Eric stood at the window and watched the rain bounce off car
roofs. His neighbours, the McFarlane’s, had laid out decorations for Easter.
Their house had a giant set of rabbit ears and a load of cheap plastic eggs
decorating the drive. He could understand Christmas and just about get his head
around the newest craze that was turning your house into a poor man’s ghost
train for Halloween, but Easter?
“The fucking tossers.”
He hated most public holidays .Easter was the worst. He’d
never told anyone, and probably never would, that his father killed himself at
Easter. How, when he was twelve years old and gorging himself on chocolate, his
father went upstairs to the bedroom and hanged himself from the light fitting.
Eric went looking for him about half an hour later to confess the number of
eggs he had eaten, and found him gently rocking back and forth, his eyes almost
bulging out his head, his face contorted into a strange grin.
Why would he ever tell anyone that? They all branded him a
weirdo just because he lived by himself and spent his days staring out of the
window, threatening and hurling abuse at any kids who ventured near his car. He
loathed all people, not just kids, but they made him especially mad because of
their constant happiness.
He sat down and tried to focus on the television but the
only programmes on were about antiques or the social underclass. He longed for
more gangster documentaries or films. Something to give him a bit more
excitement and take him away from this pitiful existence.
Eric wasn’t evil, he was judgemental and felt that the world
owed him. He knew he deserved better things out of life and although he never
worked for anything, he thought there would be a knock at the door one day and
everything would be better.
Climbing the stairs he was suddenly aware of how old he was
becoming. His knees creaked and his neck was stiff, and his eyesight was
getting worse. He thought again of his dad, the clothes line cutting into his
neck, his toes gently scraping over the duvet.
Eric wriggled, trying to get comfortable under the covers. A
single mother with five kids had moved in next door and they made constant
He awoke in the darkness, unsure how long he’d been asleep.
The room was quiet, too quiet. Usually there was noise from the traffic
outside, or next door, or the late night revellers coming out of the train
station. He sat up and tried to switch on the TV, but it was unplugged, the
remote worse than useless.
A glimmer of light flitted under his bedroom door. Eric
always turned all the lights off, it was part of his bedtime routine. He got up
out of bed and let his eyes adjust to the darkness. Edging his way down the
landing, he paused at the spare room. The room used to be his dad’s bedroom but
was now used to store old clothes and DVD’s.
The bedroom was as always, very cold. The radiator hadn’t
worked properly in years, the pipes at the bottom gurgled and shook but there
was never any heat.
Something broke through the faded wallpaper. It rolled
across the floor and stopped at Eric’s feet. It was a giant Easter egg, its
silver foil parted like a face hugger was about to launch an attack. Another
egg came, then another. Eric watched in silent terror, two furry ears spread
over the side and started to haul out what was inside.
His bowels let go, the running mess dripping onto the
Eric held his eyes shut but curiosity got the better of him
and he opened them again. The figure that confronted him was medium height,
slender. It had arms but they certainly weren’t fluffy paws. The creature
reminded Eric of the Cadbury’s Bunny but with sickly yellow eyes and mangy fur.
It sputtered as if to speak, and Eric was covered in a thin brown liquid. Its
warmth quickly cooling against his skin. It stepped forward, globs of drool
splashing onto the floor and soaking into the carpet. Eric knew then and there
that although he hated Easter there was no escaping it.