his Everest, he felt like Rocky at the top of those steps in Philadelphia. He would have jumped up and down waving his arms in the air, if only he could have caught his breath. It was a bit disappointing to find that it was another three days before he could repeat the feat. But now he could crack it every single time.
His diet hadn't changed drastically, but the fact that he was now burning so many calories was more than compensating. Now he had started to cycle a longer route than necessary to reach his destination. And he didn't drink so much as he found that it spoilt his routine in the morning if he was hung over.
Bull had always been a naturally large man, which was where his name had come from, short for bulldozer. He was nearly a stone lighter now, and what weight was left was turning to muscle. He now looked his full six feet two and a bit inches, rather than a hunched over, unfit, five feet eleven. His wife seemed to prefer it too, which gave him another reason to spend less time in the pub.
Bull had heard that people who were fitter physically also tended to be fitter in mind. Previously, Bull had dismissed this as crap, citing the current - and several of the ex - England football captains as support for his stance.
To his surprise, he found that his fitter body did seem to be accompanied by a greater mental sharpness. As a result, his viewpoint regarding English football captains - indeed, all football captains - was now supported by the explanation ''imagine how thick they would be if they weren't physically fit''.
Now it was winter, and Bull's original intention had been to keep cycling until the darker mornings and evenings, together with the deteriorating weather, made it time to retire to the car until things improved again in the Spring.
It hadn't turned out that way. He pedalled on through the Autumn into the Winter, bought lights when the darkness closed in, invested in reflective clothing, and also a cycling helmet, which six months ago he wouldn't have been seen dead in. Now he recognised it as something that might prevent him being seen dead without it.
The hill had been well and truly hammered into the ground. He had learnt the value of keeping the pedals spinning at a steady rate, and barely dropped a gear in conquering the main incline. The burn in his calves was now welcomed, when before it had been the harbinger of failure.
When Bull had been a car driver, idling along the road with E-fag in hand and music blaring, cyclists were the lowest of the low, trespassing on his road.
Things were different now. The foot was on the other pedal. At first, cars were intimidating because Bull lacked the confidence to deal with them. If a car came up behind him, Bull would give way, or use it as an excuse to get off the bike and get on the pavement and walk. Not that the car drivers were grateful, blasting past as they did, in a final fit of irritation and pollution.
Bull did not give way anymore. Anybody following would have to wait until there was a convenient area for them to pass him safely. To ensure that happened, Bull would hog the centre of the lane until he decided that it was OK for the vehicle following to pass. If somebody wanted to pass him before, they would have to pull out into the oncoming traffic. You couldn't be timid. it was a war out there.
Driving every day to and from work can be a tedious proposition. Nobody does it because they want to; only because it is necessary. Most people have rationalised their route over time.
All drivers have their preferred options that get them to their target destinations in the shortest amount of time, with the minimum amount of fuss, and the least amount of congestion.These are their proven ideals, honed to perfection over time, allowing the traveller to leave his home at the latest possible moment, to arrive at work just moments before they are due to begin the day's endeavours.
If their number one option becomes compromised due to roadworks, or maybe a traffic accident, the seasoned traveller has secondary options at his disposal to skirt around the problem, avoiding any delay. As other road users become familiar with with his secondary options, he will discover new and more devious cheats until his local knowledge is more comprehensive than his satellite navigation device.
Gareth had reached this point in his commuter education, and there were few who could match him for his ability to get from A to B whilst avoiding C. As a result, the thirty-seven minute trip to - or from - work, usually took thirty-seven minutes, give or take a couple of minutes.
Over the years, Gareth had identified the major causes of unexpected, occasional delays. Some are more common than people generally realise. For instance, for a period of about three or four weeks during June/July, strong sun on clear mornings would be of a particular elevation that it shone straight into the drivers eyes, reducing the traffic to half of the 40 mph limit along a certain stretch of road. This situation was reversed in November when going home on the same stretch of road.
Heavy rain could result in localised flooding in two places on Gareth's alpha route. Gareth knew all the hazards and how to avoid them.
