Like cancer or money or dusk, no one could ever say precisely when it started.
However, it was all too easy to say: now, now is when it is here.
And by it, we meant they.
Not that there wasn’t a first sighting, some first mark in history’s sodden page. Of course there was. But that’s the very problem. Because when the first one was found, directly between and well below the Campden Hill Lawn Tennis Club and the Holland Park Lawn Tennis Club, so was a second. And it, the second one, had clearly been there long before there even was a first to be found. Been there for weeks. Or months, depending who you asked. Or years, depending on the rate of decay and the half-life of its obstinate clinging to existence. Either way, even if the finding cleared up one mystery – i.e. the missing persons/corpses (or, like they were now, something rather mired between those categories) of those long suspected to have fallen in the Campden Hill Lawn / Holland Park Lawn Tennis Club turf struggles of ‘84-’86 – it raised many more.
Like when it started. Like why it did. Like what those preppies had been doing underground in the first place. Like where their offal had gone. Like how long it had been going on, not right under our noses but below the brittle crust that we trust with our feet and gutty weight and that we shouldn’t, because beneath it there are things that never started and yet have been going on. Like money or the bassline of club anthems before the volume fades in. Like what they were made of.