Bea’s Friend, Part 4.

That evening I drove Nanna and Bea back to my house. To me it was a house at that moment in time.

Home seemed a stretch. 
Walking in, I felt like I was in someone else’s living space. There was a dominating sense of eeriness hanging in the air.
“Would you like anything, Grandma? Tea, coffee, a sandwich?” I asked. I sounded louder than I’d intended. Almost asserting my authority to the atmosphere, the air, the unseen being hanging the background.
“Tea please, dear” Nan replied softly.
I put the kettle on the stove. It was one of those old fashioned ones.

I was sorting Bea out, ready for bed when came the piercing whistle and biolent bubbling, signalling the kettle had boiled. I should have taken note that it was a sign of the night to come.
Many times throughout the evening I checked, double checked, triple checked that Nanna definately wanted to stay the night.
Whatever was in there didnt like me. It clung on to Bea’s youth and innocence.
The time came where it was bedtime for us.

We creeped into Bea’s room, ready to set up our video recorder.

I checked on my baby. She was sound asleep, clutching her favourite blue, velvet teddy bear, making tiny snoring noises and snuffling along with her dreams.
I turned to Grandma who has set her bed up on the floor.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Sure as I’ll ever be, sweetie” she replied with a cheery smile.
I dont know whether she was trying to kid me or herself that it would be okay but it didnt work.
I gave her a hug. It seemed like 10 years had passed before I let her go. I breathed in her perfume, letting it penetrate my nostrils. I pulled away trying not to choke up, being strong.

“I love you, Nanna” I whispered.

“I love you more, sweetheart” was her emotional reply.

I kissed her on her soft cheek and left the room begrudgingly. I did not want this to happen.
*     *     *     *
It must have been 3 hours before I fell

 asleep without realising it.
I woke up with a start, almost crying, sweating and shakey.

My alarm clock read 02.26am.
My thoughts immediately turned to Grandma. Was she safe? Was she asleep?
Listening out through the darkness I couldnt hear anything. Unlike the last few nights, Bea was silent. There were no voices. No giggling. If anything there was a faint sound of Nanna snoring peacefully.
I tried to slide back into my sleeping zone, rolling over and repositioning the blankets to provide some warmth amid the frosty air.
Probably 20 minutes passed when I was woken by an earsplitting howl of pain.

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Bea’s Friend, Part 3.

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When we got to Nanna’s, I got Bea some breakfast seeing as it was not 5.45am and there was no way I could get her back to sleep again. I fixed her some cereal after cuddling her for what seemed like an eternity, got myself a glass of orange juice and made a cup of tea to bring upstairs to Grandma.
I decided to go up at 6.30am.

Nanna said she’d been awake for 10 minutes because she thought I was here. We chatted for 20 minutes about Grandad and what she needed me to do that day.
“Nanna when you’re ready and awake, can I talk to you about something?” I asked.
“Yes of course,” she replied softly, seemingly knowing something was wrong.

An hour later, Bea and I were playing with lego when Grandma came downstairs, pristine and smart.
“Now, what did you want to talk to me about? It’s not Drew again is it? He has to see Bea on Saturday even if he wants to go out in the evening” she said.
“No it’s not him, nan” I replied “I’m actually having a problem at my house. It’s kind of the reason I’ve been here so early the last few days. I think that there’s something going on in Bea’s bedroom”.

I went on to explain everything that startles me over the last 2 days. Nanna’s immediate reaction was “I want to stay for one night”.
“But Nanna,  what if it’s dangerous? I can’t out you into that situation” I replied.

I was unsure as to why she didn’t question any of it and why she seemed so sure of her announcement about staying overnight.

I surely couldn’t let a fragile, old lady stay in a room which scared me, a healthy 25 year old mother, to the very core.

Nanna turned to me. She could see the fear on my face.
“Ester sweetheart” she began soothingly, “there’s a lot of things that happened in your lifetime that you don’t know about since your mother died”
I must have looked puzzled because she pressed on quickly.

