Spider

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This morning whilst on the loo, I looked into the bathtub and saw a spider. It was struggling to get out; every time it slipped back down it would scramble back up again. I thought about turning on the tap and washing him away. Though that seemed to me I   a total waste of his efforts to escape. Instead, once I was finished, I used an empty loo roll to scoop him out with and setting him free. A thought came to me; weren’t we all trapped like the spider waiting for someone or something to set us free?

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Dear Diary #34

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Dear Diary,

I’m curled up in the bathtub right now waiting for the thunderstorm to be over. I’ve turned out all the lights and unplugged everything electrical, as you should. I’m writing this by the three tea light candles balanced at then end of the tub and my camping torch. It’s kinda creepy which is making me even more anxious.

I can hear the wind howling and rattling the trees outside like a giant beast enraged. I want to peek out of the frosty glass window to make sure that’s not actually true right now but I can’t. My legs don’t want to move and my body feels like a half set jelly.

The rain is pouring down like a tsunami. It sounds like the very sea is going to wash my house away. It’s so loud alongside the wind and the deep rumbles of thunder that I can’t hear anything else. This would be the perfect time for a serial killer to break inside my house because I would never hear them coming.

Is there actually someone else inside right now? I’m listening hard diary, but I can’t because things are creaking and banging about. I’m sure it’s just the trees against the windows and loose things in garden….

What if someone is trying to get in?

I can’t go and see! I can barely keep moving my hand to write this. Think, think…okay… The bathroom door is locked and who’d want to use the bathroom if you were breaking in anyway? Wait though….doesn’t everyone hide and get murderer in bathrooms?

Maybe, I should have left before the storm arrived. Gone stayed with friends or family or just found some place to hide in my car. A jail cell might be safer right now. Or another country.

Ah! What am I thinking? They said it was only going to be a small storm…Lightening just flashed, it was loud and bright, crackly and caused all my hair to stand on end. I couldn’t see it clearly in the frosted glass but I saw it enough!

I need to hide some more. Going to put my second sleeping bag over my head. That’ll make me look like a body, so if a serial killer is going through my house right now and he makes it to the bathroom, he’ll think I’m already dead.

So long diary! If I survive this see you tomorrow.

Being Followed (Part 2)

Ghost, Gespenstig, Shadow, Silhouettes, Mystical

 

Briony snapped her mouth shut, biting her tongue and cheek at the same time. She threw her book at the shadow figure looming over her and scrambled off the bed. Her foot tangled in the blanket and she tumbled. Landing sprawled across the floor, pain shot in her chest, arms and stomach. Struggling upwards, she crawled passed her bed then got up.

Not looking back, she rushed to the door, flung it open and raced into the bathroom. Ramming home the bolt lock, she turned on the light and climbed into the still damp bath tub. Her breathing heaved loudly in her ears and she pressed her hands over them. Curling up, she rocked back and forth like an upset child.

Wetness soaked into her pyjamas bottoms and Briony began to feel uncomfortable. She raised her head off her knees and listened. She couldn’t hear anything other than the normal house sounds. The fridge was humming, the pipes gurgling and outside a car was going by. She leant over the edge and looked at the door. Stiffly, she got up and out of the tub. Curling her damp feet on the mat, she reached for a towel.

A soft tapping froze her hands.

Briony’s eyes shot to the door. The handle was slowly moving downwards.

A scream fired in her throat, but she quickly grabbed the towel and stuffed it into her mouth. Peering over, she saw the handle stop then flick back up. The noise vibrated and she felt it through the floor. Swallowing, she tasted rough cloth in her mouth.

Was that a footstep?

She listened harder, but couldn’t hear anything else. Then the handle began rattling. Briony screamed and dived back into the tub as someone tried violently to open the door. Throwing the towel over her head, she curled up and tried to quieten her sobbing.

The handled stopped and what sounded like shuffling moved down the hallway. Wiping her face with a shaking hand, Briony looked up. The bathroom light glared down at her and the ceiling was pooled with light. Sitting up, she fisted the towel then carefully climbed out of the tub.

