RAIKES PARADE Part 2
A high-pitched buzzing. A drone scoots and shimmies up the long alleyway. It lifts up and swings over a back yard wall and halts, hovering right in front of Lyn’s bedroom window.
Inside music is being played loud. Lyn is oblivious to the drone hovering outside her window. Lyn reaches for and straps on her bra then hooks up the bra. Then, turning, she sees it. The drone floating outside. She slowly saunters over to the window. The high-pitched buzzing pitches higher. Staring seductively down the lens of the drone, Linda breathes heavily on the glass, it condenses. She starts to write: S A D C U N T
Round the corner bespectacled Spud stares down at the monitor; thumbs toggling the joysticks. Reading the message his body sags a little.
The drone pulls back from the window and skates along over the back yards buzzing as it goes.
From inside another back bedroom the drone whizzes past the window. A nurse, Ellie, flicks a syringe. From elsewhere in the room a muffled voice, “I’m ready.” Lying face down in bed is Fred. Sheets pulled back, Fred’s pale arse beckons Ellie’s syringe. She jabs the needle into a buttock. Then retracts it. “Job’s a good ‘un.” Fred struggles to turn over, eventually a toothless grizzly miserable fucker looks up at Ellie. He snarls, “I’ll decide if the job’s a good ‘un. The only good ‘un is a fuckin’ hand job…” Ellie is packing up her stuff. “Is that right.”
“‘Cos I prefer to see your pretty face. When I shoot my load I want to be looking right dead centre into your eyes.”
“You got dementia.”
“I know you nurses like an old man’s dick.”
“There’s old and there’s fuckin’ cadaverous.”
“That’s a big word. You’re making my dick hard with all that fancy talk.” Ellie leans into Fred. “I’m thinking Fred. Next time I’m here I might just put adrenalin in that there syringe. And then I’ll yank your sickly head back ‘cos I wanna look you right in the eyes as you fuckin’ croak.”
“I’ve been praying you might do that. Look at my dick. It’s fuckin’ alive!”
Ellie straightens and leaves the room. Fred shouts after her, “And tell her to come and scratch my balls!”
Ellie enters the living room and plonks herself down next to Carrie. Carrie is sat on the couch watching 24hr News: “I s’pose it’s the electorate’s fault, they do the electing. The public trust that the people who put themselves in those positions have some kind of ability, some kind of gift for diplomacy, intuition, something… More fool them…” Ellie speaks, “How you haven’t put a pillow over his desperate face I’ll never know.” Carrie is locked on the TV. “I did. Once. He was asleep. I just didn’t have the guts to keep it there.”
“He’s your dad and all that but he is one despicable human being.” Carrie nods. “You gonna pop in on Jim and Edna?”
Ellie takes a bite out of her sandwich.
In the same spot as the night before, on the sofa, Edna sleeps. Her breathing is rough and staggered. Gradually it begins to regulate… Slowly Edna lifts her head. Groggily she listens left and right. Trying to work out where she is.
Edna shouts, “Jim!” Jim’s frozen corpse has not moved from the chair that it was sitting in. “JIM!” Her dead eyes are busy thinking. Then they stop. She looks in Jim’s direction. Behind Jim, the window: An articulated lorry passes by…
A lorry without its trailer, cautiously makes its way up Raikes Parade. The driver, Eddie, hits the air-horn: La Cucaracha blasts out. The street seems to visibly tremble.
Kerry-Anne leaps to her feet, excited, “The Cockroach!” and runs out of the room. Sydney, sat in his chair. “O what joy.”
The lorry stops right outside the Bennett house. La Cucaracha still entertains the street. Eddie waits. Kerry-Anne runs out the front door. Stops. Then dances oddly to the tune. Inside the cabin Eddie grins broadly watching Kerry-Anne move spasmodically.
In the back yard of the B&B the distant strains of La Cucaracha. Colin sits on the bench, his face bruised and swollen. “So seizures can happen while you’re asleep?” Colin sucks on his cigarette. “Yup.” Elaine is looking up at the sky. “Who’d have thought.” Colin taps his ash. “That thing in your hand..." Elaine looks at Colin. “Yes.”
“Is that fuckin’ real?”
Suddenly the sound of fifty pigeons taking flight. Elaine swings up the shotgun to point heavenward - KA-BOOM! Two dead pigeons hit the deck. Elaine looks back at Colin. “Yes Colin, it is.”
Ellie walking down the street - KA-BOOM!... Ellie stops still. Listening. Nothing. Then carries on. To Jim and Edna’s house. Ellie walks up the path. Taps a four digit code into the keyless lock. The nurse enters. Behind her, on the other side of the street, Mr. Pigeon busts out of his front door…
Through the net curtain of Jim and Edna’s front window Mr. Pigeon can be seen pelting it up the street. Edna doesn’t see that, instead she is stood before Jim. Tentatively her arthritic fingers navigate Jim’s cold face. Like a daddy longlegs she cautiously moves across those familiar contours, visualising those first touches over sixty years ago. Tears start streaming down Edna’s cheeks. Standing in the doorway, Ellie, silently watches.
The B&B is open. Mr. Pigeon runs right on in. Runs right through to the kitchen. Through the kitchen to the back yard and out the back door… Mr. Pigeon skids to a halt. Colin is hyperventilating, he’s covered in blood. Blood has spattered the white-washed walls. Elaine is shell-shocked. Mr. Pigeon looks back at the bewildered Colin. Then looks down at the two dead pigeons. Then back up at Elaine. “You fuckin’ lunatic!”