“In our old house, while you were growing up, there were many things happen like you described. We were terrified. Your Pops and I had no idea something was happening until you were 3 years old so we don’t even know how long it was going on for. We tried everything to make it stop – to protect you – but we had to move house in the end, to here.”

I was so confused. Why did she never tell me about it?  Was my daughter in danger?

“Grandma, what are you saying?” I asked
“Darling, we had to move because you broke your arm after we came in your room one night during a lot of commotion and you were being held in the air. When we came in you were dropped on to the floor and we had to rush you to hospital. We were so scared that we stayed in and hotel until we bought our new house!”

“But why would you want to stay in Bea’s room if you’re scared?” I probed further.

We ran away fro,it.  But it’s happening to you now. I don’t want anybody or anything to hurt you or Bea. I need to stay there.”

Nanna was so certain.  She was looking at me with fierce, fiery eyes. I’d never seen her look like that before. 
I was still so confused. I wouldn’t know what to do if something happened to her.

We came to an agreement. There was no way I would let her stay in that room unless there was a camera and unless I was in the bedroom next door.

Grandma was going to stay tonight.

Bea’s Friend, Part 2.

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After passing out at 8.30pm, I woke with a start. Cold and clammy, I grabbed the alarm clock and read 4.43am.
I needed to check on Bea,  since the night before’s events freaked me out so much, my maternal anxious instinct had jacked itself up to 150%.

I don’t know why but something told me to be quiet. So I was.
Just as quietly as the night before, I tiptoed to outside Bea’s room. I reached for the door handle. She was murmuring. As much as I fought myself, I didn’t open the door. Bea let out an almighty, high pitched roar of laughter.

I was puzzled. Maybe the night before I’d heard Bea keeping herself occupied until mummy got her up and just imagined the man’s voice.
2 minutes later while questioning my own sanity and feeling slightly comforted by Bea’s little chuckles, a voice came out of nowhere. A deep, rumbling voice which filled my stomach with fear. 
It asked my precious, tiny daughter “where’s daddy?!” to which Bea snorted with laughter and cried out “THERE! ”

I smashed into the room ready to attack anyone in my house.
Again. Nothing.

“Mummy!!” yelled Bea with delight.
“Baby, who were were you talking to?” I asked in fear.
“Daddy, daddy” she answered.
“Daddy’s not here, sweetheart. He’s picking you up on Saturday, remember? That’s 4 days away”. I counted 4 on my fingers with her, to which she clapped in excitement for counting and then looked over my shoulder,  her face dropping, looking like she was going to cry.

“What’s the matter, sweetie? We’re going to see Nanna today, isn’t that exciting?” I said trying to cheer her up.
Bea shook her head and reached her arms out wanting to be picked up. I went to pick her up but she screamed ‘NO’ and looked behind me, reaching her arms out.

“What’s wrong, baby?” I asked, scared of her response.
“Daddy!” She said, teary eyed and reaching out behind me again.
“Daddy isn’t here, Bea. He’s coming in 4 days. We’re going to go to Nanna’s soon.  Daddy will be here on Saturday.”

The bedroom door slammed shut.

The most chilling silence followed. I froze.
Bea started giggling.

I jumped up shaking and almost crying.

“Right Bea, we are going right now”.

I found myself packing the same bag with baby things and clothes and grabbing my daughter in under 1 minute. I sat in the car trembling, with Bea in her car seat. I looked back at her and she was waving at the house.
I was shaking even more now.
Do I look up?

I looked to my right and up at Bea’s window and there he was. The first glimpse of the person who’d been talking to my daughter. A not so faint shadow, outline if you will, of a man, visibly wearing a top hat and a suit, looking like a painting, framed by the white window frame.

I held the gaze, utterly bewildered, for a good 30 seconds before starting the car and speeding as fast as I could, more than likely breaking the law, to my Grandma.

I had to tell Nanna this time.
I couldn’t keep this to myself.

TBC

Bea’s Friend, Part 1.