She stood for a few moments watching the door handle, before she reached out to touch it. The metal was icy cold. She unlocked and opened the door, taking a deep breath and expecting the worse. There was nothing in the hallway. Looking both ways, she quickly ran back into her bedroom and hit the main light.

Closing the door and leaning against it, she looked around and saw everything looked normal. Going to the bedside table, she snatched up her mobile and rung the police.

‘What’s you emergency?’ an eager female voice asked.

‘I think there’s someone in my house,’ Briony breathed into the phone.

‘A burglary? What’s your address, please?’

‘I don’t know…I’m not even sure it’s…’

‘Your address?’

Briony’s eyes flickered to the bedroom door as she give her addressed and listen to the woman’s instructions. The soft sounds of fingers tapping on plastic trickled through the house.

‘I’m going to try and get out,’ Briony hissed into the phone, cutting across the woman’s words.

‘Do you think you can?’ the calming voice replied back.

‘Maybe. I think it’s, he, is in the attic.’

‘Is there a neighbour you can go too?’

‘Probably,’ Briony answered, putting on a dressing grown and slippers.

‘Can you stay on the phone?’

‘I’ll try.’

Shuffling to the door, Briony opened it and looked out. Slipping through the gap, she walked downstairs and to the front door. She took the spare key from its hiding place behind a small picture and went to unlock the door.

Wood creaking sounded loudly in her ears.

Briony’s breath caught and though she tried desperately not to look, her eyes glanced over her shoulder.

At the top of the stairs a large black figure was standing watching her.

She could make out the outline of the legs, body, arms and head, but no further details. The figure seemed to be made up of shadows which swirled around. Sluggishly, the figure lifted  a foot and placed it down the first step.

‘The police are coming!’ Briony screamed.

She scrambled to fit the key in the lock and turn it. She yanked open the door, darted out and slammed it closed again. Locking the door, she saw through the fuzzy glass the shadow man stepping down the last step. Not waiting to see if it tried to get out, Briony jogged down the path and out on to the street.

A drizzle of rain brushed her face and she moved her hair back. Hugging herself, she wondered who’s door to knock on then remember her mobile in her pocket. Digging it out, she saw the call had been disconnected. Her finger hooved over the redial button, but then she heard sirens in the distance.

Letting out a big sigh, she tried to tuck herself into the hedge so she was half hidden. The streetlight next to her glowed down, effecting her sight as she tried to look back at the house. Upstairs, in bedroom she thought the curtain moved slightly. She pressed her lips together, but didn’t see anything else.

A police car swerved up and parked half on the curb. The siren was cut, but the flashing lights were left on. Doors hurriedly open, a man and a woman officers got out. They looked like twins in their crisp blue uniforms, complete with hats and short dark hair cuts. They quickly moved towards the gate as one.

Briony stepped from the hedge, ‘I got out and locked him inside. He came at me, but I’m okay,’ she gushed. ‘He can’t get out. Here’s the key,’

The police woman grabbed her as she stumbled. Briony wrapped her hands around the officer’s thin arms and thought she’d never be able to let go.

‘Don’t worry, I’ll get him,’ the policeman said, taking the key and heading towards the house.

Briony watched him go, the streetlight illumining the fear in her eyes.

‘Everything’s going to be all right now.’

She turned to the soothing voice of the female officer and took in the hard thin looking face.

‘I’m not sure what’s be going on, but all day I’ve been followed. I kept seeing things and I thought I was going crazy, but I think I was being stalked,’ Briony explained.

‘Do you have any idea who it could be?’

‘No,’ she said with a shake of her head.

‘An ex? A friend you had a falling out with? An admirer? Someone you meet online?’ The policewoman questioned.

Briony pulled a face, ‘no. There’s no one.’

They both turned at the sound of the door knocker banging slightly. The male officer was back and alone. He came over and they both looked puzzled at him.

‘There doesn’t seem to be anyone inside,’ he stated.

‘No! There was someone! A man, a black man!’ Briony shouted.

She tore away from the police and darted inside. She ran through all the rooms and the back garden, but even after turning on all the lights and looking in all the hiding spots possible, Briony found no one.

Returning to her front door, breathless and shaking, she leant against the frame and watched the two officers studying her.

