It’s started again. The claw-scratting noise above my bed. Blood chilling doesn’t describe it; it sends hot blood pressure banging between my ears with fright.
It always happens in the darkest part of the night. Just when I’m at my most dream doused vulnerable it slaps me awake with the sweat of realisation that there’s a something in the room that’s not human. I’m not usually prone to illusions but the term Vampire springs to mind.
My eyeballs claw the dark and I hold my breath and listen. I swear even the hairs on my head part in fear as they stand on end. There it is again. A scratching and scrabbling just above my head.
I sit up straining my eyes through the tightness of the night. Then the noise stops suddenly. I hold my breath. It and me listening for one another. Then more scrabbling. Something’s definitely got in.
You’d think I’d be used to living in this old house by now. Used to the fact that most Autumns we get a little mouse looking for somewhere to bed down for the winter. Despite our attempts to seal the holes under the roof tiles there’s always one who makes it. Then they start the scratching and scampering and gnawing that constitutes their nest making and since we sleep directly under the eaves it sounds like it’s in the room. Magnified by the dark and our propensity to terrors of the night, it’s the most disturbing sound I’ve ever heard. It can bring me to one hundred percent alert in a nanosecond. Its potential for instant arousal is right up there with the eerie sound of cats fighting or the words ‘mum, I’m going to be sick’.
Charles pulls the duvet back round his naked shoulders. The only thing that arouses him is his football team winning.
“Go back to sleep, it’s only a mouse,” he mumbles. How does he know?
“Sounds more like a pterodactyl to me.”
I slowly lie back down again about as relaxed as I am having a cervical smear and try not to think about cables being chewed. Well, I hope it gets electrocuted. Trouble is that’d probably set the roof on fire…are the smoke alarms working…is it too far to jump out the window? Relax?
Oh sure! The claw-like scrabbling starts again…