Although they stood only five yards away from George, the pair of them were quite oblivious to his presence. As they spoke about their plans for the weekend – she was visiting her mother in Surrey, he and his son were going watch the football – a large bug got caught in the woman’s hair.
The town is abandoned inside an hour. Sixteen thousand people, gone. I sit on the pavement and watch a family cram as much as they can into their car.
Dad looks worried.
‘We absolutely have to leave in five minutes.’
At half-time I ask Graham if he’s Graeme with an ‘e’ or Graham with an ‘h’. He looks at me odd.
‘What does it matter?’ he says.
‘I was just wondering, you know, if I send you a card or something.’
‘Why would you send me a card?’
Thought I’d practice some dialogue. It began as a 100-worder and grew. I quite like these three characters, might work on them some more. Strong language.
I hover on the pavement, waiting for my new workmates to follow me out of the building. Home is left, but I think Amy goes right. I point right.
‘Truman, you can’t expect a crushed child on your watch to go without consequences.’
Derek Granger stands up, gulps down his Coke and burps. I stare out the window at the July snow.