All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, General Fiction, Short Fiction

A Bad Batch by Hugh Cron

He was a shit junky, a shit shoplifter and a shit human being.

Those were his words. Nobody else bothered enough to comment.

His explanation for his self-analysis was that he kept getting caught when he stole, he kept collapsing his veins when injecting and his kid who was thirteen never spoke to him.

There were rumours that he was a beast.

He kept people at a distance. He would shout and scream as he was walking through shopping centres so no-one would come near him.

He felt lucky when he did time in a jail miles from his home. He was liberated and declared himself homeless in that area. That way, he didn’t need to face what he never could.

In his adopted town he became quickly known to Police and Services. Neither of them helped. He was jailed numerous times and tolerated by his peers. But there was always a doubt. The omission that he avoided fuelled everyone’s suspicion.

One knew. He was killed with a sneaky knife between his ribs when he was walking away. No one was accountable because the victim was as insignificant as the guilty.

No-one questioned. The authorities were happy to get rid of another one and they knew that who’d been involved would eventually be dead. It was no loss.

He made friends, he even engaged with help but he always fell back into collapsing veins and shop lifting charges. In a way, this gave him a purpose.

Daily chores were a mystery to him.

He became depressed and paranoid. For those that worked with him, this was simply an off-shoot of his life-style. It was an occupational hazard and he couldn’t expect anything else.

He repelled those who tried to help him. He was, after all, nothing other than a thieving junky bastard who had questions regarding some paedophile activities.

He didn’t help himself as he used any system he could to question, gain and annoy. Some thought he was being a cunt, others thought he was building even more barriers or trying for some financial gain. He knew that none would help.

When he was out of his tits, he would call his father. This always ended in tears but his father never heard. They were the spit of each other. No-one knew if this was only in resemblance. If it was in behaviour, he never said.

He had ingratiated himself into the drug scene and those who were involved. He always paid so his past didn’t matter. He met four others who were as low as him. The fifth was manipulative. She suggested a pack. Fifty quid each would get enough for them all to go out with a bang and more importantly, on a high. They all paid. She made sure the first bag did it. Four of them died in the woods that day. Their tools, the cling film and the obvious pact were all there for the Police to see. The Coroner did find something, he found a bad batch…

…That happens.

No questions needed answered.

She had twenty bags left.


Hugh Cron

15 thoughts on “A Bad Batch by Hugh Cron”

  1. The only message I can draw from this is; If you don’t respect and care about yourself, no one else will.
    I know this story is based on real life, unfortunely, for many people. Enough said.


    1. Thanks James,
      I have wondered for a few years now if it was just because the work that I have done in the past that makes me notice. But on many occasions I have overheard so many folks commenting on the nick of some of the souls who walk Ayr High Street.
      Those who were invisible are now, due to numbers, very obvious!
      Cheers James. I always enjoy reading your thoughts!
      All the very best my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This underscores the social paradox we all live in and do our best to ignore. The same food chain exists for the powerful as well as for the debased. At all levels there are hustlers and parasites and reasons why everything is wrong. The class system is enforced by the having or not having money and/or education (money is the more powerful of the two.) Now, if you have enough money, you can be a profoundly ignorant idiot and still get by; if you are poor but are educated you have a chance but are most likely going to have to go through hell to get anywhere; and if you are both poor and unlettered you usually wind up dead in the woods, fleeced by a smarter junkie who will most likely die poorly by and by. Your story honestly shows the thinking that goes into the belief (wish) for eternal justice. We have invented a just afterlife because we do not know what to do about today, never have. that is almost as confounding as the goddam morons who ask “Why do people take drugs?” Answer: to feel better inside, you goddam moron.


      1. You go sister!
        You are so ‘street’.
        Man! Just reading that back makes me realise I sound like a fud!
        Thanks as always Diane.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leila,
      Your observations are spot on!
      The reason for taking drugs is there at the beginning and that is what needs addressed. Unfortunately, the reason gets forgotten and those that try to help then need to break the addiction which in turn allows the reason to be forgotten.
      Income always causes double standards. If you are rich and mad, you are eccentric. If you are poor and mad you are committed. (If you are lucky. Here, you are more likely to be ignored.)
      Thanks for your comments. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate them!!


    1. Thanks Dave.
      It’s always a pleasure to see you around.
      I know that all the writers get a kick out of a comment, myself included.
      All the very best my friend.


  3. Great story, Hugh. James McEwan’s comment was very thorough, IMO. Because some people are addicts does not mean that they are any less human than others who are not, but we have truly arrived at a place in society where money is becoming the only thing that matters. Sad that in some communities addicts and destitute are even viewed less than rodents. The main character totted all of the baggage that goes along with addiction. I have witnessed many addicts miraculously dig, struggle, tussle, and scrap for
    a sober life. I wonder how the main character would have fared had been able to get permanently clean.


    1. Hi Willie,
      It’s great to see you around!
      The saddest thing that I know is I have worked with hundreds, maybe over a thousand of addicts. At one time in one of the hostels that I worked there was a banned list of over two hundred alone.
      Of those numbers I cold probably count on my two hands how many that I know of have made it through. I just hope there are many that I don’t know about but unfortunately, I doubt it.
      All the very best my friend.


    1. Hi River,
      Thanks for the comment.
      It’s always a pleasure to have someone getting involved!
      All the very best my friend.


  4. The woman was the biggest hustler, exploited the others’ self destructive tendencies. I’ve known a few people that I wonder “do they have any redeeming qualities at all?” and I’ve often been at a loss. Indeed, depression and paranoia comes with this territory, as a result of it. Succinct summation of this type of character and the people he is attracted to. I have known of these kinds of drug overdose suicide pacts, most of them between two people, the story twist was purely Machiavellian.


    1. Hi Harrison,
      Regarding your question to yourself about redeeming qualities – I totally get that.
      I would never stereotype but when I had to work with such a person as the stereotype, they were the most challenging.
      I’ve also thought that society / service looks at a lot of addicts with the idea that they are not dealing with the person, they are dealing with what is in them. I agree with that up to a point. But I still reckon as humans, we can simply be a complete twat no matter what we are full of!
      Thanks so much for giving this a look. I value your opinion especially, when it comes to this type of story.
      All the very best my friend.


  5. A nasty dose of reality and a snapshot of people who have nowhere to go except further down. Loved the way whoever this person is remains nameless and defined by the havoc he brings upon himself, and I feel a name wouldn’t do him justice anyway. Hard, sparse sentences as merciless as the setting and lifestyle they convey. Great stuff.


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