Voices in the Attic (Flash Fiction)

We hadn’t been in the new house long before I suspected something was very strange. It was the noises at first. Initially, they were soft echoes that repeated the words me and my wife would say. Only in the bedroom, though. And this was awkward, as well, because it would repeat us during noisy sex. Each moan and groan would play out on a three or five-second delay, inevitably distracting us and making us stop. The echoes repeated the noises our dog made, too.

Yes, it was creepy. But did it worry us? Not really. We were too busy getting everything unpacked and settled to fixate on it much. And the house was great, with lots of space, in a great neighborhood in a quiet town, and twice as big as our old Philadelphia rowhome. We had just been married a few months ago, and life was great. So, a few odd noises in a new home didn’t faze us.

Perhaps it should have, though.

Things got weirder about two months into our lives at the new place. My wife, an ER nurse, was on an overnight shift, and I was home alone. I’ve always had insomnia issues, and this particular night was terrible. So, I laid in bed listening to music, reading, anything to help me sleep.

The first time I heard the voice, I was so astounded that I didn’t know what to make of it. It sounded like a family talking at a dinner table, and the sound came from the ceiling to the attic. Our dog started barking because the noise of the conversation became more and more audible as the moments passed.

“And how was your day, Danny?” said one high-pitched voice.

There was a pause. “Danny … answer your mother when she talks to you,” another voice could be heard.

Another pause, then, “God damn it, Danny! Did you hear me?!”

There was a loud rumble from the attic, and it sounded like someone had slammed their fist down on a table. “For Christ’s sake, you little son of a bitch … What the fuck is wrong with you?”

I was equally confused and terrified, unable to understand what was happening. Who was up there in the attic? How did they get up there? How long had they been up there?

“Hello? Hey! Who’s up there?” I yelled.

The attic became quiet after I shouted, and there was a long pause before the answer. Then, “Did you hear that?” a voice could be heard.

“Hey! I’m down here! What are you doing in my attic?”

“That’s odd,” the male voice said. “Sounds like someone in the basement.”

“I’m down here, damnit! Who are you?”

“Okay, that’s enough. Let me check this out,” the voice said.

Suddenly, I heard the attic door unlatch, and the steps came down, followed by footsteps. A large, unusual man lumbered down, wearing a white collared shirt, khakis, and brown shoes. His eyes were blacker than night.

“Who the fuck are you?” he asked me.

“I- Christ, what? Why are you in my attic?”

“That’s not the attic, buddy. That’s my dining room. And you, pal, are in my basement. You’re fucking trespassing! Who are you? What do you want!?”

Before I could answer, I noticed the man had a baseball bat by his side. I went to yell and defend myself, but his jerking motion was too quick. I supposed he knocked me unconscious because the last thing I remember was the unusual man screaming like a maniac and a sharp pain in my head.

******

My wife, in tears, was the first thing I saw when I woke up in the hospital room. She was holding my hand, and I remember it was raining outside. She told me she found me when she came home from work, lying in a pool of blood in the bedroom. The police investigated and found nothing and couldn’t explain it.

We sold the house three months later and moved across town. I tried to tell her what had happened, but it didn’t make sense, so we just dropped it. When we moved into the new place, we were paranoid about anything unusual, so we searched the entire property inside and out. We even had paranormal investigators and a psychic medium scan the place.

So far, we’ve been fine. But every so often, I get scared as hell that it’s going to happen again. I guess you could say it’s a form of PTSD, or at least that’s what a therapist has told me. And you can bet I searched the attic from top to bottom before we bought the house. From what I could tell, it was empty.

The End


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