The back gate opens. Stubsy wheels out a barrow. Trundles it down the alley and round the corner. Out of the alley and onto Raikes Parade. An ambulance, sirens blazing, rushes past Stubsy. Stubsy pushes the barrow up to his demolished wall. At the wall he picks up one brick. Drops it into the barrow. Lifts up the handles. Then sets off back round to the back yard.
Peering out of the upstairs window, Gaz, frowning, cranes his neck to follow Stubsy round the corner. Stubsy disappears. Gaz runs out of the bedroom and along the landing and up to the window. Gaz spies Stubsy. Stubsy toddles up the alley then enters his back yard. He stops. Lifts up the handles and deposits the one brick onto the ground. Turning he leaves the back yard and heads off round to the front again. Gaz rushes out of the room and across the landing and up to the front window. Gaz follows Stubsy and the barrow all the way up to the pile of rubble. Stubsy stops. He bends down and picks up one brick and drops it into the barrow. Then straightens his back and outstretches his arms and takes a deep breath... Gaz erupts, “YOU’VE GOT TO BE FUCKIN’ JOKING ME! YOU GIANT LARD-ASSED FUCK! I’M GONNA RIP YOUR FUCKIN’ FAT HEAD OFF THAT FAT FUCKIN’ NECK. THEN I’M GONNA KICK THAT FAT FUCKIN’ HEAD TO KINGDOM FUCKIN’ COME…”
Stubsy wipes his brow. Somewhere in the ether, a vicious verbal tirade can be faintly heard colouring the air blue. Stubsy’s eyes sparkle. The daintiest of smiles surfaces. He lifts the barrow and heads off again to repeat the action.
Carrie has a face like thunder. She sits in silence. From upstairs deafening canned laughter. Carrie looks at her wristwatch. Then looks at a red walkie- talkie on the coffee table. Her expression still thunderous. She folds her arms. Glowering at the communication device. The canned laughter suddenly jumps out of the walkie-talkie. Then the abrasive sound of Fred coughing up his guts. Carrie sparks up a fag and waits for the coughing to subside. Then: “Can you come up here now. And bring me a glass of soddin’ water.” The speaker goes quiet. Upstairs the noise continues. Inside the room the noise is cacophonous. Carrie, face screwed-up, hands Fred a glass of water. The canned laughter reverberates around the room. Fred shouts over the racket, “Have you seen this. It’s fuckin’ trash. It ain’t funny.”
“No it ain’t.”
“For once you and I agree.”
Carrie mutes the TV. “You should watch the news, it’s hilarious. What do you want?”
“I’m bursting for a crap. But I don’t think I’m gonna be able to clean my own arse. I’ve got no strength in my arms... And I want those wet wipes. None of that cheap abrasive stuff. My arse is fuckin’ sensitive.”
“You taking the piss.”
“No. I said I’m needing to take a shit.”
“All the bullets in all the guns in all the world ain’t gonna get me to wipe your ass.”
“Then you got a problem.”
Fred stares straight into Carrie’s eyes, his face tightens, hie eyes widen, he clenches his jaw.
Fred is bollock naked. The skeletal figure stands in the corner, underneath the steaming shower head. Carrie sits on the toilet looking glum, head in her hands. In the back yard Carrie grimly hangs up the white bed sheets. Puff! As if from nowhere the drone is hovering beside her: Zzzzzzzzz...! Carrie stares at the drone’s camera. A stand-off. Each watches the other. Carrie puts her clenched fist, little finger and thumb extended, to her ear - call me. Using fingers on both hands she spells out her phone number. With the eleven digits hanging in the air she relaxes her arms. The drone shoots off.
The front door opens. A pair of well-worn cowboy boots step out onto the doorstep. Clint is dressed like the Man with no Name. He closes the door behind him and moseys down the path; his segs and spurs sound great. Out the gate and up Raikes Parade.
Walking down Raikes Parade on the opposite side is Tracy. She spots Clint walking towards her on the other side. “Hey cowboy!” She crosses over to Clint. Tracy goes to draw an imaginary gun from an imaginary holster…
Clint draws. BANG! The blank is deafening. The sound whips, and cracks, ricocheting of the houses. Tracy jumps/panics. “Fucking hell!” Clint re-holsters his .44 Colt. “Never draw your gun if you don’t intend to kill a man.”
"What? What’s with the fuckin’ intensity man?”
Clint eyeballs Tracy. “The rules of engagement.”
“You need to learn how to assess your so-called enemy. Do I look like I’m from 18-fuckin’-65?”
“You came at me. You went for your peacemaker…”
“I’m an estate agent!”
Clint shrugs nonchalantly. “You should fuckin’ sign up. The army needs wackos like you right now." Tracy walks off. Clint pulls a face.
Sydney and Eddie sit at a small table. Between them is a chess board. Both study the game intently. The room is quiet. Suddenly Eddie flips a sunflower seed into his mouth. Sucks off the salt. Gerbil-like cracks open the shell. Spits out the shell onto the floor. Then nibbles on the seed. The room is quiet once again. Sydney lifts his gaze from the board to Eddie. The subtlest of acknowledgements hovers over Sydney’s face. Eddie remains focused on the board. Then - Eddie flips another seed into his mouth. Sucks off the salt. Gerbil-like cracks open the shell. Spits out the shell onto the floor. Then nibbles on the seed. Sydney nods his head ever-so-slightly, he twitches, irked. Another seed pops into Eddie’s mouth. “I know what you’re doing.” says Sydney. Eddie lifts his head up, “WHAT?”, he's still sucking on the salt. Sydney glares but looks back down at the game. Again the sounds of a sunflower shell cracking between teeth. The sound of it being spat out onto the floor. Thpuh!... Ting! Slowly Sydney lifts his head. “If you slip another of those awful fuckers into your mouth I swear to God I’ll kick seven shades of shit out of yer.” Eddie shouts, “WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM? I’M CONCENTRATING. I’M PLAYING CHESS.” A high-pitched sound excretes from Eddie’s head. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee... Eddie oblivious. THWACK! Sydney slaps hard the side of Eddie’s face. Eddie rubs his ear. Face scrunched up. He pulls out his hearing aid. “ARE MY BATTERIES DEAD?” Sydney glares. La Cucaracha quietly jumps into the kitchen.
