Comedy Of Terror

Entry by: Seaside Scribbler

4th February 2016
I was hoping the mayhem had reached a peak. The children seemed to have multiplied. There were supposed to be four but I was sure I could see six, bouncing off the sofas, running past my legs, grabbing crisps and sprinkling them on the floor as they crammed them into their mouths. Surely, it could not get any worse? Maybe the sweets had been a bad idea. I thought sweets + children = silence, but it turned out that equation was seriously wrong. (It's more like sweets + children = manic insanity and volume increase.) And the ice lollies... well, my sister's carpet wouldn't be the same for a long time. I was sure she could hire a carpet cleaner. It was her fault, for leaving me too long, anyway.

I kept looking at the front door. 'I'll only be half an hour,' she'd said, 'tops.' I looked at the clock again for the fiftieth time. She'd been gone over two hours, already. My sister was a nutcase; a loveable, disorganised whirl of a woman who lived life at ninety miles an hour. But I had to hand it to her, how she coped with these kids day in day out was beyond me. She must, really, be some kind of superwoman who could do seventeen things at once.

It's not that I don't like children, I do, but they... I'm a little ashamed to admit this but they terrify me. I've got pedophobia, which sounds well dodgy, I know, but really just means I'm scared of kids. The name itself puts me off telling anyone. Teachers, parents, sweet shop owners - they all deserve the utmost respect. They are legends.

My sister and I used to be close but then she went and had four kids. One lot of twins and two others following right bang smack after, like a dose of the shits. God, what an awful anaolgy. See? I can't even get the terminology right.

I've not told anyone, so keep it quiet, eh? If my girlfriend knew she'd be off like a dose of... never mind.

I wondered if I should try singing or something. But as well as fear of kids I've fear of singing in public. Did four mad kids count as public?

'If you guys all come here, I'll sing!' I yelled, in my best teacher voice.

To my utter amazement, six small heads appeared. Wow! That was easy. I'd have to remember it for another time. I grinned.

'Cool,' I said. 'Right, let's all chill out a little and-'

'Whatcha gonna sing?' said the littlest one.

'Oh, you don't really want to hear me singing,' I said. 'I was just kidding. Now you're all here let's play a game! Let's play, who can keep quiet the longest?'

'You said you'd sing,' said one of the twins. 'It's bad to lie.'

'Yeah, but, I can't sing.'

'Then why did you say "let's sing"?' said the other twin.

'Um... It was a... joke!'

'Crap joke,' said the first twin.

'You can't say "crap,"' I said.

'You just said it,' pointed out the smallest one again.

'Crap crap crap crap,' they all chanted, running off around the living room in a train procession.

Oh my god. I will never, ever ever have kids. Whatever Tina says or does, it is never going to happen. Ever.

I decided to lock myself in the loo for a bit. Surely there'd be no harm in that and nobody would notice, would they?

I had just got the door shut when there was the most horrific wailing, shrieking sound. I had no idea kids could make a sound like that! Turns out it wasn't a kid. The middle child (isn't that a syndrome?) had the cat by the tail and was swinging it around and around the room. Next time my sis complains her lounge is too small, I can tell her a thing or two about room and cats...but for now I grabbed the cat, missed, and fell into the table that help the popcorn I'd thoughtfully brought along (so we could watch Postman Pat or something and not move until my sister came back). The popcorn bag burst and the corn scattered, children appeared and began grabbing at it and shoving it in their mouths.

I stood holding the cat, who, if he'd not had pedophobia before, certainly had it now. He gave me a baleful look, scratched my arm and bounded off through the open window.

The open window.

The window... I did a quick headcount. I could see three heads. How many were there supposed to be?

'Jesus,' I said, shoving my head out of the window. The garden was empty, except for the escaping cat.

'Has anyone seen, er,' I began. 'The twin, boy twin? I think?'

The girl twin looked wildly around. 'Not again,' she said, 'he's always running away.'

That was it. I was calling my sister, incredibly important meeting or not. Her phone rang, and rang, and rang. She didn't even have a message facility anymore, the ditzy.... I opened my mouth, and yelled too.

The remaining three fell silent. And another two heads appeared from the playroom. I gaped. There were two extra heads! 'Where did you two come from?'

'Next door,' said one, shrugging. 'We come and play all the time. her mum said it wouldn't matter.'

'Oh did she,' I said, grimly.

Just then the doorbell rang.

'Ohthankfuckthankfuck,' I babbled, ready to offer my sister anything in the world if she'd only never ever ever ask me to-'

It was a policeman. Squirming against his grasp was the boy twin.

