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The Absoloutly Something

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The absolutely something

In the Harris household no bump in the night went unnoticed, no creak or squeak or moan or groan or thump or bang went without a nervous twitch or startled yelp or hitch of breath. In the Harris household there was never calm, there was never total quiet. Somewhere in some room, a small piece of furniture went clattering to the floor, a light buzzed and flickered from black to bright to black again, a tap that had been forcefully wrenched most definitely off by father went a drip dripping once more. There was always an unnerving noise emitting from something. In the Harris household, if you were alone, you were still never quite by yourself. Hiding in the very corner of your vision, barely in sight, there was always a flicker in the mirror behind your own reflection, a slight stirring in the shadows, a whisper of breath that made the cobwebs dance in the rafter high above, a hazy shape at the top of the staircase, a pale flash scurrying out the door, there was always a glimpse of something not completely there but never not there. In the Harris household, there was barely any sleep to be had, lest you wake in the deep dark of a starless night to a wordless murmur in your left ear, or a brush of fingertips against your right foot, or-if it was a special occasion-an almighty crash of some sorts. In the Harris household, each morn was the same, bleary eyes and trembling hands and half formed admittances which would hurriedly be forced back down with a mouthful of sugarless tea. The tea was always sugarless; the pot containing sugar had been mysteriously thrown from the top window of the house many moons before and never had a new one been bought. In the Harris household, fear was frowned upon-so when the youngest daughter was found dangling from the chandelier by her plaits, father simply fetched the stepladder, and her hysterics were ignored; and when the number six was scribbled on the grimy windowpanes, etched into the mantelpieces and formed on the kitchen top with the cutlery, it was ignored; and even when the faint growls would echo down the narrow corridors they were ignored, despite the fact that everyone was fully aware that no animal would take a step within the grounds without pining to get away, not the dogs or cats or foxes or moles or hedgehogs or any form of bird. It was all most obviously and frantically ignored.

In the Harris household, it is not wise to stand before father and offer an investigation into various disturbing and unsavoury incidents, unless you do not mind the ferocious bellowing and spray of spittle from a man driven half-mad, the indigent cry of ‘There is no matter or scandal to be found here, there is absolutely nothing do you hear, absolutely nothing!’
In the Harris household, there is only so much a visitor can take of the all-consuming feeling of something watching from the fireplace, of something tracing your footsteps as you walk, of something breathing dust and decay over a household and family alike. So it is only to be expected that you packed the few of your belonging that hadn’t gone missing into your suitcase, bid farewell to a red-faced father and a gaunt mother and three traumatised young children and stepped out into the chill morning air. You walked briskly through the shroud of fog to your awaiting carriage, and did not look back when you sensed something peering down from the highest window. You only spared one last thought for the Harris household, and it was a sincere hope that one day the odd little family would finally see sense, and notice that their absolutely nothing is without a doubt, a most troubling absolutely something.



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