Gareth was the king of the road. Of all the other road users, one set in particular irritated him more than any other. Cyclists should not be allowed on the road. They were a constant cause of delay, and were an unequalled danger to other road users. Their unpredictable behaviour caused more accidents than dogs, cats, and pedestrians combined.
A quick glance behind them, and then they were likely to veer off in any direction, road signals apparently being for other vehicles. They paid no road tax, contributing nothing to the upkeep of the highways, and yet constantly whined about pot holes and the state of the roads, whilst behaving as if they were the only people who should be allowed on them.
Recently, every evening on the way home, Gareth was being held up by a cyclist hogging the middle of the lane going up the hill. It was the same cyclist every day. With only one lane each way, over-taking was virtually impossible unless the dickhead moved over.
Tonight there was a constant stream of traffic coming down the hill in the other direction. Just as Gareth neared the apex of the hill, the on-coming traffic eased, and Gareth, along with about a dozen other motorists, set about blasting his way past the cyclist.
After rounding the bend, about two-hundred yards along the the flat at the top of the hill, Gareth was confronted with a set of temporary traffic lights. Gareth swore. They hadn't been there this morning, but they did account for the peculiar flow of the traffic in the opposite direction.
Whilst the lights were red, the cyclist skirted around the outside of the waiting traffic and parked himself at the head of the queue, in the middle of the lane, in front of Gareth. When the lights eventually changed, Gareth was forced to follow the flashing red back light a hundred and fifty yards through the contraflow, and past the traffic queuing on the opposite side, before he was able to overtake again.
Bull knew better than to look at the motorists, and avoided eye contact whilst fucking them over for the second time. Secretly laughing to himself, he knew that the amount of enjoyment he was getting out of it was inversely proportional to the level of irritation that the motorists were feeling. Bull could have used the footpath through the contraflow, but the temptation to annoy the motorists was just to great to pass up.
Better still, the traffic had been brought to a halt again in front of him, this time by a set of regular lights controlling a crossroads. Bull wished to carry on straight ahead at the lights. He was unable to get around the outside of the queue this time, due to vehicles waiting to turn right, so he used the path to to pass the cars on the inside, before shooting back onto the road at the head of the queue just as the lights were turning green.
Sitting at the lights, Gareth was already in first gear, balanced on the clutch, ready for the lights to change. As his car moved forward to begin his left hand turn there was a bump, and Gareth saw the cyclist ricochet off the side of his car and land in the middle of the road.
As Gareth put his hazard warning lights on and opened the door, the cyclist was standing up and inspecting his bike. Fortunately, they had both been going too slow for any real damage to have been done by the glancing blow.
The cyclist turned towards Gareth and shouted, ''You fucking idiot, you need to learn how to fucking drive!''
Gareth looked at the cyclist and coldly replied, ''You couldn't wait could you? You just had to try and jump the queue again. The side of my car is scratched. You should be more careful how you talk to people, and have a bit more respect for their property.'' He turned towards his car, using the key fob to pop the boot as he walked towards it.
''What are you going to do about it then, you tosser. And it's only a little scratch,'' the cyclist shouted after him.
Gareth bent into the rear of the car, then stood upright with a baseball bat in his hand, and started to calmly and purposefully walk towards the cyclist.
The guy who got out of the car was nowhere as big as Bull, and so Bull felt completely within his rights to try to intimidate and place the blame on the car driver.
When the motorist began to walk back towards Bull with the baseball bat, gleaming white wood under the street lights, Bull realised that even if the guy was smaller, he was not to be fucked with whilst he was armed, and Bull wasn't. In fact, the little guy actually looked intimidating himself in the way he was walking slowly, and unrushed, towards Bull.
Bull threw his leg over the the crossbar of his bike, calling the car driver a psycho wanker as he pedalled away leaving him standing in the middle of the road, baseball bat in one hand pointing downwards, head slightly cocked to one side, staring after him.
