The Noise in the Basement

fiction

The Noise in the Basement

By Greg W. Day

Every home has its own smells, lighting, shadows and sounds. It may take some time to get used to new surroundings and at times you probably get to the point of accepting things like unusual noises. Not because the noises are more familiar but maybe because you get tired of trying to figure out what some of the noises are.

It was very late one night, I was sleeping, and just like any other night, out of a deep sleepy dream came to an unrelenting desire to use the bathroom.

In the bathroom, I heard it for the first time. People talking. From somewhere else in the house, but where? Walking out of the bathroom it was unmistakable. The noise was coming from the basement. I looked down the dark stairwell. No light from the TV, no light from the overhead lights. Was there someone in the basement with the lights out? I retraced my last steps and a few things I did before bed. Had popcorn, walked the dog, and read a little. Was I even downstairs today? No, I answered to myself.

I stood at the top of the stairway looking down into the darkness and decided the best thing to do was to just do it. I went downstairs. Not turning the lights on, but went down the stairway carefully. At the bottom of the stairway, I found the problem but was puzzled. The TV was on, but no picture. A cable glitch is common with many cable companies. You hit the remote button and either the TV comes on or the cable box comes on, not both as they should. Having no idea how the TV was turned on, I found the remote on the table and hit the off button. OK, problem solved, maybe someone left it on during the day but we were just too busy to realize there was noise in the basement.

I went back to bed. 5 minutes later I heard the noise in the basement again. Since I had been through this before I knew the sound was the TV.

Thoughts of strangers talking in my basement were now in my mind. Were they plotting their next move, maybe to come up the stairs and attack us with hammers they found in the basement? In the news, several years ago someone did just that. He thought there was money in the house and was high on drugs of some sort, he wanted more drugs so he broke into the house through the basement, found a hammer and then went upstairs to find the money. Instead of finding the money, he found 4 people sleeping in 2 bedrooms. He methodically went from room to room, beating the people in the head to death with a hammer. I never could get that image out of my head. Was someone trying to lure me back downstairs to kill me?

No, but the TV was on and came on all by itself. Another glitch in our Cable TV. The remote not only doesn’t turn both the TV and cable on at the same time, but it sometimes turns the TV on all by itself.

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