\n\n\nAs Temple steps out of his car and onto [[new ground| https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=New+St,+Ash,+Canterbury,+Kent+CT3+2Bw&ie=UTF-8&ei=hySXUrqsNo2u7AbQ9YHwCw&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAg]], he is hit by a stillness that doesn’t reside where he is from, in the jostling city. The air embraces him with the remnants of allotment [[vegetable]] dinners, the sweetness of orchard apples and the promise of refreshed lungs. Temple retrieves his notepad from his trouser pocket and glances at the scribbled address sewn into the lined paper. This is it, the buttery yellow, brick house in front of him. He adjusts his itchy collar, tucks his chipolata length pencil behind his right ear and sashays to the front door to announce his arrival.
“Philippe, darling- I’m making Mahkani for dinner, don’t be too long out there!” June Cesbron calls from her kitchen window, before relieving her toes from en pointe and twirling back to the stove. \n “Not a fan of Mahkani, Mum. Might see if [[Scott Pott]] wants to go down kebab shop,” Kyle Cesbron says with shrugged shoulders as he appears in the doorframe. He perches on a stool at the breakfast bar, rubs his eyes and coos to the mongrel in the wicker basket under the dining table. \n “P Dids, my little man, you all cosy in there? Wanna come get a kebab with the crew? You get first dibs in the van, Diddy bro!”\n Kyle grins, flashing a tooth gem on his left upper canine. He begins to roll up a batch of baccy, provoking a shriek of “Not in the house!!” from his mother. Tutting, Kyle makes a peace sign with his fingers and signals at P Diddy before sauntering to the back door, his tracksuit bottoms drooping. Philippe attempts to come through the door; Kyle pats him on the shoulder and leaves. \n “What have you sheared today my sweetheart?” June asks from her pirouette. \n “C’est a buffalo! We mean abundance, chérie.” Philippe replies, clapping his shears together with leather gloved paws. \n June pops her petite head out of the doorframe and exclaims: “Oooh!” She presses a finger to her lips and whispers: “Looks just like [[Dudley|Dudley]] next door!” She returns to the kitchen counter to dish up dinner, chanting the chorus of Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldier.\n\n
“Oh my saucy Christy,” says Dudley, damp rolls of fat unfastening from his partner’s body in the way a suction cup bath mat peels from acrylic. Christy giggles, flicking her hair onto the pillow beneath her head. \n “You fire right up like a [[racing car]]- brum!” she says seductively, pressing her hands firmly down on his torso then stroking his jet-black eye patch. “Let’s stay here all day.”\n “What else would we do? Didn’t swindle the system for nothing you know, it’s all for my Christy,” Dudley replies, puckering up.\n “You sure can use that [[gammy leg]] to your advantage,” Christy whispers. “And mine for that matter…” She pauses with a finger in her mouth. “Can I give you a… good wash and polish?” Christy flicks the covers off herself and slinks to the en-suite, where she initiates the sound of shower spray. \n “Oh yer, make me feel like a squeaky clean baby again,” Dudley cackles, shifting to pull himself up from the bed. \nThe shower stops. Christy runs and dives onto Dudley, provoking a “Gurgh!” She buries her head in his neck and wails.\n “I want a babyyyy!”\n Dudley bats her off his chest, struggling for breath. “Want doesn’t get! Take that up with your bloody ovaries; it’s not my bloody problem! I got plenty of spunk in this trunk!” He pats a bulge under the duvet. Christy howls next to him, her face in her palms. A row ensues through the bedroom wall; a deep voice yells: “I’m so ugly!” and a second, muffled female voice shrieks “Get a fucking grip!”\n “Why would you want one of those things anyway?” Dudley bellows, gesturing behind the bed frame to the wall. He bangs on it with one clenched fist. “Bloody [[kid]]!”\n\n
Monday, 9th December, 2013.\nDetective Jesse Temple pulls up and parks perfectly adjacent to the thin grey slab you could call a curb. His passenger window rubs noses with a quaint old bungalow boasting a poignantly well-constructed rockery that has seen brighter days. Temple glances into his rear view mirror, surveying his personal space and raising an eyebrow with gratification. He has made a point of doing this since a Betty Brogus crumbled his bumper with her SUV, as he sat studying the Sandwich Times outside his hotel just half an hour ago. She’d forgotten to put her glass eye in. Temple’s already jotted down that he needs to find a decent garage ‘asap’. Thankfully [[New Street]], on first acquaintance, seems absent of Betty clones.
