‘Parklife’ by Leah Kharibian, an audio script-writer and occasional film-maker who lives in Leicestershire.
Musing to himself
Don’t know why they gave him a bike for his birthday – pointless really. He’s sat on it once this morning, and that was just to ring the bell. I told them, ‘All the lad needs is a football – an honest-to-goodness football and a bit of grass to play on, that’s all a boy his age ever needs.’ And look at him, happy as Larry.
Out loud, to the boy, encouraging
That’s it, Johnny, don’t take your eyes off it! Remember you’re the hawk and that ball’s the rabbit!
To himself, sniffing for scents
Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit. Hruff, squirrel? Squirrel? [Sniffs again] Rabbit. Hruff, young rabbit. [Sighs] Old dog. Old dog, old paws. Sore paws.
To the dog
Come on Haynes old boy, move it along. You’re feeling your age, aren’t you? You and me both.
And losing the cup didn’t help. Sucked all the life out the summer. [Brighter] But another season, another chance, that’s the way to look at it. And you can’t fault a morning like this. Lovely. [Pauses] That boy could do with a proper pair of shorts. Towelling’s alright for toddlers,
but … Christmas – that’s what I’ll get him. A proper Fulham FC black and white. To go with his ball.
And Lockie has the ball! And he’s past fat old Tommy Taylor, he’s past mean old Trevor Brookin’, the West Ham goalie goes splat and Lockie scores!!! Fulham win the cup! [Starts singing to himself to the old football chant of ‘We are the Champions’] Johnny’s the Champion, Johnny’s the Champion, Johnny Lockie’s the Champion…
To Johnny. Impressed
Hey that was a good kick! Show us again. That’s it, square up. Right, now this one’s a penalty from the edge of the six-yard box. Just four minutes to final whistle – so it’s now or never. Deep breath and give it a good run up … and hammer it into the net!
Look Granddad! It went miles!
Good man, Johnny Lockie! Great ball! See that Haynes, old boy? Going to chase after it?
Not going anywhere
Warm sun on sore paws. Warm sun. Last warm sun.
Excited, running off to fetch the ball
Again, Granddad! You can do the talking and Haynes can watch.
Johnny’s the champion! Johnny’s the champion! Johnny’s the champion!
Close to, as Johnny moves into the distance, gives Haynes a pat
Stuff their bike, eh, old fellow? Look like our ball’s got the morning sorted.