I look out the window and the rain is lashing against the forlorn arms of the newly stripped poplars that line the street outside. A run-through in my head throws up the fact that I've just binned my last pair of rain-worthy shoes after a squelching walk to work Friday previously revealed a crack in one of the soles. Superglued back together, they lasted another week then promptly split on the sides.
(Note to self: make sure superglue is completely dry on soles before putting shoes on and standing on a newly polished parquet floor)
Then I remember that OH and I received matching snow shoes earlier in the year as a present from a friend who was excited that the outdoors shop near her had a closing down sale. These were black padded affairs with snow white faux-fur lining: Fauxmo-Ugg(ly) boots. I remember they're down in the nuclear bunker with the milk and other non-perishable goods. Looking through the cupboards I realise we need more tinned tomatoes, pasta and milk, so I make a trip down to level -1 for said things, plus waterproof footwear.
I get down past the heavy concrete lined lead door and unlock the grille. I fumble for the light switch and stay rooted while waiting for the energy saving light bulb to warm up. Phase One done. I walk over to the secondary holding area where the individial cells are divided by wooden slats and turn on the light and wait for it to light up again. Phase Two complete. I head down the corridor towards our allocated 'cave'.
The neighbours who have the cave next to us have an impressive wine collection, and when I am down there I love to peek through the slats to try and make out what new labels they've added. The last time it was a small wooden box yet unopened, with the unmistakable emblem burned on: PETRUS.
This time though I'm wondering what I'll see. I peer through the wooden slats and suddenly I let out a really bloodcurdling scream. I drop the keys to my cave and I remember that down here, no one can hear you. Its sealed from the world. It is, after all, a nuclear bunker. Still shaking, I pick up the keys and tell myself there's a reasonable explaination. I tentatively peer through the slats again.
There it is, an unmistakable glint in a pair of glassy eyes, staring straight at me. As the energy saving lightbulb gets more intense in the light glow, I can make out a head, and motionless arms extended towards me. I can also make out what is an old style perambulator and the eyes are those belonging to a doll. A shiver runs down my spine.
I breathe a sigh of relief, pick up the things I came down for and fled back to the safety of the world above ground.