Contending with a 100-plus temperature for seven consecutive days is quite consuming. One morning, I am typically jolted awake from sweaty and nightmare-filled slumber a little before sun up, and I shuffle from my room to get some of the Elixir of Lemsip Max I have in the kitchen. I am shivering and dizzy and it is still pretty dark, but as I pass the front door I make out the orange of Trevor’s ears through the frosted glass as he sits on the doorstep. Trevor looks slightly surprised to see the door open for him a good couple of hours earlier than he’s used to, and as I wait for him to go through his routine of various stretches I myself am surprised to see a strange car parked on our neighbours’ drive with its parking lights on. I check my watch in the gloom. 5.50. That is odd.
As I close the door after Trevor, a man’s shape suddenly looms on the other side of the glass and begins pressing against the centre of the door. My stomach lurches in fear and surprise, and I throw my weight against the door, scraping the skin off my knuckles in the process. In my panic, I can’t quite work out whether the door is on it's catch and properly shut now or if I really do need to keep my weight up against it. I don’t particularly want to trust my instinct that it is closed and take a step back, only to have the madman who is running around outside at 6am push the door open and deftly stab me. He is still clearly there, in his bloody baseball cap, fumbling against my door as I lean hard against, trying to calculate how much longer I can continue with this physical exertion before I collapse.
Just then, a newspaper squeezes through the letterbox by my waist, and the paperman goes on his way.
5 weeks ago