Things That Go Creak in the Night
“You don’t mind, do you?”
“Not at all.” Pubs weren’t much fun if you couldn’t drink. I fancied an early night anyway. Pregnancy makes you tired.
“We’ll be cosy here,” said Mildrid. “We can watch an old film and have some hot chocolate. At least we won’t get bothered by trick-or-treaters up here. Not on a night like this.” She grinned. “Especially with that rumour about the ghost of a Roman soldier who parades old Hadrian’s wall at Halloween.”
“You’re kidding me.”
I manged to watch about half of Dial M for Murder before I fell asleep. I woke to find my chocolate had gone cold and Mildred ghostly white.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“Can’t you hear it?”
I heard a creaking noise, just like a soldier in armour marching along the wall outside.
“Let’s put the light off,” Mildrid hissed.
“They won’t bother coming in if they think there’s no one here.”
“Would it make any difference to a ghost?”
“I don’t believe in ghosts do you?”
“Trick-or-treaters after all?”
Mildred got up and switched the light off. The noise carried on. Creak. Creak. Creak.
“At least there’s no light outside.”
Well that wasn’t strictly true. The light from the porch was now shining behind the curtains. But she was right that there didn’t seem to be anybody with a torch. Then a shadow crept across the top of the curtain rail.
“Oh Lord,” I whispered.
And next there was the noise of footsteps on the gravel outside followed by torch light at the window.
The front door and then the lounge door opened.
“What’s going on here?” it was Jerry. They were back early.
“And look what we’ve found,” said Tom. He was carrying a small injured squirrel.
“We couldn’t get into the village. The road’s flooded.” Jerry explained. “Nor could we get back up the hill. We’ll go back tomorrow to fetch the car.”
The squirrel had got caught in the casement above the porch window. That was what had made all of the creaking and the shadow we’d seen.