‘Did you check the attic?’ she sniffed, ‘I thought I heard him going in there before whilst I was hiding in the bathtub.’

‘No, I didn’t, where is it?’ the policeman asked.

Briony turned and led him to the attic’s trap door.

‘You open the door and the ladder comes down. You can pull it up once you’re in there too,’ she explained.

Stepping back, she watched the officer open the door, climb the ladder and go in with his torch. She heard him calling out then moving around and shifted a few things. The beam of his light swept the attic portal. He called out again before reappearing, ‘there’s no one here.’

‘Could he have got out any other way?’ the policewoman asked.

‘No. Everything was locked,’ Briony pointed out.

‘Very true. All right, lets double check then take a look outside,’ the male officer suggested as he came out of the attic.

Briony trailed the police around her house, helping them to look everywhere a person could fit themselves. They asked her questions, but she couldn’t give them enough details. Finally, they left to do a search outside and recommend she find somewhere else to stay for the night.

Closing the door behind them, Briony went upstairs, fighting down the urge to get her mental health checked out.

She closed the door to her bedroom and began sorting herself. Repeating to that she wasn’t insane, she changed and packed an overnight bag. Leaving a few lights on, she left and got into her car. Slotting the keys in, she looked up and saw the police car at the end of the street.

Deciding to drive to her parents’ Briony started the engine. Her eyes flicked to living room window as she pulled off.

There was a tall black figure standing in front of the closed curtains, hands pressed to the glass, watching her with glowing red eyes.

 

To Be Continued…

Being Followed

Ghost, Gespenstig, Shadow, Silhouettes, Mystical

Something had been following Briony all day. It was there when she woke up in the morning, clinging to the bed post and staring down at her. Getting up, had caused the thing to move away and she had tried to put it out of her mind. Claiming it was the lingering effects of a bad dream, she got in the shower and ready for the day.

It left the house with her.

Briony closed the door and walked down the path, juggling her car keys, coffee, handbag and large folder. Something brushed past her at the gate. Stopping, she looked down at her ankles where she had felt movement. There was nothing but the edge of her pants against her high heels. Glancing around, there didn’t seem to be any sign of an animal or even a gust of wind.

Puzzled, she got into her car and locked the doors. Setting off, Briony shook her head and blamed it on the dream. What had that been about anyway? She couldn’t remember the shower had washed it away. Glancing in the rear view mirror she saw a flash of black. Actually turning around, she looked at the back seats and out of the back window. The strange black dot was nowhere to be seen.

Telling herself, she wasn’t going insane, she drove to work.

Even there it seemed to have followed her. Out of the corner of her eyes, she kept catching black dots, shadows and shapes which on closer inspection weren’t there. The feeling of being watched grew and distracted her. Briony couldn’t help shake the feeling of eyes on the back of her head. She stayed in during lunchtime and let her work consume her in the afternoon.

At home time, she lurked as long as she could, but then had to leave as the building was locked up. Sitting in her car, she didn’t feel safe. Something was in the back seat, watching and breathing into her hair. Starting the car, Briony blasted the radio and drove home on the edge of having a panic attack.

Parking up, she got out and inside her house quickly, hoping to catch the thing out and trap it either in the car or outside the house. Dumping her stuff, she hurried to the bathroom and locked the door. Trying to control her heavy ragged breathing, she listened. Was that a creak on the stairs? A tap on the glass? A rattle of the letter box?

Sighing, she ran a bath. Pouring in lots of relaxing bubbles, she undressed and stepped gingerly in. The hot water licked against her skin and ignoring the heat, Briony fully got in. Letting out a deep moan, she settled back. Water sloshed and dripped in the background, calming her further. Letting everything go in the tub, she tried to laugh off the experience. She was just having one of those days, that was all and there was nothing, nothing following her.

An hour later and after sorting herself out, Briony went downstairs to fix something to eat. Turning the TV on, she let the noise fill the house as she cooked. She ate in front of the news channel, but hardly took any of it in. From somewhere behind her, came a mix of tapings, scratchings and breaths.

‘Whatever, you are, please go away,’ Briony whispered.

