We all been here donkey's years. Me and Lizzie, Jim and Else at forty-four, Bernie and Brenda next door, and Tom and Sylvie next door to them. Brung our kids up, we have, watched em grow, sent em on their way into the big wide world. Been there for em when they come toddlin back, give em what they need, and send them on their way again. It's a family street, see, this street, a street where your neighbours is your eyes an ears when your out, and you do the same for them just cos it's right and it's proper. Just like the old days what me nan and granddad used to tell me when I was a nipper. Days before the war. Good old days, me Granddad used to say, where your home was your home and your house was your house, and he'd neck another stout and tell me all over again.
So when one night, this shitty lookin motor turns up outside my house, my house, blarin it's horn and playin some god awful fuckin music loud as you like, and this young geezer gets out and starts shoutin his mouth off with language the like of what just don't get spoke round here, you can imagine, I weren't best fuckin pleased.
I goes up in our bedroom, keep the lights off so he don't see me, and pulls the nets back a bit.
Motor's an orange Fiesta. Well, the front half's orange, the back half's blue. And the music, fuck me, that ain't music. It's just thumpin. Like when I used to work down the docks and we used to stick some cunt in an oil drum what'd been askin for it and we'd put the lid on and bang the arse out the side till he come crawlin out like a new born fuckin babe. Right laugh that was.
So I'm thinkin of goin down there, givin this geezer a piece of me mind, when Darren, Bernie and Brenda's eldest, comes out the house and starts chattin away to him. Bleedin mate of his, ain't he. Well that puts a spanner in the works, that fuckin does. Cos me and Bernie, we're like brothers, we are. Known him since I was three. Done Korea together, we did. God awful times, they was. And we watched the lads win the World Cup in '66, arm in fuckin arm. So when his boy rolls out and starts yackin with this fuckin knob in the orange/blue Fiesta, I realise I got a bit of a problem on me hands.
Lizzie comes up behind me.
'What are you doing, Ted?' she says.
I points out the 'disturbance' below. She don't think nothing of it. Says it's just kids. Tells me tea'll be ready in a minute and not to be too long.
Darren goes back inside, and the geezer in the orange/blue fiesta wheel-spins his way out the street like he's chasin the fuckin wind.
Now, a one off, I can take. Like Lizzie says, just kids. But he comes back the next night, and the night after that. And by the third time, I'm fuckin steamin. Time to have a word. Lizzie tries to talk me out of it, says it ain't worth causin a scene. And maybe she's right. But, you know, there's some things in this life you gotta stand up for. And one of em's just plain old fuckin decency.
See, if you let cunts like that walk all over you, let em think they got the measure of you, then your fucked. Churchill was right. Fight em on the beaches, he said. Fight em in the clouds, fight em every fuckin where.
So, I goes down.
'Excuse me,' I says to the lad, all nice and polite, in me best Queen's English. 'Would you mind turnin that music down, son? Cos it's a bit loud, you know.'
He looks at me like I smell of cat shit, and tells me to fuck off.
Fair enough, I thinks. Fair play to the lad. He's spoke his mind, he's every right to do so.
'Okay,' I says. 'Okay,' and I turn round and go back in the house. I know he ain't goin nowhere now, cos he thinks he's got the better of me. Thinks it's his patch and he can do whatever the fuck he likes.
I've give him a chance. Truly, I have. I tell Lizzie. 'I don't want no hassle, Liz,' I says. But she knows the lids comin off.
I have a chat with Bernie about the situation over a brew next day. He don't like the crowd his Darren's got into, and he gives me the green light to do whatever I fuckin have to. That's real mates for you, that is. Real fuckin mates.
So when this cunt turns up next night in his orange/blue Fiesta, I give Bernie a bell. Just codewords, you know, like in Korea. I wait for Bernie to come out his house, and when he's got the geezer in the orange/blue Fiesta, engaged in conversation, I slip out and into the back of the geezer's motor like a fuckin panther. And cos of how loud the music is, and with Bernie keeping him focused, the prick ain't got a fuckin clue. And before he knows what's happenin, Bernie's climbed in beside him and I got a screwdriver to his throat. Just like the Pusan Perimeter in '50.
Me and Benie's in the zone, now. Workin on instinct. When you got your back to the wall and the enemy's at the gate, it just comes down to one thing. Survival. And you gotta take your opportunities when they arise. You ain't got time to mess around.
So we gets him to drive us out to the woods, so we can have a proper chat. Ten minutes later, we're stuffin what's left of him into a black bin liner, and draggin him down to the lake where the water never moves.
See, thing is, some people got no consideration. And that's all we're askin for round here. A thought or two for your fellow human bein.
And surely, that ain't too much to fuckin ask.
Ian Ayris lives just outside London, England, with his wife and three children.
He has several published short stories to his name, both in print and online,
and has just completed his first novel.