All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Noises In The Dark
Adrian was new to town, and new to the adult life. She was nineteen, and had just moved out of her parent's house to go live on her own. The small, cozy town of Havenbrook seemed to be a perfect place for her to start. The little house she had rented was nestled in the heart of the city, and was surrounded by little shops, bakeries, and marketplaces that were easy for her to walk to. Although the little house was old and a little dingy, she loved it and was proud to call it her home.
Adrian was finishing moving furniture into her little dwelling and tidying up. Her best friend, Sarah, and her parents were all helping her get moved in. It was her third official day on her own, and so far, everything seemed to be going smoothly for the young woman. "Where do you want this?" Asked Sarah, pulling a tall, antique-style mirror from the most recent moving van to pull up at Adrian's house. Sighting the mirror, Adrian smiled and left what she was doing to take the mirror from Sarah's hands. "I know the perfect place for it." She exclaimed, already hauling the large mirror into her house. Squeezing past her father in the small hallway, Adrian headed towards her room. Her room was small (or cozy, as her mother called it) but there was just enough room for the mirror to fit comfortably. After the mirror was set up where she wanted it, Adrian paused a moment to look at herself in it. Her face was bright and determined, lacking the anxiety and strain that everyone told her would come with moving out of her parents house. Satisfied with her appearance, Adrian turned and strutted back outside to finish perfecting her home.
Later that night, Adrian and Sarah sat on top of empty cardboard boxes on Adrian's back porch sipping lemonade, and watched the sun set over the quiet little town. "Well, I think you're pretty well set up now. I really think you're going to do well on your own." Commented Sarah after a prolonged period of silence. Adrian smiled softly and nodded. "I sure hope so." She chuckled. The friends remained quiet until the sun's final rays evaporated into the shadows.
Back in the house, the pair did a final check on the house to make sure everything was in place. "Looks like someone left a hammer here." Noted Sarah, pausing to pick up a hammer that was resting on Adrian's kitchen countertop. "Oh, I had someone come fix one of the doors that was broken. He left it behind." Adrian said, taking the hammer from Sarah to examine it. "I've tried calling him but he never answers. Oh well. I'll keep trying." She said. While in Adrian's bedroom, Sarah paused by the tall mirror to admire the ebony wooden frame on it. "This is pretty. Where'd you get it?" She asked, running her fingers over the neatly crafted frame. "I found it at a garage sale, actually." Adrian laughed. She, too, walked up to the mirror to gaze at it. "It wasn't very expensive either. I got a lot of good furniture from that garage sale." She said. Sarah turned to smile at her friend. "Well, that's good! I don't even have a mirror in my apartment. I should probably try and get one, but I just haven't had the time." Sarah chuckled. With that, the girls turned and walked out.
After she and Sarah had said their goodbyes, Adrian went back to her room to get ready for bed. She pulled on some baggy sweats, brushed her teeth, washed her face, and crawled into her bed. The mattress on her bed was pretty old, and the springs groaned with displeasure as Adrian's weight pushed down on them. As soon as she was in the bed with the blankets pulled up to her chin, Adrian allowed a smile to crawl onto her face. "Goodnight, my house." She whispered into the darkness. With the proud grin still on her face, the girl rolled over and went to sleep.
It was late night when she woke up. Blinking into the darkness, Adrian rolled over and flipped open her phone to look at the time. 5:02 AM. She rolled back over into her bed and closed her eyes. It still wasn't early enough for her to get up. After a few minutes of laying awake, Adrian became consciously aware of a noise. Tap, tap, tap. Her dark brown eyes flicked open. Tap, tap, tap, tap. Straining her ears, she propped herself up on her elbow and looked around the darkened room. Nothing was there, all was as it should be. Tap, tap, tap. Adrian sat up slowly in bed and reached over for the lamp that sat dutifully on her bedside dresser. The room was suddenly bathed in light as Adrian's fingers twisted the knob on the side of the lamp. The room was all in its place: her clothes, her books, the mirror, the dressers, the bed - all where they had been placed the day before. "Hmm." Adrian mused aloud. The tapping had stopped. Or had it ever really been there? Looking around her room one last time, Adrian turned off the lamp and curled back into her bed. There were no more strange noises, but Adrian had a hard time falling back to sleep.
The next day was uneventful. Adrian moved some things around in her house, went to work (she worked at a little gas station that was only a few blocks from her house), went and had dinner with her parents, and then talked on the phone with Sarah and some of her other friends until she was ready for sleep. She hadn't mentioned the strange tapping in her room to anyone, having almost forgotten it herself. As she crawled beneath her covers and reached over to turn off her lamp, the memory of the weird noises came back to her. She stopped with her fingers frozen on the lamp's power knob, her eyes sifting over her room and her ears perked. Once satisfied that her room was empty and without anything that might be making noise, Adrian switched off the lights and snuggled into her bed.
