Cumbria in the mid-80s had its fair share of trends amongst youth. Football hooliganism, just like in the South of England, was also rife in the North, and in particular, few things were rifer than the Skinhead, Mod and SKA—and Rude Boy—movements. Carlisle United FC had its hands full with an ongoing hooligan epidemic, as maniacal football supporters showed up at The Park to attend most fixtures, simply to shout racist chants at black or foreign players and supporters alike. However, it was more so they attended matches in the stark hope they’d seek out this ilk in the crowd and crack some opposition skulls. It wasn’t a Beautiful Game anymore. It never really had been beautiful, actually. It was a show of strength and the bland opportunity to flex communal Borough muscle—and yes, in many cases even to commit acts of assault—even murder—in the stalls, or in car parks respectively, or on the terraces themselves—because it seemed nobody was exempt from Supremacist violence and fan mischief.
Michael Bride was one such skinhead, a 22 year old with a massive chip on his shoulder, who would travel from his hometown of Whitehaven this week to support his team in their home city, Carlisle United. It was just a train ride away—perhaps two hours. The club itself discouraged hooliganism and demonized it as a plague that ought to have been distinguished round about the same era as Moses and The Ark, yet fans being fans some of them took the colourful sport far too seriously, just attending matches with the scent of new blood in their snouts.
In Whitehaven, he shared a two bedroom flat with a variety of lovers from the locale, last night having screwed a local hooker everyone in town had probably screwed at some point, Big Tracy.
Big Trace was a good fuck yet specialized in expert blowjobs, bearing in mind she was a prostitute and had plenty of practice. As some folk (mostly blokes) often joked, indeed, Trace had the skills to make every paying feller feel like a million dollars, since everyone knew she had the morbid ability to suck a golf ball through a garden-hose. She had a habit of putting the client’s ball sack in her mouth and sucking that. It could be kind of painful and awkward at first but it was something which shortly turned into an extra add-on to the night’s festivities, and helped transform things into ecstasy for all involved.
Last night had turned into a fucking nightmare, though.
About midnight, Michael had shot his load over her face only to infect her right eye with his frigging semen. The trouble was her own fault and nobody else’s, since when she’d gone to wipe the mess off her face, she’d rubbed her eye too coarsely and this had caused the infection. It had cost Michael ten quid to pay for her to get a taxi to the nearest hospital, on top of the money he had to pay her for the pleasure of her company that Friday evening.
Never fucking again….
This morning—Saturday—he had to discuss ongoing matters in general with Olaf and Victor, his two visiting pals from Poland who were staying in the North this weekend, who so far he had only corresponded with via post or telephone, two Skins that took the entire Skinhead scene rather a bit too seriously. Like Michael, they were ‘qualified’ and ‘able’ Supremacists, and also, in many aspects (something Michael Bride was not) overt Nazis. They had spilled their fair share of blood for the cause.
This was long before the Combat 18 firm started.
Olaf and Victor were far meaner than Combat 18. In Poland and Germany, things were done a whole lot differently to the UK because tensions there were much more stringent and compartmentalized, as shaven-soldiers strived in earnest to cleanse the townships and cities of coloured undesirables, those that were never meant to be there in the first place, who would never fit in or belong in a white man’s land. Quite simply, it was not their country, and they would never be welcome.
For these cunts, the message was simple.
This morning in Michael Bride’s flat in Whitehaven, Cumbria, they provided him with the info on the job he had to do in Carlisle, shared some early-morning Vodka, and departed, hugging their brother beforehand. Michael knew what he had to do at last. With any luck, he’d do it, get away cleanly, and avoid prison—a stiff sentence, fuck yes, if he was caught and brought before a judge. They’d throw away the fucking key on this one. Still, he was a ‘brother’ now and had to please the Poles.
It wasn’t to just butcher and kill a certain black man at the Carlisle/Workington match. It was murder ANY BLACK MAN!
There was nothing too complicated about it whatsoever, in fact. One black guy at a time so that over the years these dinosaurs’ fledgling organization grew and grew, and their cause expanded through Western culture and just became stronger and stronger still as their number continued to swell, mainly across Europe.
Anybody might have thought Michael Bride supported a team like Workington, having been closer to Whitehaven than Carlisle. Not so, as Carlisle was his father’s side, and it only ever seemed the right thing to do in keeping with tradition as this was a key integral element in Bride’s growth as a person and what made his type pillars of the community.
He was a disgrace to the Skinhead community, though.