Kerry-Anne is sat in the cabin of Eddie’s lorry grinning from ear-to-ear. La Cucaracha blaring. Chuck and Lisa, scrunched-up faces, look on, enviously.
Prrring… Prrring… Councillor Cosgrove picks up the phone, “Cosgrove.” On the other end is Tracey. “I’d like to report an infestation…”
“This is Housing not Environmental Health. Wrong department.”
“But the infestation has chosen my environment to house up in if you know what I mean?”
“Fair enough. Rodents?”
Tracy is stood outside a boarded-up house on Raikes Parade, phone to her ear. La Cucaracha in the distance. “Not sure how many but I can hear them scurrying about.”
“Don’t worry we’ll lay down a load of poison.”
“Excellent. The bastards changed the lock.”
It’s dark. The front door is barricaded, criss-crossed planks of wood nailed into the frame. Listening are Arthur and Donna. “Well they’re human to a certain degree…” Arthur mimes pumping a shotgun and fires both barrels in Tracy’s direction behind the front door. “Yeah, squatters…” Donna goes further, miming grabbing someone by their hair and drawing a blade across their throat, blood gushing forth. “I know I’ve called the right department you gormless clown!”
Linda lies on her bed. Her face is painted clown-style. She listens to her own voice memo: “Sex… Billy had thought about it. Had thought about the bin bag and the bottle of butane to boot. Had thought about the distraction; the mind someplace else. But truth be told his thoughts took him no place, they always left him where he was at, a place dead dank, a place where his shoulders sank…” The message plays silence, then... La Cucaracha, La Cucaracha… Linda stops the message.
Linda exits the house. Walks across the street. Up the path and bat-bat-bat-bats the door knocker. Moments later the door opens: Kaz is blacked-up. “What the hell?”
“What?” asks Kaz.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m channelling Tina Turner.”
1970s Tina Turner. Straight-ish hair, red jumpsuit.
The two of them are in Kaz’s bedroom. Kaz is grooving Tina Turner style to a song inside her head. Linda watches, bemused. Kaz is snapping her body back and forth. Her hips grind. Her arms undulate like an ocean. Her legs spring and stamp and kick. “Isn’t that offensive?” Kaz, eyes closed, “Offensive to who?“
“But I worship Tina Turner. How can that be offensive?”
“If slavery ain’t enough Kaz how about the fact that the white man debased the black man further by painting themselves as grotesque caricatures perpetuating a deeply damaging stereotype. That’s fuckin’ why!”
Kaz is lost inside her own head; zero reaction to Linda. “And what is it specifically that you’re channelling?” Kaz stops moving, breathing heavily. Gathers herself. “We’ve all got shit to deal with Linda. Tina Turner’s shit was fuckin’ foul. Tina dealt with that shit. She levitated above it. Tina Turner is a Goddess, physically and spiritually… That’s what I’m channelling.” Kaz explodes, serpent-like, sensuously slithering Tina Turner style to another tune inside her head. Eyes shut.
Ellie has her eyes shut. “I don’t reckon I’d survive being blind Edna.” Ellie opens her eyes. She is sat next to Edna. Jim’s lifeless body still sits steadfast in the chair. Edna replies, “But I’m not sure I’d survive seeing the whole world. The whole world with all its horror.”
“But seeing zilch.”
Edna flicks her head sideways. “I see him sat there. I see that his body is thankful. I see that his skin is paper thin, that his muscles have evaporated. I see that his hair needs washing that his nails need cutting… But I also see his spirit Ellie. His spirit is standing right in front of me. He’s smiling Ellie, he’s looking at his wrist watch, he’s jabbing his thumb over his shoulder.” Ellie sees nothing but Edna. “He’s waiting impatiently. He knows the one thing I can’t survive without is him.” Buuuuuuzzzzz!
Dr. Chatterjee pushes the doorbell again: Buuuuzzzzzzzz! Dave, on the other side of the garden wall, “Are you a doctor?” Dr. Chatterjee holds up her medical bag. “Yup.” Dave sucks on his cigarette and shuffles his balls. “I think I’ve got a sexually transmitted disease.” Ellie opens the front door. “Which one?” asks the doctor. Dave leers, “Why not take a peak and you tell me?” Dr. Chatterjee coolly looks at Ellie then looks coolly back at Dave. Dave can't wait, “I think it's crabs. Fuckin’ crabs ain’t it. What do you prescribe?”
“Castration.” Dr. Chatterjee enters the house. Dave smiles and nods. Eddie’s truck glides past. La Cucaracha, La Cucaracha… Dave gesticulates that Eddie is a wanker.
The lorry’s headlights clear the way in the darkness. Cars glide past. Eddie concentrates on the road and the CB radio. Eddie is down deep with Juggernaut Julie. “The Prime Minister?” Eddie engages the CB handset, “Damn right the Prime Minister.”