Tap, tap, tap. Adrian heard it the moment she woke up this time, as if her ears had been listening to the tapping as she slept. She lay motionless for a while, listening to the uneven taps. They were consistent, but not rhythmic. Slowly, Adrian sat up in bed just as she had the night before. She held her breath as the mattress springs creaked beneath her movement, as if the tapping would stop to allow other noises into the atmosphere. It didn't. The noises continued just as if nothing had happened. She glanced at the time on her phone, seeing that it was earlier then when she'd woken the night before (12:35 AM). Adrian twisted the lamp on until her room was once again filled with it's artificial light. The tapping seemed to pause, but then continued just as it had before the light. Adrian looked around her small room, seeing nothing. She couldn't even tell where the small noises were coming from. They sounded easy to make... Like someone drumming their finger on something. The window. She jerked her head to the window that took up a good portion of her wall. It was covered with blinds, and had heavy maroon curtains drawn over it. She stared at it, her dark eyes wide. Part of her wanted to go pull back the blinds and look out, while the other part - the more timid part, wanted to hide beneath her covers like a small child. She acted upon the latter. Pulling the sheets over her head, Adrian listened to the strange noises until she fell into a restless sleep.
She woke up early to a quiet room, with only the sounds of passing traffic and birds singing outside. The lamp was still on, although it's light barely made a difference with the natural daytime light that fell throughout the house. Adrian turned it off, and feeling much braver in the day then in the night, peeled back the blinds and curtains on her bedroom window, allowing the sunshine to brighten up her room. The window looked completely normal. No scratches, no smudges. It's only scary when it's dark. It's natural to be scared of noises in the dark. She assured herself, turning away from the window. After that, Adrian chatted with a while on the phone with her mother (who missed her little girl dearly and couldn't believe how fast she'd grown up) and then got ready for work. As she was about to leave for her job at the gas station, Adrian passed by the mirror. She stopped to look at her reflection in it. There was some anxiety in her dark eyes, and she looked more tired then she had a few days earlier when she'd looked in the mirror with Sarah. Suddenly, an idea rose in Adrian's brain. Sarah had lived by herself for a while and could probably give an explanation for the strange noises in the house as well as a way to stop them. And stopping the noises would definitely bring back that calm, bright appearance that Adrian wanted so badly. "I'll have to call Sarah then." She told her reflection in the mirror. With that, the young woman turned and walked out of her house.
As soon as she got off of work, Adrian called Sarah. Although Sarah said it was too late to drive all the way to Adrian's house, she agreed to meeting up somewhere between both their houses to have dinner and to talk. And a few hours later, the pair were conversing over plates of cheese cake and glasses of iced cocoa. After some small talk, Adrian brought up what was really on her mind. "I've been hearing some weird tapping noises in my house at night that have been waking me up. Do you have any idea what that could be? Or how I could I stop it?" She started out by asking. Sarah sipped thoughtfully at her drink before answering. "All houses make noise at night. It's the house settling down." Sarah said. Adrian felt her chinks redden, realizing how dumb she must sound. "No-no, I know all that... It's different... Like a 'tap-tap' noise. It sounds like someone tapping their fingernail against glass." She tried to explain. Sarah chewed slightly on her lip before answering. "Mice, perhaps?" She suggested. Adrian pursed her lips, finding it hard to even consider a teeny animal creating the strange noise she kept hearing at night. "Mmm, no, I don't think so. This tapping is really continuous and it stays the same volume the whole time. I don't think it's mice." She said. Sarah shrugged, returning her attention to her food. "Well, I don't know what to tell you then, Adrian. Maybe you've got a ghost." Sarah teased, winking at her friend and forking some cheese cake into her mouth. Adrian replied with a tight smile, but she found little humour in her friend's words. Sarah could obviously shine no more light on the subject, so Adrian didn't bring it back up. They talked half-heartedly about boys, shopping, and the joys of living on your own and finally departed without further word of the strange tapping. Adrian drove home feeling even more confused then when she'd left. Obviously the tapping wasn't normal, and that meant that it was not normal. The word 'paranormal' surfaced in her brain, but she quickly pushed it back down and forced herself to think about something else. The tapping noises might not be normal, but that didn't mean they were necessarily paranormal. Certainly not.
