A poor, embittered and slightly irrational loner gets a rush of unwanted Christmas visitors who are seriously annoying and/or weird and/or completely psycho....
With sly manipulations, ingenious schemes and extensive lies I had orchestrated for myself the perfect Christmas. My fractious, conniving relatives were all absent. I was utterly alone.
I basked on the sofa, toasting my toes in the warmth of a blazing fire. Listen hard as I might, there was only silence. No voices raised, no doors slamming, no crockery thrown on the kitchen tiles. There was no stamping, no queues at the bathroom, no tearing of hair, no screaming. It was bliss.
The perfect Christmas, dreamt of for years, longed for, wished for. It was here at last. Just me - a microwave turkey-meal for one, the remote control, the entire sofa to myself and vast quantities of alcohol. I had my viewing all planned. The bottle-opener was within easy reach. What more could anyone want?
The tiny hiss of escaping air as I opened the first beer sent a shiver down my spine.
“Cheers!” I toasted myself. “Here’s to you!” I took one sip and reached for the remote. And then the doorbell chimed.