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An Evening Alone

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Mom woke me up to tell me she was leaving to help the family from church pack. My dad and brother were already there. I felt bad for staying home, but I’d been a bit sick lately and all I wanted was to sleep.

The door slammed and I heard the muted rumble of the garage opening and shutting. I smiled into my pillow. I always did like being home alone for one reason in particular: I could sing as loudly as I pleased, and I intended to do just that when I rose for the evening.

Spoke too soon, I thought with a grimace; off-tune whistling floated up to my room. My brother had returned early. I wondered if Dad had dropped him off or if he was home to stay as well. A more powerful wave of guilt washed over me. Should have gone with her, Alice, she was saying yesterday how much stuff they had…

There was nothing for it. I closed my eyes and arranged my blankets and pillows to my liking, intending to catch at least another hour. Unfortunately, fate had other plans. In fifteen minutes I was bored with trying to drift off again and elected to do something about the hunger gnawing at my insides.

I stretched and rose. “Hellooooo?” I called when I opened my door. My voice echoed in the seemingly empty house. My brother wasn’t in his room, so I supposed he was on the computer. I trotted down the stairs, and, after grabbing the carton of cottage cheese, checked the office. It was empty.

My brow furrowed. I knew I’d heard whistling earlier. Instantly my mind began cooking up explanations. The garage door? No; while it had been acting up lately, they were whistles, not squeaks. A television? Perfect, only none were on. I smiled in realization; it must have come from the children playing outside. I checked the sliding glass door. It was shut and locked along with all the other windows in the house.

I grinned and shook my head. I’d have to tell my mom about the latest creepy occurrence. She would hold on to her skepticism as usual, but I’d be more excited.

The mysterious whistling wasn’t the first odd thing to happen. Recently I’d taken a nap and woke up to my monitor glowing through the dark room. I questioned every member of my family. None of them claimed a bout of trolling, and I, a light sleeper, would have heard any intruders. I couldn’t blame it on a system restart, either, for all of my tabs were still open. Then there was the ribbon on my lamp moving without any visible cause, be it wind (my window and door were closed) or vibrations (I was sitting still on my bed). Even my mother mentioned hearing footsteps while home alone.

I grabbed peanut butter and crackers and a soda and set up camp in front of the computer. It was time to waste more hours of my life on tumblr. Once that bored me, I resorted to my less often visited sites to entertain me until I felt like calling a friend or taking a shower. With the music blasting and a free night ahead, I was feeling fine.

I heard a noise outside the closed office door. I ignored it. I knew it wasn’t the arrival of my family, and maybe it was just a creak or pop or natural groan of the house, but I still ignored it. With the sinking of the sun, I wasn’t really hoping for more “activity”.

And then the panic hit---hit like a brick to the chest. My face grew hot, my heartbeat tripled in pace, my muscles tensed. Something was out there. Something was out there. Just behind that door---because I could still hear noises, like something was out there, corporeal or not, something was out there---

I waited until the song ended and locked the office door. It obviously wouldn’t do much good against a ghost, but it gave me some slight peace of mind from the thing. That peace of mind lasted until the next song began.

It was like in the movies where too many people are talking to the main character at once and he’s visibly getting tenser. As the guitars and drums and lyrics competed against my terrible singing, a much different orchestra went on beneath it. I can only describe it as sounds and energy, so much energy that I found my face screwed up like I was getting blasted by the wind. The low point of the episode was when my name flew through the air behind my right shoulder.

I slammed the pause button. Silence rang. The energy evaporated as soon as it came and slowly my body relaxed until I was sitting comfortably once more.

It just stopped raining. I feel better now, though the events of a few minutes ago are fresh in my mind. I know no one will believe me when I say this is a true story, since so many others claim the same, but it is. It just happened and I felt the need to write it down so I can feel a little less insane.

I’m not scared anymore, but maybe that’s because a watery light is still poking through the blinds. I’m sure I’ll feel differently tonight around ten if yet again I feel that presence behind me as I try to keep my eyes closed and fight the urge to roll over.

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