It's Sunday. It's 10 o'clock. I'm sitting at the kitchen table with a tea and the local paper. The weather is still a bit on the cold side but there is strong sunshine as Spring has finally arrived and my thoughts are turning to some jobs which need doing in the garden (or rather how I can avoid them until Jenny's impatience gets the better of her and she makes a start). I like Sundays. This quiet, rural corner of Suffolk is still relatively old fashioned and so reminds me of the Sundays of my childhood when everything was closed. People could relax, families would take a gentle walk to help digest the Sunday roast, brass bands could be heard in the distance performing in the park where old men played bowls on the green.....
Suddenly and without warning, my rambling nostalgic thoughts are savagely interrupted as the peace is shattered by an ear splitting crash, then another, then another. WTF! Wiping the spilled tea from my chin and putting my mug down I jump from my seat and head out front to see what's happening. The mind numbing racket has settled into a regular, deafening rhythm and I realise it's meant to be some type of music. Crash! Crash! Crash! It goes on and on monotonously.
At the end of my street, about 50 yards away there is a large and very old building in a poor state of repair which most of the time stands empty but I can tell this earth shattering noise is coming from there. Bang! Crash! Bang! Crash! Relentlessly it continues. I'm aware now of the people streaming toward the building. People in ghastly, garish clothing. Weird hair styles, ridiculous heavy make-up. Some look intimidating, others just pitiful. Cars are arriving from all directions, spilling out their cargo of more and more of these creatures. Shrill voices shrieking greetings to one another just add to the cacophony. A couple walk past me and, although I know they can't hear me above the noise, I mouth a profanity at them before there is a tug on my elbow and Jenny drags me inside. She's seen in the past how my temper can get me into trouble.
I get more and more worked up, tense inside, heart racing, blood boiling. I know this isn't good for me but I can't calm down.
Just as I'm fit to explode the noise stops, the blissful silence almost as deafening as the chaos before. What's happened? Have the police arrived? No. The relief is mercilessly short lived as within a minute my ears are assaulted by another barrage. Now there are spine chilling vocals, a terrible wailing as if every tortured soul from hell has been released at once. Even with every door and window of the house tightly closed there is no respite, no relief. On and on it goes and gradually my thoughts turn to violence.
There is a small door at the end of the building and I'm pretty sure that's where the worst of the sounds originated from. Like some ancient warrior visualising a forthcoming battle that he knows he can't survive, I'm thinking about kicking down this door and sending the dog in first for thirty seconds or so to cause some pandemonium of my own, then wading in myself to have at them with my torque wrench. Thankfully there is a reassuring hand on my shoulder to calm and dissuade me from doing anything rash, but I'm not sure how much more I can take as the noise changes once again to the original terrible, monotonous din. Crash! Bang! Crash! Bang! On it goes, now faster and even louder than before. Our eyes lock on to each others across the kitchen table as we wait it out, no conversation possible, none needed. Surely it can't be much longer. Bang! Crash! Bang! Crash! BANG!...........then silence......peace.....quiet.
As my ears adjust I can again hear the shrieking, shrill voices this time screaming farewells. Car doors slamming, tyres spinning, gravel spraying as they drive away. I go back out the front to watch the last of them leave, seemingly oblivious to the disruption and misery they've inflicted upon us. My quiet neighbourhood slowly returns to it's former peaceful normality and I'm left thinking..........
“Why oh why did we choose to live so close to a church”