Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Yesterday’s question was swiftly confirmed today when I learnt that a body had been discovered in a house close by that caught fire this weekend.

It had been presumed and hoped there was no one in the house. The fire brigade had been unable to enter the house because it was an enclave of hoarding, which made it very tough to enter and they were concerned the “joints would collapse” according to one neighbour I spoke to.

An excavator had been at the house, combing seems too mild a term, crunching through the facade and rubble and finally today a man’s body was discovered. The man was the son of the woman who owns the house. (who lives in a care home.) Allegedly the hoarding problem belonged to the mother, the son was unemployed and staying there long term.

A bed and bathtub were visible in the charred ruins and mass of debris. In the basement sat all the boxes I used to see covering up the windows, still intact. On the pavement beside the house, half a plastic doll lay burnt with one arm raised in the air.

It was desperately sad, just an awful death for this largely invisible man. I stood in the pouring rain and paid my respects with the Catholic gestures I’ve been taught. It was just so sad to think of the fearful end he must have faced and that no one could reach him.

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