Tapping noises that start like a murmur and end like full throated screams didn't usually affect Spike Dullan's sleep as the early hours rolled into tomorrow and today became yesterday.
But for Spike today was still today and he couldn't sleep.
Locating the source of the noise had evaded him since he'd got home from work aching, sore and thirsty. TV flicked on and milk carton in hand the sweats had started but Spike wasn't worried. Aching body, sore muscles and sweating might have concerned many people but to Spike it was normal, shit he ached sweated and stank after every shift.
Even though he sat down all day in an office.
Aged 40 bored and boring, in Spike's life slob was a verb - a verb that summed up his daily routine.
Office...beer...sleep. And not always necessarily in that order.
Spike's lack of ambition was rooted in a deep well of common sense, he knew he would never get the girl or the promotion the way things were.
He was 40 years old and on a roll of bad luck that stretched back 40 years.
Absently he scratched at some tingly exasperating itch, his skin was damp and his pallor unhealthy but that represented no deviation from the norma for Spikey.
So Spike itched and scratched then showered and showered again and itched and scratched and started to wonder about fleas or tropical diseases. Three beers into this rumination he spotted the first triangle.
Three more beers and he started to think that someone was in the room with him.
Another two beers and he was sitting on his sofa with two kitchen knives ready to rock. Ready to face the enemy.
As the sun cut into Spike's little nightmare as sharp as the kitchen blades he was gripping so tightly Mr Dullan the 40 year old single, permanently single, office worker thought he might just, might just be hearing a voice from somewhere in his flat.
He wondered vaguely if his co-worker Dawsey had slipped him a blotter when he wasn't looking.
He wondered if he might be coming down with some new strain of flu.
But he concurred that it was more likely that the other people in his aprtment block were trying to poison him. That seemed the most likely and sensible explanation for the pain twisting through him. And many events clicked together in Spike Dullans infected mind, parties in his flats he'd never been invited to, whispered conversations by neighbours. Noises in the night and strange lights too. He realised then finally that he hated other humans but more specifically that he hated the people in his building more than anyone else.
THEY ARE THE WATCHERS AND THEY WANT TO KILL YOU.
Spike spun looking for the origin of the voice but his apartment was empty, the only sound inane TV chatter. It was morning and he was exhausted, his energy fused into suspicion and fear. He needed to protect himself, he needed to make sure the watchers didn't come into the apartment and complete the vicious plans they had laid out for him.
He felt lucky, he felt blessed. He had uncovered a building wide plot to harm him maybe even kill him. Some natural intelligence in his mind had fitted the pieces of the puzzle together he realised, for years now the watchers had plagued and harried him. Behind their smiles and " Good mornings " or smiles and " Hello Mr Dullan " 's there lurked a sub text, a sinister and violent secret language of hatred and despair. They hated him....oh how they hated him.
WE CAN HELP YOU. WE CAN MAKE THE BAD PEOPLE GO AWAY.LISTEN TO US. TRUST US. WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS.
It was good to have friends at times like this though Spike and he almost wept with joy as he rummaged around in an old box for the gun his father had once given him...