10:44 AM. Even earlier then the night before. Adrian had barely slept for an hour when the noises awakened her. Tap, tap. She sat up in bed in the dark and just listened. Her dark brown optics traced over the entire night-dark room, but they continuously found themselves landing on the window. Tap, tap, tap. Was it coming from the window? It was so silent besides the tapping, it made it hard to tell. Suddenly, the tap's slowed way down, coming randomly every few seconds. Adrian leaned forward absentmindedly, her ears strained to locate where the noises were coming from. Tap. The noises stopped, leaving behind an eerie silence that sent the skin on Adrian's back crawling. Her heart seemed to stop along with the weird noises, and she could just imagine a hairy hand clasping around her mouth. Then, the taps started up again just as they had before at a smooth, rhythmic pace. A tiny gasp escaped Adrian as she felt herself begin breathing steadily again, her heart beating normally, and her muscles relax. She hadn't even realized how tense she'd been. This is not normal. She told herself mentally. It was just a noise for crying out loud! Assuring herself that monsters did not live under beds outside of fantasy stories, Adrian carefully slipped out of her bed and tiptoed to the window. Her pale fingers slowly undid the deep red curtains and gingerly pulled back the blinds. Nothing. The window was empty, and the outside world looked exactly as it had during the day, only darker. There was a full moon out, and it's light pooled in her room. Tap, tap, tap. The noise was coming from behind. Adrian turned around, tense. Unlike the yellow light of the lamp, the moon cast a shadowy blue glow over her room. Tap, tap. Adrian's eyes shifted across her blue-themed room. Tap, tap, tap. It sounded just like something tapping on glass, but if it wasn't the window... Adrian's gaze fell on the mirror, it's smooth glass reflecting the moon's creepy light. It was preposterous, it was silly, but it was a possibility. Paranormal. She immedietely rejected the word, walking stiffly towards the mirror. Tap, tap, tap. She stopped in front of the mirror, listening to the steady taps. She examined the mirror, looking it up and down. Dropping to her knees, she ran her hands over it's base. Nothing. She leaned back, completely perplexed and confused. A glint of movement in the mirror caught the corner of her eye, and she instinctively whipped her head back to look behind her. There was nothing in the room that shouldn't have been. Adrian returned her attention to the mirror, feeling anxiety build and her heartbeat quicken. The tiny movement came again, but this time she searched for it in the mirror instead of behind her. She saw it again and again. A tiny smudge towards the base of the mirror that kept coming rhythmically, keeping pace with the tapping noises. Curious, Adrian leaned carefully forward, until her face was only a couple inches from the mirror's smooth glass. It looked almost like a white fingerprint, pressing repeatedly against the glass. It made no sense what it could be or how it would be making a tapping noise though. Adrian tentatively raised her own finger and tapped it against the glass where the strange "fingerprint" kept appearing. She made a similar tap, with a slightly different pitch. The room fell silent for a moment and the "fingerprint" didn't appear on the mirror. Adrian tapped it again, twice. A few seconds passed and the "fingerprint" returned, bringing with it the strange tapping noises. Gaining more curiousity, Adrian poked her finger a couple times against the mirror. Once more, the "fingerprint" and the tapping noises stopped. Adrian waited, and finally rose her hand to touch the mirror again. Before she made contact, two humanlike hands - hands! - slammed against the mirror, palms facing Adrian. A face of sorts pressed itself against the glass between the two hands, like a person trying to see through a dark window at night. A puff of fog partially marred the face's features, as if it were breathing against the inside of the mirror. The face and hands pressed urgently against the mirror, their blue-gray skin flattening wherever it touched the mirror's hard surface. Adrian gasped and jumped at the noise, lurching instinctively backwards. She choked on the scream that rose in her throat, and instead she lay frozen on the ground, her terror-wide eyes staring at the thing in the mirror. The face and hands diseappeared after only a few moments, leaving behind only a faint smudge where the face had been smashed. Other then that, the mirror was smooth and normal. The room was silent and motionless. The uneven rasp as Adrian forced breath into her lungs was the only noise to be heard. She was literally frozen with fear, her hands clutching the carpet white-knuckled, her whole body rigid, her eyes glued to the mirror. A hundred emotions surged through her; terror, unhappiness, disgust, anxiety, depression, anger, and many more at the same time. Her mind went blank, unable to deal with what she'd just seen. She stared at her reflection in the mirror (cast over by the moon's creepy blue glow) for minutes, possibly hours. Somewhere in all the time that she spent in her motionless state the uneven tapping started up again alongside the fingerprint pressing up against the inside of the mirror. Adrian's mind could only form one word for the rest of the night, a word that repeated in her head until the sun rose and the tapping noises discontinued. Paranormal.