“I ain’t stupid. I took that as given!”
“Some folks don’t.”
“I heard the other guy, he went nuts. He’s pumped. Genocide is his agenda.”
“Hell bent on annihilation. He don’t give two hoots about invasion and occupation and assimilation…"
“Fuckin’ Etonians always had a thirst for blood.”
“This is beyond blood. He wants ground dust. He’d grind them down to atomic level if he could…"
“Some poor soldier sap would be doing the pestling. What’s-his-name would back off a fuckin’ mile from that duty.”
“The filth! Going hands free…"
Juggernaut Julie disappears from the airwaves. Eddie places the handset in its holder. A car suddenly pulls in front of the lorry. Staying close. Staying in the beam of the lorry’s headlights. Two girls in the back waving at Eddie.
Eddie waves back, grinning. One of the girls turns round and somehow flashes her bare arse out the back window. The other girl whips up a placard: FUCK THIS. Eddie pulls on the air horn: UUUUUUUUUH! UUUUUUUUUUUH! Then pulls on another: La Cucaracha, La Cucaracha… Eddie screams and yells and howls with delight.
Shhhhhh! orders Chuck. Ez and Zak shut up. Their necks are craned looking up at Chuck. Chuck is climbing a drainpipe. The lock-up is one storey high. Chuck gets onto the roof. Ez starts climbing the drainpipe. The skylight opens. Chuck sticks his head in: an ice-cream van. The skylight opens further. Chuck drops down onto the roof of the van, quickly followed by Ez and Zak. Inside the van Chuck pulls down on the ice-cream machine’s lever: ice-cream squirts out everywhere. Zak is giddy. “Make mine a triple ninety-nine with sprinkles Dutchy!”
“You got it buddy!” says Chuck.
Chuck, Ez and Zak are sat on Chuck’s wall. Each looks a bit peaky. Ice-cream lingers on their faces and hands. Gaz steps out of the house. “You two, fuck off, I want a word with my son.”
“Stepson.” rectifies Chuck. Ez and Zak jump down and trudge off.
Gaz shouts after Ez and Zak, “What’s in the bags boys?” Ez and Zak, now at a safe distance, both pull out a box, grasping each with both hands the boys shove the boxes toward Gaz, together they shout, “Flakes motherfucker!” Both thrilled turn and leg it. Gaz turns to Chuck. “Thieving scumbags.”
“I feel sick.”
“How would you like to earn twenty quid?”
“What you’re good at. Ten quid now and ten quid when you’ve done the assignment.”
Chuck holds out the palm of his hand. A taxi goes past…
Mr. Pigeon sits next to Elaine. They sit in solemn silence. The taxi pulls up. The taxi driver looks in the rear view, “What is it with this street and that hospital?” Mr. Pigeon checks out the meter and hands over a twenty. “Ain’t it the same all over town?” The taxi driver hands back the change. “No. It ain’t.” Elaine and Mr. Pigeon step out of the taxi. The taxi drives off. Elaine and Mr. Pigeon face each other. “The cops are gonna come knocking right.” asks Elaine.
“I think so.”
“I’m starving. You hungry?”
“Can I make you something?”
“That’d be nice.”
Elaine and Mr. Pigeon have finished the food. Elaine sips her white wine. “He could be dead.”
“One eye is better than no eye.”
Elaine looks at Mr. Pigeon. “What are you thinking?” Mr. Pigeon looks at Elaine. “Those birds don’t mean that much to me.”
Fred, in bed, huge headphones grip his skull. The large flat-screened TV, hung on the wall, broadcasts brash imagery. Fred engages the walkie-talkie, shouting, “Supper time. I’d like six chips and two fish fingers and I don’t want that swill you call a soup that’s just OXO cubes and diced carrots... I ain’t a fuckin’ idiot!” Carrie busts into the room clutching a bowl of soup. “Sorry about that. I’ve already prepared it.”
Carrie positions the Overbed table. “You forgot spit. That’s the magic ingredient.” Fred unclasps the headphones from his sweaty ears. “Eh?”
“Pepper! There is fuckin’ pepper in it too.”
Fred works himself into position. “Are you’re boyfriends coming round tonight?”
“They ain’t my boyfriends.”
“To be fair they didn’t seem dim-witted.”
FRED slurps the soup. Carrie glares. Vvvvvvvvvvv! Vvvvvvvvvvv!... Vvvvvvvvvvv! Vvvvvvvvvvv! Carrie reaches into her pocket and answers her mobile. “Hello.” Fred keeps slurping, eyes on Carrie. “Hello?”
Carrie looks at Fred, still slurping, still beady-eyed. Carrie leaves the room. Fred shakes his head, slapping the headphones back. Carrie rushes along the landing. Phone to her ear: “One sec…” Carrie enters her room. Shuts the door. Plonks down on the bed. “Hi.”
Inside No.7 Kaz is flying. She's in amongst a room filled with partygoers all dressed as a hundred different characters. All moving to a vibrating groove and a thumping beat. Kaz, aka Tina Turner, is moving to a different groove and a different beat on a different astral plane. The room strobes, mirrorballs reflect, haze mystifies. The room sways and twirls and thrusts and bends and swings. Kaz’s world slows down. Her face contorts with ecstasy. She is on her own. In her own space. Moving like a siren, seductive and mythical.
