My Name is Alex

Thomas was dead.

He was my friend.

He was my friend and now he was dead.

That was all I could think as I left the alley. Left Thomas with a knife through his heart and a word written in his blood on the wall. Left him for his father to find. By then it would be too late. I was sure of it. Tears poured down my face. I couldn't see where I was going. There were so many of them. That was strange. I'd never reacted like that before. I never cried.

I cried once. I cried when I was a baby. When my parents killed themselves. People said I cried then. They said I cried like I knew what was going on. Like I knew what they'd done. I hadn't cried since. Not until Thomas died.

After Thomas I saw a report on the news in a shop window. The lady on the screen sad that the police were 'investigating a series of gruesome murders'. The screen showed pictures of people I recognized. They were the boys in hoodies that had attacked me. She said they were dead. Murdered. I didn't know what murdered meant.

Then a picture of Thomas came up. I ran away. I left before she could start talking about him. I didn't want her to start talking about how he had been 'gruesomely murdered'. I didn't even know what that meant.

I knew I had to leave the town when I saw the news. I knew what it meant. It meant the grown ups would look for me here. I didn't want to be found. I'd already had enough police cars and boring talks and padded rooms to last a lifetime. Plus the grown ups were mad. I hate it when grown ups get mad. So I ran.

I ran again. This time I had to run further. Get father away. Leave and never come back. Never be found. Never.

I followed the busiest roads I could find. They led out of the town. I walked along them. A car came by to fast and splashed a muddy puddle up onto the side of the road. I was covered in mud. I didn't complain. There was no one to complain to. The car was out of sight before I even had the chance to open my mouth.

I kept walking until a car stopped by me. The window opened and a man looked out at me through his thick rimmed glasses. I stared at him, his hair was big and curly. It looked like he had a sheep on his head. He grinned at me and his face looked stupid. I started to walk away and he got out of the car. He shouted at me.

"Hey, kid!"

I didn't like that. I started to run. He ran after me and grabbed my wrist in his chubby arm. His dirty nails went into my skin so hard they left big red marks. He stared down at me and I looked away from his spotty face and brightly coloured shirt. I didn't like this man. I didn't like this man at all. He didn't let go. Even when I struggled. Even when I hit him. I could get him to do it. That's what I thought. I could get him to do the same thing as the orphans and the boring lady and the boys in hoodies and...Thomas. I couldn't do that. I couldn't do the same thing I did to Thomas. I couldn't do it again. Not to anybody. Not even to him.

I looked at the car and saw a woman in a floral dress almost as bad as the man's shirt get out. Two children followed her. She shouted to him. He was distracted. I kicked him where it hurt a man most. Then I ran. I ran. I ran without looking back. I ran and ran.

I felt like I would never stop running. I was sure my legs would fall off soon. I was exhausted. I was tired. I was hungry. I was scared. It was dark out. I curled up under a tree. I couldn't sleep. Not because of the monsters. Every time I closed my eyes I saw him. I saw Thomas.

I arrived in another town soon. This time I stayed away from anyone in a hoodie. I stayed away from anyone in a white shirt and a backpack. I stayed away from anyone.

I didn't want to hurt anyone.

Not again.

I wandered round the town for a while and soon I found a sheltered alley way. I slept there that night. The next morning I woke up and I was hungry. I needed something to eat. I was so hungry my tummy ached. I got up and left the alley. I hoped that going for a walk might help me to think of a way to get some food. It was a bad idea. Going for a walk is exercise. Exercise makes you hungry. Then there were the smells. The town was filled with cafés and they all smelled lovely. I could smell bacon and fish and chips and all sorts of things that idea never even smelled before. I decided to get away from the cafés went I felt something wet come out of my mouth and dribble down my chin. I'd never drooled before. It really had been a lone time since I'd last eaten.

I knew I'd have to find food soon. Otherwise I'd actually starve.

I didn't want that.