Oak tree. Next to it, five semi-detached. 13 – 17. Mill lane, Hempnall, Norfolk. This is where Declan grew.

Quaint place, triple garage and single church. Nice church though. Nice garages too. Skinner’s Garage is where he works. It’s his Dad’s. He works there with his Dad. Will, too, his older brother, named after his Dad, he works there too, does Will. Not Jason though. Declan likes cars. Not the new ones that shine like sunrise, but old ones that grind like wheelbarrows. He likes to fix them through, trim them up and kit them out. Take them from the brink of death and root them back into system. Like they did with Jade. So when he’s back from school it’s whvoomdada down the Loke. And when it’s really sunny, he stops the car by The Big Field. Leans on the rusty door. Looks to the ground. Looks how it breaks and swarms. He’ll kneel down, stick his thumb between breaks in the solid mud and try to rip them apart. He twists thistles with his heels and kicks up clumps with his steel-top caps.

Why would you ever leave a place like this?
A good eye for details, has Declan. Helps with the cars. He spots it when the AFM’s wrong. He doesn’t always know how to fix it, but he knows when it’s wrong. And he likes it when it’s wrong. Like potholes and wasps. Like the crows with only one leg who can still hop about. Like how Nikki’s skin is all pocked like porridge. He told her that once. She didn’t turn up to school the next day. Will doesn’t get it though, the wrongness – but then older brothers aren’t meant to. Jade’s all about perfection, which is ironic. Or appropriate. And he told Dad once, but he laughed at him for being a faggot. He’s not a faggot. Faggots are weird. So he rides old Rovers around Bussey’s Loke, flying round corners to hear their bodies croak. Nobody ever asks his age down there, no pigs but for those shitting on the farm.

Sometimes he rides the 004 into The City, but Norwich sucks when you’re 16. Meet his mates at Castle Gardens, eats Maccy’s at top of Chapelfield, watches Ben try it on with some girl but it never works. But it’s the only city he’s ever known because Ipswich is a town so it doesn’t count and their football team’s shit.

Come on you yellows.
The Canaries are playing Leicester for The Championship, so he’s going up to watch them. Staying with Jason. Jason says he’s got to support Leicester with his mates and besides Norwich are shit and you only support them because Dad says so and he knows fuck all about. So Declan’s getting the train to Leicester and he’s scared about it. He told Nikki he was going but she wasn’t impressed but that’s fine because he could see down her top.

But then Dad’s says him and Will are driving down to Luton for the EDL march that day. And Declan says he’s already said he’s watching Norwich play with Jason cause he can stay at Jasons cause he hasn’t seen Leicester before. And Dad says Jason’s a poofter paki lover and a fuck fuck let down and Jade giggles and coughs and Declan thinks of Mum.

So Declan sits on the corner of the Loke and looks out to the Oak on the other side. Much larger than the one next door but better. It’s leaning to the right, or its left, depending. It’s a little too wide at the base as if maybe it’s being squashed to the bottom, or maybe it’s just trying to stay upright in thin, dry earth. And he pushes a ball of horse shit round with his sole to feel the flies panic on his skin, and thinks that either way he’s going to a city and they’re all the same. And there’ll be another EDL to show pakis why they’re not in charge. And it still scares him a bit, because Will said some get violent, and Dad did once, and he shouted niggerniggerlover at UFA scum and Will said it wasn’t nice. Because Dad’s not even a racist so he was probably drunk. Leicester’s got the football though, and he hasn’t seen Jason in years so it’s time he put his fears behind. Declan’s going to Leicester.

Catch the train from Thetford station, Dad gives him a lift at least, but the pay is Dec’s from work. Went to the wrong platform first because that way’s to city. fuck off Fucking. because they’re young and stupid.

And chav-boys looked and laughed but they can They’re in year 9 and fuck off.

Year 9s. He wasn’t that cocky in year 9. In year 9 he was terrified of year 11s. But things are always moving in the countryside.

Just in time, what Dad calls late but he likes to call it “Timely” because that’s what Mr Brady said once and it sounded good. So when he got to the other side of the bridge the train was coming round the corner far off and the boys can fuck off shouting prick at him. Got a full table to himself and stuck his legs on the seats on the other side and sat facing backwards cause you can’t do that in cars. This match better be worth it.

Return to Leicester. Anytime. What’s cheapest? Yeah. Engine pulls away and pulls him from his home and pushes on his back. He’s always gone to Norwich from here so it’s weird, not seen this side of Thetford. Is the forest this way? Sick. He spits on the seat next to him. Yeah. That. What? Right.