Start With a Homicide


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“Go kill somebody,” said one of the boys.
“Go kill yourself!” A burst of laughter.
“That’s stupid!” said Dimitur.
“Disappear then, ah!” another one said.
“We’re stupid huh?” This one spat at Dimitur's feet
“Look, guys, I just want to help out with something,” he said.
“What do you think we are, a charity?” asked the first boy.
“Go beg from some tourists.”
The abandoned apartment block smelled like weed and burnt out cigarettes. Dimitur was so hungry. “I hear that you get some jobs from the mafia and I thought you could use an extra man.”
“Us? Need help from a gypsy?”
“We own the mafia little man!”
“Keep it up and we can see how you look at the bottom of the Black Sea.”
“Nah, it isn’t worth it. Varna’s way too far. Just leave him by the road. Nobody will notice.”
The six guys advanced on Dimitur and he started to edge out of the door he entered only minutes ago. “Hey, if you don’t need me, I’ll get out of here.”
Dimitur turned and took off out the door and into the dingy entrance to the block, racing down the four stairs and past mailboxes stuffed with ten year old ads. The boys burst out behind Dimitur at a run but pulled up short in the dark. They spotted him running through the lonely grassy field by the shell of a building.
Dimitur looked up briefly at the sky. The stars twinkled down from above in perfect serenity, without clouds or smog to obscure them from view. The moon illuminated the night and Dimitur’s figure for the gang kids. They whooped and yelled as they ran. Their heads were shaved close and they all had tracksuits on. None of them seemed to care about their noise. Dimitur sprinted until he felt a stitch in his side. He wasn’t used to running longer than it would take to get around a street corner from the person whose wallet he had snagged. The hunger gnawed at his belly. He had eaten recently, hadn’t he? It seemed that he couldn’t manage to keep it at bay for long.
Soon the boys caught up. One grabbed the hoodie that Dimitur used day in and day out. The kid pulled out to the side and back and Dimitur fell, rolled, and ended up with his face looking up at the stars. He wished he was well fed like them.
“Stupid gypsy!” said the boy who caught up first with a sharp kick to his back.
Dimitur was used to this from his father. He couldn’t fight back then and couldn’t right now either.
None of Dimitur’s family would care. That made Dimitur’s eyes sting and the moon looked fuzzy. A silver bumblebee suspended mid-flight. He would go home bruised and bleeding and then what would anyone say? Where’s the money Mitko? What’s up with this? Are you an idiot? Go back out there until you get some money or don’t bother coming back.
“This is how much help we need from you!” shouted one of the boys. He kicked Dimitur savagely in the ribs.
He tried to get up. The less he endured here, the less he would deal with at home.
“Idiot!”
“Go back to the landfill—”
The kicks came harder and faster when he tried to pry himself up off the ground and get his feet under him.
“Lousy gypsy!”
They were all more well-fed than Dimitur ever had been in his life. Their kicks were so strong. One time though, when he got invited over to his grandmother’s house and ate stuffed peppers and yogurt until his belly almost burst. He was full that day.
Kick to the gut, then to the leg which probably broke something.
That was before she stopped inviting dad over.
His father’s kicks were weak.
One last blow landed on Dimitur’s head and he collapsed.

Dimitur looked up to the sky sometime later with the stars and the blue night sky, then as he looked down he saw the outline of his own shadow on the ground. He coughed weakly and more than the shadow of his figure darkened the ground.

“So what’s the cause of death?” asked the detective as they walked up to the body.
“Who cares?” replied the older cop. “He’s a gypsy kid. Probably got caught stealing something and got beat up.”
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