Oblivious to the correct protocol when one is faced with a suitcase eating goat, I did what I thought Bear Grylls would do in this situation; I wrestled it to the ground, chopped it up into bite size pieces and turned it into a nice curry.

Obviously that’s a lie; I’m not actually that keen on curry, so I yelled and shook my hand luggage at the uninvited guest while my son hid behind the nearest bush.  Both kids stared at me for a moment, and then the hairier of the two grew bored and decided to relocate to the field opposite, gripping the severed handle of the aforementioned case like a well deserved trophy and disappeared into the brush.

Without further ado, I unlocked the gate, ran through, slammed it shut, heard more yelling, remembered I had a son, let him in, slammed it shut for a second time and made a bid for the safe confines of the house.  After a brief knee shuffle we located the keys which were hidden under the BBQ and without further interruption we entered our new temporary home.

Leaning with my back against the closed door I searched for the light and flicked the switch. Several lamps erupted into life, illuminating a warm and welcoming lounge and kitchen area.  My son, all thoughts of our wildlife interlude forgotten, ran upstairs to the largest of the four double bedrooms and threw his bag onto the floor and promptly set about finding out where the WIFI code was located.  I on the other hand looked for the most important item in the house, the kettle.

After a brief sanity respite containing three sugars and an out of date chocolate bourbon, I finally took stock of our surroundings.  The house was completely made of wood, not a brick in sight. An arsonists dream.  I trailed my hand against the warm grain and dragged my weary legs upstairs in search of the bathroom.  Post wee and wash I wandered down the hall and flopped down onto the first available bed I came to.  Without invitation oblivion engulfed me and drifted off into a much welcomed late afternoon siesta.

Just as I was happily chatting away to the tin man about the liberal use of WD40, Dorothy rudely interrupted our conversation by yelling something about not being in Kansas anymore.  It was at that point the bed beneath me decided to vibrate, and may I add, not in a pleasant way.

I opened one eye to make sure the ruby slippers were still adorning my trotters when the house was suddenly engulfed in a bright light.  Boy child, headphones surgically attached to his head launched himself into my room, almost taking the door off its hinges in the process yelling ‘This is your fault, I knew we should have stayed at the premier inn, this place is haunted!’ and then jumped onto the bed beside me and dived under the covers all the while mumbling about crucifixes and rotating heads.  Rubbing the sleep from my eyes I looked around the room and at that point another flash of light erupted from behind the curtain followed by an enormous thunder clap.  An involuntary yelp seeped out from under the covers followed by a faint whisper … ‘Take her, she’s older and an atheist’.

Staggering from the bed I headed over towards the window and pulled back the blinds.  A massive electrical storm was cascading down around us with forked lightning dancing over the sea, causing the house to shake like a 6th grader at his first prom.  Opening the balcony door I walked out onto the decking and stood in awe watching Mother Nature conduct her own impromptu light show.

A series of knocks on the front door dragged me back into reality and I stumbled onto the landing and peered around the banister.  A tall silhouette stood outside in the dark, hunched against the door frame with his back to the glass, a sack slung over his shoulder.  Holding a finger to my lips I motioned to my son to be quiet.  The stranger banged on the door again, this time more forceful and I stood still, rooted to the spot with fear, all thoughts of lazy days in the sun fading like a distant memory.  Taking a deep breath I steeled another look around the corner, heart in mouth to see the intruder looking directly at me, hair plastered to his head but with strangely familiar eyes.

‘Are you going to bloody let me in or not?  I’ve not had a decent cuppa in over a 1000 miles’

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