Last night around midnight we were both tucked up in bed, chatting away when a deep boom accompanied by a flash of light resonated from the street outside. I’m not ashamed to say I jumped out of my skin. Well, actually, Fliss was lying on my shoulder, so I just kind of waggled my legs about in fright.
Both of us jumped out of bed and got behind the curtain to see what had happened. There on the street corner, about fifty yards away, stood the shattered remains of a phone box that had just been blown up.
We’re well aware that the area we live in isn’t exactly sweetness and light, but in a year and a day of living there this was a first for sure. We both just stood, open mouthed, wondering why someone would blow up a phone box. Actually, I was wondering how someone would blow up a phone box, but I suspect you can find out that kind of thing on the internet.
The force of the blast had set off a house alarm nearby, so we waited to see what would unfold. With there being a police station a couple of hundred yards away I figured they’d be on the scene in a flash. A minute or so went by and two youths wearing black hoodies returned to the scene of the crime, reaching inside the shattered phone booth to take the money from the cashbox. After doing so they made good their escape, back in the direction they’d come from.
Holey crap, thought I. This was grim stuff. To be living in an area where things like this can go down is sobering – just a short distance from a police station, too. Yet the only sound was that of the triggered house alarm, rather than the police sirens I’d been expecting to follow.
A full ten minutes later and a police car crawled past the scene without stopping for the officers to examine the phone box. They continued down the road by our house, in the opposite direction to where the youths had gone, almost.
We watched for a little while longer, until the house alarm ran out of steam and it became apparent that the cops weren’t going to actually stop and look at the evidence. They went past one final time in a slow drive-by-policing effort, but ultimately the hoodie wearing kids were long gone and most probably on a high from their efforts.
The honeymoon is well and truly over for me and the area now. I can just about stomach the litter and the little bastards who keep kicking in the chicken wire I’ve put up around my garden fence to collect it. But, if this is any kind of sign of the trouble brewing nearby, I want to get the hell out of here as soon as we possibly can.
Nice house. Nice garden. Shame about the exploding phone booths.