Bull took the next small turning on the left, only twenty or so yards from the lights, and then crossed the road and ducked into an alley on the right. Bull used the alley every night. It was more pleasant than cycling on the road, being traffic fume and danger free. Tonight it had the added advantage of being somewhere that psycho baseball bat wielding wanker couldn't follow him in his car.
As he disappeared down the alley, a car pulled up at the entrance, waited for a minute, and then drove off.
Tuesday night is darts night. Bull's game has improved of recent, but Bull is unable to say whether this is due to his new fitness level, or if it is because he no longer has as much to drink before playing a match. It used to be that he didn't even pick the darts up until he had at least two pints inside him. Tonight they are playing an away fixture, and as his team enter their rivals lair, Iron Maiden is blaring out from the jukebox, meaning only one thing.
''Hey Goth, they still letting you play then?'' Bull enquires of the long haired man in the Metallica t-shirt, perched on a rickety stool at the bar.
''Yo, Dozy!'' returns Goth, noting the little flinch as Bull reacts to the twist of the name, which Goth deliberately employs in the cause of gamesmanship. ''They can't do without me. I am their leading light and inspiration.'' In truth, Goth rarely wins, unless a large dose of luck is involved, or the opposition are too drunk to stand. ''I could not pass on the opportunity of doling out the first leg of your bi-annual thrashing.''
''You are dreaming again Goth; you are a an old man with a dodgy eyesight. twice a year we meet, twice a year you get beat.'' Bull continues, ''Do we have to listen to all this crap on the jukebox all night? Do you think that perhaps you could let somebody else put some music on?''
''The music machine seems to be mysteriously playing up again, I'm afraid. It doesn't seem to matter what people put on, all that comes up is classic rock and heavy metal. I saw you on your pushbike earlier.''
''And where was that then?'' asks Bull.
''At the top road lights, running away from some little fucker with a baseball bat.''
Of all the people to have seen him, it just had to have been Goth. ''Little fucker, big baseball bat. I'm not stupid. And anyway, I don't recall you rushing out to help.''
Goth laughs. ''Not much chance. You were gone before I could unbuckle the seat belt. You need to be more careful though.''
''If I see him again Goth, baseball bat or not, I'll give him a good slapping.''
Goth looks a little more serious. ''No, you don't get it Bull. You travel that way every day at about the same time.'' He picks up his darts and slides off his stool. ''So do a large proportion of the car drivers. They are on the inside of a big steel box, travelling relatively quickly. You are perched on a bit of fucking angle iron. I know who my money's on. Be a bit savvier, yeah?''
The jukebox is now belting out Motorhead. Goth thinks this is very funny, and employing as much gamesmanship as he knows how, he makes sure that Bull knows.
Bull is back in the old cycling routine the following day. But taking note of what Goth had to say, he is taking a lot more care. Goth is right; cars are large and hard. Although he was oddly grateful for the advice, he wasn't grateful enough not to crush Goth on the dartboard after they were drawn to play together.
Bull still defends his position on the road, but is careful not to deliberately antagonise the other road users, and gives way as soon as it is safe. Nothing happens for a couple of days, after which he consigns the incident to history.
The following Tuesday, Bull has just cleared the contraflow - the roadworks are progressing at the usual snail's pace - and he is keeping to the side of the road waving the cars behind past. Several have already rushed past him, when one seems reluctant to do so, and then aligns itself directly behind Bull. Suddenly the car's lights switch to high beam and it closes the gap to Bull to less than a couple of feet.
It is strange how often, when the brain is under stress, it fails to see or do the obvious. A couple of years back, the then fat and unfit Bull was walking past a petrol station. A noise to his right alerted him to a car, out of control, and which having mounted the island in the middle of the road, was now heading straight towards him. Rather than run to the left or to the right, Bull turned around, and ran in a straight line pursued by the out of control vehicle. he eventually leapt over a barrier that stopped the car behind him.
He could not, afterwards, understand at what level his brain had been functioning to think it could outpace the car. Why hadn't he just ran sideways out of the car's path? He pulled a muscle leaping over the barrier and spent the net week and a half limping.
