Something in the Walls

“There’s something in the walls,” she said, grabbing my hand and pulling me through the front door.

We stood in the hallway, listening, my mother with her ear against the wall. Outside, the wind was dancing a mazurka, spinning branches in its embrace, lifting the door knocker and tapping to come in.

“See,” I said. “There is nothing behind the wall except a space where the wind whistles. I’ll make a cup of tea.”

Mum remained by the wall while I pottered about with kettle and crockery. Opening the cupboard to grab the biscuit tin, I heard a rapid knocking from within.

“There it is,” Mum said from the doorway.

“It’s probably a mouse after your biscuits.”

“No,” she replied, her lips trembling. “There’s a ghost in the walls and it’s going to get out while I’m asleep and creep into bed with me.”

Kim M. Russell, 9th November 2020

Whose Ghost Is Hiding In Your Closet? | Ghost, Stock photos, Royalty free  images

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Prosery: Of Houses, Walls, and Whistling Winds

Merril is hosting from southern New Jersey with another Prosery prompt, in which we write a piece of short prose (no longer than 144 words) that includes a line from a poem.

The line that Merril has chosen is from Lisel Mueller’s poem ‘Drawings By Children’:

‘there is nothing behind the wall
except a space where the wind whistles’

and she has given us a link to the entire poem on Brainpickings.

I know Halloween is over, but I was inspired to write an eerie story.

Image found on Pinterest

65 thoughts on “Something in the Walls

  1. Eerie is right, Kim!

    Last winter (the first I used electric heat instead of wood,) in the bathroom I heard a knocking in the wall. Every time I went in there I became more unnerved, to the point where I decided, “OK if it’s going to get me it’s going to get me” just to neutralize the anxiety. As it often goes, shortly after I was sitting at the dining room table and heard the tap tap and looked to where it was coming from. A dowel with a tapestry hangs over the heat vent on the wall opposite the bathroom; when the heat came on the dowel started moving and tapping. Oh such sweet relief!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. LOVE this creepy tale! I also felt the hauntingness (not a real word!) of this line 🙂
    I love the build up of the scene and mood with the weather and the wind lifting the door knocker! I think I’d rather have a stiff drink than a cup of tea at this point! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hat would have been embarrassing. I’m used to the sounds in our house after twenty years – and most of them are from the cats. It was when I stayed at my daughter’s house that I had problems.


  3. I’ve lived in old houses where there are rats in the walls; it is unnerving. This is a fun spooky tale that fleshes out the prompt, and gives us a bumpy ride, and a lingering lack of closure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Glenn. We had rats in the ceiling when we lived in Ireland. One night, I went out to get a bucket of peat to put on the range. We kept it in a shed attached to the house. I reached in to pick up a turf and realised it was a rat I had in my hand! They were finding their way in from the shed.


  4. This is deliciously dark and spooky! 💝 Especially love; “Outside, the wind was dancing a mazurka, spinning branches in its embrace.” You have got me pining for more 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Definitely creepy – and I so like how you deftly sketched the mother – daughter relationship – in a few brief scenes (eg. the mother remaining by the wall listening…) suggests all the history between the characters – in such a concise way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love all the details in the story, “Outside, the wind was dancing a mazurka, spinning branches in its embrace…” they really set the scene well. I think strong winds always put our nerves on edge and then the noises in the walls. You could make this story longer and I bet it would just get more and more chilling!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I met the ghost if an old lady that used to haunt next door. The people who lived there moved away and the new family hasn’t mentioned anything yet. I wonder if she moved too. I haven’t seen her in ours.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I reckon some people are just blind to them and will never see ghosts. We’re had two inglenooks with a chimney going up the centre of the house. I often saw a woman sitting by the inglenook off the kitchen area. Peder never saw her but likewise he never felt comfortable in that house.

        Liked by 1 person

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