Bzzzzzz. By Samantha Memi.
The clock screamed at me, Get up lazy bones! The house is falling down!
I jumped out of bed, half dazed, and the clock, the lamp, the table, chairs and wardrobe all started dancing and laughing, April Fool, they giggled.
You cretins, I screamed, it's November! April Fools Day is April.
They stopped laughing and looked shamefaced.
Sorry, said the clock.
We didn't realise, said the lamp.
It was supposed to be a joke, said the table.
I got back into bed, but I couldn't sleep. Ali, my husband and my daughter, Daisy, had gone away for the weekend. I was alone in the house and it was shrinking. Every time I went downstairs the rooms got smaller, and every time I came back the bedroom crept in on me.
I lay there and looked at the ceiling, out of the corner of my eye I saw the wall encroach, there was no sound. Maybe I wasn't real. Maybe I was a character in an Edgar Allen Poe story.
The house spoke to me. It said, Grrrr.
I got out of bed and hurried downstairs. The furniture looked sullen and downcast. In the kitchen I found some bread, but when I opened the packet all I found inside was green mould.
I could phone for a pizza, but when it was delivered would I be able to open the door. I don't mean physically, but would I be able to overcome my fear of opening doors.
I phoned. I waited. I watched TV, but I couldn't understand anything that was happening. A man said, Sparkle washing liquid would get clothes cleaner and brighter but I'd tried it. It was rubbish. Why did they lie?
The pizza arrived. I pushed the money under the door and asked him to leave the pizza. I waited till there was silence, then I opened the door and pulled the pizza in. It wasn't very warm. The walls were sneaking in. I didn't want them listening to me. I crept into the kitchen and ate my pizza over the kitchen sink looking out the window at the darkness, and listening to the wind howl, Samantha, come outside, feel the rain on your skin and realise life is not all fun and games.
I ran upstairs. I hid in bed.
I appeared in the mirror, even though I was lying in bed. I said to myself, Get up, fight back, exceed yourself. I wanted to call my husband but the phone looked at me as if to say, Touch me if you dare. I reached out, it moved away. I thought, I have to phone Ali. I chased after the phone. It tumbled downstairs into the living room. I went after it. I saw it looking at me. It jumped up in the air and screamed, Don't come near me, don't touch me. Why was my phone scared of me. Then the microwave pinged. The lights flashed. The TV switched on a football game, all the unnecessary ranting. The stereo started playing, it sounded like road drills. Why did my house hate me?
The doorbell rang.
I ran to the door. I would open it and this would be my salvation. The pizza had come, gone, eaten.
Who is it? I called.
It's Ali, I can't open the door. I unbolted it and it opened and Ali came in and I fell into his arms and I saw Daisy and she looked tired and anxious and I cried, Take me away from here, and Ali said, What's wrong?
And I said, I dont know. What's happening?
He said, Just a little earthquake.
The house rumbled and I clung to him. We drove to a rescue centre and I sat in the car and held my daughters hand. I looked back at the house which rumbled when hell moved, and I saw demons rise up out of the earth.
We arrived at the centre and I had an injection, mmm, love those injections, where would we be in society if we didnt have an injection now and then. I knew Ali, my knight in shining armour would keep the demons away.
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