Clint strides up Raikes Parade. Walking straight past No.7 oblivious to the racket. “Clint! The party’s in here.” Clint stops. He does not turn instantly. It’s an unfamiliar voice. Slowly Clint’s hand goes to the Colt. Behind him Catweazle starts doing a little jig. “C’mon. It’s rocking!” Catweazle darts back inside the house. Clint eases round. No.7 is throbbing. Clint saunters over and carefully heads into the house. Inside the hallway - IN HIS FACE - Albert Einstein, “Wicked! Amazin’ fancy dress!” - BAM! The muzzle of Clint’s Colt is rammed up Albert Einstein’s nose. “This ain’t no fuckin’ fancy dress. If you think I’m fuckin’ joking say those words again. In fact if you’re the fuckin’ cocky little cunt that I think you are you will say those words again…"
The kitchen is cramped. Linda stands opposite a pissed Jesus Christ wearing a crown of thorns, blood trickles down his forehead. From outside the kitchen, a seismic BANG!… Followed by raucous CHEERS followed by high-pitched SCREAMING. Jesus Christ holds his hands up in mock surrender; he checks out Linda. Linda is unimpressed. “Your stigmata’s smudged.” Jesus Christ nods thoughtfully. “How about I nail you.” Linda, aka The Clown, straightens her back and steps into Jesus Christ’s space. The orange painted lips smile but the eyes don’t. Linda starts riffing, “Butcher’s blade made the steelsmith’s grade. Twelve inch knife took away his life. Punctured heart, flat as a fart. He got no pain from the thick red stain. One more stab through his sallow flab. Retracting the dagger he started to stagger. The fucker frowned as he was downed. She got a kick from the crumbling prick. A two-footed stamp to the base of his neck, one dead man…”
Linda pauses. A slight shrug of the shoulders - so what. Linda walks out of the kitchen. Jesus Christ holds his arms outstretched. “Jesus loves you Linda! JESUS LOVES YOU!”
Linda moves down the hallway passing Clint. Clint turns into the living room and enters the vortex. The syncopated bodies move as one. The music is LOUD. Swathes of coloured light crisscross the room. The revellers are revelling in the jagged beat. Clint moves through the crowd -BAM! Clint is thunderstruck, he freezes, like a photograph. His vision shifts. The room bends and distorts. The dancing has slowed down, again. Like Kaz before, Clint is locked inside his own head. He hears a different tune: Adam & the Ants’ The Human Beings. Through the crowd a native American woman writhes and swivels sensuously, she is captivating; she wears full tribal dress. Blackfoot Pawnee Cheyenne Crow Apache Arapaho… Clint is stuck steadfast. Eyes agog. The native American slithers and slides. She spots Clint. She appears to levitate and gravitates towards him. Blackfoot Pawnee Cheyenne Crow Apache Arapaho… Clint fixed with thrilled fear. The partygoers inexplicably do not bump into or block or in anyway hamper native American’s path through the heaving, sweaty, joyful crowd. Her eyes lock on Clint’s. Clint’s eyes lock on hers. Her hands reach out clutching Clint’s face, she kisses him exquisitely and passionately.
Donna shoves Arthur. “Get off!” The two of them squashed together on a crushed cardboard box. Through the wall the bedlam of No.7 reverberates. “You’d have thought our neighbours’d have invited us.”
“We’d be king and queen of that bullshit…"
Darren enters the room and collapses on a cardboard box. “Living like cockroaches don’t mean you’ll survive end time.” Donna looks at Darren. “End time?!”
“Nothing gonna survive apocalypse.”
Arthur agrees. “Your tin-pot shelter’ll disinter-fuckin-grate.”
“I’ve reinforced it with two feet of concrete.”
“I have… You two won’t be laughing when you’re dead.”
“I don’t expects we’ll be doing much of anything.”
Candy is in hysterics. She is being pounded from behind. Tony’s buttocks push then pull in time to his singing, “We are the champions. WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS.” Tony holds aloft two trophies, one in each hand. “No time for losers ‘cos we are the champions… of Lan-ker-sheer!” Candy whips round onto her back. “You did good Bandalucci.” Tony kneels to attention; trophies held high. “So did you Candy darling.”
“I say we buy the Winnebago. Hit the road.”
“Conquer the world.”
“We could win ‘em all.”
“I don’t doubt that for a second.”
“Gotta make the most of it while yer can.”
“You gets one opportunity.”
“I’m hearing opportunity banging on the fuckin’ door.”
“Opportunity is kicking the fucker down…”
“Are we gonna get nuked?”
“This town won’t get nuked babe. Nothing of strategic value in this shit hole. I s’pose the only value is eradicating it’s goddamn gene pool.”
“So we stay put?”
“For now. But set the alarm.”
Booop. Booop. Booop. Booop. Booop… The clock reads: 03.00. Chuck’s arm flops onto the clock turning the alarm off. Chuck tiptoes along the landing holding a carrier bag. Then creeps out of the back door. Up onto a bin, up onto the boundary wall. Chuck starts to shimmy up his neighbour's drainpipe.
Stubsy is in bed, eyes shut. On the rickety wooden chair by his bedside sits a 6” TV monitor. On the screen is Stubsy’s back yard. From the monitor noises of something scraping… Stubsy’s eyes ping open. Head still sideways on the pillow he focuses on the monitor: shuffling up the drainpipe is Chuck; his head gets extremely close to the lens of the unseen CCTV camera…
Chuck, near the gutter, nervously reaches across and lifts up an open window. Grabbing the frame he shakily steps over onto the sill and starts to quickly pull himself through the ten inch gap… In the monitor Chuck’s legs disappear into the back room. Stubsy points at the monitor and presses a button, switching channels. Another camera inside the back room sees Chuck pulling himself through, head first… Chuck crawls down the window onto the floor and then quietly stands upright, listening, ears pricked… In the monitor Chuck listens, like a meerkat. Chuck then pulls out of his back pocket a pair of marigold gloves and begins to put one on. Stubsy looks puzzled. Reaching for his mobile. He presses: 9 9 9. In the monitor Chuck pulls on the second marigold. Stubsy whispers into the phone, “I’m being burgled… Yeah, right now.”
