• Jeff South

Blogtober 2021: Kiss

WORK FROM HOME, DAY 23


A sleeping pill helped me get through the night, but now I'm shaking off the morning after hangover. The walk from the bedroom to the kitchen feels like a trek through wet cement with a weighted blanket draped over my shoulders. The smell of bacon frying compels to me keep pushing. Don't give up! Almost there! I plop onto a stool at the counter and stare ahead waiting for motivation to impose its will on me. Sandy places a gentle kiss on my cheek and joins me.


"Maybe you should go back to bed and sleep it off," Sandy tells me. "Each your breakfast and go back to bed."


I shake my head. "Got stuff to do. Besides, I don't want this thing to control me. I don't want to be afraid of it."


We finish breakfast and I decide that loading the dishwasher is what I need to get the blood pumping. I gather all the plates, glasses, silverware, the skillet used for the amazing bacon and eggs, and begin rinsing. Above me in the bedroom, that damn infernal shuffling about starts in the back corner and moves to the door and back again. What sounds like dresser drawers opening and closing, as if someone is looking for something, grows louder.


"You hear that?" I ask Sandy. "Do you hear it? Please tell me you hear it.


The look on her face suggests she does.


"What is it? Is that your poltergeist?"


I nod slowly and gesture for her to follow me. Power in numbers. Two is better than one. We creep up the stairs, pausing at the top to silently debate whether this is a good idea or not. The thumping of my pulse in my temples nearly drowns out the sounds of movement at the end of the hall. We inch a few steps toward the closed door. I notice the light peeking from under it and see no shadowy form like before.


"What is the plan?" Sandy whispers. "What are we going to do when we open the door?"


I shrug. It all comes back to that, doesn't it? What exactly is the plan? If we open the door and see something, what is the response? Scream and run? Sell the house? Call Rowan and Wanda Nassau, the paranormal investigators? Regardless of our lack of a plan, I'm thankful she is beside me as we continue the slow, frightful walk toward the bedroom door. I feel more emboldened to do this. Doing it alone was an exercise of stomach-churning terror. I pulled it off, but the isolation of the experience compounded the fright. It's much better to face this with someone at my side.


We reach the door and noises stop. A wisp of cold air breezes from under the door and straight up my spine. We both shiver.


"Did you feel that?" she asks. "Is that part of it?"


"No," I say. "That's new."

We look at each other and I gulp. My trembling hand finds the doorknob and, after a silent count of three, I burst into the room. Sandy joins me and we face the threat.


Nothing.


No drawers are open. The bed is still made. The chair in the corner remains in tact.


"This is spooky," she says and I agree. "Are you sure you're going to be okay when I'm gone in a couple of days?"


"Wait. What?"


"I leave Wednesday night remember? For that retreat. I'll be gone Thursday night, coming back Sunday."



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