There’s a black cab racing through the city. It’s almost midnight and The Griffin stops entry soon. Three coked up city traders roll down the windows and stick their heads out, tongues lolling out of their mouths like hyenas, pupils dilated. They are on the hunt.
The lights blur past as they demand the driver goes faster. Members of the Lower Classes are walking to the tube after their shifts cleaning up after the taxi’s passengers, keeping them fed, making their trains run on time. As they take a tight turn onto Fleet Street the cab splashes through a puddle and soaks Maria de Silva; her work scrubs, already stained with coffee and hot milk, are now joined by greasy london water.
Maria is a beautiful woman and one of the hyenas realises this. He howls for their driver to stop the car and calls to Maria to approach them. She ignores him and continues her journey but this is not an acceptable outcome, he is a WINNER and he doesn’t take no for an answer, he closes deals for breakfast and takes cocaine for lunch. The driver reluctantly turns the car around and drives slowly until they have levelled with Maria.
She knows what’s in store for her before it happens. They’ll invite her in, vaguely threaten her if she declines, violently corner her if she refuses again. She is the prey. She thinks of her daughter at home, her husband, her sisters and brothers, all working their hands to the bone to keep these hyenas in the finest furs and fat on greed and wine. One day, she hopes, all this will be reckoned and some balance will be restored; her daughter will perhaps grow up in a world where her body is her own and the hyenas will be caged and neutered. The car has stopped and she hears them opening the doors. She doesn’t know if she’s scared or angry, and she doesn’t have time to figure it out before a figure steps out from the alley on her left, draws a gun and shoots the three hyenas dead.
Tyres screech as the cab driver seizes his exit and flees. He gives no thought to the fate of the young woman who is now alone in the rain with 3 corpses and a man with a smoking gun.
Maria surprises herself when she doesn’t scream. She doesn’t, in fact, react in any way whatsoever, other than by unclenching her fist that had been concealing her door key in between her index and middle finger. Her palms are white from how tightly she was holding that secret in place. The figure doesn’t even acknowledge her, he steps forward, long black coat sweeping behind him, and steps over the bodies, taking care to avoid the stream of rainwater and blood.
“Who are you?” She finally calls after him.
He stops and turns. His face is obscured by an oversized hood and she can’t make out his face in the dark.
“I’m the hunter.”