A new day. The paper boy flies down Church Street. Springing off the pavement. Hopping up curbs. Dodging deadbeat dogs. Pulling a wheelie. Weaving in and out of parked cars. Back onto the pavement. Checking his reflection in shop windows. Approaching the corner of Raikes Parade. Leaning into the bend... Elaine leaps out; arms like snakes, face shrieking - a raving banshee! “WWWWWWAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!” The bike wobbles. Misses the corner. Goes straight on. Thumps down the curb and slams into a parked car; the paper boy somersaults over the bonnet. Elaine is laughing uncontrollably. Jumping up and down gleefully.
Sandy is stood inside Chuck’s bedroom. The bed is empty. She yells, “Where the fuck’s Chuck?” Downstairs in the living room Gaz munches on his breakfast cereal - his jaws stop. From upstairs, “I bet you’ve got something to do with this.” His eyes think. Slowly Gaz starts crunching. Suddenly the Benny Hill theme tune... Gaz grabs his mobile. Unknown number. “Hello.”
“Is that Gary Entwistle?”
“This is WPC Harvey down at Poulton police station. We’ve got your son.”
Inside the holding cell Chuck sits on the springless bed imperceptibly shaking his pissed-off head at Gaz. WPC Harvey and Gaz stand above him. “Anyway. The boy was caught brown-handed smearing excrement all over the victim’s fireplace wall…” Gaz screws up his face, disgusted. “Not literally." says the WPC, "He was wearing marigolds.”
Chuck scowls at Gaz. “When questioned the boy said that the excrement wasn’t his.”
“We’ve taken a sample. We’ll get some solid DNA from that.”
A glint in Chuck’s eyes. Gaz asks, “Is it worth all that effort?”
“Of course it is. The boy has been groomed..."
"That's right. I've been groomed dad." interjects Chuck. "We’ll have to eliminate family first...” Gaz smiles on the outside. Chuck grins on the inside.
Sydney’s two eyes sit restlessly behind a gas mask strapped to his head. His voice is muffled, “Can you read my expression?” Kathleen wears a gas mask too; she paints her toenails, uninterested in what Sydney is saying. Kerry-Anne runs into the room, gas mask on her face, her voice is also muffled, “I’m going out to play.” and runs back out the room. “What do you think today has in store for us?” Kathleen concentrates. “What?!”
“Do you think it’s gonna rain?”
“Fuck knows. Check out the weather.”
“The newsagent said the paperboy’s in hospital. Fractured his fuckin’ spine.”
Kathleen looks up from her feet. “I’ve only just got out of bed so I ain’t getting back in it.”
“This banal chit-chat shit happens when you’re horny.”
“Now that you mention it.”
Mr. Pigeon, sat at a table in the kitsch lounge, waiting for his breakfast, mobile to his ear, whispering, “Forget what I said.” Councillor Cosgrove, exasperated, behind his desk. “But the cogs are greased and groaning as we speak…"
“Fuck ‘em. Jam a spanner in the assholes.”
Mr. Pigeon hangs up as Elaine walks in with his breakfast passing Wayne and Carl. “Pay your dues boy.” Carl gives a thumbs up. Elaine reaches Mr. Pigeon, she is bloated with happiness. “This has got to be one of the best mornings of my entire life!”
Councillor Cosgrove leans into the intercom, “Ewan.”
“So you lost to that dumb wazzock Bandalucci.”
“How the hell did that happen? I had a hundred quid you’d be crowned King fuckin’ Kong.”
“Sorry about that boss.”
The councillor pulls back from the intercom. Ewan is suddenly standing in the room. Ewan is colossal. Built like Lou Ferrigno. “Boss.”
“Got any tips on how I can get a girlfriend?”
Councillor Cosgrove looks at Ewan, then leans back into his chair and puts his feet up onto the desk, hands behind his head. “First things first, you need a good suit.”
Lyn poses naked in front of a tall mirror. Her figure is damn fine. Lyn, all sassy at her reflection, “What are you looking at?” Lyn’s reflection talks back. “I’m looking at you. With an ass like that where else would I be looking.”
“Maybe you were looking at my tits.”
“I’m looking at them tits too. Them tits have got me all hot and bothered. I’d die a thousand deaths to bury myself deep down in those babies…"
"And these legs...Yah!" she high-kicks at the mirror. "Oh my, you can wrap those legs around my neck any day of the week." KA-RASH! The bedroom window shatters. Lyn jumps. Glass sprays into the room. “FUCKIN’ NORA!” She leaps back away from the window. A football settles on the bed.
Lisa bombs it down the alley; her football boots rapidly clack-clack-clack-clack-clack clacking all the way down. Running straight past Kerry-Anne, still wearing the gas mask. Kerry-Anne twists her head round to watch the disappearing Lisa… Turning back Kerry-Anne meanders up the alley, kicking stones, thudding off back gates. Kerry-Anne starts to run up the alley. Arms outstretched she banks left, banks right. Her aeroplane dives. Behind the mask she imitates the chugging of a machine gun letting loose on the enemy below. An air raid siren erupts: UUUUAAAAAwOOOOOOUUUUAAAAwOOOOOO… In an instant she is the man on the ground; rushing for cover, looking for the Luftwaffe high above.
