Rain. Gentle rain. The people on the pavement are there because they have to be apart from the Polish alcoholic. He sleeps with his mouth to the gutter.

Indoors. Curtains move a little. A paint brush sweeps up a wall. The baby in the top flat in the block on the corner is still crying.

Social workers. Baby P. He ought to call. Babies do cry. Ask the woman at number 10. She’ll know.

The doctors. An appointment for the fungus. The clock. It’s late. She’s walking down the high street.

The High Street. Deserted. A woman appears on the corner.

A pair of men get off the bus. Tall and loping. They’re coming at you. You lean to the wall. They part a little. You walk between.

‘. . . she asked me to be her pimp’

Count twenty steps. Turn your head. Look behind. He turns his. Looks behind. Eyes meet.

Thinking. Run to the doctors now. Thinking. Walk steady. The church. Another bus. A cyclist. Where the hell is everyone?