Clunk. Aagh! What was that? I turn on my light. The latch on my bedroom door has jumped out of the catch and the door is slowly opening. Aaagh! I’ve been here six nights and the door’s never spontaneously opened before. True, the wind is raging outside, but the windows are hermetically sealed and I can feel no draught.
I stomp out of bed, shut the door and flump back into bed, pulling the covers up over my ears. Think of nice thoughts. I’m all alone in the house. The church is right next door. The tower reminds me a bit of the one in The Omen… not that I’ve ever seen or want to see The Omen. But somehow I have a mental picture of a priest outside a church tower. Clunk. Aagh! It’s done it again.
I lie there, frozen for a moment, then jump out of bed and shut the door again, firmly pushing down the latch. My ability to be spooked in other people’s houses when I’m on my own has reached epic proportions. Think of nice things. With a lurch I recall that there was a funeral at the church yesterday.
Clunk. Bastard door! Bloody house! I turn the light on, shut the door and reach for How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. My eyelids are dropping, my eyes stinging, but I have to keep reading to stave off the spooky thoughts.
Pip-pip-pip… For God's sake, what’s that? A high-pitched beep is coming from the little door at the end of my room. I throw back the bedcovers once more, pad over to the door and… pull it open. PIP-PIP-PIP…! It’s coming from above. I find the stair light and go gingerly up to the loft. The blaring beeping emanates from a smoke alarm, but there’s no smoke. However, there is a fluorescent tube light ablaze. I didn’t turn it on. Why is that light on? I find the switch and turn it off. Miraculously, the alarm emits a few dying pip-pip-pips and then goes quiet. I head down once more and shut the little door behind me. Back to bed with my book.
Clunk. AAGH! BUGGERING DOOR! I glare at it and turn over. Now there’s nothing between me and … what? The rest of the house?
Still, every stormcloud has a silver lining. I lie there rigid, thinking, I’d rather be in a tent in the windswept wilds of East Grinstead with (live) bodies nearby than lying here alone. With dead bodies a stone's throw away.
Here goes. Lights out.
Aagh! Have overslept. Or, technically, have underslept. But am late for the dogs. Stumble down and open the utility room door. Am greeted by three leaping dogs and the most chokingly gagworthy stench. Dolly – for I presume 'tis her – has laid a gigantic chocolate moussy turd on the mat by the back door. The dogs are desperate to go out, but if I open the door, I’ll spread the mousse all over the floor. Usher them through the forbidden regions of the house to the front door and shoo them out.
Time for my Alexander Technique. Well, isn't that perfect? My back aches, my knees ache, my head aches and I can barely see out of my pasta-shell eyes. Could I be any iller prepared for this Raleigh jaunt?