Things in the living room: A True Story

Somewhere in the building, a baby was crying. Maybe it was that new family that moved in 2 floors above us I thought, though that kid has impressively strong lungs if I can hear him all the way down here. Ignoring the crying, I continued tidying up the living room, picking up a stray toy, folding up an errant coloring book, sweeping the crumbs off the couch, and clearing away the remnants of another day.

I fished the iPad out from under the dining table and looked at the display: 1:26 am. Time for bed.

Just as soon as I empty the sink that is.


Elbow deep in soap suds, half asleep and dreaming of my soft bed, I was suddenly pulled from my reverie by a sound behind me. Thinking the husband had come back for a glass of water, I turned around.


Huh, I guess the sound came from upstairs.

I returned to the dishes, quickening my pace, discomfited by the emptiness of the dimly lit room behind me.

Something passed in front of the hallway light, casting a brief shadow on the wall in front of me.

I spun around, but again, nothing.

I turned back to the sink, my heart racing, struggling with my gloves, panicking when I couldn’t get them off fast enough.


This time I didn’t turn around. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Someone, something, was behind me. I could feel it.

Scratch scratch.

Finally freeing myself from the rubber gloves, I threw them in the sink.

Another shadow flitted across the wall in front of me.

Taking a deep breath, I whirled around and sprinted for my room, averting my eyes from the dimly lit living room and locking the bedroom door as soon as I was inside.

My heart pounding, I rested my back against the cool wooden door, trying to calm my nerves. Lilly let out a tiny snore. My husband rolled over and draped an arm over her sleeping body. All perfectly calm and normal.

I’m letting my imagination run away with me, I told myself, there’s nothing there.

A small part of me however was not so sure…

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