At Home Farm, Jackie Merrick was given his own shoot to organise. It was a big responsibility because it was some fancy public relations do where they wanted to impress people. Well, they didn't do much impressing that day. Everything went wrong. The birds didn't come up when they were supposed to, and the bigwigs were furious. The upshot was Jackie got the sack.
Well, it all happened at once and Jackie went into a state of depression. Almost overnight his life had fallen to pieces and he couldn't be certain of anything anymore. He wasn't even sure of his own name.
That night, Jackie went out and got drunk. He drank more than he'd ever drank in his life before. At first it didn't seem to affect him. If anything it made him more depressed. But as he swallowed pint after pint, he began to get angry. There was his mum living in a caravan owned by the company who had sacked him and married to the man who had ruined his life. He was determined to show them all, and with that, staggered out of the pub.
There was a light in the window of the caravan when he got back. He burst in and there was Sandie reading by the lamp. He didn't bother to explain. He just grabbed her wrist and dragged her outside. Then he picked up the tin of paraffin for the heater, splashed it everywhere, dashed out again and threw in a match.
"RUN!", Jackie shouted to Sandie, and as they raced across the grass there was a muffled explosion behind them and the caravan burst into flames.
Standing there in the dark staring at the blaze, Jackie was suddenly ice-cold sober, asking himself what he had done. The fire was lighting up the night, the flames shooting high into the sky. They wouldn't put that out in a hurry. All his mum's furniture, all her clothes, everything they had would be burned to a cinder.
Beside him, Sandie started to cry. "Jackie, what have you done?" she sobbed. "What have you done?"
He couldn't answer. He didn't know the answer. It was almost as he had watched someone else throw that paraffin around. Surely it couldn't have been him? In the distance, a siren sounded and as the whine steadily increased, he felt the first pang of fear.Of course, they made up a story. Said it was an accident, but NY Estates investigated and the truth came out.