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Alleyway Alvin

In our next Gutteral Scream: 

John Weagly details just what happens when you talk to that stranger.

Alleyway Alvin by John Weagly


Tyler pointed at the roadkill rat that smeared the asphalt near the entrance to the alley. “That’s what he eats,” he said.

“Are you trying to scare me?” Emily asked. Her long, blonde hair kept blowing into her face.

“No,” said Tyler with as much sincerity as he could muster. “Just telling you the risks of shortcuts.”

It was a late Friday night. Emily had agreed to let Tyler walk her home after the Crimson Devil’s football game.

He was glad. He’d had a crush on her since freshman year, but she’d never seemed to notice him before. Now, they were debating their route in the crisp, autumn air.

“Alleyway Alvin shows his victims no mercy,” Tyler continued. He hoped the stench of overflowing trash cans wasn’t dampening the romantic mood he was trying to set.

“I’ve gone this way a thousand times,” Emily said. “I’ve never run into or even heard of Alleyway Alvin.”

“If people knew about him, there would be a city-wide panic; that’s why he’s the best kept secret in Currie Valley,” Tyler said, adjusting his glasses. “He lurks in alleys, different ones on different nights. He waits for unsuspecting travelers to cut through and then he gets them.”

“With a hook?”

“What?”

“Does he have a hook?” Emily asked.

“No. Why would he have a hook?”

“Don’t these urban legend weirdos usually get people with a hook?”   

“He’s not an urban legend,” Tyler said. “He’s real. He uses a…uh… claw hammer.”

Emily rolled her eyes. “You’re making this up as you go along.”

“No! He got a junior from over in Clawson last October. He was just like us, cutting through a dark alley on a night like this...”

“Look, Tyler,” Emily said, “You’re a nice guy, but I think I can find my own way home.”

“But… No, see… Alleyway Albert won’t get people if they’re holding hands.”

“I thought you said his name was Alleyway Alvin?”

“It is! It’s Alleyway Alvin! I’m just nervous because I don’t want him to get us.” Tyler summoned his courage and optimistically held out his hand for Emily to take.

Emily gave him a sad smile. “See you at school on Monday,” she said, then turned into the alley and went on her way.  

Tyler stood there stunned as he watched her walk away, her footsteps growing fainter and fainter. He wasn’t quite sure where he went wrong. He was positive that his story would at least lead to some hand-holding, and probably everything up to and including second base. Females were confusing.

He shook his head and turned to go back the way they came, when a voice spoke behind him.

“You shouldn’t have led with eating the splattered rat.”

Tyler stopped and looked into the shadows, the hairs on the back of his neck twitching. “Excuse me?”

A man walked to the mouth of the alley. He had long, straggly hair and was dressed in jeans and a leather jacket. Behind him, steam rose from vents set in the back walls of the old, brick buildings. “You grossed her out,” he said. “You should’ve started a little softer, roped her in.”

“Okay.”

“Maybe even opened with that hand-holding stuff.”

“Thanks,” Tyler said, starting to leave.

A hand grabbed his elbow. “Hold on a minute,” the man said. From not far away, metal clanged on metal in the October breeze.

“I’ve got to go.”

“Come in here,” the man said, a smirk dancing in his eyes. “Cut down the alley. We’ll talk about girls. I could tell you some stuff.”

“I don’t think…”

“Relax,” the man said. “I’m not Alleyway Albert…”

Tyler tried to pull away. “Alvin,” he corrected. 

“I’m not Alleyway Alvin.” His grip tightened on Tyler’s elbow, pulling him into the shadows. “I’m just a guy who hangs out in alleys. And who doesn’t like kids.”

The only mercy Tyler saw that night, was that the man in the leather jacket didn’t use a claw hammer or a hook.

JOHN WEAGLY’s short fiction has been nominated for a Derringer Award 6 times, winning one in 2008, and has been nominated for a Spinetingler Award. As a playwright, his first play was produced in 1992. Since then, his scripts have received over 130 productions by theaters around the world. www.johnweagly.com