4 min
Image of 2018
Image of Short Story
An oddly familiar noise stirs me from my thoughts on the couch. My attention is drawn to the front door. How do the dogs not hear this? I look to my snoozing pups on the couch next to me. They don’t budge. That’s strange. They’re usually the first to hear any car door, distant bark or cracking twig.

There it is again. Nervous excitement tickles inside my belly as I look to the front door. The sun has long since set and the outside light isn’t turned on so really, my looking toward the door is fruitless. I can’t see anything but darkness through the side lights.

The noise doesn’t abate. It continues, softly at first then gradually becomes louder, more insistent. It’s not giving up. It doesn’t instill fear, rather the exact opposite. Its compelling and seductive. There’s a sense that I know this sound, I just can’t quite place it...

Slowly I rise from the couch and inch towards the door, looking back a few times to see if my dogs have picked up on it yet. Nope. Nothing. They’re lost in puppy dreamland. stepping to my front door where I look through the glass of the side lights. The sound calls to me again. Initially it takes my breath away then It envelopes me like a soothing warm blanket plucked fresh from the dryer all cozy and toasty. Yet, still I see nothing. What is this? Where is it coming from?

Hesitantly I extend my hand to one of the window panes. As my fingers near the glass I can feel it, the sound. My warm fingertips press against the cool glass. It’s almost as if the glass isn’t even there, separating us...the noise and me. If not for the temperature difference between my skin and the glass, I feel that I could keep reaching further and further...right through the glass and into the sound.

I flick on the outside light which reveals nothing but fog. The nights and mornings have been particularly foggy lately. The air simply can’t contain all this moisture, creating all these earthbound clouds. Of course, the fog also helps inspire mystery and excitement of the unseen, hidden, unknown or long dormant.

My curious fingertips still resting against the window, I peer through the glass and into the unyielding fog. I see absolutely nothing, but I hear and feel with intensity this...sound. Its pulling me in, drawing me to it, I could nearly walk right through the glass and enter it, become the sound.
“What do you want?” I whisper
“You.” I hear and feel but still do not see.

Instinctively I pull back from the door, furrow my brow and look again toward my immobile dogs on the couch.
“Alright, did you guys hear that?”
No response from the dogs.
“The sound just...whispered to me. Am I crazy? This is crazy.”

In this very moment I’m standing inside my house facing my front door yet continuously looking back at my pups on the couch. I am standing on an edge of sorts. Do I go back to the safety and comfort of my couch where I would instantly be drawn right into the familiar, well-worn, stagnation of complacency simply because it’s safe and easy or do I walk forward, completely naked and vulnerable into this strange, tiny bit scary yet excitingly unknown?

The coziness of my couch beckons me. It tempts me to return.
“Come back...c’mon. You know you want to. Its so deep and relaxing here. You could kick out the foot rest, ease on back, never leave really. And why would you have to? I’m happy to hold you here forever resting, dozing and dreaming. I Know how you love to dream. Just stay here with me...dreaming. Why go out there where things can get messy? Don’t listen to that sound in the fog. That sound is pretending to be warm and inviting but don’t believe it. Stay here inside where all is truly warm and safe and dreamy.”

My heart thuds loudly in my chest rising...up...up...up into my throat. Sweat forms under my arms. I nervously bring my fingers to my face. I tug on my lower lip and begin a conversation with myself.

“Alright Mis, this is nuts. Obviously, you are the only one who hears this. So, is it really happening or what? Ok. Deep breath. Maybe you were dreaming. First a sound in the fog that you don’t recognize yet kinda know starts whispering to you? Now your couch is sweet talking you, trying to get you back into it? This is like Twilight Zone stuff. I know. Super bizarre, right?”

Slow, tentative footsteps move me closer to that door. That stark white door with the shiny, cold, gold knob.

Suddenly I feel like Alice in Wonderland after she’d imbibed the ‘drink me’ vile to shrink down and fit through her door. Although, I don’t need to shrink to fit through this one. Still, I feel tiny compared to this gigantic, intimidating passageway that now looms in front of me, staring me down with its absolute whiteness...devoid of color or feeling. It betrays nothing.

The decision to place my hand upon this knob lies solely within me. The door gives up nothing, it provides no hint as to whether I should do this or not. It doesn’t care one way or the other. If I do or do not go through. My decision has no bearing whatsoever on the door. It still maintains its doorness with or without my cells and DNA passing through it.

I wiggle my toes a little simply to reassure myself that I can indeed still move. The linoleum happily accepts the tickle from my tootsies which is good news. I have not morphed into a statue stuck to this spot, doomed to remain forever staring into the white nothingness out of fear and complacency.

The seduction of the sound is working hard to manipulate me with its magic. Its slipping through the not so great seal around the door. Easily and effortlessly it rolls around my toes and makes its way slowly up and into my ears. Its potency is intoxicating. It enters every pore on my skin and continues its wonderful whispering.

I close my eyes and let go, listen to its pitch, let it take over.

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