“Looks like we caught ourselves a little fish tonight,” Henry rasped. His teeth were gone; his mouth stank of corruption. “We’ll eat good now.”
Quyloc did the only thing he could, the thing that would bring him out of sleep for nights to come, sweating with shame and self-disgust: he pissed himself. His bladder let go and soaked his ragged trousers.
That made Henry grin bigger. “You’ll be good company, I promise.”
Quyloc screamed. He screamed like a girl. Like a rabbit caught by the wolf. He screamed and he struggled but it did no good.
Dirty Henry jerked him close and wrapped him up in his black greatcoat, stifling Quyloc’s screams and nearly suffocating him. Down the narrow alley they went, staying out of the light, Henry giggling and Quyloc screaming.
Quyloc screamed for the other boys to come save him. He screamed for his mother to come back from the dead. He screamed even for his father, whose beatings were gentle compared to the fate that awaited him. None of them came to help him. The Pits drew closer.
He never knew what happened. Maybe Dirty Henry slipped in a patch of mud, or maybe he tripped in a hole. But suddenly he fell, losing his hold on his wriggling parcel. The greatcoat opened and spilled Quyloc onto the cobblestones. In a heartbeat he was on his feet and running, tears blinding him, not knowing or caring where he was going, as long as it was away.
He stayed outside all night that night, unable to go back to the Warrens, sure that they would see his shame on his face, smell it in the urine that slowly dried on his pants. He spent the night cursing his helplessness, cursing himself for his cowardice. He could have fought, done something, anything, but all he did was piss himself and scream like a baby. He hated Dirty Henry and he hated himself.