There’s an old, plump lady playing the fruit machines. She’s in her sixties; bland haircut, bland appearance. The room is like a shoebox; no window, just several fruitys and a small table placed in the corner with nothing on it. I’m watching what’s about to happen on CCTV while listening to Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Push the Sky Away followed by Murder Ballads, if you must know. The old lady reminds me of this Italian biddy that comes into work always looking to pick up reduced goods at the same time every afternoon. And somewhere, in the back of my mind, she reminds me of my grandmother, for she always had a fondness for playing the 1p and 2p machines when we went on family day trips to the coast. On Brighton Pier in my early twenties, she was photographed looking sheepish going in and out unable to resist the lure of changing five-pound notes into bags of copper coins ready to lose it all in the pursuit of plastic jewellery and year-old sweets. Still, she didn’t do it for the gain; it was all in the thrill of the chase. Anyway, this plump old lady, I’m not sure what nationality she is, maybe South American. She plops the coins in one by one and waits patiently to see if she wins. She doesn’t, but it’s of no consequence, for she’s just killing time. Drinking my beer, the footage is black and white, but it feels alive, so alive I can taste the electricity in the air as she stands there with her hands placed together before her watching the coins dance in the belly of the musical beast. Taking another sip of beer, the figure creeps into view. Raising the machete high above his head, he brings it down on the old lady’s unsuspecting left hand. Hacking into her the way a butcher hacks into a joint of meat, the blade’s an inch from severing her hand clean off. Pumping out in an instant, blood blacker than the Bible pisses onto the tiled floor. In a few seconds, it’s like a Jackson Pollock, and a wry smile crosses my lips as I remember my glory days where slinging paint onto canvas was better than sex. Falling back, the old lady takes a quick look at her nearly gone hand, but before she can react, the blade strikes her in the shoulder. Raising her right hand in a futile attempt to stop the attack, it strikes for a third and final time. Slicing straight down the middle of her arm, it goes in almost to the elbow. Split in two, the sight of so much blood makes me wince. As the attacker flees, the old lady stands there doubled over as blood pours from her wounds like heavy rainfall. What can be done to ease the situation? Not much. A few seconds previous, she’d lived her life in a state of harmony, but good things happen to bad people, and there’s no escaping it. As Kylie joins Nick to sing Where The Wild Roses Grow, she slumps to the ground. Making snow angels in her blood, her tendons slither across the tiles until I look the other way.