Where Art Thou Sleep?

3

tic toc tic toc

slow goes the clock.

tip top tip top

that’s the non-stop leaking tap.

ngurrk zee nguurrkk zzeee

just how loud can a snore be?

vroom rrooom vroom rrroooom

yeah, fast cars go zoom!

arrgh! just leave me be

i only want to sleep!

my eyes are dry and weary

and i see no beauty

in a night this noisy!

First

i

am

jealous

of the

morning sun

who gets

to be

the first to see you.

or

the

cup of coffee

who gets

to kiss

your sleepy lips awake.

The Haunting Noise

halo moon

Bog! Bog! Boggg!

The thumping sounds from above her bedroom have started. Faint, inaudible thumps at first for about a week now. As nights passed, she began having a hard time sleeping because the thumping sounds have gotten louder. She fumbled for her phone at the nightstand, it was an hour past midnight she peered at the screen.

She was staying up pounding away at her keyboard. Darn deadlines! Who needs weekly reports anyway? No one reads them. Heck, no one even reads the monthly reports, come to think about it. But she turned her mutinous thoughts back to her laptop and proceeded to elaborate why sales are on a constant flat line.

Bog! Bogg! Boggg!  There was it again. At first, she mentally filed in her head that she needed to call the exterminator in the morning. The incessant noise hovered above her while she tried to concentrate at the numbers on the files she had splayed out in her bed.

“Stop that! She yelled. “I’m trying to finish a report here.”

The sounds stopped.

“Thank you.” She sarcastically looked up on the ceiling and thanked whoever was the vermin gods who listened to her plea.

Then it began again. She was almost finished with her report when the pounding started. This time there was a rhythm, almost like a heartbeat.

First, she chewed her lip and pondered. Now that is not a rat. The thumping was as if it was moving across the ceiling and would stop directly above her and then stop. Then it would start again from another corner of the room and then stop – directly above her head.

This was not good. This was something… different.

Bog… Bogg… Bogggg!

She proceeded to grab her phone and started to dial. Wait, what should she tell 911. Hello? Operator? There is a thumping noise above my ceiling and no, it is not a rat and it is not a person… Ah heck, never mind. She placed the phone back on the nightstand. She glanced at the digital numbers on its tiny screen and saw, it was 1:00am.

She stood up. And walked across the room and stood by her dresser. As if by cue, the thumping moved from the center of the room and settled directly over her head.

Bog… Bog… Bog… Bogggg!

Now she felt the hairs at the back of her neck were all up. The sound just followed her where she went. It could see her. But what was IT? She started to back away from the dresser and moved towards the door and ran out of the room and out of her house. That’s it. She’s staying at her sister’s house.

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Next morning.

She said goodbye to the exterminator and thanked him for coming so early in the morning. The guy kept assuring her that there was no sign of animal or pest up in her ceiling crawl space. In fact, the guy even commented how good her wiring was. Just in case, he left several traps lying around.

She paid the guy and closed her door. She peered out her window and saw the guy scratch his head before shrugging and leaving her front lawn with a pile of smoke from his noisy truck.

She sighed. Maybe it was just a dream or her overactive imagination. She has got to stop watching those paranormal shows on Discovery.

She puttered around the house fixing breakfast. She came  in late for work today and apologized to her boss. As she finished swallowing the crumbs from the toast she just crammed in her mouth, she grabbed her towel and padded towards her bathroom for a shower.

Minutes later, she stepped out and dried herself with her favorite towel with the pink flowers. As she wrapped her body with it, she stood in front of the mirror and tried to peer at her reflection. It was steamed up and she swiped her hand across it to wipe the moisture off. Ah, good she could now see her face and put in her contacts.

She opened the mirror and took out her contact case. As she closed the mirror, she turned her eyes up and saw that the mirror was fogged up again. She swiped it with her hand again to clear it up and looked in horror to see that the mirror was fogging up and there were words written on it.

STOP THAT!

She gasped and the contact lens case fell on the floor. Goosebumps spread across her arms as she ran out of the bathroom. Hurriedly she dressed and swiped a comb through her dripping hair. She grabbed her purse, keys, and glasses and ran out of the house. She had to get out of there.

That night.

She was exhausted. She placed the key into the doorknob and opened her door. Today was a bust. It was hard enough that she had to explain why she was late to her boss. Her colleagues weren’t too great either with their cracks on how terrible she looked. The circles around her eyes were a bit prominent now. And she felt like she had been deprived from sleep in a week.

She turned on the lights in her living room and plopped down on her sofa. Kicking her heels off, she reached over and grabbed the remote and turned the TV on. Great, Ghost Hunters was on and they’re in the Alamo. She turned it off. She glanced at her bedroom and bathroom. An ominous feeling swept over her.

It was as if someone was staring back. She shook her head, trying to make the feeling go away. She turned on the radio, hoping some music could soothe her jangled nerves. It was on a country rock station and soon, she was lulled by the some crooner moaning about the girl he once loved and lost.

Then the song skipped a beat and it sounded like a record player skipping. She smiled and thought who uses record players now? Don’t radio stations use CDs and such?

She expected to hear the radio announcer come on and apologize for the technical malfunction and then she heard it. The skipping sound was becoming deeper and deeper in timbre. Then it became familiar. The sound from the radio sounded like the thumping that she has been hearing in the bedroom.

Bog-Bog-Boggg….

It was coming from the tiny radio and it was getting louder. The sound was filling the room and she felt like she was drowning in it.

