Billy Wright, six-year-old hero of the novel WHAT I DID, blogs here:

I woke up in the night because of the noise which was noisy, going doof, doof, doof.  It made me sit up in bed.

Doof, doof, doof.

I went into Mum and Dad’s room and that made Dad sit up in bed, too.

Doof, doof, doof.

–What’s that noise? I asked

–Fuck this, said Dad.  –I’m going round again.

–For God’s sake, Jim, said Mum into her pillow.

Doof, doof, doof.

–You didn’t hear that, Son.  But you’re spot on about the noise.  It has to stop.  Dad pulled his jeans on, yanked his belt shut, then put his jumper on crossly, too, like he was punching holes in the sleeves.  For a moment he stood there in the not-much-light with his hands going open and shut.  Then he picked me up.  –Come on, he said.

I thought that meant come on back to bed but he took me straight down stairs which was more interesting.  Mum called after us. I didn’t hear what she said, though, because Dad was rattling us through the front door into the black and cold.


We walked up our path and back down next door’s path.  It would have been quicker to jump over the wall.


Dad smacked the door.  Then he rang the bell.  Then he did it all again and the noise went slightly quieter: DOOF, DOof, doof.

Dad hit the door again.

It opened and a boy-man’s face peeped through the crack.  When I grow up I want proper bristles.  The boy-man’s eyes looked one way then the other but not at us and Dad took a big breath which made me flinch which is when you only move an inch.

Before Dad said anything though the boy-man turned around and shouted –OLIVIA YOUR CAB IS HERE.

The breath let itself out of Dad in a laugh that wasn’t funny.

–I AM NOT A CAB DRIVER, he shouted.  –I’M YOUR NEIGHBOUR.  SO IS HE, he lifted me up in a whoosh.  –IT’S TWO IN THE MORNING.  WE CAN’T SLEEP.  TURN THE MUSIC OFF!

The boy-man in the house squinted at us.  Even though Dad was holding me tightly I could feel him shivering. The boy-man had a funny two headed lizard on his t-shirt.  I’ve drawn it.

Doof, doof, doof.

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