Random Scribbles · writing

Light and Shade Challenge: What’s the Law Like in This Town?

Light and Shade Challenge Monday 26th May 2014


Two prompts. A photo and a quote.

Image courtesy of wax115 on rgbstock.com

The photo was lovely. A boot. I tried, I really did, but I couldn’t do anything with it.

The quote:

Anyone breaking these rules will be loved and forgiven in the usual manner
.     From part of a sign in a shop in York, UK

 Author’s note: I love England. I love London. I love York. I love San Francisco. What you are about to read is fiction and does not reflect the opinions of the author. What you are about to read is what “Al” thinks. Any resemblance to any persons, living or dead is accidental. Al and Carmen are figments of my imagination.


I ain’t never going back to England
Too much sweetness ‘n nice.

We was in London, havin’ tea and bread
We’d been there for about a week.

I leaned over to Carmen and I said to her
I said to her, “Jesus, Carmen, don’t it make ya crazy?”

She says to me “What’s that Al”
“Ever’body is so fuckin’ nice here. That’s what.”

You know what she says? She says “I dunno, I kinda like it”
We were in some fancy hotel restaurant.

Drinkin’ tea
Eatin’ some kinda hard biscuits with cream. I didn’t feel alive.

I needed some conflict. I needed some chaos. I needed to mix it up
I stood up right then, and I made a beeline towards a waiter holdin’ a big tray over his head.

Filled with glasses and plates and food
I put my shoulder down and clipped him as we passed between tables.

Broken dishes, fish, chicken, and cutlery flew ever’where. All over the restaurant
Lots a noise and that waiter landed hard on his ass. It was beautiful.

I knew he was gonna be angry
I knew he was gonna jump up and lay into me. I craved it.

You know what he did
He apologized.

Yeah, that’s right
He apologized.

Like it was his fault I took a run at him
What a pussy.

It’s this city, I figgered
We gotta get out of London.

Next morning – me, Carmen, and the boys took a train to York
I figgered it’d be like New York ya know. Namesakes and all that.

Gritty and hard. With an edge
I needed that.

I was excited when the train approached the station
I wanted bookies, junkies, whores, and street fights.

I wanted to get my hands dirty
You know what I got?

In the station there was a sign over the platform
Said, “The City of York Welcomes You”

How fuckin’ ‘touchy/feely’ is that
I almost puked. I could get this shit in San Francisco.

We got a taxi outside the station
The hack looked a little punchy.

Like he’d gone a few rounds in his day, so I said to him
I said, “What’s the law like in this town?”

He says to me “We got some tough coppers here
They don’t tolerate law breakers.

“Anyone breaking the law in York will be taken in,
They’ll be loved and forgiven.

“Cuz that’s the way we do things here
That’s the way we are in York”

Fuckin’ English
Too damned civilized. I ain’t never going back.


10 thoughts on “Light and Shade Challenge: What’s the Law Like in This Town?

  1. I loved it. As a side note, I used to live near Chester when I was growing up and that is a tourist town like you wouldn’t believe, more history per square foot than anywhere short of the Vatican. It was also an army town although the barracks are now outside. There was a pub down at the bottom of Bridge Street that we had all been warned against. It may have changed, but thirty years ago it was perhaps the oldest of the three hundred plus pubs in the city. The Bear and Billet – rough as a dog’s arse for five hundred years. I hope you get to come back soon and enjoy the UK. Lyssa M x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You got my curiosity up and I googled the Bear and Billet. They seem to be working on their image – interesting history! I love the sense of history that you have there and we don’t have here.


  2. I like these characters and the dialogue is fun to read. I always read everything out loud and so, with your story…it just comes across so well as I read it, especially since I have a Southern leaning. You made me laugh, but it is wise you put up the warning before the story:~) I think that’s the challenge sometimes with fictional characters. We are NOT our characters:~) If we were, I know I’d be in a lot of trouble. Well done and good take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha excellent! Witty and fun to read. I live in Lancashire, York is lovely. the Cathedral is amazing. This is hilarious. Well written 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved this piece of writing so much – I’m a big fan of York myself though only as a visitor and I wonder how much of the tourist-friendly stuff persists once you get off the beaten track. I also like getting an outside observer view of my own culture, so this was great

    Liked by 1 person

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