The taps had long since ceased and the blue moonlight had been replaced with the sun's yellow light when Adrian finally moved from her frozen position in front of the mirror. She hadn't been able to take her eyes off the mirror, even for the fraction of a second it would take to blink, and her eyes were dry and blurry and her face was salty from dried tears. Paranormal. The word still hung inside her mind. Whatever she had seen was paranormal, even if it had only been a hallucination (she wasn't entirely sure if she dared believe her eyes yet). Needing some time to think, Adrian headed to work early and stayed there past the time when her shift ended. She moved in slow-motion, every time she blinked her eyes she saw that moist creature rubbing against the mirror, the inside of the mirror, with the moon's blue light outlining it's horrifying features. She might have stayed at the gas station all night, had her boss not clapped her on the shoulder and said, "What are you still doing here, Adrian? Your shift ended almost an hour ago!". She had forced a laugh, said something about the time getting away from her, and drug her feet out to her car. It was already dark outside, and she knew she couldn't possibly survive another encounter with that... that mirror-dweller. She decided to drive slowly, taking the long way to her house. While she drove, she called her parents. It went straight to their voicemail. She tried a few more times but to no avail. Feeling tears of stress sting her eyes, Adrian forced herself to breathe in deeply. "Calm down." She commanded herself aloud. She dialed Sarah's number. Sarah picked up after the second ring with a rushed, "Hello?''. "Hi, Sarah, it's me, Adrian. I was wondering if we could talk? I'm fine with driving out to your house..." Adrian spoke, trying to control her voice level. The moon was casting blue light everywhere, and it made the awful memories of the night before come back. "Oh... Sorry, Adrian, I'm not home right now. I forgot to tell you, I went to visit some relatives back in Ohio. I'll be back the day after tomorrow, though. We can talk then!" Sarah explained. Adrian held the phone tightly in her hand, not wanting Sarah to go, even if it was only her voice. "Oh, okay. That's fine." Adrian managed out. Sarah didn't seem to catch the fear in her voice. "Okay, goodbye!" Sarah said, and hung up. Adrian held the phone to her ear for several minutes, trying to bring back the sound of her friend's voice. There was nowhere for her to go but back to her house. Sarah was her closest friend (all of her other friends and relatives lived miles and miles away), and her parents probably weren't home either. Despite Adrian's wishes, she found herself pulling into her parking lot. The comfy little house nestled in the heart of Havenbrook no longer looked appealing to her. No, it's not the house... It's what's inside the house. She noted to herself. The sentence sent chills up her spine. She got out of the car, and walked slowly into the house.
Her house seemed fine. Nothing was disturbed, everything looked cheery and welcoming. Adrian pulled on her nighttime sweats and prepared for bed. There was no escaping the inevitable. The young woman was about to climb into her bed when a wise idea popped into her mind. She rushed into the kitchen and snatched the hammer from off the countertop. She was suddenly very glad that she hadn't been able to get in touch with that repair man. Back in her room, she set the hammer on her bedside dresser. "Better to be safe then sorry," She muttered to herself as she clambered into her bed.
She hadn't even drifted off into sleep when the taps began. Tap, tap, tap, tap. Adrian's eyes snapped open and she flew up in bed. Instead of the horror that she had expected, anger surged through her. How dare that... that thing in the mirror take her house from her? Her adulthood? Make her look like and feel like a fool? Tap, tap, tap. She flung her legs off the side of the bed. Feeling her feet hit the carpeted floor, she remembered how she'd laid on the floor in absolute distress the night before because of that thing in the mirror. A spout of adrenaline shot through her veins as she realized what she needed to do. Turning on the lamp, Adrian grabbed the hammer and headed purposefully towards the mirror. When she reached it, the woman raised the hammer high above her head, clutching it tightly in both hands. Tap, tap, tap. The small white fingerprint pressed continuously against the mirror, in rythm with the tapping. Seeing the fingerprint, her fright battled with her anger, and she felt her arms weaken. You have to do this! It's your only chance! She told herself. Raising her arms higher, she stared steadily into the mirror, and swung. As soon as the hammer hit the glass, Adrian shrieked and released her grip on the tool. The mirror shattered, and it's glass flew in every direction. The lamp's bulb exploded and the room fell dark, only the blue glow of the moon falling faintly through the still open window. Adrian spun around, wrapping her arms over her head to protect herself from the flying glass. She shivered with fright, all of her previous anger gone. From behind her, she heard the tinkle of glass against glass and the crunch as it was stepped on. The woman forced herself to rotate around to face the mirror, tears starting to spill down her face. From the lovely black frame of the mirror stepped a humanlike thing, shaking flecks of glass from it's pale blue-gray skin. Paranormal. The word rose in Adrian's brain and she was unable to think of anything else. Tears flowed freely down her face, and she felt herself frozen in terror once again. The mirror-thing looked up at her with wide, bloodshot eyes. A small, shy smile crept onto its face and it slowly began walking towards her, glass crunching beneath its feet with every step. "Ever wondered why it was bad luck to break a mirror?" It inquired cunningly, stepping up in front of her.