That night, I dream. And when I wake up I remember watching a film with Nannan about a ventriloquist who went mad, his dummy coming to life and speaking for itself. My dream is like the end of the film where the ventriloquist and the dummy are in the madhouse, all these mad devil-faces pressed against the iron bars of the cell door, laughing as the dummy gets up off his chair and walks towards the ventriloquist who screams. The dummy strangles him. I can’t remember in the dream if I was the ventriloquist or the dummy. I’m in a funny mood all day. I don’t say much. I don’t feel like it.



01. You wake to a soundless house
02. Halfway up the street
03. Two things have happened
04. While five grown-ups sit at the scratched dinner table
05. My uncle explains how it works
06. He’d only seen them on the telly before
07. You press play
08. Their mum and dad would scream at each other
09. When Mum said I do
10. That first summer on the farm
11. In the woods
12. You’re playing war
13. Listen
14. In the barn
15. She sips her tea and thinks about this mystery
16. YES!
17. 30-second punch
18. Now we are looking at
19. At the kitchen table
20. Two tens then last week a twenty
21. You’re at the bottom of Castle Lane
22. We are now looking at
23. Proper mester’s beer this
24. Babysitting
25. My schoolbag chink-chinks
26. The Bottle by Billy Slaney class 3
27. You forgot your handbag, she says
28. They didn’t believe you at first
29. You think Billy’s funny when he’s drunk
30. I load the machine with the hospital contract stuff
31. I always fuck up
32. So where’s the money coming from?
33. When Billy said But Grace I love you
34. By the time I get through the shop door
35. Let your yes be yes and your no be no
36. Drink a bottle of cheap champagne
37. You love her because
38. We meet on the stairs
39. We look at a dinner table laid carefully for four
40. To do
41. Flu
42. Sunlight
43. You fuck off because you fuckin want to
44. Scarlett, look!
45. And then they are looking at
46. Jack is my dad’s dog
47. Nil-nil last minute direct free kick
48. He's been locking me up in there
49. Hand-in-hand up Old School Road
50. We take turns to stand up in Miss Walker’s class
51. The Tuesday night gallon of ale fact and fable quiz
52. Because
53. I want to try again
54. You are six
55. 0898 696969
56. Dear Billy
57. Hello Mum
58. A swift couple for the nerves
59. My half-brother stole a car
60. If you stood
61. Got any Irish in you?
62. Empty
63. You speak it into the pillow
64. You will never know the name of these birds
65. And now we look at
66. Christ allfuckingmighty
67. If after the fall
68. It's late
69. The first thing is the smell of dog shit
70. This morning
71. And you will
72. Truth or dare?
73. She’s a FUCKIN LIAR!
74. This is the way
75. You suppose home is where the heart is
76. On the fifth day of Xmas
77. Door locked
78. I get into town early
79. Now you are looking at
80. It’s the Garden of Eden
81. Myself am Hell?
82. Hello, my name is Billy
83. The fat bitch tells me I’m barred
84. The gaffer’s glass-eye stays open when he blinks
85. We are now listening to
86. And then this
87. Knock knock
88. He lifts the barbed-wire
89. Rough as fuck and wet with dew
90. We brought nothing into the world
91. The wake is at the Blue Bell
92. A rook scraws