The two boys were hunkered down in the corner of the school yard, sticker albums at their feet, searching through each other’s pile of swapsies. Nearby, their mates were kicking a football about.
‘Yates. Got. Turner. Got. Mullin. Got,’ said Marcus, flicking through portrait after portrait of stern-looking men with questionable haircuts, their adhesive backings fraying beneath his fingertips.
‘Little. Got. Ershov. Got. Jun. Got,’ said Jayden.
‘Bilancia. Got. Dominique. Got,’ muttered Marcus. Oh, hey, West — need! I was watching clips of him on YouTube last night. He’s my Dad’s favourite ever. Amazing!’
‘You can have him if you’ve got something I’m after,’ muttered Jayden. ‘Got, got, got — oh, wow, Bundy!’
‘Thought you had Bundy already?’
‘Nah, you’re thinking of Gacy. I’ve got, like, five of him and his fat face. I’m desperate for Bundy! Swap?’
‘Bundy’s awesome. Did you see the Netflix series about him?’
Each boy placed his new sticker diligently into his album. The football rolled towards them and nudged against Jayden’s feet.
‘You two playing?’ shouted their friend, Harry, from the chalk-drawn goalposts on the wall.
Marcus and Jayden pocketed their remaining swapsies, scrambled to their feet and began to boot the ball around. The wind whipped through the pages of Marcus’ copy of Portraits of Evil: The Serial Killers Sticker Collection, then subsided, leaving the album open on the centre pages.
Jeffrey Dahmer, a faint snicker on his face and surrounded by images of the dismembered body parts of his victims, gazed up, immortal, at the bright blue sky.
David Cook’s stories have been published in Ellipsis Zine, Spelk, the National Flash Fiction Anthology and more. He’s a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. He lives in Bridgend, Wales, with his wife and daughter. Say hi on Twitter @davidcook100.