It would appear we have a ghost — a real live (well, I guess not live), but real used-to-be-live blustering, busy-body, house-haunting ghost.
It all began three weeks ago. Although looking back, I think we’ve had some other curious situations over the last couple of years of living in our house. Things lost and then found in odd locations. Or things never found at all, but heard — like nursery toys not seen for a year or more suddenly heard playing their eerie, tinkling tunes. No clue from where. Still. we chalked all that up to pudgy toddler hands and their haphazard hiding prowess. But then, the events of the last three weeks have convinced me otherwise. The events of the last three weeks have led me to suspect the supernatural…
It all began deep in the belly of night — the deepest crease of the deepest fold of the big, broad belly of night – when our sleep was sucker-punched by a bruising, clanging sound.
I jolted awake. Mike blinked in the darkness. He thought he’d dreamed it until I asked, “Did you hear that?!?” and then he shot instantly up. Armed with a golf driver made of carbon fiber for flexibility and force and kept at our bedside for just such an occasion. I watched the shadow of his imposing figure creep out of the bedroom and into the echoing darkness.
The wind was howling outside, and my soul was howling inside. Someone was in our house.
A long and frightening aeon later, he reappears. “The flue flew open,” he explains. “Pretty sure it popped due to the pressure of that storm.”
“Really? Are you positive?”
“Yep, it’s held closed by tension. Storm got it.”
Ok. I guess I’m buying. But not sleeping. Nope. My adrenaline raged – as hard as the wind at my window.
Then last weekend…
Doors that we were certain we had locked were found unlatched or unbolted: the back screen, the side garage, the front entry. Forgetfulness, we rationalized – even though my childhood full of attempted break-ins has left me locking and double-locking every door in the house all the time. Still — if not forgetfulness, then toddlers. Two of them. Always eager to let out the dog or check out the state of the weather.
So cut to the middle of last week…
Asleep. Again. This time, not quite buried as deep in the fleshy middle of night, but late — just after midnight – and I find myself floating slowly up to the surface of my slumber, where I hear a woman’s voice. It’s a metallic, tinny voice. I listen intently. Am I dreaming this? Is this reality? Then I hear her again.
I’m certain its coming from the boys’ rooms — projected through the monitor on our nightstand. My heart lurches, then trips, spilling sweat across my chest and arms.
“Mike?” I grab his wrist.
“I hear it,” he answers.
This time, it’s not the golf club he grabs, but the gun from the closet. He clicks the slide, loads the chamber, and heads out the door.
After another terrifying aeon, he returns.
This time, it isn’t the flue. This time, it’s the television.
“It’s turned itself on — just the sound bar. Just the audio. Probably a power surge,” he rationalizes.
I’m not buying. Not this time. “No clocks are flashing. No lights have flickered. I don’t think so,” I reply.
“All’s clear, though,” he states.
Eventually I fall back asleep. It takes me a long, long time.
We’re all in the basement so the boys can run wild. Their playroom is down here. So is the game room. I’m facetiming my daughter. We’re commiserating about the racist leader of our great nation when she stops cold. “Hey, let me see the room you’re in.”
So I pan the phone around the game room: pool table, big comfy couches, newly-purchased karaoke tv.
“Who was that man I saw a minute ago? Is Sam there?” she asks.
Mike and I freeze. “What man?”
“The man in the red shirt I saw over your shoulder.”
Over my shoulder, there is nothing but the blank wall of the hallway. Not even a picture, a photograph, to break up the blankness.
“Sam’s not here. Nobody else is here.”
“I saw a man.”
Mike’s ready to call a realtor. Me? I’m not too worried. I can’t say I like being jolted awake in the middle of the night, but I’m not afraid of this trickster ghost, this old man in his red shirt. I don’t think he means us any harm, he just wants us to know he’s here. Pretty sure he doesn’t want us gone. He just wants our attention.
And I’m intrigued to know why…
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