Genre: Realistic Fiction
The sounds usually start when darkness comes, when I switch off the lantern and close my eyes to sleep. Night after night I lay awake listening to sounds in the darkness. It starts with a faint scratching noise as if a feral beast is marking its territory drawing lines that must not crossed except with those who have abandoned all hope. Then there’s the footsteps, footsteps; slow, cautious, and deliberate; pacing, as would a beast stalking prey. Finally comes the scurrying and squealing sounds of a chase….. I always reach for the lights at this point and flip on the switch for the bedside lamp, nothing happens, it is funny how for an instant I forget the lights have not been working ever since a storm took out power lines.
There is something otherworldly that lives in my ceiling, I hear it every night when I try to sleep “It’s only a rat” I whisper to myself. At least I hope it’s a rat and not the thing from paranormal activity….
Eventually sleep comes, the sandman takes me suddenly, pouncing, tumbling my restless mind away and down, spitting it out like a mangled rat in to a deep dark dreamless sleep.
Are they nocturnal animals, ghosts? Because when the sun comes up the sounds stop, without a trace…. I wake up in the morning and everything is exactly as I left it nothing to indicate the eventful nocturnal visitors. The ceiling looks pristine and white, freshly painted to cover the water stains left by the leaky roof from when it last rained. The brown stain looked somewhat like a cowboy riding a bull trying to lasso a sheep that looks suspiciously like an overgrown cat. Not many people could see this natural art, but then it’s not a precise art seeing figures in stains on the ceiling or shapes in clouds.
The met department just issued a flood alert, a tropical cyclone is coming, Dineo. Its curious how the most cyclones wind up with feminine names, guys it would appear don’t have scorn whose fury hell hath none.
A pet cat would be an interesting addition to the family, they catch rats, mice and stare at ghosts so that would be a win win situation, to deal with unexpected visitors… I need a hungry cat, a skinny one hungry for a meal, a fat cat does not chase rats, profound and simple.
The day always passes and I wonder where the times go, what happens to the time we discard into the past? Night always comes and with it, the sound.
I lay in my bed and I hear it scratching, nibbling away at important things in the woodwork of my ceiling structures. It has been growing the thing in the ceiling, I don’t know what it been eating but its footsteps are heavier and louder. What if it is expecting and soon there will be a rat infestation. The other day I think they invited friends for a sleep over, I could hear them scurrying around like twin toddlers on a sugar rush wreaking havoc and running amok. It was not a dream, a nightmare does not crawl along your leg in the dark while you are sleeping, neither does a ghost. There are rats in the ceiling, only rats and nothing more, except more rats if I let them.
I wake up in the morning, I look at the floor, and it’s got rat droppings that need sweeping. They chewed up my favourite bathroom rug, and doing unspeakable things on the sofa, they must go.
I have been looking up ways of getting rid of rodents, they cannot burp so if you lace bait with bicarbonate of soda and they ingest it they get bloated and die, if you sprinkle some on the floor, it will stick on to their feet and when they lick it off, well, history. I even bought a rat trap, it looks like a book full of glue and then you leave it open, rats will walk on the glued surface and get stuck, seems simple enough, until you have to pry a rat off or stomp on it with cowboy boots.
Lastly I bought some rat poison, the bottle says to mix with peanut butter, how do they even know rats even like peanut butter, but for the money they charged me they better know what they were talking about. I spent the whole day baiting every nook and cranny, tomorrow, its bye bye rats, if that does not work then its not rats I am dealing with its something else and might need to call…. an exorcist
I woke up in the morning and armed with a broom and my cowboy boots in search of rat causalities. I wish I had a gun, but imagine trying to shoot one, not to mention the ricochet. There are tiny footprints on the places I dusted with the bicarbonate of soda.
I will have to search for bodies no body wants a dead rodent decomposing in their house, I have seen this before its horrible. The only place left I haven’t checked is the attic, broom in one hand, and a flashlight I am going hunting. The rats are probably more scared of me than me of them but I fear the attic more, its dark and my imagination is ungovernable.
I found them, two dead rats in the attic after a bit of song and dance I managed to scoop them up and bury them in a shallow grave next to a rose bush in the garden; End of story, well not quiet the I also found a diary it has been around for almost century The Diary of a Freedom Fighter….
I lay in my bed and tonight there is only silence…..