John must go back to his childhood home in Wales and face his nightmares:
John felt the knot in his stomach tighten as he crossed the invisible line that marked the towns border, he eased up on the gas peddle and brought the ford to an almost snail pace.
He’d been dreading this moment, putting it off for weeks. Yet he knew when he received the news of Mary’s death that he’d have to go back to the house. He’d thought of a hundred and one reasons not to come back, but for all the reasons, he knew he would.
He hadn’t been in any rush, not until that jumped up young son of a bitch started throwing his weight around, and decided to sack him. Well he’d seen it coming for weeks now, so no job, no flat.
So here he was, going back to Wales to claim his childhood home. Already the nightmares were rushing back, no matter how hard he tried to think of something else, they kept on rearing up, challenging him to deny them. He felt the sweat stand out on his forehead, and quickly wound down the window, letting the cold air in to claim its prize.
As he drove into town, he was surprised at just how little had changed. He’d been gone for over twenty years, but looking round the place it was as though he’d never left. He’d kept in touch with Mary over the years, but he’d never been back to visit her, what with his job taking him here there and everywhere, well he just hadn’t been able to find the time.
He felt a pang of guilt, and quickly told himself that he’d stop for food later. He thought about Mary. She’d had her own life; she didn’t have to take him in. Maybe she thought that being his mothers sister meant it was her duty to give him a home after his parent’s death. Well he’d never know now. He couldn’t remember much about his mother and father, and when he’d asked Mary, all she wools say was that they had died in an accident, and that was that.
As he pulled up outside the house, he was dismayed at the state of the place. He hadn’t been expecting a palace, but the place looked almost derelict. The thought of driving off and finding a comfortable hotel dangled in front of him, but he brushed it aside. He knew that that would be just running away again. This time, like it or not, he was going to have to stand up to the nightmares. He looked up at the house and sighed, "that house is the perfect setting for any nightmares,” he mumbled.
No sooner had he opened the car door, when there was an almighty crash, and all heaven opened up. He made a quick decision to leave his case in the car boot, and made a dash for the front door. It was only a matter of a few yards. But by the time he reached the front porch, he was completely drenched. He fished out the key, stabbed at the lock, and after a few swift kicks to the bottom of the door, he finally got it open.
That was when the smell hit him. He never carried a hanky chief, so he pulled his jumper up over his mouth and nose, and dived for the nearest window. He slipped on something soft but managed to keep his balance, glancing down he saw the remains of a half eaten bird, he felt the bile rise in his throat, and swallowed hard cringing at the sour taste. He threw the two large windows open as wide as they would go. Not caring that the rain came pouring in. It might wash some of this crap away, he thought.
As he looked around the room he was suddenly aware of the whole carpet that seemed to be alive and wriggling, only it wasn’t the carpet. There must be at least fifty bloody cats in the room and, judging by the sound coming from upstairs, he guessed that there was probably the same number up there.
It took a couple of hours, and a few bites and scratches, but John managed to rid the house of all the cats. And the cat remains. He’d broke out into a sweat as the bloody cats kept leaping back through the windows no sooner had he thrown them out, so he had had to close the windows and suffer the smell.