Derek woke early and turned on his portable black and white T.V. Pebble mill flashed on and he caught the first five minutes of it before the meter clicked and swallowed the last of his 10 bob pieces.
"Damn it" said to himself. Since the council had doctored his meter he couldn't even stick in a torn end of an embassy regal box to stop the rapid ticking as his coin expired. Times were tough in Craigyhill and Derek lived in a maisonette at the top of the Lynn Road. The views from his bedroom window afforded spectacular views of Shane's hill and the Lynn primary school playground. This was the plus side of being unemployed for the six years since he had left Greenland Secondary School at 16 years of age. He wasn't bitter, a lifetime of hardship was what his mother, a convicted dinner lady at the primary school, had endured and he thought that there would be little better in store for himself. He had once been offered the job of caretaker at the school but a never proved charge of indecent exposure at the Tower pool had put paid to that. Even his connections with a former mayor had done nothing to alleviate his dismal employment status.
He sighed as he squeezed a pimple in the mirror and pushed back his long brown hair. What to do today. Maybe he could find someone to kick a football around the shops if he could find someone who would have the time to accompany him. He looked outside just in time to see the huge gray cloud burst and form circular patterns in puddles on the concrete road in front of his flat. He knew he had to go somewhere that afternoon but could not remember where. He walked outside and almost knocked a young mother and her pram over.
"Watch whur yer goin' ye clumsy skitter" was the gruff scowl from the unmarried mother. He ignored it and turned right to Killyglen Road, skirting the school. He continued walking, the children were outside in the play-ground, running around trying to keep warm. He was barely aware of a stout man who bumped into him as he passed the main gates.
"oota the way ye basturt" said the man, stuffing a mars bar in his mouth. Derek recognised him as Gordy but couldn't remember his other name. He didn't care and kept walking. The rain had almost stopped when he reached the end of the road, in fact it was the end of the estate and at the very outskirts of his own small world. He looked upwards towards the lush green country-side. To his right was a hill that was famous locally as the drumlin that held the standing stone. Something beckoned and drew him to the stone. He couldn't understand what the force was or what it wanted. Then suddenly he stopped in his tracks. He remembered something. He had to go somewhere. To the dole office. He had to sign on.