'KEEP YOUR FUCKING MOUTH SHUT!' snarled the psychopath as he scowled back at me, jabbing a finger at my face.
In situations like that, I'd normally want to be in the safety of my own home.
Regrettably, I was.
It was Saturday night - technically Sunday morning - and I was sat at my computer playing Solitaire and watching YouTube clips because I'm a sad, pathetic waste of space with no girlfriend or imagination. It was two o'clock in the morning, and I was sipping red wine.
This is how I live my life.
Suddenly, above my head came dull thuds from above, from the flat belonging to the two girls who'd recently moved in. Despite being tiny slips of things, they weren't being particularly dainty. In fact, their thudding was so loud that, had I been asleep, they would've woken me up. (Bear that bit in mind. I find it rather important.)
Some minutes passed. I continued to sip at my wine, continued watching YouTube clips about nothing, and continued to mindlessly play solitaire. Meanwhile, the thudding remained.
'Hmm', I thought to myself, 'they clearly don't know how much noise they're making. I'd better alert them to my presence as next time, should I really be asleep, they'll wake me.'
So I grabbed my baseball bat and delivered three rigid blows to the ceiling. It may have sounded impersonal, but it wasn't meant to be. After all, it wasn't as if they'd just woken me up or anything. They just could've.
So imagine my surprise when, after a pause, three hefty, angry thuds came back in response.
I frowned. That had been strange. Although I'd only seen the girls two or three times in the couple of months they'd been here, things had always been pleasant. Granted, I did once have to tell them that their late-night wanderings had woken me up because the entire structure of this damn apartment is paper thin, but I went to great lengths to be nice about it, explaining that it wasn't their fault and had to say something, otherwise they'd never know.
But those three thuds? That was odd. They had an air of Fuck You about them. In fact, such was the Fuck You air, I'd walked off to Large Northern Flatmate's room to wake him up and tell him.
'Ungh,' had been his response so I retreated back to my room, assuming the girls must just be drunk. And so that assumption remained until two minutes later when I got clarification:- a shaven-headed, heavily tattooed and incredibly ugly clarification, banging on our front door.
I walked over to the door dressed in naught but a towel, and frowned when I opened it to reveal a bald meathead grimacing back at me.
'Is that you banging on the ceiling?'
'Uh, yeah,' I began. 'You see, I was asleep an...'
'FUCKING CUT IT OUT, RIGHT?' he yelled, finger-jabbing away.
'Okay, take it easy,' I said as quietly as possible in the hope he'd get the hint.
'DON'T FUCKING TELL ME TO TAKE IT EASY.'
'Look, can you keep your voice down? It's two o'clock in the morning and our neighbours...'
'I DON'T FUCKING CARE!' he yelled. 'DON'T FUCKING TELL ME TO KEEP QUIET. I'LL SPEAK AS LOUD AS I WANT.'
'Right,' I began, wondering how I'd managed to get myself into this. I wasn't even fucking sleeping.
'The thing is,' I continued, 'I was asleep, and...'
'I DON'T GIVE A FUCK,' said the gigantic, lobotomised Neanderthal. 'WE WEREN'T EVEN MAKING ANY NOISE.'
'Sure,' I ventured, 'I appreciate that, but the walls here are really thin and...'
'YOU KEEP FUCKING DOING THIS, DON'T YOU?'
'BANGING ON THE FUCKING CEILING.'
'Uh, this is the first time I've...'
'SHARON?' he yelled up the stairs. 'DIDN'T YOU SAY HE'S DONE THIS BEFORE?'
'Well,' came the voice of a little mouse, 'yeah,' she began but I wasn't really listening. I was too busy wondering what either of those demure girls found attractive about the violent yob in front of me.
'Erm, actually, this is the first time I've done this.'
'THAT'S NOT WHAT SHE FUCKING SAYS, AND I'M NOT GONNA FUCKING 'AVE IT!'
I frowned. 'Hang on a minute,' I said. 'You woke me up.' (Yes, I was taking the moral high ground from a lie.)
'I DON'T GIVE A SHIT.' More finger jabbing.
'RIGHT,' I said, now offended. This guy was the tattooed terminator. He couldn't be bargained with. He couldn't be reasoned with. He didn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And he had tattoos up both arms and on his neck.
'DO NOT,' I yelled as loud as I could without waking up the neighbours, 'STAND OUTSIDE MY FUCKING HOME AND THREATEN ME, OKAY?'
And then he threatened me.
He snarled. His eyes danced around his head as his ancient brain tried to make sense of what was happening.
'KEEP... YOUR MOUTH... SHUT...' he hissed through gritted teeth, pausing between words as he fought to compose himself. 'KEEP... YOUR FUCKING... MOUTH SHUT!'
His finger was pointing right at me, at the part I presume he was eager to launch a flurry of punches at first - my nose.
And then a weird thing happened. The urge to grimace in disgust and say 'Pscht, fuck you' deserted me.
Instead, I continued to be stared down in my own home by a cunt. 'KEEP YOUR FUCKING MOUTH SHUT!' he hissed as I did as I was told.
And then he walked off and headed to the flat upstairs.
'What th...?' said Large Northern Flatmate as he walked out from behind the bedroom door he'd been hiding behind.
'Don't!' I urged him. 'Don't say a thing.'
I shut the front door, my pride in tatters, acutely aware that I was staring at the floor.
I believe that is what today's youth call pwnage.