Wednesday

Factory Fortnight (428 Words)


Fat rain drops spatter against the windscreen only to be lazily batted away by the wipers. I love the way they drum on the roof, it reminds me of being a kid. We used to go to this caravan park in Wales, last week in July, first week in August. Same time every year, factory fortnight they called it. I remember the first year I didn't go. The year I moved out and got a place of my own. I remember it being like a ghost town, felt dangerous and wrong to be out, felt like the end of the world.

They don't do it anymore, since they closed the plant there is no need. The lucky few who still have jobs can't afford to go away anymore, can barely afford to live. Town is still deserted, just for different reasons. The market went six month back now, the high street is a collection of boarded up windows, pound shops and bookies.

I swear some days you can smell the desperation in the air. People queue outside the foodbank avoiding eye contact with eachother through the shame of it all. A proud community reduced to staring at their tattered shoes while waiting for a free loaf of bread. It's enough to make a grown man weep.

Every now and then we get some grinning suit of a politician promising us jobs, urban renewal, giving us false hope with their empty words. None of them has ever delivered. Regardless of the colour of their rosettes or how far they have rolled the sleeves of their crisp white sleeves up.

The only time you see anyone in a suit round here they'll either be getting married or going to court. There hasn't been a big wedding for a long while. Most of us have to settle for the quick in and out of the registry office. Photos taken on mobile phones, nervous smiles betraying the fear in the eyes. Crumpled shirts and the bride not drinking because the baby is already on its way.

I don't know where Terry got the gun from, he swears it's a replica, all I know is if it was pointed at me I'd do as I was told. He promised me this would be easy, in and out with a sackful of cash all I have to was drive and not ask questions. My mam didn't raise no thief, but desperate times call for desperate measures, Sandra has seen a ring in Cash Converters she likes and the last scan said we're having twins.

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