It wasn’t until the third time the fence got kicked in that your mother started to worry. That kind of thing was normal where you lived, and easier to fix than a keyed car, especially since Mr. Brown three doors down was a builder and had been doing you favours ever since your mother defended him that time Mr. Robertson down the road accused him of stealing his garden furniture. Everyone knew that was Mrs. Wilkins next door. In the end, Mrs. Wilkins left the furniture to Mr. Robertson in her will, which even he thought was funny, so that was the end of that.
The third time was different because of the way the wood fell. The first couple of times you found it in the front garden, and that was okay, that was fine, because that just meant somebody had kicked it in on the way past. The third time, though, you found it splintered all over the pavement, and that meant that somebody has come into your garden and kicked it out from the inside, and that was too close for comfort.
Your grandmother had said that you should ask the CCTV Man for the footage so that you could catch the person or people who did it, but your mother wouldn’t hear of it. The CCTV Man lived on the corner of Birchwood Close, and you couldn’t let that lot get involved in your business, broken fence or no broken fence. That was the way things worked around there.
You never went to the police with that sort of thing. Not since they took Tom from number 10 in for questioning when one of the Birchwood lot told them he was acting suspicious when all he was doing was smoking in his own garden, but when Mrs. Brown called about the brick through her kitchen window they didn’t show up for a week. Margery from number 7 was pleased about that, because she’d always said the police were No Good and now everyone believed her, and she liked being believed.
“We have got to move,” your mother had started saying then. “We have got to move away from here.”
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