Seasons of Suspense: Winter
“There’s that noise again,” Molly muttered to herself, eyebrows furrowed, trying to listen more closely. Sadie’s ears perked and tipped forward as she cocked her head to the side, her soft brown eyes alert and quizzical.
“You hear it too, dontcha girl?” Molly scratched Sadie between the ears, muting the TV with the remote in her other hand. It sounded like soft scratching or some swishy kind of noise, followed by gentle tapping – like someone tiptoeing.
Sadie ran to the wall, sniffing the baseboard intently. Molly groaned inwardly, hoping It wasn’t a squirrel or mice again.
“It’s an old house – it’s bound to happen, I guess.” Knowing that her home was built in 1830 and that it was used as a part of the Underground Railroad and later as a bootlegging safehouse during Prohibition, Molly was used to some strange noises. She figured any strange noises were from the house settling, from the old radiators and water pipes, from a stray animal that got caught in the attic, basement, or one of the many hidden passages, or maybe even a ghost or two – and they did have the right to be there (the ghosts, that is.) They were there first.
These noises were different, however. The radiator clanked and ground, the water pipes trickled, and animals were usually a bit more consistent. This noise seemed to fade as she listened – as if whatever was making this noise knew she was listening and would stop as she focused on the sound.
Sadie began pawing at the baseboard furiously, hackles raised, a low growl rumbling deep in her chest. Molly rose silently and crept toward the wall.
She put her ear to the wall and listened. Nothing other than the sound of her heart pounding in her ears. Molly breathed a sigh of relief, stepping back and resting her forehead against the cool surface. She opened her eyes and noticed a small hole in the wall, barely the size of a pencil eraser – probably from her era of trying to hang pictures on the walls herself and failing miserably. After many holes and what seemed like gallons of spackle, Molly learned that hiring a handyperson was a much smarter idea.
Molly was just about to turn away from the wall when she thought she saw something move through the hole on the other side of the wall. Her breath caught in her throat.
Was that…a human eye that just blinked back at her?