On Fred's TV WWII footage. Fred watches the TV. The headphones hug his head. Stukas, explosions, tank shells booming, buildings collapsing, soldiers marching, grenades, rat-a-tat-tat gunfire - the sounds of good old-fashioned warfare. Atop the din a narrator informs us that The Black Devil knew how to fly! Movement elsewhere catches Fred’s eye. Carrie is in the room. She is speaking but Fred cannot hear her. He releases the headphones. Carrie repeats, “What the fuck’s going on with that?” Pointing skyward. UUUUAAAAAwOOOOOOUUUUAAAAwOOOOOO… The air raid siren wails. Fred chuckles. “I thought that was on ‘ere.” nodding at the TV.
Sandy and Chuck frown at the TV; the screen has gone blank. Chuck scoffs a burger. Both are oblivious to the UUUUAAAAAwOOOOOOUUUUAAAAwOOOOOO… Sandy shouts out back, “Oi! Asshole! Get in here and fix the fuckin’ TV.” Then at Chuck, gently, “Would you like some more chips?” Chuck nods, mouth full of food. Gaz enters. “Chuck would like more chips.”
“What the fuck do you take me for?”
"The bastard butler that's what."
"This fuckin' breakfast ain't good for him you know."
"Make. The. Chips."
Linda, all bleary-eyed and smeared clown face, slouches out of her bedroom, yawning. UUUUAAAAAwOOOOOOUUUUAAAAwOOOOOO… Lyn rushes out of her bedroom, pulling up her short shorts, nearly falling over, colliding with Linda. “What’s all the racket?”
“That little shit kicked a ball through the window.” Lyn speedily hustles down the stairs. Linda shouts after her, “Can’t you hear it?” As Lyn bolts out the front door... The air raid siren is very LOUD: UUUUAAAAAwOOOOOO UUUUAAAAAwOOOOOO UUUUAAAAwOOOOOO… Lyn speed walks down Raikes Parade with great purpose.
Stood at the window, Elaine holds the phone to her ear. She watches Linda on the other side of the road. “Cosgrove?”
“What’s with the fuckin’ siren? It’s bad for business.”
Councillor Cosgrove rolls his eyes. Ewan is sat on a chair on the other side of the desk. “Business’ll have to take a back seat on this one.”
“Bullshit! Turn it off.”
“Who turned it on?”
Elaine turns from the phone. "That dipshit is useless." Mr. Pigeon stands behind her. “I’m gonna have to go see to my birds; they’ll be freaking out.”
Councillor Cosgrove leans back into his chair and lifts his feet onto the desk, hands behind his head. “And buy some quality aftershave. I like Karate.” Ewan nods - this is good advice.
Lyn is seen walking past Stubsy’s window... Stubsy is stood in front of the fireplace. Staring intently at the daubing on the wall: a smiley face, painted with shit. Stubsy is not smiling. His nose twitches with the stench. The sound of the siren is everywhere yet distant. Stubsy’s rage has pushed external noise way, way back. Stubsy erupts. A salvo of martial arts moves; chops, slices and kicks, swaying sideways, bending back, dodging punches - Stubsy is shadow karate-ing. In his head is he beating the crap out of Gaz... In reality his karate moves are pitiful and feeble and couldn't bruise an insect.
Text on a TV screen reads: WHAT FOLLOWS IS AN URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER. Sydney and Kathleen look at each other. “This don’t look good.”
“Let’s go get Kerry-Anne.”
Both jump up and run out of the room and through the front door and out into the street. Kathleen hollers, “KERRY-ANNE!” The gas mask nullifies the shout. Sydney joins in. “KERRY-ANNE!” No one hears.
Kerry-Anne cowers in a corner of someone’s back gate. UUUUAAAAAwOOOOOOUUUUAAAAwOOOOOO… Lyn appears before her. She shouts at Kerry-Anne, “Where’s that footballing freak?” Kerry-Anne points back down the alley. Lyn asks, “What are you doing?”
“The Germans are coming!”
Kerry-Anne points to the sky. Lyn looks up. The drone shoots across her field of vision. Hastily the drone shimmies up the alleyway. Accompanied by the howling of the air raid siren.
Carrie sits on the bed next to Fred. The Prime Minister defiantly addressing the nation, “Citizens of the United Kingdom; as of twenty-five minutes ago our country is at war…" Fred screws up his face, points a crooked finger at the PM. “Blood on your hands!” The drone hovers outside the window. Carrie spots it. She waves excitedly. “...ALL efforts to negotiate a peaceful conclusion were wrung dry…"
Dug into the floor of Darren's back yard is a homemade “nuclear bunker” - corrugated iron sheets and planks of wood. Huddled inside around a radio are Darren, Arthur and Donna listening attentively, “I said NO, no compromise…" Darren interrupts, “Aren’t you two glad you’re in here.” Donna looks at Arthur, ”Your brother's a fuckin' loony!!”
Ping! Edna takes out her porridge from the microwave oven. Jim’s spirit is sat at the table, ear to the radio. “A leader needs to fight for the best interests of their subjects…” Edna joins him. “As a consequence discussions have ceased…" Jim’s spirit rubs his hands gleefully. Edna smiles.
Carrie smiles. She blows the drone a kiss. Fred, at Carrie, “Quit that goo-goo shit and listen to this lunatic!”
