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A week ago today I stood in the driving rain outside the County Court in Melbourne’s Lonsdale Street sucking on a gasper, waiting for my scapegoat of a mate’s perjury sentencing to begin, when I noticed a crowd of cameraman and talking heads massing outside the Supreme Court across the road. For a fleeting moment I imagined that there may have been an arrest in the murder of the Mafia lawyer Pino Acquaro, so being a bit of a crime aficionado I strolled across the sodden street to take a look.
I crossed the centuries old pavement, stained with the tears of two hundred years of pain and hurt, and stepped up on to the rain-soaked sidewalk, and as I did I noticed a van crawling up a cobble stoned Lonsdale Street lane next to the court, and being a polite Bunger Boy in an unfamiliar town I stepped aside to let it pass.
When the van – which I immediately recognised as a prison transport – drew beside me, on my right, I chanced to glance at its darkened window and there I saw Satan staring back at me in delight from the inner of the four wheeled hell-bound chariot.
The demon was the visage of an imaginary man whose name I later learnt was Sean Price, the shadow of a human who had stabbed a girl walking innocently along the street 49 times, simply because he didn’t like the way she looked, and then knowing he was done for decided to rape a stranger, simply for pleasure and good measure.
The devil locked eyes with me for what must have been mere moments, but in that instant seemed an eternity. His eyes were not black, but shining, and as our pupils locked together in that brief moment his lips drew together in a smirk disguised as a simile of a smile.
To my eternal horror Price stared at me for just an instant, then winked.
The van turned left into Lonsdale Street, and drove off into the driving rain, as I stood stunned, surrounded by a river of tears flowing down, down, down into the gutters of the damned.