For the 20th day of the Halloween advent calendar, I thought I’d share another ‘horror’ piece I’ve put together. Let me know what you think:
I saw it clearly, last night, moving behind the wall. The grey paint I hastily slapped on last summer shifted and pulsed as it passed by, pushing out from underneath and then moving behind the fireplace. I had been seeing it for days, out of the corner of my eye, squirming behind the brickwork along the skirting board or moving into the ceiling.
I hear it too, just as the darkness creeps into the house and I march round turning on all the lights in a vain attempt to catch a glimpse of it. It doesn’t like the light, or warmth, that’s why it moves between the walls. I’ve gone up into the loft space with an industrial strength torch, searched for it in the corners and crevices up there. I’ve ripped the floorboards up in the hallway, smashed open the tiled floor in the kitchen. I still can’t find where it is nesting.
I don’t know what ‘it’ is. But when I lie down to sleep it starts to whisper. I don’t know what it’s saying but there’s a constant chattering that comes from one corner of the room, then moves to another as it creeps ever closer to where I sleep.
Sometimes the noise moves fast, as if it is flitting from corner to corner or it is a murmur that gradually develops into a crescendo in my head. It’s all I can hear, these frenzied whispers that fill my head, making the room swim and my eyes blur. It sounds like multiple voices all at once but every now and then just one breaks through. It knows my name.
And so I lie there with the torch and the lamp and a night light and the ceiling light all turned on. It can’t get me if their soft glow eliminates the room. But I have noticed it is getting bolder. That’s why I saw it clearly the other night, it is testing just how much light it can take.
Daytime isn’t too bad. Only in the darkest rooms can I hear it shuffling behind the walls. I leave cupboards open to prevent it from hiding in there. I’ve removed paintings and pictures from the walls.
Tonight, I will wait. I want to see if it moves even closer in the light and if it does, I am ready. If warmth and light is what it avoids then a flame should keep it at bay. I will wait to see it burn.