I wake with a start. There’s a noise. I freeze. I listen.
There’s somebody in the house!
I look around for something hefty, something I can use for protection. My ears are straining. They’re downstairs. There’s two – no, three of them – and somehow they have let themselves in. I pad to the top of the stairs. Two men and a woman. The woman is explaining something. She sounds like she owns the place – the cheek of it! What’s she going on about? There’s been problems all through the house? Draughts she says. Drops in temperature. Discolouration on the walls.
What the hell is going on? These are the most peculiar housebreakers I have ever come across.
Oh, there have been others, but I can usually scare them off. They come in here, make themselves at home, until I show myself, and out they run. They don’t come back. But these three are different.
I creep down a few steps and listen. They’re in the kitchen now. One of the men is saying things like ‘it’s more common than you think’ and ‘we’ll have it clean in no time’.
Who the hell are they?
I nip down to the foot of the stairs to try to get a glimpse. I’d like to know who I’m dealing with before I confront them. I am already outnumbered but that’s never been a problem. I’ll soon get these three falling over each other to get through the door.
They’re coming out of the kitchen. I press myself against a wall, clinging to the shadows. I don’t want them to see me yet. I need the element of surprise.
The woman is wearing a suit and carrying a clipboard. Her hair is in a bun and she peers over spectacles. The men are dressed in black. They have strips of white around their necks… One carries a big book, the other a silver cross!
No, no! I can’t have these people in my house!
Get out get out get out!
I fling myself at them. The woman shrieks when she sees me. But the men are too quick for me. One brandishes his crucifix while the other utters an incantation in Latin and I can feel myself fading away, and all I can think is this is their house now…