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I'M close to him now - I could throw something heavy and it would reach Greggs from here, and I have to slip in behind a green wheelie bin to avoid being seen.

I can't hear what they're saying but the conversation is serious. They're looking at their watches, and are clearly uncomfortable. This isn't a friendship.

This is two men forced together by something else.

I fire off a round of photos, wide-angle and closeup so that there's clear ID of the pair of them, and enough surroundings included to get a definite location on them after the fact. I try scrawling times and places in my notebook, but I can't pin this down to a named street. Maybe it isn't one.

After a few minutes I hear a beeping and have to crawl even further back, towards a litter-flavoured wall drenched in the sweet smell of spilled alcohol from the wheelie bins. It's a lorry in reverse, coming towards them, down the alley.

I'm penned in. I can see the driver's eyes in the side-view mirror, which means he can see me too, if he looks.

It's a mid-sized vehicle - just too big to be a van - with a boxed rear, and it has to tick-tack a bit to get around the bend so it can have a clean run of reversing up to the two I've been watching.

It could just crush me if it wanted, and I'm breathing in its carbon monoxide for a moment. When it passes by I'm hunched down low, and on the passenger side, starting to think I may well have avoided being spotted.

But I have to get a better view for myself. I've been waiting for Haydn Greggs to do something, anything other than just wander around looking important, and if this is gonna be it then Noah needs the money shot.

Priority is knowing what's in the lorry, so I step up to its slipstream, facing downwards in case there's CCTV around here.

Palm on one of its headlights, I walk carefully forwards, using the lorry to cover me as I get three more wheelie bins along, and then there's no option but to jump right under the last one and scramble forward, belly-down in the anonymous 163 stains on the concrete below me.

There's just enough room to wriggle to where I have a view of what's going on. I'm less than two car lengths away.

>The Actaeon Tide by Tom Anderson is published by Parthian at PS9.99 CONTINUES TOMORROW


The Actaeon Tide by Tom Anderson

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 4, 2015
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