For my sons Callum and Elliot
The twins of truth and justice, the inspiration for the goodness in this book.
Trolley, Train and Car
“Make no mistake about it, this is the chance of a lifetime,” said Josh as he bit into the triple-decker sausage, cheese and marmalade sandwich, watching the crumbs fall onto the Star Wars duvet on his bed.
Peter did not look convinced. He carried on staring out of the bedroom window, across the playing field on the opposite side of the road that ran past their little two-bedroom terrace house, and out into empty space. He was always the thinker, and he was regularly to be found deep in thought. Josh was used to his brother’s absences. Peter was the thinker, but Josh was the impulsive one of the twins.
“I mean, just think of it. For three whole weeks, we get to stay up late every night and we don’t have to tidy anything away. Heaven!”
Peter noticed the old man shuffling along the street, pulling a two-wheeled shopping trolley behind him. It was raining, and it was so dark that it felt as though it was late in the evening, while in fact it was only half-past twelve in the afternoon. The old man always kept to the same routine. Every Saturday morning at 8 o’clock, he would take the number 59 bus into town, and then at noon, his shopping trolley neatly packed with the week’s groceries, he caught the number 63 bus back to the end of the street. From there, he walked the remaining hundred feet or so to his own small two-bedroom terrace house, number 73 Church Fields. It was on the opposite side of the road and ten doors down from Peter and Josh’s home. Josh’s words now registered in Peter’s head.