The swampy water in the canal reeks, reminding me of the smells of London before the fire. I choke back the urge to vomit. I do not understand why the boys came down here; at least it is secluded. Slowly, I wade in the murky water to the culvert’s entrance. I peer in. Not far down, I see a sandbar and make my way to it. I see the boys huddled a few yards away.
“Dammit, I cracked the tube,” one exclaims.
“You’re joking, right?”
“Nuh-uh, we need to get the hell out of here.”
They stand and turn, facing me. Their pale faces displaying their surprise at my attendance to their private party.
“Mister, we gotta get out of here, the still is gonna blow.”
I do not move, just stare at them, the hunger rooting me to the spot. They become upset and glance back at the still sputtering angrily on the floor of the culvert. Luck is with me, I do not have to exert much energy to feed. As the one promised, the still explodes, flinging them to the sides. I hear the thuds of their heads slamming into the metal walls of the tunnel.