You know that bit with the facehugger in Aliens?


It amazes me how many different habits people have when sleeping, some like the windows open, doors closed, doors open, no pillow, big pillow, no light, little bit of light, music on (a friend of mine used to fall asleep to Megadeth on his walkman), pyjamas, nightie you get the idea... For me, I like complete darkness and everything closed tight. I used to have the window open a little bit, but since that time I woke up with a giant (5cm) cockroach on my chin that ain't happening no more. I also sleep as God intended: Omnipotent er I mean in the nudie. So anyway the whole house is dark, all doors are closed and the only thing stirring is my bladder. It is rather upset that I've turned it into some sort of pikey hot water bottle through the night and it is demanding to be emptied. Now I know my house quite well, as you'd expect. It's a single floor and the bathroom is right down the other end of the house. Why would I bother turning on the light eh? The house is free from random chairs, shin killing coffee tables and upturned plugs. Only people in the UK are nodding knowingly at that one: sometime in the late 30's a guy came to see the government and said "right chaps we've got these smooth two prong round things that Johnny foreigner uses or I've got this flat backed three pronged beauty, and look I've sharpened the ends to dull points, England: we have a winner". Right where was I, yeah so I use my internal memory map of the house to navigate to the bathroom: out of bedroom door, pace, pace, pace, squeaky floorboard, four more paces to the door to the lounge, open door...and then...and then something happens which doesn't usually happen. You know that bit with the facehugger in Aliens? As it runs about trying to hug face it makes a funny noise halfway between a pattering of a lobster on steroids and the sound of skin being cut open. Not generally a welcome sound, even less when you hear it accompanying a dark shadow moving quickly on the other side of the room. Now I don't really live in a rough area, but it used to be, so all the windows have bars and the doors are deadlocked. The only weak point is, you guessed it, the one bathroom. It sits on the other side of the main rear door in a little sort of added on annex which has a flimsy patio door to the outside. Now I'm not a big brave person or anything like that, but I was half asleep and I do have guinea pigs which live in the house (in hutches) so I figured one of two things had happened: I'm imagining it or: one of the piggies has got loose and is doing it's best to make me crap my pants (ha - tough luck piggy, I sleep nudie), at no point do I assume there is a facehugger in my house. So 'bugger it' I think, and walk through the lounge...through the open plan kitchen, unlock the big dead bolt door into the annex and go into the loo.
I have a lovely wee.
I walk back through kitchen into the lounge, no point in putting the light on. When I get to the hallway I hear that weird scritch scritch sound as before but this time it's ahead of me. Hmm odd, I turn, check the animals are safely in there hutch (there is a little bit of twilight in the lounge), they are. So I walk back to the bedroom and stop at the doorway peering into the gloom. The noise has now changed. It's no longer the scritch scritch, it's more of a scrabble scrabble, and it's loud, I mean LOUD. I am now severely freaked with a complete case of 'The Fear'. My partner has woken up with the noise and is wondering how I can be standing in the bedroom doorway but making a noise from the other corner.
This is it. I turn on the light. For a moment we're all stunned. None of us can see a damn thing because of the bright light. Slowly the high contrast fades and my eyes hurt as the pupils contract to pin pricks. I can see the walls, the bed, and my partner staring up at me with a very concerned (angry) face. Oh, also there is a honking great rat sat on top of the covers. It’s the size of Belgium. It's looking at me. It's not looking happy. It looks like it wants to eat my face. Fortunately my partners face is much closer. Hey, I didn't say it was fortunate for everyone. So what do I do? I'm blocking his only exit and my partner is still looking at me and not at the creature 8 inches away. You know when you say to someone "Don't turn around" or "don't move while I get this thing of your head" or "Don't freak out but I think its fangs are in you" they invariably turn round or move or like scream incoherently about not liking fangs. So I don't say a thing; I move my eyes and lift my eyebrow to indicate that I'm staring at something of considerable interest. My partners gaze follows.
Then there's like this giant rat eating my face.

My partner contests that a simply knee jerk reaction pull on the duvet caused the creature to be catapulted in my direction. I know better, he had taken a liking to my pretty eyes. I like my eyes too, admittedly I don't use them as often as I should, like going to the toilet in the middle of the night, but all in all I like my eyes in my face and not in a rat.

Ratty or ARRRRRGGGHGHHGJESUSGETIMOFFGETHIMOFF as I like to call him, made a bolt down the hall and is currently hiding out somewhere in the lounge. Quite frankly how we can't find something of his size is stupefying.
...it's the next evening now; I have a humane trap set up in the lounge. I'm wishing this desk had a glass surface so I could see if anything was coming near my feet. When I've finished typing this I'm off to eBay for a bedpan.