I am walking towards Lichfield Cathedral. It is seven in the morning, and I am holding a plastic cup half-full of McDonald’s coffee. My head is shaved for some reason. Shards of the moon lie amongst the burnt and stunted grass of Cathedral Fields, and the cold wind flaps and rustles, sounding like an old man vigorously shaking open a week-old copy of The Daily Mail in the quiet carriage of the 06:49 train from New Street to Wolverhampton.
That old bastard Reverend Philips is slumped against the wall of the cathedral, underneath a crude carving of an ape brandishing a pair of pliers. The Reverend is a small, faded, papery man with limbs too long and thin for his bulbous torso. His robe has fallen open to reveal one of those t-shirts that depict the evolution of man, with the last panel showing the silhouette of some fat bloke wearing nothing but a cardinal’s hat strangling a goat. The reverend’s yellow-white hair is swept back from his temples, and he holds a half-smoked Rothman’s between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand, as if it is a joint. He is also dead. The grass surrounding him is long and pale and has grown up over his thighs and appears to be attempting to pull him into the ground.
On closer inspection, three of the Reverend’s teeth are missing.