Monday, 2 February 2009


Introducing The Hoodie Hunter...

Blind Alley

His hit-list was extensive and somewhat depleted. Five names remained and the cops were closing. It was time to step up the pace.
He’d been watching the news and wasn’t overly impressed at being dubbed ‘The Hoodie Hunter’ by the media. To an untrained ear it sounded like he’d been frantically shopping for a new sweater; far from it. However, to the streetwise, the nickname did sum up his actions, he supposed, as he’d certainly sent shockwaves ripping through hooded youth fraternity. And from what he’d seen of that Detective Inspector Jack Strider in the many press conferences he did seem like a decent cop; another reason to focus.
He knew where the final five on his list would be hanging out. No surprise really as he’d been patiently watching them for nearly two years since that fateful night.

The call box door squeaked shut and he undid the top couple of buttons of his black trench coat, his funeral coat that held the memories which spurred him on. After a deep intake of the chilly night air to compose himself, he dialled the number. Three rings later and an official sounding female answered.
‘Emergency services…which service please?’
A few beeps later another female, same officious tone. ‘…Greater Manchester Police…which town please?’
‘Moss Range, Manchester.’
‘What’s the nature of your call?’
‘It’s about that killer on the news….The Hoodie Hunter I think they call him.’
‘Oh, really?’ She sounded surprisingly unconvinced. Silly bitch.
‘Yeah, really.’
‘And what about him?’
‘Well, he’s attacking a lad on Moss Park.’
‘Oh, right….and your name is?’
‘That’s not important, but you’d best send someone down here…pronto.’
‘How do I know this isn’t another crank call? We get loads, you know?’
‘You’ll know when you get here cos there’ll be another dead lad!’
‘Okay, okay. So how do you know it’s him?’
‘He uses a baton right?’ Silence on the other end. ‘It’s him. Listen…’ He pushed play on his dictaphone and intermittent screaming could be heard in the distance.
‘Okay…can you still see him?’ There was urgency in her voice now.
Can you stay on the line until we get patrols there?’
‘No.’ With that, he hung up.

Ten minutes later he was driving in the opposite direction towards the city centre, having passed half a dozen speeding police vehicles, blues lights and sirens in full flow, plus a couple of plain cars carrying whom he suspected were detectives. He could’ve sworn he’d seen DI Jack Strider amongst them.
Job done.
He pulled the black VW Golf GTI into a side street, checked his mirrors and got out. As he descended the steps of the dim, dank subway, what others would construe as fear intensified. Although he knew fear was his friend and it was just adrenalin heightening his senses, preparing him for battle. He rolled down his hat which doubled as a balaclava.
On his approach he could hear their voices growing louder. There was laughter, too, but not for long. He saw the first one, then the second and soon clocked that there were six in total. Careful. They were listening intently to a big lad in the middle who was gesticulating as he described beating his latest victim. The words, ‘Ra, ra,’ and ‘Innit,’ were prevalent. His recognition of the big lad, known as ‘Big-un,’ gave him a surge of excitement. The others were dressed in usual dark sports gear with their hoods predictably up. He stopped at the subway’s entrance, straining to identify his prey from twenty metres away. He withdrew a small pair of binoculars and soon sussed the one he had no interest in had a white stripe across his hood. Right.
‘Oy, dickheads!’
They pivoted in unison, looking surprised.
‘Want some?’
‘You fucking with us, man?’ shouted Big-un.
‘What do you think, you bunch of pussies?’
They all surged forward as one, a mass of arms, legs and aggression, their profanities resounding off the subway’s walls.
He turned and ran, like a fox being hounded. He took the steps three at a time and passed a cul-de-sac on the right…one…then a second…two…he turned into the third, breathlessly withdrawing his baton. And he waited…
The noisy throng emerged at the top of the dark street.
‘There he is…the cheeky fucker!’ Down they ran. He stood his ground, baton at the ready. They slowed up, still cursing, a wariness creeping into their psyches. Big-un drew a blade, glistening under a streetlamp. ‘You’re fucked now, gobshite!’
He backed off from the gang, slowly edging round them, baton out-stretched. Eyeballing Big-un, he subtly manoeuvred them into the opening of an adjacent alleyway. They edged forward, spreading across the alley’s entrance. One tried to sneak behind him, but the baton cut noisily through the air.
‘Wanker! Am gonna shank you,’ he said, clicking a flick knife open.
He jockeyed them back a few paces with a few sharp forward steps, further into the alley, capitalising on their hesitancy.
He spotted a third knife appear and took a step back himself.
‘He’s bottling it now. Ha! Fuckin slice him, bro.’
Three metres away, if that; their pallid faces just visible in the darkness.
Big-un lunged forward, the others followed shouting. He side-stepped Big-un, grabbed his arm and jerked it behind his back before wrenching it up to his neck until it cracked. He threw in a kidney punch for good measure.
‘Aaargh!’ Big-un’s knife clanged on the floor and he dropped like a bag of shit. One at the back shaped to throw something and he ducked as a bottle smashed beside him on a wall. He expertly swung his baton and impacted on the nearest cheekbone with a thud. The youth yelped like a puppy and the others hesitated, giving him a second to remove a brick in the wall.
‘That won’t fuckin stop us, you muppet!’
Behind the brick was his trusty Glock 17. ‘This fuckin will though!’
He retracted his baton in an instant and slipped it up his left sleeve. He gripped the Glock in both hands and took aim. Their pallid faces appeared even whiter as they turned to run.
‘It’s a dead end, boys…just like your lives!’
Four shots blasted out, one for each forehead. They dropped like dominoes. Big-un tried to clamber up the wall, but fell to his knees and glanced up. ‘Pleeease…you’re Him, aren’t you…The Hoodie Hunter?’
‘Yes…I’m Him.’ He heard someone sobbing and looked up at the last lad standing, with the white stripe on his hood. ‘Go now! And sort your life out!’ The lad left like shit off the proverbial shovel.
‘Can I go…pleeease?’ asked Big-un, pathetically.
‘What do you think?’
He stepped back and blasted Big-un through the skull, his brains - surprisingly bigger than a pea – spurting out of the back of his head across the wall.
He stepped over each body, checking, and resisting the overwhelming urge to spit. Still no DNA for DI Jack Strider and co, whom he’d also sent up a blind alley earlier. They’d know it was him anyway. Time to start a new list…