She put her things down and slowly turned around. The shadows crossing the wall seemed to be looking back at her. She looked harder, trying to pick anything solid out. There only seemed to be a mass of darkness.

‘Go away, she muttered, ‘quit following me.’

Glad, there’d been no response, she got up and went back into the kitchen. Tidying up, she went to bed, hoping she was going to feel safer. Getting warm under duvet and blankets, she pulled a book into her lap and began reading.

Her bedroom door creaked open.

Briony’s eyes shot up. The breath caught in her throat and she waited.

Nothing emerged and the door didn’t open anymore.

‘Leave me alone!’ she shouted.

Clutching the book to her chest, her eyes scanned the room. She heard nothing further or saw anything move. Shakely, she opened the book and began reading again, but she couldn’t concentrate. What was that flicking out of the corner of her eye? She looked up and saw a shadow detach itself from the wall. It floated over to the bed and wrapped itself around the bed post.

Briony swallowed and watched it. She bit her lip, fighting down words that burned her throat. Her eyes flicked back to the book and the lines blurred together. Then in the darkness she heard a scream.

Dear Diary #18

I wanted today to be a bed day, but of course it being Monday, that wasn’t going to happen. My part-time job sucks. Don’t get me wrong, I love the animals and hearing the old customer stories about their present and past pets. Stacking the shelves and tidying is fine too, but the hours and the money? It needs to change. If I could I’d open my own pet shop, but you know what? There’s no point because the internet is where everything will end up.

Afterwards, I came home for lunch and the news, before heading to the hospital. I swear they run on a different time clock to the rest of us. Finally, I was sat in the right waiting room and camped out for almost two hours before it was my turn. I got weighed and the nurse said I’d put on two stone! I know I thought I’d go up a jean size, but I didn’t think it was that much. Time to get down to the gym and swimming again. Not that I’ve got a problem with that. I love swimming, just once again though having to listen to old people chatting away. I wish I could get a big house with its own pool. Then I could go swimming every day and not have to worry about paying or other people.

Anyway, seeing the doctor didn’t go so well. He upped my pills and gave me some more to take. He was unhappy with my last two lots of blood tests and my update. The joys of living with a long-term-none-curable-health problem. I was glad to get out there! Back in my matchbox car, poor Brum is due for scrapping really, I saw I’d been four hours! How shocking is that? I wondered if I’d really been stuck in some time tunnel and it had been running really slow whilst outside had stayed normal. Whatever the case, I went home and found Mr. Tip waiting for me.

He was meowing over his empty bowls and he was delighted that his crying had brought me home! I feed him, give him some water then collapsed on the sofa. I put a cushion over my face and reflected on the appointment. I might have dozed off had Tip not jumped up and sat on top of the cushion and my face.

I had that left over salad for tea and watched another four or five of The Good Wife. Then mum phoned and asked how it all went. She wasn’t pleased to hear my news and said we’d go to lunch tomorrow to talk about it more. She suggested a bath, so that’s what I went and did. Luckily, I found that bath gift set behind the toilet, where a certain someone –cough ‘Tip’ cough- had knocked it.

The bath did me good and now I’m in bed, eyeing all my new medication and sighing over the fact I’ll never get a boyfriend. Who’d want me so doped up and going round in a never ending circle of high and low? Though I was so tempted to sign up for that speed dating event next month…Everyone has their problems, right? Maybe, it would do me some good and even if I didn’t meet anyone, at least it would be an evening out.

Safe

Bathroom stock photo

The bathroom ceiling was leaking. Corinna watched a drop of water falling and landing in the white bathtub. Studying the brown cork tiles, she wondered when they’d give up and tumble down. The yellow stains upon them and the pale green wall paper, told her the leak had been going on for some time now.

Looking down, she turned the taps of the bathtub on and watched clear water gush out of them. The plumbing groaned in the background and the newly fixed boiler added its voice as well. Corinna dipped her hand under the hot water tap and felt the warmish water against her skin. Smiling, she waited till the water had fully heated then put the plug in.

She stripped off all of her clothes, discarding the worn leather jacket, thin jumpers, t-shirt and vest top first. Her boots, jeans and leggings came next. Standing in her underwear, she got out her wash kit from her hiking bag and placed it in the sink, next to two towels she had found.

