The shop was empty except for the sullen, rat faced owner. Danny took a small jar of instant coffee, a cheap loaf of bread and a pack of greasy looking, plastic wrapped cheese to the counter. He had just enough money to pay for it. Walking back to his building he tried to avoid the stares and taunts of the group of teenagers that huddled near the recycling bins. The boarded up buildings did not frighten him, but the dark, empty windows did. So many eyes, so many half seen faces, so many watchers. The door to his building was jammed open with what looked like a bundle of rags. He had no desire to investigate. The stairwell smelled of urine, mould and despair. Danny could not remember when the lift had last worked. It had never been much more than a moving toilet anyway.
He did not want to linger on any of the twelve landings with their empty spray cans, cigarette ends, used needles and worse. When he reached his level he was hot, uncomfortable and out of breath. He saw the latest scratches and marks on his door. Last night there had been another attempt to break in. They were so frequent that they no longer surprised him. One thing common to all 'Social Housing' that it wasn't for the socially minded.
With the door closed behind him he put his shopping in his little kitchen area and hung his wet parka behind the door. He ignored the thumping music that seemed to permeate the entire block day and night. He went to the small pile of unwashed things in the sink, picked out his mug and rinsed it under the tap. He shook it to dry it. He filled his kettle and spooned coffee powder into his mug. He had long ago learned to manage without milk or sugar. He sat at his laptop computer and contemplated his next move. It was several weeks since he had last played the farming game. He had gradually built up a huge farm before he realised what a hopeless waste of time it was. His visits to the chat room had been very disappointing, filled as it always seemed to be with foul mouthed children, moronic adults and predatory sex offenders. He had tried various other games but they all became tedious sooner or later. This new word game was much more interesting. It was really Scrabble but went by another name. What made it so interesting was that he was playing against real people, real people from all around the World. People that reacted, took moves and sometimes chatted with him. He surprised himself to find that he was able to say things to strangers by typing that he had never been able to say in real life. On the keyboard his shyness disappeared, he was no longer tongue tied. He did not feel the fear and panic that prevented him from speaking to anyone face to face. He played the games that showed it was his turn then clicked onto 'Join Game.' He contemplated the list of new games on offer and picked one.
'Hello Ronal, thank you for the game and good luck,' he typed into the chat box. He contemplated the row of letters on the screen. He chose ORB and pressed play. That was how it began. It was no different from the hundreds of games he had played; from the many games he was currently playing.
Ronal was a new name to him. He had heard of Ronald. Was it the older man in the suit?Was it Ronald? Or was it the slim, blonde girl in the yellow dress? The pictures puzzled him. So many people hid behind pictures of animals, landscapes or cartoons. Were they so ugly? Were they very shy? It was his shyness that let him use a picture of a young man that he had copied from an advert in a magazine. He had no recent photograph of himself and he was aware that he did not have the face of a film star. There was certainly no shortage of ugly people who boldly displayed themselves. But the thing that intrigued him most were the words that went with the invitations to play. 'Females for sexy chat, Gays only, no word builders or word gens,' the requests were many and varied. The strangest invitations carried pictures of little children. He presumed that they were the grand children of the players but he suspected that they might be attempts to attract the attention of pedophiles. The thought upset him. His early life in orphanages and frequent failed fosterings had taught him all about perverts and their ways. He drove the thoughts from his mind. Ronal's invitation had simply read, 'Play with me.'
'Hello Danny, GL 2 u 2.' appeared in the chat box.
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In South Africa today security plays a vital part in any business or private home. This book and the volumes to follow, will guide you step by step through the essential precautionary measures to be taken in protecting your family and valuables. From employing security guards, evacuation of your site and security measures to burglar bars and alarms in your private home.
a Book compiled by me from experience gained after 10 years in the security industry as Industrial relations officer with Nosa qualifications, 1st Aid, fire protection and also S.O.B. grade A.