Green Drive was at the heart of suburbia, you know the type. All across the country roads resonate the same spirit of uniformity and convenience. Each house with its prim little garden and its jutting out porch, but what exactly goes on behind the lace curtains of Green Drive?
Are the inhabitants of Green Drive as similar to each other as their houses? One would think so on the surface. At Christmas time, each house celebrates the festivities by adorning its walls with brightly coloured lights and flashing reindeers. A level of competition then develops which occupies most of the inhabitants for the entire month of December, typically climaxing in a Christmas Eve singalong in the middle of the road. But not this year? No.32 has other ideas.
Julie came home from work and parked her car in the same place she always parks. Right in front of the bay window… but today something’s different. Kevin’s car is in the space where he always parks but he isn’t usually home at this time.
‘What’s up?’ asks Julie as soon as she shuts the front door behind her. She turns around and notices Kevin sat in the armchair, his fingers pressed together like a church steeple and a maniacal stare looking towards the window. ‘What’s up? Why are you home so early?’
‘I had an idea,’ he said slowly allowing a smile to form.
‘What sort of an idea?’
‘A good one,’ still he smiled and still he stared out of the window.
‘Did you leave work early today or something?’
‘Yes. There was work to be done here.’
‘Stop being weird, would you like to enlighten me?’
‘How about question? What’s your worst frustration about living here?’
‘I don’t know. Nothing really.’
‘Are you sure? What about having to keep up with everyone else?’
‘Well, yeah, I suppose that’s a bit annoying but you know that’s just what you have to put up with in order to get better security and a lower crime rate.’
‘Really? Well, I’ve come up with another benefit. Tell me, Julie, what would be another annoying factor of living here? In the garden mainly?’
‘I don’t know, it could be bigger I suppose.’
‘What about the shit?’
‘Oh, the cat shit?’
‘Yeah, the ‘cat’ shit.’ He indicated quotation marks when he said ‘cat’. ‘I’ve had an idea that’ll kill two birds with one stone. Oh, I said kill, didn’t I? Ha, ha, ha,’ and he erupted into a weird hollow laugh.
‘What’s come over you? Have you been drinking?’
‘What if I was to tell you that I’ve come up with an idea that means we can join in with their stupid bloody Christmas lights and get rid of the cat problem at the same time?’
‘What have you done? You haven’t strung up the cats, have you?’
‘Oh shit. Come on Kevin, what have you done? Are you sure you’re alright? You’re scaring me at the moment. Just tell me what on earth you’ve done.’
‘Look out the back.’
‘What? The kitchen window?’
‘What am I looking for?’ she nervously walked through the lounge and into the kitchen. Cupping her hands, she pressed her face against the dark window and stared out at the back garden. ‘I can’t see anything. It all looks the same as… oh, wait, what’s that on the lawn?’
‘Eh, but they’re all sitting in a line.’
‘Six so far, but I’ve only been going an hour.’
‘What do you mean? Why aren’t they moving? They’re not…’
‘Oh, Kevin, what have you done?’
‘Quite simple really. I’ve electrified the cables all round the house. If a cat as much as looks at one of them then, M-I-A-O-WWWWWWW. Good night, Sweet Kitty.’
‘What? What’s wrong with you?’
‘I’ve had enough, Julie. I’ve had enough of stupid bloody lights, shitty singing reindeers, Father Christmases pretending to fall off roofs with sacks in their hands, and most of all, I’ve had enough of cats. Every single one of them makes a beeline for our garden, well, now they can bloody well stay in our garden.’
‘Why are they all there in a neat line?’
‘Because that’s where I’m lining them up. I reckon we can get at least ten but maybe even more. There’s tonnes of them up and down the street. All we’ve got to do is sit and wait.’
‘Mass grave probably.’
‘And the neighbours? What about the neighbours?’
‘No, I just want to kill the cats.’
‘That’s not what I meant but, hang on, what if anyone else touches the cables?’
‘Then… adios, Amigo.’
‘But I could’ve touched the cables, what about if I’d touched the cables?’
‘You didn’t though,’ he said calmly, still staring into the middle distance.
‘Darling, I think we need to talk.’