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   Chapter 5 No.5

Board James By AaronDennis Characters: 5302

Updated: 2018-01-10 12:02

James ground his teeth, frowned, widened his eyes, and nodded.

Chapter Four

Living in Philly was splendiferous. Allen and Sharon loved their home and the neighborhood, except for the weird, old woman. She only ever wore her pink robe, and she always looked like she had just rolled out of bed, and all she ever did, when she was outside, was stand on her stoop and stare holes at the newly weds.

Regardless of her odd machinations, Allen spent the bulk of his time preparing his new, writing room. Initially, he considered setting up in the attic, but it was stuffy up there. Sharon told him to set up in the den, but he knew she enjoyed meeting new people and bringing them over for drinks and little parties, and the den was soon going to turn into a hangout. He then settled for the garage; it was spacious enough to accommodate their two cars, and since he was far from a handyman, he owned no tools, which provided him plenty of room to set up a small, foldable table, bring out a chair, and set up his laptop.

In the meantime, since Halloween was quickly approaching, Sharon spent her time decorating the home, both inside and out. Paper ghosts and frilly, foldout pumpkins were displayed. There were bands of black and orange tissue paper, fuzzy spiders, fake webs, plastic bats, and an orange bowl of candy from which Allen occasionally nabbed a treat.

A week at their new home passed them by in a happy haze. One night, though, while Sharon snored comfortably next to her hubby, he awoke to a racket. Holding his breath and rubbing his eyes, he strained to hear. There was something beating around or scurrying downstairs. It came and went and came back. Frowning, he wondered if it was rats; Gabby had said the home was clean, he hadn't seen or heard anything to the contrary until that night.

Lithely, he stepped out of bed; enough moonlight bled into the room to reveal the way to the door. Beyond the door, there was only darkness, so Allen ran his hand along the length of the wall until he came to the stairs. There, he stopped to listen. Something was certainly making racket beneath him.

Carefully, he worked his way downstairs, following the noise. It sounded like it was coming from the kitchen. Upon entering the kitchen, which was also partially lighted by the moon, the noise died out. He flicked the light on, squinting until his eyes readjusted. He looked, he listened, but there was nothing, except for the bowl of candy, which was devoid of candy, yet there was a plastic planchette inside.

"That's weird, " he mused, but didn't think it as important as the noise. For a moment, he followed the walls

from the kitchen to the living room, keeping his ear just a hair from the walls. He didn't hear anything. "Must be a crawlspace or something. Some dumb rat or squirrel probably got stuck for a minute…."

After shutting off the light, he let his eyes adjust to the darkness, wandered back to the steps, and started his ascent. Back in the bedroom, he lied down beside his beloved, snuggled up to her, and fell asleep.

Another few days drifted by in wedded bliss, but Allen found himself awakened every night by the strange noise. He told Sharon about it, and she told him to just hire an exterminator. He wasn't sure it was rats and figured that if he found the crawlspace, sealing it was the solution, so he looked all over, until he realized he didn't know a thing about architecture, foundations, or anything regarding how houses were constructed.

"If you call the exterminator, they'll find the crawlspace, Allen; it's what they do. They don't just kills bugs and rodents, they set it up so no more can get in, " Sharon snipped.

"I guess you're right…."

That morning as a chilly wind blew, and the sky threatened rain, Allen reached for his cell phone to look up a local exterminator, but to his dismay, he had no connection. He tried Sharon's phone, but she had no bars either. Finally, he went to his laptop, but their modem was also on the fritz.

"Fuck, you'll have to call the cable company, too, " Sharon told him.

"How am I supposed to call them if I can't get their number?"

"Well…you could go next door and ask ole', miss, weird woman if you can use her internet, " Sharon grinned.

"I'd rather put my balls in a blender!"

"Then, use a phonebook, Einstein."

"A phonebook? Do we even have one?"

"I saw one in a drawer in the kitchen."

Shrugging, he bolted off to the kitchen. After pulling open a few drawers, which jingled with clanking silverware or rattled with loose batteries, he found the phonebook. He tossed it onto the counter, and reached for his landline, a pink phone. He took hold of it and looked at it.

"Why did she get a pink phone?" he scrutinized it, carefully. There was something inexplicably ominous about the phone. "Oh, well…."

The first order of business was finding the number for the cable company. He gave them a call, and they replied that they were working on it; that there was a problem nearby caused by the approaching storm, which had knocked over a tree that had severed the cable. Twenty four hours to a resolution, they claimed. He asked if they were going to cut twenty fours hours off his bill for the month; they weren't. Next, he called the exterminator.

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