Ok well that was a rather curious start to the day.
It took me a few seconds to make the link between what was happening now and the leaflet. When I did I immediately discarded the idea and thought that the most logical conclusion was that all of these people had been sent by aliens who intended to dissect me and then eat my organs. I then realized how ridiculous that sounded, aliens don't eat people. It's bad for their tummys.
I really should have been responding to the old man, because now every member of their little travelling circus had fallen silent to look at me. Even obnoxious American phone man. I'm not overly hot on speaking though, so I figured it would be best to just tilt my head sideways and look confused, perhaps they'd think they had the wrong house and leave. Perhaps they had. But that leaflet came back into my head, and I saw on the T-shirt of the old man something that confirmed it for me. Crappy clip-art of a steam train. Note to self, don't sign things. Ever.
"Well? Hurry up! Oh I'm sorry, it appears you're waiting for your gorm."
The old man now seemed very aggitated, like it or not I was going to have to greet these strangers with vocal recognition.
"Are you here about the Train-Tours leaflet?"
They all nodded. I couldn't help but feel there was an element of sarcasm in the expressions of the people before me. Including the toddlers. Who were all these people? I assumed they must be coming on the tour as well. It seemed to me to be a very wide target market they had going on, the only thing that these people had in common was an equal ability to annoy me. I decided in that instant that this wasn't the tour for me.
"I'm sorry there seems to have been a mix-up. I'm not going."
"Well Elliot? Has there been a mix-up?"
The blonde man, who had up until now not said a word, started. The old man hadn't spoken in a way which I deemed particuarly firm, but his words had clearly shaken Elliot. He simply stood there mouthing, I knew he was trying to communicate somehow... It seemed like a year had passed before his red-headed pal stepped in, breaking the silence with a dramatic 'No. There hasn't.'
Now the old man turned to me.
He fixed me with a steely glare that explained why Elliot had been so frightened. I tried to open my mouth to speak, but no sound came out. I simply stood there, my mouth moving like a fish out of water. He asked me if I was coming on the tour. I wanted to say no. I really, really did. But at that moment in time, as I was fixed with that icy look I couldn't see one good reason not to.
Next thing I knew the old man had reached out and grabbed hold of my arm, dragging me from my own home, slamming the door behind me! His grip was strong, and his boney fingers felt like the braches of a tree had closed around my elbow. As I was pulled from my home I suddenly felt pins and needles in my arms and legs, and my spine turned to jelly as I followed him into the bus that awaited us all. My arm began to feel cold and I attempted to call out to the others who were now following us in pairs like some kind of twisted parade. But no sound came out, I just continued to fall along. By the time we had reached the bus I was no longer taking in what I was seeing or hearing. In an odd way it reminded me of a dental appointment I once had. But I hadn't been afraid then like I was now. My head was spinning with fear as I lost control of my body, handing myself over completely to my captor who forced me onto the bus with as little effort as if I had been a two year old baby.
The last thing I remember was hearing the high-piched voice of the Mother, asking if I was dead.
The old man said yes.