"You're drenching me in the blood of others."

"Shut up son and get in."

"Stains don't shift."

"We have to eat. Don't we?"

"Kill the planet to eat cheap is sick."

"Yeah, it's shit. Survival of the strongest 'n all that. You'll learn as you get older."

"Fuck off."

"So, we still rely on that do we? Get in and shut the-"

"Na." Darren sneers behind his dad's back. Point made.

"Get in. Now."

Inside the car, dad asks. "Why do you wear your jacket inside out?"

"What? You don't know? Dad-"

"That's why I asked."

"Keep my shame hidden."

Dad shakes his head.

Points at obligatory carbon footprint patch on dad's shirt sleeve. "See you're proud to show yours."

"It's the law."

"What if there was no shame to show?"

"Get real."

"When I'm sixteen, I'll live stain free."

"Good luck with that."

Turn left, off the road. "Dad. What are you doing? I can't come here."

"We need petrol."

"Seriously? With me? Didn't need to do that."

"Take this, and go and pay."


"Take it."

Under Darren's breath. "Spreading your stain all over your underage son."

"You're tagged with all of my CIPs anyway. It makes no difference. Now, go."

"Climate Impact Points. A Joke. A carry-over stain, more like. Follows me forever. No clean slate for me, thanks to you."

"Sins of the fathers, eh? Please, just go and pay while I check the supermarket prices. Don't want to shop at today's most expensive by mistake, do we?"

"Do I care?"

"You should. You eat the food, don't you?"

"What about low-staining food? Consider that?"

Turns his back on his son.

At the pay booth. "Need to see your patch."

Turns jacket right way round.

"Thanks. Pass it here."

Holds up jacket sleeve so patch faces attendant. Picture of polar bear is part faded.

Attendant scans and red line through polar bear appears. Impact of purchase recorded for all to see. Daily toll displayed. Attendant sighs. "I hate this job."

Grabs jacket. "Then stop doing it."

"Gotta eat."

"Eat now and fuck the future. Yeah, great philosophy."

Head down, feet dragging, back to car. Two more years of this shit, then free to live a clean life. Feels like forever.