The weekend was here for Eddie, Gerry, Kevin and Mark. They all sat on their custom-built PC’s on a Friday night playing World of Warcraft, each of them waiting on their delivery from the Justeat phone app, because they were all too nervous to speak to a human being over the phone.

“How was work this week Eddie?”, asks Gerry.

Eddie is a draughtsman at a local engineering firm, and if what he says about his boss is to be believed, it must be a nightmare to work for the man.

“Acht, just the usual to be honest Gerry, my boss is a huge pain in my arse, wanted me to work tomorrow morning but I said no, he wasn’t happy but I’ve worked the last five Saturdays!” replied Eddie.

“If I were you Eddie, I’d be looking for a new job that pays you better and doesn’t take the piss”, says Kevin.

“I agree with Kevin here Eddie, just get your CV up to date and see what’s out there for you”, says Mark.

“I really should, but it’s too handy for travel and I genuinely don’t mind the work that I do. Lets just crack on with some Dungeons here, I want my hunter at level 50 by the end of the night”, responds Eddie.

After a few hours of gaming and chatting all things nerd, the group started planning their monthly Warhammer night where they will build, paint and play Warhammer all night.

“So who’s house is it tomorrow night?”, asks Eddie.

“Come to mine this weekend, my dad cleared the garage, and basically made his very own man cave, but told my mum it was for me, the man is a genius”, said Mark.

“That is brilliant, your dad must be the coolest guy on the planet, gets away with buying all the gadgets and convincing your mum that it is all for you, he must have some skills in the bedroom”, laughs Gerry.

“Right that’s plenty, you took that too far, just come to mine any time after 6PM”, replied Mark.

The group continued to game into the early hours of Saturday morning before turning in and going to bed.

Saturday came and Eddie had a shopping list he needed to check off before his evening of Warhammer with the group. Eddie got out the shower, dried and got on his baggy black jeans with his old battered Vans trainers and his favourite Batman print T-shirt. Eddie couldn’t drive, so his mum had to give him a run into town in her little puddle jumper, a Fiat 500.

The list Eddie made was mainly for new model paints and brushes, but while he was in his favourite Games Workshop store, he treated himself to a new Khorne Bloodbound Magore’s Fiends model set and a new novel.

In the car on their way back home, they stop off for a McDonald’s as a light afternoon bite.

“How are you getting to Mark’s tonight hun?”, asked Eddie’s mum.

“I was kind of hoping you could give me a lift, I mean, if that’s okay?”, asked Eddie sheepishly.

“Sorry hun, I’m going to Lynn’s tonight for a catch up and a drink, I won’t be home until late”, said Eddie’s mum.

“Ah, okay, I’ll just grab the bus, it’s no big deal”, finished Eddie.

The evening came and Eddie was preparing his bag full of goodies and Warhammer gear, his mum had already left twenty minutes ago, and his dad left fifteen years ago, so he had to lock up the house himself.

It was getting dark outside and there was a slight chill in the air, but Eddie was prepared with his hat, scarf and gloves combo and made his way to the bus stop.

On his way to the bus stop, Eddie came across a group of young boys kicking a football around, shouting and laughing, they looked like they were having good fun, but Eddie believe they were going to cause trouble, so he quickened his pace to avoid any contact with them.

Eddie got to the bus stop quicker than normal, so he had a glaze on his brow and a heightened heart rate. The group of young boys he seen moments ago just started to run past him screaming and laughing, while some middle-aged man chased them down the street. Instead of seeing the humour in the situation, Eddie just shook his head and said to himself, “I knew it, trouble-makers”.

The bus did not arrive on time and there was no sign of it yet, which frustrated Eddie, “why put a timetable up and not commit to the times?”, he complained to himself.

“Whit wis that? Were you bein’ cheeky tae me?”, came a voice out of nowhere.

Eddie looks round in a panic and his eyes find this group of young hooligans just standing staring at him.

“Are ye deaf? I asked ye if ye were bein’ cheeky tae me?”, said this teenage boy who was standing there in a full Lacoste tracksuit.

“I-I-I-I never said anything to you”, Eddie replied in a panic.

“Aye ye did, I heard ye say I lukked like a wee fanny”, replied the alpha ned.

“Honestly, I never said anything to you, I never even seen you”, Eddie is starting to panic now. He has never been in an altercation like this before. He starts to look round hurriedly for the bus or the sign of any passer-by, nothing in sight.

“Who ye lukkin’ fur? Yer mum? Nae body is here to help ye ya clown”, says alpha ned. All his friends just stood there laughing at everything that was going on, they did not look like a friendly bunch.

The alpha ned stepped forward to Eddie and pulled his bag from the ground out of Eddie’s grip.

“Whit ye goat in here then? Any booze?”, asks alpha ned.

“Eh-eh it’s just my models”, replied Eddie.

The full group start laughing at Eddie, making him feel like dirt. The alpha ned proceeded to open the bag and empty the contents on to the pavement. All of his Warhammer models fell on to the pavement, models that Eddie had spent hours painting to his liking, new models that he bought earlier that day that were still in the packaging and all his notepads from historical games with his friends. The group of neds just stared in amusement at all the plastic models on the ground and then three of them just started jumping up and down on the models.

Eddie attempted to go for one of the neds when he was pushed to the ground.

“Whit the fuck dae ye hink your tryin’ tae dae! Did ye see that Paul, he tried to huv a go at you!”, the alpha ned said to his mate Paul. “Are you just gawny stawn there and take that?”, the alpha ned said egging Paul on.

Paul walked straight up the Eddie who was trying to climb to his feet, grabbed him by the throat and threw a right cross that landed squarely on Eddie’s nose, the blood ran down Eddie’s top lip and he was dazed, when another punch hit him square on the nose again. Paul let Eddie go and he fell on his back choking on the blood that ran down his throat.

Eddie rolled on to his side hoping that there was no more, but he was wrong, the group just started to kick him all over and eventually the alpha ned leaned down to his ear and said,

“Ye don’t fuck wae the young team”, and he spat on the side of Eddie’s face before they all left him lying in a heap on the ground.

Just before Eddie blacked out, he whispered to himself, “where is this fucking bus”.