Joey shot across the road and hurtled down the narrow alleyway that divided the terrace of tall buildings ahead of him, the northerly aspect of the dank thoroughfare rarely allowed the sun’s rays to penetrate, and his feet slid on the slippery cobbles.
Hearing a shrill whistle behind him, Joey skidded around a corner into an even narrower passage and then another, losing himself in the maze of Victorian dereliction. Behind him, pounding feet were closing in, their speed more than a match for Joey’s; he swung around the edge of another building only to find himself faced by a huge, crumbling brick wall. He turned to face his pursuers – five unusually short, squat individuals crowded in, filling the width of the alleyway.
Joey spun round and launched himself at the wall, fingers and toes desperately scrabbling for purchase in the missing mortar between the bricks; finally, with a heroic effort, he hauled himself to the top and straddled the wall.
Joey peered down into the yard on the other side, where a bearded man leaned on the edge of an open doorway, smoking an unpretending cigar; the man stared back up at him and slowly raised an eyebrow.
Written in response to two challenges:
Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which has mysteriously disappeared🐪