“Our enemy launched roughly two hundred and eighty nuclear warheads…"
Carrie kisses the glass. The drone drops like a rock crashing onto the concrete slabs below.
Lyn is slapping Spud about the head. Spud tries desperately to avoid the slaps. “Perverted little prick!” UUUUAAAAAwOOOOOO UUUUAAAAwOOOOOO…
Tony and Candy sit stunned staring at the TV, “Those two hundred and eighty warheads will hit this island in approximately two minutes’ time…"
“Unfortunately, from the tip to the toe, we will be decimated…"
“Oh-o!” says Tony.
Sandy is spitting bile at the TV. “What a fuckin’ tosser!” On the screen Jeremy Kyle berates some poor young fella. “Can I get some arctic roll?” asks Chuck. Sandy shouts out back, “Get Chuck some arctic roll!” Gaz is in the kitchen, he sticks up two fingers on both hands mouthing fuck you at the other side of the wall. On the table, a portable TV, “But fear not. I have already given the instruction to retaliate…"
“A lot of fuckin’ good that’ll do.”
Linda is on her knees in front of the TV. “Trident was launched…" Linda is agitated, rocking back and forth. “I don’t wanna die... I don’t wanna die…"
“A total of sixteen missiles were fired…" Prrring prrring... Prrring prrring... Linda snatches up the phone receiver. “HELLO!”
Linda is hysterical. “Hurry up! Say what you‘ve gotta say. The world ends in two fuckin’ minutes!”
“It’s Steve. Steve the milkman…"
Outside the siren wails. Inside the pigeon loft Mr. Pigeon tries to calm his anxious birds. “Shhhhh...! It’s ok. Daddy’s here.” Stroking one of his beloved birds that's frightened and flustered. He switches on the radio for some soothing tones: “We estimate that we should kill three million people and decimate a thousand square miles of arable land…"
“Fucking hell!” Mr. Pigeon switches stations quickly. Mahler’s fifth. He turns up the volume to drown out the air raid siren.
Elaine, Wayne and Carl stare up at the TV high in the corner of the room. “We’re sending out a message, a message that says that this proud land is not to be messed with…" Phut... Doing! A text message. Wayne checks his mobile. Reads the message. Then dashes to the door. Along the hallway and out the front door onto the street, sprinting for his life down Raikes Parade. UUUUAAAAAwOOOOOOUUUUAAAAwOOOOOO… Elaine turns to Carl, “You’re going to owe me eight quid for eternity.” Carl shrugs.
Running up Raikes Parade; Kathleen holding hands with Kerry-Anne who is holding hands with Sydney. “Let it be known that this great nation will not kowtow to nothing and no-one…" They run through the front door. Slamming the front door.
Fred and his bare bones have shuffled over to the window. “Let it be said that the great British people stood up for their principles…" Fred pushes the window open and leans out, his white arse bent over the sill. UUUUAAAAAwOOOOOO UUUUAAAAwOOOOOO… Carrie is on her knees crying. The lifeless drone cracked on the slabs. Fred, from above, “It’s a fuckin’ drone. Like you’re fuckin’ sobbing is a fuckin’ drone…” Carrie, tears streaming down her
cheeks, “He’s got a name. He’s called Spud!”
Stubsy sits at his computer. The Japanese girl asks, “Why are you here?”
“What other option do I have?”
Another window pops-up on Stubsy’s screen. The PM: “Two minutes is not a long time. I suggest we all go and make peace with God...” he pauses, "Wherever the hell he might be." The Prime Minister departs the press room. The pop-up window vanishes. “Why not go find real girl. Real flesh so much nicer…"
Thirty, forty, fifty men all dashing towards the Pink Flamingo… A sign on the door reads: OPEN NOW! DANCE YOUR LIFE AWAY! Inside: BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM...! The beat is insane. Hundreds of sweaty men dancing like it’s the last day on Earth. In amongst them all is Wayne.
Tony and Candy leap up onto their feet. Tearing at their clothes. Stood in their undies… Both flexing their muscles and striking championship winning poses. Candy roars, “C’mahhhhhn!”
Clint, in his back yard, firing both pistols into the air. Bang!Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!Bang!Bang! Bang...! “YEEEEHAAAW!”
Councillor Cosgrove, still feet on desk, hands behind his head, reclined in his chair. “Get yourself a good barber. You can’t put a price on a good haircut neither.” Ewan makes notes. UUUUAAAAAwOOOOOOUUUUAAAAwOOOOOO…
Stubsy stands on his doorstep, inhales deeply, then steps out into his front yard. Rushing round the corner of the back alley comes Lyn, running out into the middle of the road. Stopping dead still. Lyn bellows, “WHO WANTS TO FUCK?”
Stubsy looks left and right, then slowly raises his hand.
The front door of Chuck’s house slams shut. Sandy, frowning, cranes her head to look out the window. Gaz can be seen walking out the front yard with his hand in the air. Chuck stands. “I’m going out on my bike.” Sandy, watching Gaz, “Ok.” UUUUAAAAAwOOOOOO UUUUAAAAAwOOOOOO UUUUAAAAwOOOOOO… Chuck wheels his bike out the back gate and into the alley. Mounting the bike he starts to pedal up the alley… cruising. Whistling if he could. Cool as fuck. KA-DOOM! A BLINDING WHITE FLASH. The world shudders. A sudden great force pushes Chuck forward. Sticking his legs out wide. The boy and his bike hit breathtaking speed. A great big grin on Chuck’s face… “Ooooooooooo EEEEEEEEEEE…!"