Cara and I have been watching “The Haunting of Hill House.” It’s not for the faint of the heart. In fact, if anyone says he isn’t afraid of the movie, that person is already dead inside and should be reported to either the Ghostbusters or Van Helsing.
The point is, it’s a creepy show and within one episode you’ll be checking under your bed, wishing you didn’t have a basement, and contemplating a move into a newly built tiny house where you can be 100% sure that no one has ever died and where ghosts couldn’t fit (and, besides, ghosts wouldn’t be caught dead in a tiny house because tiny houses are just a hideous expression of hipster privilege and virtue signaling and if you wanted to actually save money and downsize you could have just bought a trailer).
So yesterday morning, Cara leaves for work and I decide to wake up and do some writing. She wakes up early, it’s fall, and the clocks haven’t moved back yet, so it’s still dark when she leaves. Dark and, because we no longer live in New York, quiet. Really dark and quiet.
It’s dark and quiet and the dogs are agitated because this is a new routine in a new house. They’re wondering why I haven’t let them out yet. They’re wondering why I’m walking up and down the stairs. They’re wondering why I’m settling in my office rather than leaving or plopping down on the couch where I usually sit when I work from home.
Sylvie pees on the floor.
Which upsets me, which upsets her, which unleashes a lot of negative energy into the dark and quiet house, which I guess isn’t so dark at this point since we do have electricity and I’ve turned on a lot of lights.
At any rate, I get down to writing. And I’m actually writing, not farting around on Twitter or Facebook.
I’m typing away furiously when I hear steps.
I stop typing. The steps stop.
I start typing and they start again.
Maybe I’m just shaking the desk or something. I stop typing.
The steps don’t stop this time. Something is clearly making stepping noises and that something is not me.
I hold my breath. Maybe the steps are coming from the neighbor. Then I remember we don’t live in New York anymore and we don’t share walls with anyone. Maybe the neighbor is clomping so loud I can hear her through her walls and mine. But I’ve met the neighbor and she’s a nice, older woman who’d have to gain 150 pounds and strap on iron boots to make that kind of noise.
THE NOISE IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE.
Surely if someone were in the house the dogs would be barking, but they’re deathly quiet. Not a growl, or a yelp, or a bark.
I swallow. I stand up from the chair. The stepping sound has stopped. I walk out of the office, poke my head around the stairs and look down. Nothing.
The other upstairs doors are closed, so I head for the master bedroom. The stepping sound has not resumed. Either the source of the noise has fallen silent in an effort to hide or it has accomplished it’s nefarious goal.
I enter the room.
AND THERE IT IS! THE SOURCE OF THE NOISE!
(The stepping sounds were the numerous jumping attempts it took her to get onto Cara’s makeup bench. At least I caught her before she ate anything, which would have been a totally different horror story. Also, if I had any photoshopping skills, I would have inserted a ghost into the closet back there.)