I’ve never been afraid of the dark. Staying home alone while the husband works night shift has tested that, and I’ve concluded that I’m still not afraid of big, empty houses, shadows lurking in dark corners, or of sudden incursions by thieves or rapists.
Bring it. I can take them on. After all, I’m armed with super-pointy knitting needles… and my own fists.
A few days before we adopted Frank, though, I started hearing noises.
It was 3 a.m. and I was at work in the living room, working on a writing project for one of my favorite clients, when I first heard the sound. It sounded like… something rustling. And then it sounded like something small and hard had fallen to the tile floor. I stopped typing to listen.
What bugged me more than the noises themselves was the fact that they travelled. First I’d hear them in the back bedroom. Then in the bedroom-turned-toolroom opposite the kitchen. Then in the kitchen. Then the hallway.
I returned to my writing.
There it was again. It was 3 a.m., and there was something, and it wasn’t my pet parakeet, who was sound asleep in the sunroom on the other end of the house.
Of course, I didn’t get up to investigate. Investigating would be a sign of weakness.
After unsuccessfully ignoring the sounds for half an hour, I took a deep breath, became a Ninja, and went bravely through the house, flipping on one light at a time, then whirling around the door like an FBI agent wielding a gun. Maybe it would have worked better if I *had* been wielding some sort of weapon (besides my dangerously formidable fists).
After about five minutes, every light in the house was on, and it seemed like every time I walked into one room, I heard the sounds coming from a different one.
The sounds started sounding like little creaturely feet, and after standing silently in the hallway in my best ninja pose for a few moments, I realized that the sounds were coming from above the drop ceiling over my head.
If this were South Carolina, I’d think it was a squirrel in the ductwork. But Guam? What could be in my ceiling? A cane toad? A monitor lizard? A snake? A rat? A spider the size of my head?
The sounds stopped when the sun came up. Manny came home and we went to bed. The next night, the sounds returned in full force, so I let Owl City blare, put on my noise-cancelling headphones, and pointedly ignored them. All night long.
A few days later, the sounds stopped. This was, if possible, more unnerving than the sounds themselves. I keep waiting for the smell of something dead to come wafting down through the vents in the ceiling. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m still jumpy.
And I’m fairly certain that my newly-adopted dog would offer little protection against thieves OR monitor lizards.
Cést la vie.