With the bath filling up, she got out the things she needed then took her underwear off. Putting one foot into the tub, she checked the temperature before getting in. Sitting then sliding down, she rested her head back and shut her eyes for a few moments. Water continued to pour around her feet causing her to feel both hot and cold at the same time. Corinna turned the taps off and settled back again. She listened to the gale force wind howling into the cracked window and driving the rain outside.

Glad she had escaped yet another stormy night, she fell to wondering for the countless time why the house had electricity and water still. Perhaps, and the thought chilled her for a moment, the house wasn’t abandoned? She listened, trying to decide if that was footsteps and voices she heard, or just the wind and the pipes again?

She sank further into the tub, not wanting to listen any more. Instead she asked herself when the last time she’d been in a bathtub was? A year and half ago or there about, she finally calculated, around the same time everything had gone belly up. No! I don’t want to think about it! Corinna thought and slapped the water with her hand.

She breathed deeply and pulling herself up to wash. Trying to ignore her thinning body, she moved on to wash her hair then lay in the soapy water. Shutting her eyes, she listened to the rain rattling against the window and the dripping from the ceiling. The boiler hummed in the distance and the wind knocked tree branches together outside.

A creaking noise, made Corinna’s eyes flashed open. She sat up causing the water to slosh around her and out of the tub. She listened, but heard nothing further. Wait what was that? The same sound came again. Corinna shook it off, deciding it was only the wind blowing something, a door or a window? Open and shut.

Trying to laugh it off, Corinna settled back down and put her flannel over her face. Breathing in the hot, soapy water, she emptied her head of everything. A minute went by, then she took the flannel off and soaked it in the water. She washed again, delaying getting out further. Wishing she’d brought one of the books she had spotted in the bedroom, Corinna looked around the bathroom. It seemed empty and mouldy. Pulling a face, she draped the flannel on her face again and listened to the wind howling.

A soft tapping, followed by more creaking, brought her out of a light doze. Corinna struggled upwards, the flannel dropping from her face. She thought about calling out, but decided against it. Maybe whoever it was wouldn’t come in here and she could sneak out. Almost laughing out loud at herself, Corinna sat up and climbed out of the tub. Grabbing a towel, she covered herself. Drying off, she found some cleaner clothes in her hiking bag, dressing she gathered up her stuff and crept out of the room.

She paused at the top of the staircase and debated leaving or not. Hearing no other sounds, she decided to risk it and walked into the room she had been staying in. Closing the door and setting down the bag, she grabbed the chair and slotted it against the door. Feeling safer, she got into the bed and lay down. Wrapping herself in the blankets and snuggling into the pillows, she tried to sleep. The sound of the rain and wind helped calm her and she felt herself dozing soon enough.

The creaking of the stairs, stirred Corinna. She froze and listened. There were footsteps coming up and heavy breathing. She bit her lip and tried to keep quiet. She heard the footsteps go along the hall and into the master bedroom. The door shut and she listened to the sound of someone preparing to get into bed. Holding her breath, she waited till she heard bed springs squeaking then got up.

Corinna quickly put some more clothes on and her boots. She slipped her hiking bag on and moved the chair from the door. Slowly, she opened it and peered out. There was a light on in the hallway and under the master bedroom door, she knew she hadn’t turned them on. She crept down the stairs and to the front door. How had she so badly mistake this house as being abandoned? It probably belonged to some old person who’d been away for a while.

Corinna unlocked the front door and stepped out into the storm. Blinking away rain, she walked into the night.              

Lake District Bath Time

This was just what I needed. I sink further back and let the warm soapy water relax me. The smell of tea tree oil and lavender filled the air pleasantly. After a whole day hiking through hills, peaks and countryside the bath felt like a well-deserved reward. I shut my eyes and straight away saw myself and Mike stood on top of a rocky peak catching our breath. Finally, after a wasted six hours –though that is hard to say in the Lake District- we had made it.

I swirled my hands in the water and moved my legs so my feet were not jammed against the end of the bathtub. I wiggled my upper back, losing the cooling water behind me and letting hotter water in. I settled and listened to the water lapping around me and the sides of the bathtub. Opening my eyes, I watch the steam rising like little wispy ghosts.

