Chapter 33 ends today, hooray, hooray.
To read the first 32, please, as ever, click here.
And the first seven parts of this chapter are posts #33a to #33f&g below this one.
Wednesday 13th November 1985: 12.00 – 13.00
Ronnie Chafford left his flat at five to one, using Darren’s bedroom window, the drainpipe hanging outside it, and Mrs Coulson downstairs’ convenient flower bed; the one that hadn’t seen so much as a dandelion in years, and mainly grew empty crisp packets and crushed beer cans chucked over from the footie field three streets away. (Both packets and cans did come in a wide variety of colours, though, which made a pleasing display if you wanted to pick some for indoors; as Mrs Coulson — who’d been gaga for the last twenty-three years — did once a fortnight or so.)
He’d checked out the front window and, yeah, the rozzer was still there; the one pretending to bugger up everybody’s telephone wires. Something was nagging at the back of his mind about that. It wasn’t the so-called disguise; that was typical plod fare, something to do with either the force’s entire budget being spent on panda cars, or its entire imaginative ability being spent on finding the pandas to drive them. Or both, probably. No — there was something else…
Never mind — he’d sort it out in his brain sometime.
As he moved away from the building, he registered something flying overhead. He glanced up.
Huh. A bloody pigeon. ‘Flyin’ rats’, his dad had always called them.
Good for eating, though. When Ronnie was a kid, many a family meal had come out of the lofts of them around who did that racing stuff with the creatures. None of the owners had ever cottoned onto the fact that Mr Flappywings the Third had ended up between two layers of pastry rather than lost somewhere over the A23.
He’d have to try catching that one when he’d finished warning Gerry about the filth’s interest. Maybe set a snare with a mousetrap and a lump of bread; that was the way Dad used to do it.
Though that bugger up there was a mite big for a mousetrap, it had to be said. He might have to go into the Paws ‘n’ Claws shop on the way home and see if they’d got any you used on bears instead.