With the car close up behind him now, lesson unlearnt, Bull repeats the mistake of a few years ago, and tries to pull away from the car by standing in the cleats and pedalling for all he is worth, instead of bumping the cycle up the kerb onto the pavement out of harm's way.
As Bull accelerates, so does the car, all the time loudly revving its engine - the driver has deliberately selected first gear to make more noise to intimidate the cyclist. The car behind the high revving, screaming vehicle, has started to sound its horn, adding to the cacophony.
Belatedly, it dawns on Bull that he needs to get out of the way, and he finally jumps the bike over the kerb onto the path. The car does not even hesitate, selecting the correct gear, dipping its headlights, and accelerating smoothly away.
Bull shouts after it and waves his hand in the air in the universally accepted symbol for 'wanker'.
Gareth looks in his rear view mirror and sees the cyclist signalling him. He shakes his head a little from side to side and quietly tuts to himself.
Wednesday and Thursday are free from trouble. On both evenings when he reaches the alley he feels a sense of relief. Most evenings Bull has the alley to himself, only occasionally having to dismount for somebody walking his dogs, who seems to have the same evening time schedule as Bull.
In the Winter the alley has a strange attraction for for Bull. It is completely unlit, and closed in on both sides with high fences of upright metal railings on one side, and predominantly wire mesh on the other. For much of its three-quarters of a mile length, trees overhang the top creating the effect of a tunnel heading out into the countryside. The faster he rides, the greater the surreal, almost hypnotic, effect of his front light flickering on the railings.
On Friday, as he crosses the road towards the alley entrance, a car parked with no lights on suddenly lurches towards him. Bull thinks that he can almost feel the breeze behind him as the car misses him by what seems like inches. Things are getting out of hand.
Gareth watches the rear bike light disappear up the alley. He was not that close to hitting the cycle. If he had wanted to hit it, he would have. All he wanted today was to let the cyclist know that he was still coming. But it is time to bring things to a close.
Bull thought that the car driver would have given up by now. If he gets hold of him outside of that fucking car he is going to kill him. Bull decides that it is time to turn things around.
On the following Monday, instead of approaching the alley from the lights, Bull changes his route and approaches from the other direction. If the car is there, he will come up behind it, and see it before the motorist sees him. Bull has a hammer with him to break the windows of the car, and then he will drag the fucker out and beat the shit out of him.
As he nears the entrance, Bull slows down and turns off his lights. He is unable to decide whether he is disappointed or relieved when there is nobody parked by the alley. He turns his lights back on and steers his bike into the entrance.
Gareth parks his car at the side of the road, at the far end of the alley, and turns off the engine. He releases his seat belt, opens the door and goes to the rear of the car. Gareth takes off his shoes and exchanges them for a pair of heavy duty boots. He picks up the baseball bat, shuts the boot, presses the button on his key ring to activate the central locking system, and walks off.
The alley is Bull's own tonight. He has passed the dog walker already, and now has a clear run. At the far end the path splits into two. Just before the fork, the railings on the right give way to the trees on the edge of the woodland that the right hand fork disappears into. The left hand fork continues down to the road with the mesh fence still on the left side of the path. This is the fork that Bull normally takes.
Gareth can here the bike, and see the lights, long before the cyclist arrives at the fork. Standing behind a large tree, Gareth knows that if the cyclist sees him at all, it will be far too late. As the cyclist draws level, Gareth steps forward and forces the handle end of the baseball bat into the front wheel spokes.
Bull knows that as he nears the fork, he must apply the brakes to reduce his speed sufficiently to make the turn safely. As he prepares to press the brake lever, he is catapulted over the handle bars of the bike. His scream of surprise is not quite loud enough to drown out the crunch of bone as his shoulder collides with a tree, before he lands face down on the fallen leaves and twigs.
He groans, reaches for the mobile in his pocket, an is trying to lift himself up when he feels the full weight of a knee in his back. His half scream, half shout, is cut off as his head is wrenched violently backwards by a hand from behind grasping his cycling helmet.
