Hallowe’en is one of those times when it is acceptable for people to knock at your door and demand sweets, threatening terrible consequences if you don’t obey. It’s a time that one can prepare for; by 31st October you must have bought enough sugary food to last a hypoglycaemic throughout the winter or risk cleaning egg and silly string off your exterior walls for the rest of the week. Alternatively, you could prepare for this fateful day by removing yourself from the house for the evening, like I managed to do this year.
Christmas time, on the other hand, is a completely different story, you never know who will knock on your door, or when they’ll do it.
I live by myself in a new build estate on the edge of a small village. Normally it is quiet, especially on weekday evenings. Tonight however I was subjected to a terrifying ordeal that, up to this point in my life, has eluded me. One which I was in no way prepared for.
I was upstairs at the time, sat in front of my computer having just finished catching up with the latest episodes of The Guild, Space Janitors, Essnemma’s Grab Bag 2.0 and Neil’s Puppet Dreams and was quietly pondering the option of wandering to a nearby shop to purchase some more tobacco when I heard a noise. At first I thought it was my neighbours, sometimes the noise from a TV or stereo will carry through the walls so I wasn’t too worried and carried on perusing the interwebs. Then the noise came again, louder this time. An undeterminable drone to begin with but becoming slightly more tuneful and merry as it got closer. Christmas Carollers.
There are a number of things that went through my head when I realised what was happening:
- “My lights are on, they’ll think I’m at home”
- “If I go downstairs to turn my lights off they’ll know I’m at home”
- “This is what it will feel like when the zombie apocalypse comes”
Then my doorbell rang.
I cowered, sitting alone, frozen in my chair. I was alert, my hearing trained on the shuffling of feet outside and broken fingernails clawing at my door. The merry tunes had ceased, all that remained was the dull groan of walking corpses. I could do nothing, my only way of escape involved alerting the crowd of merciless, flesh eating abominations to my presence and it wasn’t worth the risk. Outside, the world was falling apart, being destroyed by a hitherto unknown force, devouring everyone in its path. This was how my life would end.
I snapped out of it. There were no zombies, the shuffling of feet was merely the carollers moving to the next house, the clawing noises were actually the sounds made by my letterbox as someone inserted a card promoting the local church and the groaning once again returned to Christmassy merriment.
Maybe I should stop reading quite so much of The Walking Dead.