There’s a gun in Rich’s wardrobe. I can’t sleep because I keep thinking about it, worrying that he’ll go out and his Mom will find it when she hangs his school shirts up. Or worse, he’ll take it out with him somewhere and get caught. I knew I should’ve told him to chuck it in the canal. We found it this morning, on the towpath under the railway bridge. It was wrapped in a grey t-shirt, and tied in a Spar bag with a couple of bricks. Rich reckoned someone must’ve tried to throw it in the canal in a hurry and missed.

            ‘D’you think it’s a murder weapon?’ I asked him, and cleared my throat, trying to sound like my voice was only shaking ’cause I needed to cough.

            ‘Dunno,’ he said. ‘Prob’ly.’ Rich knows about stuff like that. His cousin’s in Winson Green. Got mixed up with the Spencer Crew and they set him up, Rich says.

            ‘Is it loaded?’ I whispered. Rich picked it up carefully and pointed it across the canal. He held it with two hands and strafed from side to side, like he was playing Call of Duty, making pistol shot noises with his mouth.

            I felt sick. ‘Rich…’

            He turned and looked at me, gun still aimed at the spray-painted skull on the wall opposite. His eyes were narrowed, but he was grinning.

            ‘We’re keeping this,’ he said.


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