For a few moments, I think about a horror movie I had seen ages ago that had a ghost haunting a bathroom. A middle-aged woman home alone gets into freshly drawn bath then the lights start flickering. Creaking sounds like footsteps on bare floorboards and doors slowly moving start up. The lights go out, the woman panics and she is pulled down into the bathtub and the ghost teenage girl appears next to her.

I shake the thoughts away and push myself up. The water rocks back and forth as I sit up and reach for the body wash and sponge behind me. I scold myself for getting distracted by the horror movie. Nothing like that could happen here in the holiday lodge nestled in a quiet valley, even if it is nearly midnight. I sat to wash and hear footsteps and the twinging of music from above me. I look up startled, but then realise it’s only Mike. I can just make out his singing from the living room above me.

I laugh a little, finish off washing then ease myself back down. The warm water sloshes around me and my eyes land on the control of the Jacuzzi. Why not? My muscles feel aching enough. I grab the control and start up the jets. The noise is loud and makes me jump slightly. Cold water hits the back of my legs and back then gets warm and shots up around me. The bath seems to vibrate and I think that everything will settle down.

I lean back, the force of the jets against my skin smarts. Shutting my eyes, I try not to think about the noise of the feelings. I cast my mind back to the wonderful rugged countryside I saw today. We had got up soon after sunrise, got sorted then left. Mike had everything mapped out or so he claimed…After three hours, Mike suddenly stopped and looked nervously around. We had taken pauses to admire the area around us, but this was different. I asked him what was wrong, he said nothing was and we walked another two hours before he admitted we were lost.

I turn the Jacuzzi off, overwhelmed by the noise but the jets don’t go off. I push myself up, wet fingers fumbling over the buttons. I hit the end button and wait. Still the jets bubble away, throwing soapy water over the deep sides of the tub. I try again and press the button twice. Panic starts to build in my stomach and I pressed the button again then wait. I watch the bubbles dying down and only let my breath out when the Jacuzzi goes off.

I dropped the control back on the side and lay down again. My back has gotten dry and sticks painfully to the tub. I wiggled down, letting the water move around me and noticing that its’ gotten colder. I should get out, but I’m drawn to stay longer. My skin is all ready wrinkled so it won’t make any difference.

For some reason, my mind goes back to that horror movie and I think about the words the ghost writes on the mirror throughout the plot. It’s a bit jumbled but the ghost had written things like get out, help, behind you. I look around the bathroom, but see no mirrors. There’s not much wall space for one because the bathtub takes up one wall, the large window another, the shower and toilet the third and the door a fourth. The double sinks and the mirror is behind the door in an alcove space that joins to the master bedroom.

I decide to get out, before I scare myself further. Sitting up, I glance around and see again that the two handles are behind me and look too far away to help me up. Still I give it ago, but can’t get my body up enough. I slide my hands along the edge, to the back and pressing down try to get up again. My hands slip and I ease off, not wanting to risk falling. Frowning, I look around again and try to figure out how I’m going to get out.

There seems no other way then to try the handles again. I reach out, wrapping my fingers around the metal bar attached to the wall. Putting my other arm across, I put my hand on the other metal bar attached to the tub. Slowly, I eased myself up and put my weight into my hands and arms. I got a little way up, but not enough to be able to pull myself up. Sighing, I slipped back and decide to pull the plug.

I turned the metal dial and felt a whoosh of water moving under me. I give it a few moments then using nothing, tried to get up again. I put my hands to the bottom of the tub, behind me and pushed up. Still I couldn’t do it. I thought about calling for Mike, but changed my mind as I realised that if I rolled over and got my knees, I could get out that way.

I tried to turn, but there wasn’t enough room for me to get on to my side. The water level was dropping faster than I had thought and I noticed that if I had not unplugged the tub, this would have been easier. The water seemed against me. Feeling the urge to laugh at this silly situation, I tried everything to trying to get out. In one shift movement, I twisted my body around and flopped onto my stomach, my legs hit the metal Jacuzzi nozzles at the bottom. Dull pain poked me, but ignoring it, I pushed myself on to my knees then got up. The water gurgled around, flowing away. I shuffled to the end of the tub and using the edge as a hand hold, gingerly got out. My foot hovered above the floor and I thought I’d never be able to reach it. I stretched out a little more and felt cold tiles. Throwing my other leg over, I grabbed my towel and abandoned the bathroom.

