Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Never open the door at night.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
" 'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door;
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore,.
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore,
Nameless here forevermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me---filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
" 'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door,
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door.
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is, I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you." Here I opened wide the door;---
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Dear Edgar. Sorry I borrowed so heavily from The Raven.

Oh if only that were true, if only I had stayed quiet. If only it had been the ghost of Lenore. Such folly! I was in my jammies, I had hot chocolate, I had showered and was feeling sleepy and beginning to think bed might be the place for me after all. But nay, I opened the door, oh so cheery, bigger of the cats in my arms, ready to fling him at any attacker, only to find...
'I....ssnnsooocoeeeo....he...bastard...sniff sniff he..then he...sniff sniff...bastard.'
'Hello Etheline.' I said, gripping the cat so hard he farted. Parp. We, he and I, were frozen stiff in horror at my stupidity. Had I not been warned that this might happen? Had not one of the very gays called very me that very evening to warn of this very event?
'Very.' I said.
'Sniff, what?'
He has spied her in Davey Byrnes after work, flinging Gin and Tonics back and screaming abuse down her mobile while a gaggle of her friends sat around her looking vicious and sorta pleased with themselves.
I peered past her, wondering how on earth she had managed to get into the building. I had heard the bell earlier and ignored it.
'What the hell is wrong with your phone?'
'It's unplugged.'
'Jesus, sniff. I've been ringing your fucking bell for ages! sniff sniff.'
I arched one eyebrow in surprise. She had only rung it once, the impatient sot. 'You have? Oh I was in the shower you see, I was just getting ready for-'
'I had to wake your neighbour, Jesus what a bitch she is.' She brushed past me -a thwack of Opium rocked me back on my heels- the cat's hackles rose and I was alarmed to see she was carrying an over night bag with her.
She had woken the harpy! The cold hand of horror gripped me ever tighter, the cat was beginning to struggle. I cut off his air supply with my arm, he went limp again.
'Oh!' She wailed, I heard her open the glass press, clink clink. 'You would not believe the week I've had! It's finished between me and that asshole! First he tells me he is leaving me, then he rings me up and says...'
I took a step backwards and then hesitated. Would it look odd if I left? I was in bare feet true, but so what? I could wear high heels eighteen hours a day, my feet were tough. I might make it, I could flee...but in cotton jammies with pink rabbits? What of my reputation? I should at least be wearing a silk babydoll nightdress. And this was my home, why should I be the one to leave? Panicked, dumbfounded, rigid with indecision, I dithered too long.
'Are you going to shut that door, sniff, I'm freezing. Where do you keep the whiskey? Oh Cat, oh Cat...'she wailed,dropping her coat on the floor-even though a perfectly good coat-rack stood but mere feet away- 'you won't believe what he actually said to me... to ME! That fucking bastard, I threw the ring at him. We're through this time, through!'
'Harrrrhhhhh.' I sighed. I dropped the cat onto the tiles and booted him gently back towards the sitting room and watched as he fled, huge-tailed, under the writing desk. Nothing for it now. I had been remiss in my guarding, and it had cost me dear.
My sister was staying the night.
Sleep, perchance to dream, nope. Not this night.
I made my way to the linen cupboard for the fresh sheets, cursing under my breath.
'He is a bastard, he is a liar and a bastard! Oh...' I heard her slither to a stop behind me, noted the hint of disapproval in her voice. '...Jesus, is that fucking suede wallpaper?'
'It is.'
This is how women in my family say, 'I hate it.'
An image of 'Chinatown' surfaced within me: Jack Nicholson slapping Faye Dunaway silly, slightly altered.
My sister/my mother/my sister/my mother/my sister and my mother!
I buried my hands deeper into the cupboard.
'Where's the Jamesons?'
'I don't have any.'
'There's wine.'
Was there room under the writing desk for another, I wondered idly.


Blogger Foot Eater said...


11:58 a.m.  
Blogger Kim Ayres said...

Sounds like the start of a saga

12:05 p.m.  
Blogger Dr Maroon said...

Top notch tucker!

1:53 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Arf, I am reminded of BW.

1:55 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Footie- I know.
Kim- oh you betcha.
Docy- kissy kissy.
Twenty- I knew you'd see it.

2:08 p.m.  
Blogger SheBah said...

Who is BW? tell all please, FMC.

2:47 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

That's some good writing, right there. I'm trading in both my sisters, perhaps we could round them all up, send them off together, someplace from which they can't find their way back...

4:20 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

SexyBeauty, that one is a loooonggg story.
Andraste- Where Outer Mongolia? The Galápogos Islands? Just name the place and I shall send her. Three towels I picked up today from the floor of the main bathroom. Three! I get it, one for hair one for body, but what is the third one for, she's waxed within an inch of her life, so it can't be otter's pelt-ism.

5:13 p.m.  
Blogger the anti-barney said...

I love it.I'm torn between hoping she fucks off and gives you some peace,or stays and gives US a good chuckle.

7:36 p.m.  
Blogger Dr Maroon said...

Mmmmm, Fatmammycat sisters, argggle!

7:55 p.m.  
Blogger LindyK said...

Aah your family does the "interesting" thing too, eh? Doesn't that suck? I always wish they'd just come out and say, "That's ugly as hell" or whatever they're really thinking... family...

5:36 a.m.  
Blogger Monstee said...

FMC... you sister seems... interesting!

And you story inspires me!

6:06 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Ta Monstee, I like your photo. Can you play the drums?
LindyK- NOBODY in my family actually says what they are thinking. So everything is in code.
Interesting=I hate it.
It doesn't matter now.=It matters so much I want to kill you.
I'll do it myself= YOU better do it right now or this situation will go nuclear.
And my personal favourite...always spoken in a head tilting way, even over the phone. Now, I'm not trying to interfere= Be prepared for interference on an epic scale.

10:39 a.m.  
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