Noises in the Night

Noises in the Night

She was six years old and alone in a room that had noises in the wall. She would curl up into a tight little ball under the covers and concentrate on the friendly sounds––the tapping of the pendulum of the clock which hung on the wall beside her bed and the water gurgling through the heating pipes. The muffled voices of her parents down below in the living room. She liked these noises. They made her think that she wasn’t alone.

But she could hear other sounds of the summer night–– the sudden loud popping noise that she thought was a gun until daddy told her that it was only houses settling, or the sound of the elm tree outside her window scraping against the brick on the chimney or the wind as it whined through her screens, making the venetian blinds scrape against their wooden window frames. She could hear things in the walls, too––noises that sounded like people walking and high shrieking noises that daddy said were just mice and not robbers.

The sheet felt muggy on her bare legs and she kicked it off and rolled over. She lay on her stomach and slipped her hand beneath the pillow, sliding it back-and-forth against the trapped coolness of the percale. She glanced at the noisy pendulum clock Santa had brought her for Christmas to help her learn to tell the time. It was her first real clock and it was in the shape of a Shmoo.  She could just make out where its hands were from the light of the streetlamp shining through her window. It wasn’t very late.

She flipped over and slid her legs over the side of the bed, feeling the slight stickiness of the linoleum on her feet as she walked to the window. The air had cooled a bit and it had started to rain. A slight breeze tickled the hairs on her arm and sifted the rain onto her nose as she pressed it close to the screen to smell the mustiness of the wet night grass.

She wondered when her older sisters would get home and come up to bed. It was lonely in a room all alone in the upstairs of a house that had robbers in the walls.

 

For MMM’s Sunday Writing Prompt

31 thoughts on “Noises in the Night

        1. lifelessons Post author

          Can’t believe how tiny that tree was that I was sitting next to. They grew up with me and I have photos, coincidentally, standing next to that one at various stages of my first eleven years, after which we moved to a new house.

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          1. koolkosherkitchen

            How precious is that! My son planted a tiny tree with my granddaughter when she went to first grade and took photos of her standing next to it every year. The last one is starting college, and the tree is big and beautiful, and so is Alisia.

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            1. lifelessons Post author

              That must have been so fun for your daughter to see.. not to mention your seeing it. My mother and niece were so like each other. They shared a mischievous side and enjoyed each other so much. Sometimes to my sister’s chagrin!!!

              Liked by 1 person

            2. koolkosherkitchen

              I have sons, not daughters, dear Judy; I specialized in boys and woudn’t know what to do with girly girls. Alisia is just as much a tomboy as I was. My non-blood-related granddaughters (my adopted son’s kids) are as girly as their mother, which is delightful, yet very strange to me.

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  1. slmret

    Love this! Houses do make noises, and one of my mother’s favorite stories about me was about the evening she left me and my sister alone for the first time. A magnetic catch on a cupboard door caught, making a noise — I crept upstairs to make sure there wasn’t a robber there, then downstairs to investigate a noise there — and so it went for a couple of hours! But I had to figure it all out on my own

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Once in our new house, I heard someone running up the stairs from the basement and ran out of the house barefooted through the snow to my friend’s house 5 blocks away. No way to call my mom who had gone shopping in Pierre, I believe. I kept calling the house and eventually she got home and answered the phone and I told her to get out of the house. She either called the police or waited until my dad got home to go down to the basement to investigate. What they found was a tall stack of heavy boxes, all toppled over. Evidently they hit the ground one at a time and sounded like someone running up the stairs! But… what knocked them over?????

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      1. slmret

        I think I may have eventually calmed down enough to call my mother, who said some reassuring words and came home an hour or so later as planned! The kid’s imagination really goes into overdrive with episodes like that — I can imagine the sound of the heavy boxes, and the robber too. I think the cupboard latch was simply a puff of breeze that made it catch!

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      I had explicit plans of where to hide.. even dreamed about it. We had a big closet under the stairs with the opening in the middle part of the house between the kitchen and dining room. It was full of games, towels and assorted house stuff. I was going to tunnel through to the very back wall and pull all the junk in front of me.

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