He carried on down the mile moving towards a big crowd gathered by the side of the road. Seemingly an articulated lorry had had to brake suddenly and the cab was full of its load: pipes which had smashed through, filling the entire space where the driver would have sat. No-one said anything, as if to avoid asking the obvious question – why are we looking at this? Could he have survived? Walter remembered his daily squeeze into the change cubicle and thought anything is possible.
Nothing appeared to happen regarding his misdemeanour with the Grab machine and after a while he relaxed into his new found freedom. After watching the murmuration of starlings under the pier he remembered the punks earlier invitation and made his way to the Mariners Arms. He met them halfway, the band sprawled outside a kebab shop. They had spent the rest of the day on the beach cider drunk from the proceeds of the shattered grab machine, and now, following a second sulphate induced wind, were making their way to the gig at the Mariners Arms. The remains of the grab machine prizes was spent on an unaccustomed feast at the kebab shop. They tended to survive on the gig rider plus cheap bread and cheese kept in the van so this was a much appreciated boost and elevated Walters esteem within the group still higher. After much back slapping and awed reminiscence they continued on, arriving at the venue where, on entry , they saw one old man (with dog) at the bar, someone asleep at a table next to half a pint of bitter and the newspaper and a small slightly balding man with a rather large head sitting alone at the corner.
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