Bull feels something cold up against his throat, and a voice says quietly in his ear, ''It's only a little scratch.''
Dog Shit Alley
Every town, housing estate, or village, in the country has its own dog shit alley. Where ever people live in groups, somewhere there will be a path where residents walk their dogs that the local children will christen 'Dog Shit Alley'.
As an adventurous six-year old, I had soon escaped the confines of the house and garden where I lived, to explore the surrounding neighbourhood. It wasn't the roads that held the greatest potential for adventure, but the alleyways running down the side and along the back of some of the older terraced housing. Unpaved, and muddy after rain, they were exactly the sort of place that my mother would have barred me from if she had known of their magnetic attraction for six-year old explorers.
It was in one of these, whilst climbing a tree that marked the end of a garden, that I first heard a fellow adventurer refer to that particular through-fare as 'dog shit alley'.
And it seems that everywhere that I have since lived has its own dog shit alley bearing the exact same name. I was asked the other day where it was that I walked the dogs. Upon receiving the requisite imparted information, the questioner replied knowingly to me,
''Oh, Dog Shit Alley.''
This latest version of dog shit alley is not really an alley at all, but a footpath running about three-quarters of a mile from near where I live, away to a woodland and a road which runs more or less parallel to the one at the near end. It gets called an alley due to its appearance, being closed in on both sides by railings and fences. The prefix is an accurate description of the amount of dog faeces present. I suppose that 'dog shit footpath' doesn't have the same ring to it.
One primary group of alley users are the pupils using it as a route to and from the school located a further half a mile on from the far end. Their parents must provide many of them with substantially sized luncheons and snacks to give them sustenance during the breaks from their studies. These refreshments rarely make it the full length of the footpath, the wrappers and unwanted contents being discarded throughout without thought. There is more litter than dog shit.
On closer inspection, some of the litter seems to be out of place. I was fairly sure that parents were not sending their kids to school with lunch boxes full of stuff from MacShites, but the litter seemed to argue otherwise. Then I realised that the alley is also used by elder teens, and those of them that can drive are sent on a food run to provide party food for their late night nefarious activities. Why, when they can drive, they should chose to to use an alley full of shit and refuse as a suitable location for romance and drug abuse is a complete mystery.
In the evenings at this time of year, I tend to have the alley nearly all to myself. Apart from the odd cyclist, or well shod pedestrian, the mud and darkness is enough to put most others off. But I have wellington boots and a headlight, which sits somewhat appropriately on the top of my head.
Most evenings I see the same cyclist in the alley, and have to move to the side to allow him to pass. The dogs bark and strain at their leads. It is the bike that they don't like, not the cyclist. They probably see him as a man with wheels instead of legs.
Last week I saw some teenagers coming the other way using their mobile phones as lights. There were five of them, and you could smell what they had been smoking, and it wasn't tobacco. I reigned the dogs in to let them past, and the first four went by without any problem. The fifth, who had not seen me due to his compatriots blocking his view, screamed out,
''Oh my fucking God!''
''He's not going to help you,'' I replied in a deep husky voice.
I laughed, his mates laughed, and the dogs looked bemused. I can understand his horror. He had been smoking cannabis, and if you shine a light into a dog's eyes in the dark, they glow green. Poor Dope Head has been confronted by four green eyes and a bloke with a light on top of his head. In addition to this, my dogs, who are mostly friendly, smile at people when they like them, showing full sets of gleaming white canine teeth.
Whilst walking in the woods with a light on my head, I have found that there are lots of other creatures whose eyes glow green in the dark, including the dog's favourites, foxes. There are times when we seem to be surrounded by glowing eyes, and it can be a bit creepy. It is like the Blair Witch Project, but with dogs and foxes in it.
Tonight we are not far down the footpath when the cyclist comes up behind us. I have music playing loudly with ear buds in, and I would not know he was there if wasn't for the dogs looking behind. I pull the dogs to one side to let him through. The dogs bark, as usual, and he says something that, although I can't hear it, I take from the look on his face to be less than polite. I don't care, and smile at him hoping to annoy him. He may be big, but nobody is touching me when I have got the hounds from hell with me.
