June 1st 1990
Sharon walked into the office. She saw her workmate Jim staring into a half empty coffee cup. He looked up. His face was flush, his eyes tired and she could have sworn that there was another line on his forehead.
“Do you know what I caught that kid doing?”
She began to chuckle. Jim had been trying to keep his cool since wee David and his mother had moved in.
“We know that it is the spawn of Satan, but go on…Surprise me.”
“Satan! At least Satan had a good start to his existence. Fuck knows how many junkies were with his mother. That kid is fucked up soup!”
Sharon checked over her shoulder, “Jesus Jim!! You can’t say that!”
He stared at her for a few seconds and tried to compose himself.
“…It has to be said! Anyway, I caught him playing with one of those kiddie doctor sets. He had his school tie around his arm and he was pretending to inject himself. Oh and just for good measure he had a spoon and a filter sitting beside him. Christ! All he needed was the smack and lemon juice. I’m quite sure his mother would have given him a loan of her lighter. Bingo!! Out his tits before his school milk!!”
She sat down beside him and nudged his shoulder, “You’ll need to report this to Social Work.”
He stood up and began pacing towards the window.
“What’s the point? They’ve been around the system for three years. Fuck! This is the forth time that they’ve been here. And what do Social Services do? They smile that side of the mouth patronising smile, look at us as if we are a used hanky and state… ‘Oh, we are well aware that there are issues but any family contact is a positive contact…P.C sanctimonious, yes men bastards!!!”
Sharon followed him and stood by the window.
“I know, it’s shite.”
“Shite doesn’t even come close. It’s as simple as this, if they don’t get that poor wee fucker away from her, they would be as well putting him fucking down!”
“Jesus Jim, is that not a bit steep?”
He spun round, “Is it fuck. He doesn’t know which one of her pay pals is his dad. Her affection is shown by screaming him off to school with the lovely phrase of ‘Don’t be late you wee cunt! I’m not coming up to that school anymore! The man can take you away!’
It certainly isn’t Walton’s Mountain in that household. She’s nothing but a cereal seeking junkie scumbag!”
She gave him a minute.
“You better write up the report for pretend jagging.”
“Have you seen the size of their file? It reads like War and Peace only with more tragedy.”
Sharon walked over to the cabinet and brought out the file.
“I totally agree,” she gave it to him, “But it’s got to be done.”
“If they find out you’ll be in the brown and murky.”
“Fuck it! I hope for that wee boy’s sake, the next time he plays, it’s with real kit. Dead or away from her, either is preferable.”
He threw the file onto the desk and went outside for a cigarette.
September 15th 2001
“…My Lord! My client accepts full responsibility for what he has done. He has been in and out of Homeless Accommodation since he was three years old. There has been a history of drug abuse since he was fourteen. Social Services have been involved with him and his mother. He was put out the family home at sixteen and his life has been on a downward spiral since then. He has had to return to Homeless Accommodation yet again. He asks that his apologises are passed onto Mrs Walkers family and especially to her husband who is residing in The Rosemary Hills Nursing Home. My client knows that this won’t bring the lady back and he wishes to explain that he had no intention of stabbing her but as he was in a very agitated state due to his need for drugs, he was out of control…I ask that you take his mental and physical state into consideration before you pass sentence.”
Jim wept for the old couple.