A blowy night, sharp and cold, is disturbed by noise in the backcourt. A boy's voice roars, hoarse and hollow, sounding so close that it merits a nosey from behind the bedroom curtain. A quick twitch and he's spotted just 10 feet below. And, it seems he's looking right up at our window!
He's dressed in blue from cap, through trackies, to trainers. His ratty face wears a malevolent smirk, his narrow eyes dart up and down the building. A tinkle of breaking glass sends him skipping in towards the back door of the close.
As if by magic, just a moment later, he appears right across the backs dreepying down from out a close window opposite us.
He races back to our building and stops dead, draws back and stares resolutely at the window, then chucks a billiard ball, bang, smash, through the glassy pane of the landing window.
Peely wally, pinched, narrow, snivelling, sneering; this is a sad state of affairs.
Footsteps are heard racing, thumping on the stairs, first up and then down, and then all falls quiet.