  1. Cheers for showcasing this, Matt. I know the character so well now that the words just flew onto the page!

  2. Glad to be of assistance, Col. Now it's over to everyone else. Let Col and Amit and Jim (and me too) Know what you think.

  3. Hey Col, i loved the start of the story and the approach to the gang in the subway. Very atmospheric and descriptive. I liked the chase to the alleyway...however, (isnt there always a however), i got a bit lost amongst all the fighting. The power and fear of the hoodie hunter was a little diluted by the multiple deaths (and a little unrealistic)...too many to taken out with just a batton. In my (humble) opinion, i would have loved him to isolate big-un...make the others watch as he fucked him over good and proper...suggested violence and pain always makes me more terrified than the act itself. Make the others watch, maybe even describe through he takes big-un apart.
    But great short..and great concept...look forward to more about the dynamic between him and Jack! All the best mate, Amit.

  4. Thanks for the comments, Amit.
    I'll digest your points, but the fact is that The Hoodie Hunter is a ex-para and IS prolific. Plus, he wanted them all dead, hence the Glock. I didn't want to fully explain his motivation either as this was just an intro' to the characters in my 'book.' Maybe it is somewhat extreme to portray this (5 murders) in a short, but in the ongoing novel he has a hit-list of 25!!!
    Ps. Also in the main story, he does have a little more time to toy with his prey, like a cat with a sparrow!
    Thanks again,

  5. ahhhhhhhhhh...i see...ex-para makes sense...i was thinking he was a good-guy gone bad etc... look forward to the novel mate.

  6. Cheers, mate.
    Just a pointer, having read through your comments. In case you didn't realise, he didn't use the baton to kill 'em; he used the Glock handgun. And I know what you mean re' the threat of violence enhancing suspense/tension. It's just, he's formidable character and I wanted to introduce him with a bang...literally!

  7. A compelling read. I was with him all the way and felt that I was in that cul de sac with them. I could feel the cold damp and hear the echoes. The confrontation is very real and authentic.
    The way he lures them to a pre planned place for their execution is a bit confusing on third read but the essential meat is strong enough not to notice on first read.

  8. Cheers, Bill.
    Good points, as always. Taken on board, as always. I didn't want to slow it down with technicalities!

  9. From Bill,
    DELETE/IGNORE last post.

  10. I thought I had posted on wrong box but it appears I haven't. Or rather it does not appear that I have!
    Sorry for the confusion.
    I posted a comment on Death MESSAGE and thought it had gone to Blind Alley.
    So ignore my previous message to ignore!
    I think!

  11. Ha-ha.
    Confused? You soon will be!