Horrified, she ran and pounded on the radio switch to turn it off. She backed away from it. The radio came back to life…. with that horrible pounding sound. BOG BOG BOGGGG! It was getting louder again.

With a scream, she yanked the power cable off the wall and glared at the radio. It was silent. For now.

As she turned to the head into the kitchen, she thought she heard something on the floor. Then she heard a crackle and just as she turned her head to gaze at the radio on the shelf, the light on the dial of the radio turned on with a start. Shaking her head, she couldn’t believe that the radio dial turned itself on and it was playing that damn skipping beat.

She grabbed the pulsating radio and smashed it on the wall. It shattered and the sound finally died down. Panting, she choked off manic laughter and bit back tears forming in her eyes. This could not be happening to her. It can’t be happening to her.

Then she ran to the front door to get out of the house. The doorknob wouldn’t turn. She pounded and pulled at it with all her might. She was trapped. She looked wildly around the room. Yes, the windows, she’d break the windows and escape. She tried opening all the windows. Each was sealed tight and wouldn’t budge. She broke a couple of nails trying to push the window pane up. Bloody smears trailed on the glass as her hand slipped.

Grabbing a lampshade, she threw it across the room to break the front window open. The lampshade shattered but the glass window remained intact. She looked at it stunned. It bounced off like it didn’t even faze it. She was trapped.

Then the window started to fog up and the words slowly manifested on the surface…

STOP THAT!

Gasping in horror and now sobbing with tears, she turned ail and ran inside her bedroom. There is an emergency window in there that she could climb out from. As she entered her bedroom, the door slam med shut behind her.

Startled, she turned around and tried to open her bedroom door. It was locked. Never mind that, she still had that emergency window by her bed. Yes, she could get out there. As she started to walk towards it, her bed scraped on the floor and moved to block her path. No! This can’t be happening.

The thumping started again. This time it started loud… then louder.

Bog bog… Booogg booogg… Boooogg booooogg!,,

She put her hands over her ears to block out the pounding noise. Sobbing, she sceamed in horror up on the ceiling. She had to get out. But the thing won’t let her leave. She had to last until the morning. Sitting on the floor, she crawled into the corner. She shut her eyes tightly and kept her hands over her aching ears.

BOG! BOOGG! BOOOOGGG! BOGG! 

Then blackness enveloped her and she fell mercifully into sleep.

Next morning.

IMG_20140524_092929

She woke up in a huddle on the floor. It was bright outside. She stretched her cramped legs and winced at her aching back. Suddenly, the events of last night came flooding back from her memories and she straightened up.

She reached out and tried to open her bedroom door. It opened easily. She bolted across her kitchen to her front door. Her hands were shaking when she extended her hand to open the door when the knob began to shake. She jumped back and looked at it fearfully.

The door opened and blinking from the sunlight, she saw it was landlord. Thank God she was saved. She opened her mouth and said “Thank goodness you’re here, Henry. I had a horrible…”

She stopped suddenly when she realized that the man was not seeing her at all. Her landlord hurriedly came in and was followed by two policemen. He turned to the cops and said “I really don’t know what happened with her. Her company called and was asking for her. She didn’t show up for a couple of days and they asked me to look in here.”

She looked at them in horror. “Um, hello? I’m here. Can’t you see me?”

The men filed into the living room and proceeded to survey the house. She yells at them “I’m right here! Henry, I’m here! Why can’t you hear me?!’ She started sobbing, shaking her head. She couldn’t process what was happening. Why can’t they see her?

With a trembling hand, she reached out and waved her hand in front of her landlord’s eyes. Nothing. Henry just stood there and kept seeing past her. She paused and made a move to step closer to touch him but she was almost afraid to do so.

From the bedroom one of the cops shouted out, “Boss, she’s in here.”

Half-wanting to leave but couldn’t resist the impulse to see, she followed the other cop and Henry into the bedroom. She can see the cop crouching and looking at a figure on the floor.

“She’s been here alright.”

Her landlord moaned “Oh, no. What do you think happened? Poor Ms. Bettie!”

Wait, did they say Bettie? Her name wasn’t Bettie, it was Claire.

The cop replied “Probably a heart attack. We won’t know until the coroner gets here. Do you have contacts of her next of kin?”

The landlord shook his head.

“Hey Boss! This place seems familiar. Haven’t we been here before?”

“Yeah, we were here two years ago. Remember that Claire girl? Same thing, girl went missing for a couple of days. Turns out, she was found dead in her bed.”

“Yeah, Claire McKinley? Yeah I remember her. I remembered it broke her mother’s heart. She was her only child. Hmmm weird. Who would have thought?”

It can’t be. She can’t be dead for two years. She just went to work yesterday. If that wasn’t her on the floor, then who is Bettie? What was she doing in her house?

She started backing away from them and ran out. She crossed the kitchen and went for the front door when the door closed in front of her.

“Did you hear that? The front door just closed,” asked the cop.

“Oh it’s probably the wind.” The landlord replied.

She tried turning the door handle but it wouldn’t budge. She pounded on the door, screaming.

The cop, who was looking around in the bedroom taking notes, looked up.

“Did you hear that?”

His boss stood up and said “Hear what?”

“It sounded like something is pounding on something.”

“I don’t hear anything.”

The other cop shrugged and went back jotting down notes.

She looked at the door. This time, words were being etched on the wood.

STOP THAT.

Claire looked up and saw a pale girl standing beside the door. Bettie, looking at her asked, “So, the house got you too?”

Claire opened her mouth to scream, nothing came out.

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