Friday, 11th February, 2011.\n “Can’t believe you’re off to blimin’ Monte Carlo tomorrow- instead of sunning myself on the Larvotto, I’ll be cleaning Doris Deptford’s bungalow. What about me, Harold? Lonely little me! On Valentine’s day too. Good job I have Fred and Rosemary for company!” Christy stuck her nose in the air as she finished polishing the black walnut wood taking centre stage on the sitting room mantelpiece. \n “You know I have to do these shifts; it’s what you signed up for when you signed the papers in church, Chris,” Harold replied, running his fingertips through what was left of his sandy hair. Naturally, weak hair follicles can only take so much.\n “You and your blimin’ racing cars!! Can’t you get someone else to transport them to the tracks, you know, someone that doesn’t have me to look after! I deserve better Harold! Don’t I, nan?” Christy asks, stroking the lid of the urn.\n “You and your…your nan… and your chickens! I don’t come first anyway! I can’t fill the gap of not having a child to nurture, can I chris? It’s my career that’s paid for the five tries at IVF!” Harold cried.\n “Don’t bring Fred and Rosemary into this!!” Christy screeched, launching her duster cloth at Harold. \n “I’m sorry I can’t give you want you want,” Harold said, looking down at his socks. \n “Maybe you can! A divorce!” Christy said, eyes wide and wintry. “I’m leaving you for another [[man|Dudley]]”. \n
[img[newspaper]] \n\nWednesday, November 23rd, 2010. Harvey’s Donut Diner.\n\n “Like getting out this old bit of coverage, Karl. My little bit of fame, them having a copy in the rack here. I’m a local celebrity really. Glad it happened to be honest, Karl. No pain, no gain. And I’ve gained a whole lot of sitting round with Molson and Grand Theft Auto. Works on my biceps, the controller work. Had some news for you Karl; been in touch with a bird of mine from school. Fancy a change after having the wife nag me for the last ten years. I’ll leave the nut job here to get her attitude back up to scratch and I’m going to go over [[England|Dudley]], set up a nest if you know what I mean. She is fruity, the mistress, if you know what I mean, Karl mate. Got some saucy pictures on my phone if you want to see.” \n
Saturday, 7th December 2013, Ash Village Bowls Club. \n “The last number is… christmas cake, 38! Joan the waver over there takes the full house jackpot! Right ladies and gents, a very good night to you and we’ll see you next year!”\n The pensioner filled hall vibrated with applause as Leonard closed his bingo cage and Dorothy rejoined him after rewarding Joan Herold with her cash. \n “Oh, ladies and gents- all other festive donations in envelopes to this box here please- tremendous thanks.” Leonard tapped a container marked The Salvation Army. Leonard and Dorothy watched as the bingo players filed out, posting their envelopes into the box. \n “Thanks Fred, thanks Julie, Graham, Cathy.” Leonard nodded with appreciation. Finally the hall became vacant, excluding the lingering scent of sausage, mash and antiseptic cream. \n “Excellent calling tonight Lenny as always,” Dorothy said, pecking him on the cheek. “So, which envelopes shall we nab tonight? I say [[Betty Granger’s|curtain]] if we can find it- she’s so haughty with money”. \n
“Some say they’re vegetables really, you know, low brain activity and that, but no, some of them know what’s going on. Like Ernie obviously. See Martin there, he’s in a world of his own. Quite content counting the stains on that chair. We had gravy last night, see. ”\n Ms Owens is a hefty woman whose voice triumphs over the television and ceases to run out of fuel. Temple stands in the centre of Langdon Lodge’s sitting room, lukewarm cup of black coffee in one hand, notepad in the other. The mug has the phrase: “Fuck, bollocks, wank” inscribed onto it with an equally as amiable skull motif. \n “Ah here’s Ernie, where have you been Ernster, the bog? This is Mr Temple, he’s here to talk to you about your...mishap with your DIY project. Shake his hand, go on!”\n Ernie is a man of, at guesswork- judging by the sprout of hairs on his globe-like head- fifty three. He wears brown corduroys with a salmon hued shirt. When he outstretches an arm to address Temple, his wrist flashes a nimble, tan [[watch]]. \n “Pleasure to meet you Ernie, how do you do? And what can you tell me about the theft that occurred yesterday evening?”\n Ernie speaks slowly but assuredly, and with conviction. “It was that Kyle bloke from []. I know it; I know he’s a training crook, I know it was him and that mutt.” His head bounces up and down as if on a spring.\n