Avoiding the mirror, I went into the bedroom and dried off quickly. Still wet, I threw my nightdress and dressing gowned on. I left the room, leaving both the bathroom and bedroom lights on feeling the need to keep the darkness away. I walked down the hallway, passing the front door and the second bedroom before reaching the stairs. I walked up and found Mike in the open living room, kitchen/diner.

He turned to me and straight away asked me what was wrong. I felt myself blush, though due to my cheeks all ready being red from the heat of the bath, he didn’t notice. I waved it away and went to sit down on the sofa, instead asking how the food was coming along. He turned to glance at the oven where the two pizzas were all most cooked. He nodded and went to prepare things.

I sat back and watched him, my experience in the bathroom fading in the bright lights and normality. Mike dished up and brought everything over to me, including a glass of red wine and a bottle of BBQ sauce. He turned the TV on and we watched the midnight news as we eat. After Mike pulled out his map and walking books, he flipped through the pages and looked set to plan our next walk. I stood up, pushed everything away and sit in his lap without saying anything. I kissed him and told him that we were spending the day in bed, the next walk could wait.

Bad Day

Laying in the bath tub, Amy could hear the wind whistling outside. She sighed and lent back, letting the hot water swirl around her body. Drawing some satisfaction from the sensation, she watched the steam rising to the ceiling, before shutting her eyes. She relaxed and imagined floating away from her really bad day.

A soft meowing caused her to open her eyes and glance over the edge of the tub. A white paw was curling under the door, trying to latch claws into the corner.

‘Go away, Fudge!’ Amy shouted and sank back into the water again.

The cat meowed louder and from downstairs another cat replied.

Amy groaned and tried not to remind herself about why she hated house and pet sitting.

‘It’s easier then babysitting, more money and I don’t have to be homeless,’ she muttered.

Shutting her eyes again, her thoughts went straight to the two job interviews she had had today. Quickly, she tried to stop the tumble of images and voices, but it was too late. She slipped under the water and held the air in her lungs tightly. The thoughts vanished and she came up gasping for breath. Sweeping hair back from her face, she clutched the edge of the tub and tried to calm down.

Her eyes met that of a cat’s and she groaned. Fudge had somehow opened the door and sneaked in. He was sitting on the bath mat, watching her and flicking his tail in the air.

‘Please, just go away. I need to be alone,’ Amy stated in a soft voice.

She turned away, pressed her head to the back of the tub and tried to come up with a new plan of action. Seconds later, a padding of paws and a flash of white turned her head. Fudge was balanced on the edge of the tub, looking down at her. Instinctively, Amy covered herself as best she could and sat up slowly.

‘What do you want?’ she asked.

Fudge meowed longingly, tilting his head back as he did so, before fixing her with that green star once more.

‘Do you annoy your owner like this, huh? Cats don’t like water,’ Amy added and flicked a few drops at him.

Fudge froze and jumped down. Amy lent over and watched him padding away, ‘bye, Kitty,’ she called after him. She settled once more and tried not to focus on anything. Tomorrow was a new day and she shouldn’t let today’s problems affect it.

A tapping on the door made her turn and glance over, a few minutes later. She huffed and watched the door swing open. Fudge strolled into the bathroom, followed by the other two cats. He jumped up onto the window sill via the toilet and stared down at her. The other two cats followed him.

‘What is this? A peep show?’ Amy said angrily, ‘you cats are weird. What’s wrong with you?’ She scrambled out of the tub and snatched a towel from the rack as she spoke.

Wrapping herself up and grabbing another towel, she left and went into her bedroom. Closing the door, she pulled the desk chair up against it and sat down on the bed. She listened and was reward with meowing noises coming from the other side of the door.

‘Great. Now I’m running away and hiding from cats. My day did get worse after all!’