(New episodes every Thursday)
Rain fell relentlessly upon the worn cobblestone streets of the Longcroft estate, turning them into a mosaic of shimmering reflections. The buildings, once new red-bricked tenements, stood huddled together like weary soldiers, their mortar crumbling in surrender to the passage of time. Faded facades bore the scars of neglect, windows patched with cardboard and chipboard. The air was thick with the acrid scent of dampness and despair. Puddles collected in the potholes, mirroring the fractured hopes of those who tread these labyrinthine alleys. Skinny cats with matted fur darted between discarded take away boxes, seeking refuge from the unforgiving elements. Laundry lines, strung precariously between sagging posts, held garments that seemed to have lost both colour and purpose. Faces, etched with lines that told tales of hardship, peered out from behind curtains of threadbare lace. In the heart of this urban decay on the Longcroft estate, the echoes of laughter and the vibrancy of life seemed like distant memories, buried beneath the weight of socioeconomic struggle.
On a bench on a hill overlooking the estate Dave and Vinny sat.
“I fucking love this place.” said Vinny.
Dave gave him a sideways glance and sipped from his coffee cup before speaking.
“Is that why you dragged me up here? To tell me how much you love the place.”
Vinny looked at his long-time friend. He rummaged in his pocket and drew out a minute bottle of whisky.
“Here put this in your coffee that’ll cheer you up a bit.”
Dave upended the tiny bottle into his coffee and raised his cup in salute.
Vinny took another tiny bottle from his pocket and sipped from it.
“I just thought it might do us good to get some exercise for a change Dave. A change of perspective you know?”
“Well the endorphins might be making you cheerful Vin but all I see from here is how much the place has gone to rack and ruin.”
“I hear what you are saying and parts of the estate are hard to look at but it’s all down to despair and dreams, my friend.”
“You know I hate it when you talk in riddles Vinny.”
“Well in a place like this you either succumb to the despair or your dreams lift you up, make you fight, make you struggle and become something. A good something.”
“Ok, I get the lesson Vinny, NOW can we go to the Rampant Horse please while I’m still bursting with inspiration.”…