After reading the draft of WTF’s latest story, Red Eyes, I called to tell her a tale of my own. This is that story:
I awoke in the dead of night with my sister sleeping peacefully beside me. I glanced around my bedroom and listened to the typical stillness of an Ohio night, permeated with the chirping of insects. Unsure of what woke me, I rolled over to go back to sleep.
I heard the sound of footsteps, and my eyes shot open again. Besides my little sister in the bed next to me, there wasn’t anyone in the room. It sounded like the footsteps were crossing my bedroom floor, but that must be my imagination. Surely one of my brothers was trodding down the hall to the bathroom.
Then I heard it, a distinct creaking sound coming from my left. I slowly turned my head to see the cradle, where I kept my dolls and stuffed animals, rocking. I tried to call out to my mom without waking my sister, in an odd whisper-yell. Over and over again I called out, hoping that someone would come, but of course they wouldn’t be able to hear me without waking my sister. When I heard some shuffling sounds from the cradle, I made up my mind. I got out of my bed and ran to my parents room.
I woke my mom and explained to her what had happened. She told me that the sounds must be a mouse running across my floor and scurrying in the cradle. She walked me back to my room and tucked me into bed. As I tried to fall back asleep, I ignored the voice telling me that the footsteps I heard were much heavier than those of a mouse.
A few nights later, I woke again in the middle of the night with the distinct feeling that something had woken me. Goosebumps spread up my arms as I heard the slow footsteps plod across the room. I turned my head to follow the sound towards the window, and the cradle. The wood creaked as the cradle first dipped away from the window, like it did when I climbed on it, and then rocked back to level out. I got the sense that someone had walked across my room, climbed in the cradle, and sat staring out the bedroom window.
My stomach lurched and palms began sweating, as I tried to lay still. I kept whispering to myself that it was just a mouse, but I knew that the sounds I heard didn’t fit with those of the tiny creature. I laid in bed staring at the cradle, afraid to look away or make a sound until at some point my eyes became too heavy, and I drifted off to sleep.
The sounds of the footsteps and creaking cradle became a familiar midnight melody to me, as I heard them repeatedly over the next few weeks. Unsatisfied with my mother’s explanation, I confided in my best friend about the noises I heard. She whispered to me almost reverently, “It sounds like you have a ghost.”
She proceeded to tell me that the housing we lived in was old, and more than likely a ghost or two haunted the area. I thought about our conversation many times over the next few days. At times when I was playing outside, I would look up to my bedroom window with the unnerving feeling that someone was watching me.
This story happened in the same bedroom that Red Eyes took place in, while we were children. Neither of us shared our stories with each other until writing these posts. What do you think? Do you believe in ghosts or monsters? Have you ever experienced something you can’t explain? Let us know!
If you enjoyed this short story, we would love for you to leave a comment, or even buy us a cup of coffee! We promise to share!
Thanks so much for reading!
Clever and WTF