'Yours?' said the copper, drily.

'Mmmmm, kind of. I'm the uncle. I'm sorry. Where was he?'

'Ringing doorbells,' the man said. 'And running away.'

'Cool! I mean, not cool. Very not cool. Come here young man, we need to talk. Thank you,' I said, shutting the door carefully.

I went and closed and locked every orifice of the house. I rounded up the kids and got out my wallet.

'Now. If you sit down and watch TV until your mum comes back - all right, your neighbour's mum, I'll give you each a pound.'

'One poxy pound?' said the girl twin.

'Two pounds! Each!' I said.

'A fiver, and you've got a deal,' said the boy twin.

Something in me snapped. 'Forget it. No deal. Right, do what the hell you want then.' And I got up and strode off to the kitchen, put on the kettle, and sat down, head in my hands. She left me here, she could deal with the mess. Her fault. Nobody could escape again, I was safe. From them.

In the end, my conscience got me. I peeked out of the door as the noise level went seriously loud.

They were literally climbing the walls. I didn't know it was possible to shin up bookshelves like that... Oh no, wait, that kids was

Bang crash argh! ow! bang thump

gonna fall.

'It's okay, I'm coming.' The brat was snivelling and snorting and rolling on the ground clutching his leg. Or her leg. I'm not sure which brand of twin it is. I picked it up and gave an awkward sort of hug, the way TV mothers do.

'You shouldn't have been climbing the bookshelves, anyway,' I told the twin, rocking it. It stopped sobbing so loudly and relaxed in my arms.

'Which twin are you?' I asked the snotty child and in response the wails start off again.

'Mum said you were rubbish, Uncle Matt. You don't even know my name! She said you'd be crap at this.'

'What? You shouldn't say-''

'When she told Tina her plan. She said-'

'Tina? What do you mean? What plan?'

But the twin had gone mute and had clapped a hand over her mouth.

Somewhere, a penny fell clattering to the floor.



This was all a plan!

'Kids, come here,' I said.

Obedient, and shooting their sister fierce glances, they trooped over.

'Right, the cat's out of the bag. No, not that cat. It means - never mind. I know you're all up to something. I need to know what.' I gave them my fiercest glare and, to my amazement, they all shrank to children size, instead of monster size.

I folded my arms and carried on glaring.

In the end it was the girl twin who cracked.

She sighed, loudly and dramatically. 'Mum said we had to help her to do an experiment. She said you hated kids and-'

'I don't hate kids!'

'Then why don't we ever see you?' the little one said.

'I, I, I... I'm kind of, scared, of, children.'

All six of them burst into screeches of laughter. At least half of them rolled onto the floor.

'Yeah, haha,' I said. I was ruined.

When they eventually stopped giggling, the girl twin continued. 'Anyway,' she said, 'Mum said you weren't very good with kids and that your girlfriend wanted some and that we had to be really awful to you so you would get over your fear of us.'

'How on earth is that meant to work?'

'She made the last bit up,' said her brother. 'We did that ourselves.' he hung his head. 'Sorry. We were meant to be nice, and change your mind about wanting kids. Please have some! We want cousins.'

There was a small silence filled with relief (mine) shame (possibly theirs) and, well, just silence. It was blissful.

I nodded to myself. They weren't that bad, really. Not if you talked to them like little people. Not when they kept silent... Maybe I could do this. It wasn't worth losing Tina over. She was.... Well, amazing. Worth doing a little therapy for, I reckon. Mind you, maybe I'd not need therapy, after this...

'Right, I've got a plan. Reckon you can all help me? I'll make it worth your while...' I grinned at the small faces looking back at me. they smiled back. They were quite cute, really.

When my sister finally came home, another two hours later, Tina was with her.

'What a surprise to see you,' I said.

'Matt! This is... amazing!!!'

'What? Oh, yeah I know,' I said modestly.

'The house... it's spotless! And the kids are... eating? Mince? Did you get them to eat mince? How did you.... never mind. I'm sorry I was so long, but-'

'Don't worry. I've enjoyed every minute. It's been very ... enlightening,' I said.

I went through to the lounge. I was exhausted. More tired than I'd ever, ever, ever been. Mums were amazing, I decided. And Tina was amaing. And Tina wanted to be a mum so... It was a no brainer.

She came through and flopped on the couch next to me.

'You're wonderful!' she said. 'I didn't think you'd be so good.'

'Teens, I've been meaning to tell you. Think it's time we started thinking about the future? I reckon we'd make really cute kids...'