l Blame Alfred Hitchcock

I remember as a child watching ‘The Birds’ by Alfred Hitchcock on television. It was one of the scariest movies I had seen in my life up to that point. Times were different back then, a small black and white television in the living room with all the family huddled around it. Watching movies even at home was a big event, a family event. Happy days, all this reminiscing. It’s no good though, I need to sleep. Things have been so hectic and I’m up early. I need to clear my mind, relax forget all about old American movies.

The noise is the worst thing it’s driving me mad. The scratching, squealing and screeching. It’s so loud, I’ve managed at last to board and barricade the house. Everything is secured, I wonder how long it will be before they get in. It’s been two days since they reached the roof space. We’ve had them before just odd ones looking for carcasses of dead birds. Someone said they come up the drainpipes looking for food. Apparently, they can expand their bodies to help them climb. It’s never been like this though. The ceiling is creaking and groaning under the weight. There’s noise inside the wall cavities now, I think they are in there too.

I reach across from the bed and pick up my phone from the bedside table. 3.38am way too early. A relief though, my nightmare was bad I’m glad to be awake. Is that rain? The beating, the drumming how can water make so much noise. A wonderful, relaxing, soothing, sound.

No, I remember now what it is. The scraping and scratching behind the walls is terrible and it’s getting worse with each passing hour. I don’t think I can bear to look outside. Maybe someone has come to help. The creatures might be less, I am going to look. There might be less of them.

Oh my God it’s worse than ever, wave after wave coming toward our house. A sea of writhing, jumping, biting rats. They must be three feet deep as far as I can see. They cover the fence, the car, the trees.

4.26am that dream again, it’s terrible. I’m glad I’ve woken I might just check Twitter, my emails. No signal, never mind the rain really is so relaxing. The pounding of rain on glass, fast, fierce, reassuring and restful.

There seems to be nothing living outside except the rats. We can’t be the only ones left in town? There must be others, like us barricaded in their homes. How did this ever happen?

Last week there was just a handful of them in a neighbour’s garden eating scraps left over from a barbecue. He poisoned them. Maybe he should have trapped them or shot them, that way you can clear the corpses. Leave food lying around, even dead rats and they will come. I don’t understand that can’t be it. There must be some other explanation, something we can do.

7.16am how long has my alarm been ringing? I should be at work I’ve overslept. At least I’m finished with that dream. It’s so quiet what’s different? Brilliant, its stopped raining too.

Then the scream, where’s my wife? That must be her downstairs. I run down, it’s the vent above the kitchen window. I thought it was secured, the boarding has been forced off. They’re in, it’s like a waterfall, a torrent. Hundreds, thousands of rats pouring through the gap and into my house, our house.

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