The Neighbours (Episode 1: Pinocchio)
A toilet flushes with gusto. A bathroom door opens. Scott Pott smoothes down his football shirt, pushes his round framed glasses back up his fleshy, pale nose and lifts the brown suitcase at his feet. It’s an old sort, with a faux crocodile skin, square handle and two silver locks. Scott Pott carries the case to the kitchen; a room with lime green lino and juxtaposing terracotta tiling. His parents are there and they drink red bush tea together, Scott Pott never once setting down the suitcase. It rests on his lap, sticking out at ridiculous angles and building a sweat pool on his groin that surfaces when he rises.\n “I must iron my shirt again before I meet Kyle,” Scott Pott says to his mother. \n “But you ironed it just half an hour ago, sweetie,” his mother replies with a weak smile.\n “The [[Cesbrons]] always compliment my lack of creases,” Scott Pott answers with a shrug. \n
Three Christmases ago\n\n“Happy Christmas Uncle Ernie,” whispered Matilda as she perched gingerly on her uncle’s lap. In her hand sat a square black box. She spread her fingers out with such care, and held them as still as a snowman would be, waiting for Ernie to remove the lid. Ernie fumbled with it, biting his tongue in anticipation.\n “It’s so you always know the time”, Matilda cried, showing two lines of perfect milk teeth. “Half past seven o’clock, Shreddies time. Nine o’ clock, my school bell rings. But not on weekends! Three o’ clock, cartoon time. Six o’ clock, tea-time. Eight o’ clock, bedtime.” \n Ernie reached in to remove the gift from its nesting. He plopped it into his niece’s palms and held out a wrist, nodding vigorously at Matilda to place it on. She did what her uncle requested, turning his wrist over to fasten the supple strap.\n “What are those lines you have, Uncle Ernie?” she asked, a baby frown line forming a bridge between two tendrils of hair. “They look just like the ones I get on my toasted sandwiches.”\n “Matilda, I’m positive Uncle Ernie loves his watch, darling. But he’s got to go [[home|112]] now,” Jacob, Matilda’s father stated, rising from his place on the sofa. Ernie shook his head from side to side, imitiating a Swingball flying back and forth, back and forth. \n
The sky is black, punctuated by flashes from miniscule silver knives and forks. Philippe wears a headlamp attached to a fur headband that covers his ears bar their very tips. He snips and sculpts the carcass of a buffalo into a slim creature with four clawed limbs, a tail, a long muzzle and two pointy ears. A [[curtain]] twitches at 110. Philippe swiftly turns off his light and whispers into the darkness: “Intuition”.
1.00am\n“Come on then my gorgeousness’s! I simply can’t sleep- no surprise there! We’ll go for a night time stroll, my lovely children. Are you snuggled up?”\n Lindsey (Boris) Brown tucks a blanket around her six cats, all secure in their baby blue pram. She bends to kiss each meowing feline.\n “Mwah, mwah, mwah! What an exhausting day! You think yourselves lucky you didn’t have to unpack! You’re spoilt, that’s what you are.”\n They step out into the lane just off of New Street. The narrow road is lit with sparsely dotted streetlamps. The pram creaks in time with the chorus of meowing as Lindsey pushes her babies in her flapper frock and kitten heels. As Lindsey coos into the pram: “Do you sense frogs, children? ” an inferno illuminates her chalky face, her fuchsia lipstick dripping like hot wax off her chin. The cats whimper. Flames mingle above a family of fir trees and greet the full moon. \n\nAppendix:\n\n[[The Twitter Life of DT Jesse Temple|https://twitter.com/DTJesseTemple]]\n
Tuesday, 10th December, 2013\n “Leonard!” Dorothy Chimes hisses, her lips protruding from the minute holes of the net curtain cling-filming her face, “Come and look!” \n Leonard Chimes shuffles over and [[envelopes]] his face in the curtain- “Don’t let her see us!” Dorothy insists. Together they peer from their bedroom window onto the street below. \n “Cor”, Leonard exclaims, squinting through the netting, “These holes aren’t big enough, Dot.”\n “It’s Mad Sally in her undies, putting her bins out! What on earth does she think she’s doing parading her bits and bobs?”\n “Terribly inappropriate. Must polish my lenses,” Lens replies, removing his spectacles to rub them against his night shirt.\n “She’s not a bit of [[meat]], Len! In fact, I’ve heard she’s a very vulnerable woman, despite her lack of modesty.” Dorothy turns from the window and unwraps herself from the curtain. “Betty Granger heard she had a little girl, a sister to that special Mikey. Rumour has it the girl fell down the stairs, cracked her head open and died.”\n “You love a bit of gossip, Dot. Most unpleasant if it’s true though. ” Leonard, glasses back on, has a last glance from the window. “Lovely bottom. Fancy beans on toast?” \n “Her knickers are discoloured,” Dorothy snaps. “But yes.”\n\n
