They Provoked Us

Coming from the Welsh seaside town of Porthcawl, the Brighton sea front offered nothing new to Jonathan Stevens. However, the sea air gave him a feeling of comfort. It was one of the reasons he volunteered to give a security seminar in the town. The other reason became clear while he sat and finished his lunch. There along the seafront promenade was the same group of hooligans he had been observing for the past two days.

On the two previous days, around fifteen young people congregated in the same spot, drinking, swearing and harassing the more vulnerable passers by. He guessed that they were taking drugs as well but they were certainly being a nuisance in the community. Closer observation verified his reason for watching them. Not only did this gang simply harass the vulnerable, they preyed upon them, shaking them down for ‘protection money’ before allowing them to move on.

A vulnerable looking young man with Downs Syndrome, whom Jonathan recognised from the day before, came walking towards the rabble and Jonathan’s gut feeling told him that they were going to make trouble for this unfortunate person again. Remaining unnoticed, Jonathan momentarily left the seafront and walked towards the main road. Stopping short of the road, he gave a ‘thumbs up’ to apparently no one and stood there. Suddenly, within seconds, about twenty people, all concealed by black hoodies emerged from the cars parked nearby. The entire group walked towards him with one of them going into a trot. When this person got a few feet away, he tossed a spare black hoodie to Jonathan, which he caught and immediately put on.

Instantly arriving back on the seafront, Jonathan and his friends saw the young man being tormented by the gang of youths. A girl pushed him over while the some of the boys crowded around the fallen victim and began taunting him. As one, the rescuers quickened their pace, short of going into a sprint. They were quick enough to hear the self appointed leader badgering the victim. “Come on, I know you have more money, let me have it.”

“What the fuck!” bellowed a lad who had been watching and encouraging his leader. He pointed to the group in black hoodies now advancing on them. But his words had barely escaped his mouth before five of his friends who were closest, swallowed up by the wave of black. They had no chance to resist and were quickly felled by brass knuckled fists.

Fight or flight now gripped the rest of the gang of thugs. Some looked to their leader for help only to see a shorter black hoodie flying though the air with an extended leg. The foot of that leg landed squarely in the middle of the leader’s chest and he went down hard. As if it was a single move, that shorter hoodie was astride the fallen leader delivering brass knuckled blows to his head. The lad moved to help his friend but he never saw the brass knuckles that struck the side of his head. He hit the ground hard and after a futile few second’s effort to get back on his feet, succumbed to unconsciousness.

Certain their leader was no longer able to resist, Jonathan looked up to see the gang’s intended victim looking at him. These people will never bother you again,” he reassured. He then reached into the leader’s pocket and pulled out some loose change. Giving to the vulnerable young man, he said, “I believe this was yours.”

Looking around as he got to his feet, Jonathan could see that all of the vigilantes had done their duty. All of the thugs were lying on the ground, some totally unconscious and none of his group had sustained any injuries. Seeing a job well done, the group scattered in different directions, avoiding the few shocked onlookers. An elderly man nearby began applauding the group and yelled, “That will teach those young bastards!” as they left.

It was only a matter of minutes before Jonathan was walking on his own. Confident no one was noticing, he removed his hoodie and made his way to his car for the long drive back to Wales. All the while, he kept thinking, “Too bad Rochelle wasn’t there to see the event.” Then he realized that it was best for her if she never knew about it.

2 Responses to “They Provoked Us”

  1. You had me completely all the way here. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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