Most local Skinheads shunned him and kept their distance. Like so many, these guys smelled a rat, they knew of his kind, so it was only right they avoided him—he was trouble in so many ways, not worth the hassle of getting involved in his communication with his friends far and wide, or his sickening activity.
Real Skinheads were good people. Yes, it was a movement, just like Mod, Punk or Goth, but it was also a peaceful movement.
Michael Bride, as it turned out, was an embarrassment.
Simply put, he had been radicalized by this neo-Nazi brigade from the darker side of Europe. These thugs were attempting to grow and expand their number by selecting and working on poor souls in the UK, since—amongst other things—this was the home of the British Bulldog and Union Jack, whilst these great statutes and ancient symbols proved a challenge to conquer as they warped one person at a time, if this was what it took to fulfil their quota. It seemed only right for these pricks.
The Carlisle/Workington match was a disappointment and finished without any player scoring a single goal between them, while as per usual tensions on the pitch ran quite high as three players got sent off the field, two for nasty fouls, and one player who got a three-match ban for spitting in the face of the referee. And people wondered why shit like this occurred in the stands, fighting and ill temper, when these fools on the field of play behaved like spoilt brats and displayed the attitude of village idiots. If anybody needed shot, it certainly wasn’t the players, but instead, the prick who labelled this sport The Beautiful Game!
Michael Bride stood by the Car Park, waiting, watching, until he saw his opportunity to make his move on the young black man who entered the toilets on the grounds’ premises. It was twenty minutes after the game had finished and not a great deal of folk were about, which made life so much easier for this thuggish wannabe aggravator out to make a stand for his cause, as well as make the boys from Poland very proud.
He waited a little while and then entered the toilets.
Richard Croft never saw his killer approach him from behind. It proved far too late for meaningful response anyway, since the huge blade entered his back mere centimetres from his spine again and again in quick succession, ripping holes in his flesh while it assaulted time and time again as it crippled his central nervous system, killing this devoted football fan in seconds. Bloodied and sweaty, Bride grinned down at the dead man and said, “You never belonged here. This was never your country. You deserved to die.” And then he was gone, heading down towards the nearby ravine to clean and tidy up before heading off to the station to catch the last train back to Whitehaven. At last, he’d finally done it, and hopefully not for the last time—murdered his first foreigner. Olaf and Victor would love him for this. They’d make him a General. They’d promote him to Commander of Operations.
The murder weapon was wrapped in a plastic carrier-bag and dumped in the river before heading off to the far side of town. After all, there was a train he needed to catch. He had to be quick since the City of Carlisle harboured no mystery for him anymore—just a crime scene, a place of blood and death. Michael Bride had soiled this magnificent place and no longer wished to savour the city’s culture and hospitality. Never once did a thought enter his mind which alluded to his inevitable capture by the police—the manhunt and news bulletins, national and international—and his lifelong incarceration in HM Durham Prison. But the fuckers had to catch him first. So far, he’d covered his tracks and left no clues, and it was just Olaf and Victor who knew of today’s slaughter.
The train reached the station exactly on time and set off on time.
As it rolled into Workington, many disembarked, leaving Michael and an elderly woman the only two passengers seated in the deserted carriage. Bride bit his lip, feeling like a cigarette so bad. The woman across the narrow aisle stared at him, making him uncomfortable and feeling somewhat in the wide open and exposed. Dressed all in black, she carried a large and morbid, black leather handbag and donned a preposterous black hat on her head.
“What the fuck do you think you’re staring at, old witch?” the Skinhead sneered, and this singular tirade of brutish contempt rattled her somewhat and forced the woman into a minor state of shock and despair. Hurriedly, the lady got to her feet and stormed off further along the carriage away from the obnoxious monster, leaving Bride the only one there—all alone.
After gazing at the countryside flashing past outside the window, albeit in the darkness of night, he swore and cursed, and suddenly began to consider matters more intensely. He reconsidered his identity as a Skinhead…as a murderer.
Michael Bride lifted his right thigh off the seat and farted loudly. “Good arse…” he said, “…yeah, it’s true in fact that a good arse speaks for itself!”
However, he didn’t laugh. Not even a smile…he appeared to have a tense, worried expression etched to his face, until the scent of his fart struck and he grimaced, wafting away the stench with his hand. “That’s one rotten statement!” he said, still unsmiling.
