This happened probably 15 to 20 years ago. An average night during the wee hours. For whatever reason, I was awake, rolling over, worrying about something stupid, trying to get comfortable when I heard… something.
Now I was awake. I didn’t know what the sound was, couldn’t make it out. It might have been my imagination but I couldn’t be sure, so I lay there. At least a few minutes pass and eventually, I relax. Hearing nothing, I got comfortable and soon I started to drift—
There it was again. Faint. Downstairs somewhere. What was that?
So now, I have to go downstairs and check it out. I don’t want to check it out, because how often does a strange, unknown noise work out well? But I have to check it out. Someone has to be the dad to protect the family who were all blissfully, and unhelpfully asleep.
I grabbed the all purpose wooden club from under the bed. Can’t remember how I came into possession of it or what it’s from but it’s possible it was the wooden handle to a plunger we used to have — minus the plunger. It’s a good, decently weighted stick, the length of a forearm, and if you got rapped in the face with it, it would hurt. A lot. You just might run afoul of it if you were an intruder skulking around my house making a strange noise every 10 minutes or so.
You can’t make the trip downstairs to the main level of my house without some creaking stairs, so there’d be no surprising a burglar. So I had to opt for the aggressive “I’m coming down stairs, whatever you are, so you’d better be ready to fight or take flight, because I might have a weapon and although it’s not a gun because they make me nervous, I may indeed have a decently weighted plunger stick!” approach.
I hit the main level, pop on the lights, and scan my surroundings. Dining room, kitchen, bathroom, family room, front room, office… nothing. Nothing’d been disturbed.
Sigh. Had to check the basement. Gah. Grip the stick tighter. Alright, pop on the light down there and proceed. No sooner do I get downstairs to look around —
There it is again, upstairs on the main level.
Up I go to the main level again… I was just up there! What was that sound?!?!?
I scan the rooms again. Now I’m just walking around the main level, scratching my head. There is no intruder, but something is making a sound, roughly every 10 minutes.
I think I was in my office when suddenly I hear it again from some other part of the main level. Slightly louder. But where? Sound tends to bounce around my house at times, and a small, unfamiliar, weird noise was that much harder to track. That last time I heard it, there was something about it, tickling the back of my mind… did I recognise it or not?
What was that?!?
Having determined it was definitely coming from somewhere on the main level, I positioned myself dead center in the middle of the dining room and waited. I would wait as long as it takes for whatever it was to make its sonic move…
There it was again — FAMILY ROOM! I was narrowing it down!
Okay, family room. I placed myself in the middle of the family room. And waited.
Yeah, there’d be no sleeping tonight.
As I waited, I just couldn’t imagine what it was. I looked around the room. The TV was definitely off, and it wasn’t the smoke detector, as that damn thing was another story. No radio in the room, all other electronic devices were off. Sewing stuff, couple kids toys: all off.
It was when I turned toward the writing desk and spotted the Dalek in the corner that it uttered, in a low, guttural tone…
But I wasn’t blasted to atoms, no.
Eyes wide in amazement, I walked over to my three, prized Dalek figures from Product Enterprise. These fantastic toys said four or five phrases whenever you pressed the button. Evidently, when the batteries wear down, these Daleks let you know they were losing power the only way they could. Their timing was not ideal though.
There being three of them, a red, a grey and a black Dalek, I didn’t know which one was trying to kill me, so I had no choice but to get the tiny Phillips head screwdriver and set about disarming the tin potted terrors. On one hand, it was a shame, because it was fun to hear the Daleks at the press of the button and that was now over if this was what I had to contend with whenever any one of the three of them had a low battery. On the other hand…
I didn’t need or want to be woken up by Roy Skelton in the middle of the night.
(Featured image from Nest of Vampire Monkeys.)