Edward was creeping down the stairs again as I tried to finish reading Ruby her story. My wife took the turn this time and brought him back upstairs as I continued with Harry Potter. It was unusual for Edward to be out of bed; we had won a long and hard bedtime routine battle and he now always stuck with it. Still, I didn’t think much of it as I finished the chapter and put the book down.
With Ruby and Edward both safe in their beds I set about my own routine, which included taking the dog for her nightly excursion. We don’t usually go more than half a block away this late at night, but for some reason tonight she wanted to keep going, all the way down to the railroad tracks. It was dark, but for the stars, and the silence was broken only by an eighteen-wheeler rumbling slowly up the road and over the tracks. The car behind the truck was impatient and swerved around it, veering into the empty oncoming lane.
As the dog and I turned around and started back up the shadowed street, I noticed that the car, once so impatient, was now pulled over to the side of the road ahead of me, waiting, waiting, for what I had no idea. I had to assume that it was because they happened to be at a Pokestop, and they were trying to catch them all, although they were there longer than they should have been. As I passed them, the engine revved a few times and they pulled out behind me. I started to walk more briskly as their headlights lit me up from behind. I heard the tires squeal and I half jogged to our driveway where I turned back nervously one last time to see nothing. The car was gone. Maybe it had turned down the side street? At least it wasn’t following me.
By the time I got inside my wife had gone up to the bed, so I headed upstairs to say goodnight. I wasn’t quite ready to sleep yet myself, but as I started out the door back downstairs I heard my son shout out “Ruby!” in a terrified manner. I flew over and opened the door to the bedroom that they share, only to find him fast asleep in his bed. Huh. Maybe it was a voice from outside? I turned back to my wife and asked her if she’d heard anything. She hadn’t. “You didn’t hear the voices?” I asked. They had been quite loud to me. “I heard someone yell out ‘RUBY!’ and I thought it was Edward. I guess it wasn’t.”
“Yeah,” she replied unaffectedly, “that’s what Edward was saying too when he came downstairs.”
“He said he heard voices saying ‘Ruby’ and that he was scared.”
“You mean tonight?” I asked my wife, the pitch of my voice rising slightly. “When he came downstairs tonight he heard voices in his room saying ‘Ruby’?”
“Yeah,” my wife answered, as though this was not the most terrifying thing she had ever said.
So now I am completely freaked out. I am sitting here alone in the dark, and every noise I hear stops my heart. Every movement is a monster, and every shadow a spirit. There are voices saying my daughter’s name in the house tonight. I just heard what sounded like something spattering on the windowsill (which I obviously assumed was blood), but when I look there was nothing there. It’s not raining, and I am on the 2nd story. I have no idea what that sound was. I have no idea what those voices were. My assumption is that I will probably be horribly murdered at any moment by some sort of paranormal ghoul in whom I do not believe. Turns out I am afraid of no ghost.
I am setting this post to auto-publish at 9 am tomorrow morning. That way if I don’t make it out alive, you will at least have some clue as to what happened. Also, side note, searching the internet for spooky cover images for this post is not helping my state of mind. I will pick this one of a house in the foggy forest. It’s spooky, but not tooooo creepy. And now I am going to go hide under a blanket for the next 6-8 hours, listening to every single thing that goes bump in the night. See you on the other side.
P.S. – It is almost midnight! Why on earth are my neighbors opening and closing their doors! I swear I almost just had a heart attack! I need some earplugs…