One of the dogs has a crap. I am normally reasonably good about cleaning up their little presents, but occasionally the offering would make even the most steadfast and socially responsible dog owner baulk. The dog's effort today is extremely aromatic, and although not runny, without doubt it is on the wrong side of firm. It can stay where it is. By tomorrow morning the cold night will have given it a firm crust and the wind will have covered it in leaves and litter.
Why is it that people will complain about a dog turd, but will completely ignore all the discarded refuse? The turd is a lot more natural and environmentally friendly than the crisp packets and the plastic bottles. The other dog has a crap, and convinced of the legitimacy of my view, I ignore that one as well, and leave it to naturally degrade.
As we get deeper down the path, the amount of juvenile generated litter abates as the schoolkids food stocks begin to dwindle. Poor little bastards must be starving. The railings on the right give way to trees as we approach a fork in the path that leads to our woodland destination.
The dogs are getting a bit more fidgety and agitated than usual. Normally this would signal the presence of other dogs, or edible woodland wildlife.
I can see a red flashing glow up ahead, right where the path branches. It is the rear light of the cyclist's bike, and I think at first that he has come off of it. He rides it too fast on the footpath anyway.
But something isn't right and it is making me uneasy - but I can't quite put my finger on what it is. I tie the dogs to the fence on the left, and remove my ear buds. It is eerily quiet, except for the sound of a quiet electronic voice - a phone. There is no movement, not from the cyclist or from anywhere else. It is this that has made me uneasy.
As I approach the cyclist, asking ''Are you alright mate?'' even the dogs have gone quiet, just whining gently. The light from my lamp scans the scene, and I realise that not all of the red is from the cycle's tail light. I can see a singular eye staring, and a gash across his throat that not even the most grizzly of horror flicks can prepare you for.
The voice on the phone lying next to the cyclist continues to talk questioningly, but I don't really take in what it is saying. I am too shocked. I have no phone of my own with me, but I do not even think of going near the one on the ground.
Whoever did this - what if they are still here? I know that they can't be behind me in the direction that I came from. I back up, untie the dogs, and we begin to retrace our steps. We are all three strangely calm. We don't run, but nor do we dawdle. We see nobody else on our way back down the alley.
When I am back home, as I reach for the phone, I hear a police siren. Looking out of the window I can see the flashing lights parked up the street by the entrance to the footpath.
I don't make the phone call. When the police call later that night, making door-to-door enquiries, I tell them that I haven't seen anything, and no, we didn't go down the footpath tonight. They conduct their enquiries on the doorstep and they are pleased to leave. The dogs are going ballistic.
On Saturday, the alley is still closed off by police tape. That night I meet Goth in the pub. He asks if I have heard about Bull. I don't even know who Bull is until Goth tells me that he is the bloke who was found murdered in the alley. I know who he is then. I may not have known him personally, but I will never forget his face.The opportunity to forget is not an option for me. A couple of weeks later when I start to take the dogs down the alley again, there are floral tributes left at the scene. Dog Shit Alley, leading to Memory Lane.
Goth had told me that Bull had been a bit of a bastard, always getting pissed and and then causing trouble and fighting. He thinks that this behaviour has largely been forgotten - people only remember a person's good points when something like that happens. We both agree though, whatever Bull was, nobody deserves whatever did happen to him.
The police do eventually catch the man who did it, with the help of an anonymously donated piece of film from a dash-cam that put them on the right track, and then a lot of forensic science. Fortunately, nobody thinks to analyse any dog turds found in the alley in an attempt to trace any potential witnesses.
I never tell Goth that I saw the body in the aftermath. I never tell anyone.
Dog Shit Alley, close to where I live, and partially the model for the alley in the story
You have reached Michael, please leave a message after the tone.
E-mail is still the best way to talk to me. Other communication methods are available, but I am not guaranteed to notice.