I was bored.
It was a slow day, one of many, and I was looking for something to keep me amused – if only for a while. I was sat in the living room of the house I shared with Matt, Jo and Kate; I had some studying to do for an essay that needed to be handed in at the beginning of the following week, but that was days away and I always left such things until the day before. I had no lectures to go to, it was after breakfast but before lunch, the pubs weren’t open and it would be a couple of hours before Neighbours came on.
Jo was out at a lecture, Matt was out doing God knows what (but I bet it wasn’t hygenic!) and Kate was upstairs studying like the goody two shoes student she was.
I was bored.
I wandered into the kitchen to put the kettle on and see if there were any biscuits that I could ‘liberate’ from the confines of someone else’s cupboard. Matt had a penchant for jammy dodgers and more than once we had argued furiously when he said the packet was lighter than the last time he had visited it. I acted hurt by his accusations but was given away by the crumbs on the front of my jumper. But when I got there the cupboard was bare, as the rhyme goes. Damn!
I leaned back on the worktop with my arms crossed and looking up at the ceiling trying to think of an excuse to disturb Kate from her work. Then it came to me and a grin spread across my face, slowly at first, then ever more rapidly until it linked my ears.
“Kate? I’m going round the corner to see Wesley, back in a minute.” I shouted up the stairs. Wesley was our landlord, a six foot five giant from St Lucia with a tombstone-like gold tooth that glittered when he smiled. We were never late paying our rent! To be honest he was a good lad and we got on well.
“What are you going there for?” She asked.
“We’ve got a rat.”
“In the kitchen, behind the washing machine.”
“Is it big?” Her voice cracking as it hit a higher key betraying the fear that had started to grip her.
“Yeah, it’s a beauty.” I opened the front door and closed it behind me, counted to ten then opened it again. “Tell you what, I don’t need Wesley, I’ll get it myself.”
“Be careful,” she urged. I went into the kitchen and grabbed the broom, upending it I proceeded to beat the floor as if trying to kill this rat by beating it to death – not something I would actually do if faced with a real rodent, I’d be more likely to coax it into a box, or get the missus to sort it out for me ; )
“Oh no, it’s got past me! It’s in the hall!” I yelled. I was happily dashing about and banging the broom handle on the floor and grunting as if locked in mortal combat: “Come here you little bastard!” I could hear my housemate whimpering in her room above.
“What’s happening?” Her voice sounding as if she was on the last bus to hysteria.
“Agh, it’s on the stairs! Kate, it’s coming up the stairs!” I yelled while charging up and banging my hands down on the steps ahead of me. As I reached eye level with the landing I could see through the bannisters and into her room. She was stood on her bed with two fistfuls of her hair on either side of her head and screaming like a Banshee.
That was it for me, my legs collapsed and I sat on the stairs, my body wracked with laughter until I thought I’d got a hernia. The more she cursed the day I was born, the more I laughed. Luckily (eventually) she saw the funny side too so I didn’t get strychnine in my tea or my throat cut as I slept. Yes, perhaps it was desperately cruel but I was desperately bored and, after all, desperate times call for desperate measures.