Squinting made it no clearer. It could be smoke, it could be fog, it could be steam. It was one of those cold mornings where people were late to work after spending ten minutes cursing and scraping ice off their car windows. Cameron knew the neighbour over the back fence had an open fire and perhaps it was the smoke from the fire wafting across his back yard. Hell, he thought, on a morning this cold, it could be the steam coming off a dog’s piss in the back lane.
He took a deep sniff, wondering if he would be able to smell the scent of the burning wood. Nothing.
He didn’t want to walk down to look. He didn’t want to get properly dressed. He didn’t want to be out of bed, but that was no longer an option.
Cameron shuffled into the house and struggled his way out of his filthy dressing gown and into trousers and a woollen jumper. No need for a shirt, and his slippers had solid bottoms; he didn’t need socks.
The coughing fit took him just before he reached the corner. He leaned on the fence and coughed for a good minute before spitting and straightening. He rounded the corner.
‘Oh. It’s you.’ Cameron’s son leant against the fence and looked at his father with a mixture of disgust, pity and remorse. ‘Fine. Come in for a cuppa. But you’re not getting any more cash.’