• Jeff South

Blogtober 2021: Blood

WORK FROM HOME: DAY 2



Much needed rain is falling outside courtesy of a heavy thunderstorm that moved in shortly after my wife left for her job at a preschool. The thunder rattles throughout the house and I'm reminded of my latchkey kid years growing up in a tiny country house. I spent a lot of time alone during summers as a kid while my parents and older brothers worked. Our little home shook whenever large claps of thunder roared.


Those latchkey days were filled with reading books, watching game shows and reruns of Gilligan's Island, or playing records. They were also when I learned that a house can be spooky in the middle of they day. Alone on the couch, Bob Barker urging a customer to place their bid on a refrigerator, when a the floor creaks in the hall the way it does when Dad gets up in the middle of the night to pee. But I'm all alone, so what gives?



***



I watch the rain through the kitchen window as I unload the dishwasher. I like to take little breaks in the work day to get away from the screen time of emails and virtual meetings. These breaks are usually spent outside with the dog, but this torrential downfall prevents that. So, this is the perfect time to tend to a chore I tend to avoid while the dog naps in her favorite chair. I reach into the top rack for a cup and feel a harsh prick on my index finger. I curse and jerk my hand out of the rack. Blood oozes from my finger. Not slasher movie levels of blood, but given my squeamishness, it's enough to evoke a bit of panic. I rip paper towels off the roller on the counter and apply pressure to the wound, a technique I learned from watching medical dramas over the years. My pulse throbs in my hand and curse some more. I use my non-bleeding hand to pull gingerly lift the cup again and see a sharp carving knife hiding underneath.


Who the hell put a cup on top of that sharp knife?


Oh, yeah. Me.


I squeeze my finger before removing the paper towel to examine my injury. Not life threatening. No stitches in my future. All is well.


Then the ceiling above me creaks. The bedroom at the end of the bedroom at the end of the upstairs hall is directly overhead. Another creak. And another. This third one causes the dog to perk up her ears. I creep to the where the kitchen meets the living room and listen for more. The creaks continue. Moving from the corner of the bedroom above to just over where I now stand.


Another clap of thunder rattles the house.

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