Every morning the same: Ellis relearning how to get through Tiny Swing Door, pawing at it like Greg fumbling at the front door when he’s drunk and cuddles too hard.
Alfie Twitch rubs his wrists, sore from the plastic ties that had him strapped to the chair. He watches as Jess eyes the painting above his desk. With flick-knife still in hand, she approaches the scene of London at night and cuts a St Paul’s-shaped hole out of the canvas.
Grandad, slumped in his tatty armchair, turns slowly to face me as I walk in with Mum.
‘Is that my favourite Grandson?’ he says, his voice thin.
‘It’s your only Grandson.’
No, you’re eating Corn Flakes in celebration at 11pm.
For once, the dog keeps quiet. The one time Percy is duty-bound to raise hell and he bottles it. Instead he sits, feet in perfect ballerina’s second position, next to the old woman’s cracked skull as it leaks blood onto the pavement.
‘Truman, you can’t expect a crushed child on your watch to go without consequences.’
Derek Granger gulps down his Coke and burps.
‘People pay a lot of money to leave their kids here. It is supposed to be a safe environment, away from the Horde.
The tube trundles woozily under the east end. Jonathan’s leg jiggles as he pours every thought into his phone screen, but the alcohol is making it difficult to focus.