He’s been lucky so far. Sitting low, driving slowly through the estate, no one has noticed the camera yet.
I’ll say I’m an estate agent, he thinks.
The first of the day pushes a pram past a bookies, hair pulled into a tight knot. Tracksuit bottoms sit below the string of a thong, obscuring a tribal tattoo. Her face is pale and white, sharp like cracked slate.
He presses the button.
This is research, he tells Annette. In their minimal flat, she hardly looks at the wall mosaiced with photographs. Chavs she says, stopping to laugh at gold jewellery or exposed skin, mocking a defiant expression or tutting a drunken sprawl.
The second sits by a fried chicken shop smoking, held in place by the arm of a tall boy beside her. Through the viewfinder, he can read the name ‘Keiran’ on her arm.
At night, in their big bedroom overlooking the river, he imagines them all. Without words, imperious, he fucks each in turn. Suspicious, drunk, sluttish, violent: they fill the room with cigarette smoke and cheap perfume.
Spotting the camera, white skin mottling, face grooved with anger, a third catch strides toward him pointing.
Suddenly exposed, he panics.