The Piper 56


The streets of the city were quieter than they had ever been.

The good, the bad and the ugly were mostly indoors awaiting the arrival of the dawn. Some sat in silence, others slept a disturbing sleep whilst a significant few were fixed, enraptured by their computer screens. On this night, there was only one destination that was filling the search engines, NuNation.

Tonight was the film-feast made real.

Liam Flowers walked through the silent city in deep satisfaction. He was on the verge of success and sensed the relief of a short life spent in enforced failure now changed utterly. Tomorrow would bring about the beginning of the end of this life tand the start of the new one. He had been shown the new world in which he ruled and hd been told that his enemies would be punished. The old, and those young who stood by them, would meet a traitor’s fate.

One little thing was missing; the Andrews boy.

Michael Andrews had not been delivered to him; the fatted calf was missing.

Soon the rats would come and their invasion would sweep the streets. Tomorrow was to be the night when it would all take place. There would be fire and sacrifice and then would come the cleansing.

“Liam,” a voice rose from the darkness.

Flowers turned and saw the outline of Podrall. He was walking towards him, his head hidden beneath his hood. There was something wrong.

“I’m sorry, but we could not find him. He’s gone. I think that he just got out before we got there. I’ve…”

Podrall had been given the simple task of picking up the character known as Nick. He had been spotted with the family and had been traced back to a house he shared with other ‘retards’.

Simple job – not done!

Flowers had a feeling that Nick was not what he first appeared to be.

“You’ve cocked up. You have made the worst mistake of your life.”


“He’ll want your blood for this. He blames you for the mistakes. What should I do?”

For the first time in a while, Flowers sounded human. He had a quality to his voice that spoke of empathy. He had gone out on a limb to save this boy, but things had changed.

“If you want to live, you must run. Don’t stay in the city or they will find you. Tomorrow is the new dawn and everyone who is not with us will not be for much longer. Leave the city and hide.”


“Or don’t and die.”

The confused eyes of his loyal soldier searched for some reprieve and found nothing. He saw his fate closing in around him before his survivor’s instinct kicked in. Not looking at Flowers, he turned and broke into a deep stride. He had no other thoughts than to get out of the city.

Nothing moved around him as he ran. His footfalls echoed in the empty streets into the unnatural night’s calm. He had that familiar feeling of a thousand eyes watching him from the shadows and he was afraid.

Without the protection of Flowers, Podrall was naked. He was a boy again without a gang to lead. He was alone and isolated. He was a victim waiting to happen. However, Podrall’s adventures had taught him much and he believed he had enough about him to get out of this.


On a night like this, he could do anything.



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