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Cuckoo in the nests (standard:drama, 3987 words)
Author: Lev821Added: Dec 04 2019Views/Reads: 88/37Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
How many people live in your house?
 



She always took more than the recommended dose of estazolam sleeping
pills, enough to knock out a horse, or at least a pony, but she had 
never suffered side-effects and had taken two pills every night for the 
past two years since her doctor had recommended them for her, failing 
to mention their slightly addictive quality, which she denied, telling 
herself she wanted to take them, and could stop anytime she liked. 

When she downed them with a cup of horlicks, out she would go, sometimes
literally before her head would hit the pillow, her sleep being so deep 
fireworks could explode outside her house and she would barely twitch 
an eyelash. 

She swallowed her pills and drank the water and felt drowsy as she
switched off the lamp and lay on the bed. 

As the grip of sleep circled her conciousness and took her to the land
of dreams, outside her bedroom, above the top of the stairs, the loft 
entrance moved slightly, and then moved altogether. A rope descended, 
followed by feet, and gradually a man climbed down into her house. 

He had done it many times before, because in the loft, was where he
lived. 

Barbara Mullens who was in the room, currently dreaming about blue
frogs, was the only occupant of the large house, a house which was in 
the middle of three terraced housing on the outskirts of a town, within 
walking distance of a supermarket, but far enough away to have one toe 
in the countryside. 

He stretched and made his way across to her bedroom, opening the door
and standing before her sleeping form, just watching her. He knew she 
wouldn't wake. 

She had never seen him. Never known about him. Yet he had been doing
this several times a week for three years. There was a street lamp 
further along the road, and the fringes of its light seeped into the 
room, and once his eyes had adjusted she was not in total darkness. His 
name was Dale Chandler, 59 years old, only wore a bathrobe and 
slippers, and he lived in the three lofts, because in the walls 
separating them, holes had been made in the brickwork, so when he knew 
the occupants were out, he would come down and help himself to food and 
television. 

The house to the left of Barbara's held a youngish couple, possibly in
their thirties, and to the right a man in his sixties who was hardly 
ever there because he spent most of his time down the local pubs. 

When he first came to the houses he had been searching for a place to
stay, and had found one empty. He had stayed in the house as a 
squatter, but when estate agents started coming around, he retreated 
into the loft, and created the holes between the houses, one covered by 
a large sheet of plywood, the other by a decrepid chest of drawers. To 
this day he never knew how they had got up there as the loft entrance 
looked too small. 

Sometimes he would lie next to Barbara in her double-bed, getting under
the sheets and stroking her hair, her shoulder, enjoying the feeling of 
what it would be like to be a married man. For now though, he sat at 
the end of the bed and just stared at her. After a few minutes he got 
up and left, and went downstairs into the kitchen, made himself a 
one-sugared tea and watched some satellite television, sitting on the 
sofa, feet up on a coffee-table. After a couple of hours, he tidied up 
as best he could, covering his tracks and climbing up the rope, back to 
his own abode, replacing the loft entrance. 

When he had decided to call this place home, and after he had knocked
through into the other lofts, he had carefully pierced a small hole in 
the bedroom ceilings as close to the light-bulb as possible so he could 
watch them sleep, or anything else that went on in bedrooms. 

Barbara seemed like the type of woman who was a permanent spinster. Men
did not feature much in her life, and when they did it was on normal, 
friendly terms, none ever crossing the threshold of her house, 
nevermind the bedroom. Also, Barbara to him, wasn't the highest on his 
list of most attractive. She reminded him of a kindly grandmother, and 


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