“Philippe, darling- I’m making Mahkani for dinner, don’t be too long out there!” June Cesbron calls from her kitchen window, before relieving her toes from en pointe and twirling back to the stove. \n “Not a fan of Mahkani, Mum. Might see if [[Scott Pott]] wants to go down kebab shop,” Kyle Cesbron says with shrugged shoulders as he appears in the doorframe. He perches on a stool at the breakfast bar, rubs his eyes and coos to the mongrel in the wicker basket under the dining table. \n“P Dids, my little man, you all cosy in there? Wanna come get a kebab with the crew? You get first dibs in the van, Diddy bro!”\nKyle grins, flashing a tooth gem on his left upper canine. He begins to roll up a batch of baccy, provoking a shriek of “Not in the house!!” from his mother. Tutting, Kyle makes a peace sign with his fingers and signals at P Diddy before sauntering to the back door, his tracksuit bottoms drooping. Philippe attempts to come through the door; Kyle pats him on the shoulder and leaves. \n “What have you sheared today my sweetheart?” June asks from her pirouette. \n “C’est a buffalo! We mean abundance, chérie.” Philippe replies, clapping his shears together with leather gloved paws. \nJune pops her petite head out of the doorframe and exclaims: “Oooh!” She presses a finger to her lips and whispers: “Looks just like [[Dudley]] next door!” She returns to the kitchen counter to dish up dinner, chanting the chorus of Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldier.\n
“You don’t understand!!” Mikey stomps down the stairs, launching his face into his mother Sally’s. He leaps onto the sofa face down and kicks his legs as if striving to complete a lenght of front crawl. \n “Mikey!!” Sally squawks as a door bell sounds, “There’s someone at the door!” \n She hurries to find the keys, grabbing them from a side table and heading to the door, screaming: “If you can’t control yourself you’ll have to come to Doctor Farisard with me on Tuesdays!”\n The back door of 110 flies open and Sally’s body slumps, inhaling lungfuls of gin and tonic polluted air. “Mum.”\n “I forgot you were coming,” Sally says, exhaling through her teeth. Fifty five year old Deb, her yellow pigtails reminiscent of the Rugrats’ Angelica Pickles, thrusts her leopard skin handbag through the door frame. \n “A man is stealing your water, Sally. Not to worry, I’ve dialled 999!” Deb marches round the corner of the house and down the drive to where Harold of 114 stands watering his front garden. Deb skids to a stop, grabs the segment of hosepipe at her feet and yanks. With a shout of “Oi!” from Harold, they embark in a tug of war.\n “I won’t have you sponging off my daughter’s water supply!” Deb shrieks. One of her pigtails escapes it hair-band, leaving her with a wild half-up, half-down hairstyle reminiscent of a [[predator]]’s mane.\n “It’s my bloody hose- it stretches round from my decking!” Harold cries, clutching his writhing rubber python. \n
“I’ve already told you Glenn, we don’t eat meat in this family. We’re absolutely not having turkey on Christmas- I mean, it’s ridiculous. You hark on at me when I’m just trying to keep my family healthy! Green is the way forward according to Women’s World.” \n “Gillian, you’re starving us. What is with this tree thing? Yes, you read about it in a magazine, blah blah! We want tree chocs don’t we, kids?”\n Lionel and Shannon Ploddy’s chubby heads move up and down with the vigour of a robot with a flagging battery. Gillian climbs gracefully onto a chair to place the scooped out melon in pride of place at the top of the Christmas tree. Her children copy- ten year old Lionel placing his gigantic hole-punched and threaded carrot on a middle branch, seven year old Shannon hanging her asparagus stem on a lower one. Glenn collapses onto the sofa with the remote.\n “Oh, Glenn!” Gillian says, sliding from the chair and rushing to the window. “There’s a removal van out there- we’ve got a new [[neighbour]]! Oh my gosh, it’s a…man in drag.”\n