I HAVE JUST SOLD MY HOUSE. I pop round to pick up my last few belongings. There is a new family already in the house. They are a rough family with lots of kids. I walk around the house deciding what to take and what to leave. The house is very cluttered. There are no banisters on the stairs which I think is dangerous.
I go upstairs into the kid’s room. There are hundreds of books on shelves covering the walls from the floor to the ceiling. The books belong to my oldest daughter. She has decided to leave her books for the new kids. I reach up to the top shelf and take a small blue book—Wuthering Heights—a copy which belonged to my (now dead) mum. It was presented to her as a prize at school, with an inscription inside the front cover.
I pick up a guitar. It has a broken neck. I decide to leave it behind. I see a red electric guitar and then a yellow one. There is another guitar with a short collapsible neck, so short that it is unplayable, but I notice it is double-sided and has a longer neck on the reverse. Then I notice it is made from a human arm so I decide to leave it. I walk to the stairs and see my Rupert and Trigger teddy bears on the shelves at the top of the stairs. I take them and walk down the stairs.
Downstairs, the father is drunk and getting annoyed at my presence. He wants me to leave. I see a bad demon with a black and white face sitting in a chair in the front room. I don’t feel safe. I know I need to leave quickly so I try to butter the father up. I point to a collection of Whimsy ornaments on the shelves in the entrance hallway and tell him they are worth £2000. I tell him I will let him keep them but I have to leave now as I have to go to a meeting at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Now he doesn’t want me to leave. He tells me he is a gang leader and now I am in his gang. I feel trapped. I try to leave but he forces me into a white car with a gang member. We are going to a drug deal. I jump out of the car and run away. I run around the streets looking for my new house. I realise I am alone. Where is my family? I am scared, looking over my shoulder in case the gang is following me.
I approach a rival gang leader. This gang is more sophisticated. The members are all gentlemen with suits and long black overcoats. I explain I want to join their gang for protection from the rival gang, but I have standards: I won’t do anything illegal unless it’s ethical; I won’t do drug deals; I won’t beat a person; and I have meetings at the Kingdom on Thursday night and Sunday morning.
We walk around Rotherham town centre. One of the gang members explains they have a “no swearing” rule. Then he makes a huge paper “cootie catcher” and jumps off an overpass using it to slow his fall. He swoops down over the motorway traffic and back up to my side. “What the fuck!” I shout. Then I laugh and say, “Oops! I just broke the no swearing rule!”
I carry on walking with the gang. A black man joins me and tells me, “They are good people. They enforce the law of the street.” He tells me we are going to a club. I ask, “What if I want to leave?” and “Where are my family?” but I receive no answer. As we walk along I drop a tiny piece of paper on the ground. I’m worried the gang will think I’m littering so I look for a bin to drop another piece of paper in. I hope they will think the piece I dropped was a mistake and that I was unaware I dropped it.