Suddenly, as he stared into the creeping darkness through the carriage window and the night as it flashed by, he thought of his victim. The unfortunate and deceased one would remain faceless and without identity or personality. Bride had crept up on him from behind like a coward and plunged the knife into his back, then turned and scarpered as he made his retreat. No, evidently there could be nothing brave or heroic derived in what this racist had done tonight and certainly nothing that anybody could possibly be proud of. After all, was there any pride awarded in committing murder, butchering an innocent person? Of course not—yet he did it for Country and Queen, for his Polish brothers, for the fucking cause!
As hail began to strike the carriage window, he pondered whether he would actually see Olaf and Victor again. They said they’d phone him to congratulate him on his success in a couple of days’ time. They said they would return to Cumbria to see him soon. Now, Michael had his doubts as he paused to reflect. Would he ever see these two mysterious Skinhead Poles again?
Then, here, Michael Bride took notice of something—something mind-numbingly terrifying.
The corpse pointed its finger at him accusingly, sealing the Skinhead’s fate with this one singular gesture, which was enough to make him freeze, dumbfounded and speechless.
It was the deceased young man he’d murdered in cold blood hours before.
The corpse’s eyes had yellowed and seemed somehow more bulbous and wide in their darkened sockets, as beneath, the mouth’s lips was downturned and slack. When it attempted to speak, blood drooled from between its lips, covering the front of the Workington Reds’ football shirt. The figure appeared menacing, vengeful, angered as it hovered inches about the carriage floor like a phantom of sorts, its glare one of an evil, desperate spirit direct from Hell, here to strike fear into the heart, to kill, to stop the heart of its killer, make him suffer in vast quantities. Richard Croft had returned from the dead for a reason.
Suddenly, it swooped in until it hovered closer to Michael Bride, its mouth growing elongated and wide like it was shaping a tortured, silent scream. By now, Bride’s face constricted with fear for his life. It was a portrait of doom. This thing, he knew, sought revenge—it could be the only motive. And for the first time, this heartless killer observed his victim’s face, Up until this juncture, Bride had just observed the young man from behind—in Carlisle, in the toilets—hours earlier when he stabbed him multiple times in the back, where he thought he put him out of commission permanently. No, it wasn’t meant to happen this way. Ghosts and zombies were stuff of fictitious books and movies and didn’t exist in the real world, any bloody fool knew that. Yet, this wasn’t true at all. His victim was here in front of him, and directly in his face—because they were face to face right now—which proved there was a definitive argument for life after death, or those that were done wrong in life, who were enabled to make a fleeting return to reality to ensure important justice was served. This zombie-like creature might have been on a fucking mission.
“Please, I’m sorry…” Bride gibbered, weeping like a baby, so frightened by the sight of this monster’s face inches away from his own.
Bride could smell the creature’s fetid breath and baulked with the scent of decomposition.
Suddenly, Croft raised its right hand towards a hysterical Michael Bride’s open, screaming mouth where it abruptly yet somewhat awkwardly forced its path inside, at first grappling with to get past his murderer’s lips and contorted face, until, after some effort, managed to enter fully at a push and bypass his teeth and tongue, and into the depths of his throat and jugular.
Shortly, Bride struggled to breathe as his airways became completely blocked. Richard Croft seemed to grin as he carried out this ordeal—still, as blood drooled and spluttered from his mouth in thick globules and dripped everywhere. Croft’s killer’s eyes bulged as he jerked every limb whilst still struggling to be free, yet despite all the effort the creature proved far too powerful and weighed too much for him, and with the escalating absence of oxygen getting to his heart and lungs, his body simply finally shut down. His eyes eventually closed and he struggled no more, when all signs of life left his person and he became as dead as his victim—and tormentor.
Seconds later, the lady in black reappeared in the carriage. She arrived as the train pulled into Whitehaven train station, where she imagined the ugly youth would disembark. But he just sat there, still, unmoving, devoid of expression, seemingly asleep.
Perhaps she might give him a little nudge?
“Young man,” she said, “Wake up, I think this is your stop?” She reached out her hand and poked his right shoulder.
Suddenly, his eyes opened. They appeared to be blood-red in their sockets, no whites of eyes whatsoever—just two bloody gaping bulbs. The woman had never quite seen anything as disturbing as this and was quite taken aback by the frightening vision in the deserted train carriage. But, as she covered her mouth with her hand and stifled a groan of disgust, one thing was for sure. He was dead as a doornail and she guessed he wouldn’t be getting off the train at Whitehaven.
Shame…everybody deserved a second chance.


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