I woke up aching. Alongside not changing my sleeping position for most of the night, the chilling winter air had slid through the house and frozen my bones.
I rolled over, clutching the layers of blankets over my shoulders to try and cling on to any hope of warmth. The alarm clock read 03.16am. Thank God I had another 4 days off of work.

Since Grandad was in hospital with his heart again, Grandma had no one so I took it upon myself to look after her for a week and a half, seeing as she spent 21 years of her life looking after me before I moved out.
Nanna always tried to babysit when she could since childcare vouchers weren’t always enough when work asked me to do overtime.
This time around it was Nanna who needed some help.

After rolling over and thinking about my last 4 days off, I’d woken up a bit and checked my phone. The light light blasted into my corneas, silently blinding me in the pitch black. Nothing at all.

That was the moment I heard Bea stirring. She was making muffled noises – whether she was talking to her teddies or singing to herself, I don’t know but as usual I’d leave her for 5 minutes to see if she’d go to sleep herself. For an 18 month old, Bea was more than capable of sleeping through the night as well as half of the day sometimes.

Then something strange happened. I heard another voice. Someone else was talking to my daughter. It was a male but there was no chance of it being her father. We were still close after breaking up 6 months ago but there’s no way he would wander into my house at 3am and start playing with her.

What the hell was going on?

I got up quietly and tried to find something I could weaponize in my vacinity. I picked up the hammer I was using the previous day to hang a picture Bea made at nursery.

My heart was palpitating. Who was in my house? Who was intruding on my daughter’s sleep? I felt sick.
I opened my door as quietly as I could and creeped to my daughter’s room.

I grabbed her door handle and leapt into the room, brandishing the hammer and screaming “WHO’S THERE?!”
No one was there. I didn’t understand.
I looked frantically for any hiding places an intruder could hide. Still nothing.

My heart was in my throat but all I could think about was grabbing my baby and getting out of that house.
I picked Bea up and clasped her to my chest. I checked her over to make sure she wasn’t hurt but the only thing I noticed was that she was smiling, almost giggling.
“Are you okay, baby?!” I asked.
“Yeh” was her reply.
I couldn’t just leave it at that.
“Who were you talking to, sweetie?” I interrogated further.
Bea responded with a fit of giggles.

It was nearly 4 am at this point. I grabbed a bag and threw in some clothes, nappies, toothbrushes and toys, put Bea in her car seat and drove straight to the only place I felt safe – Nanna’s house.

After not being able to sleep, I decided to wake Nanna up with breakfast in bed at 7.30.
Nanna sat up dazed and confused.
“I wasn’t expecting you until 10” she said.
“I’m sorry Grandma, it’s just…” she cut me off.
“OOH, waffles and syrup! My favourite, thank you dear!” She exclaimed.
I smiled and cleaned her glasses for her.

Nanna always look just so. She always wore the same musky, berry filled perfume, her silvered hair was always fixed into precise curls, fingernails painted the same rose colour for at least 5 years.

I needed to tell her about the man in my house before Bea woke up but it was so abnormal that I didn’t want her to think that I was crazy or was just dreaming.
Maybe I was just sleepy. Cooking, cleaning and running errands while trying to look after a toddler at the same time was exhausting.

Okay, maybe it was just me being drowsy.

I decided to sleep at my house that night. So at 7,  I left Grandma with her dinner kissed her goodbye and tucked a tired Bea into her car seat again and drove home.

When we arrived, I was apprehensive of entering it even after I’d come to the conclusion that it was simply a run down, frazzled brain that conjured up this craziness.

Almost as soon as we got in, after Bea had her dinner, I got her off to sleep and crashed out in my bed, passing out, off into the land of dreams, blissfully unaware that it was only a few hours of peace and tranquillity ahead of this situation beginning again.

TBC

Everybody Need A Good Short Story

Good evening (or morning or afternoon) and welcome to my blog. What a pleasure to meet you.
I woke up today ill, in pain and wanting to be productive but when you’re ill, all you want to do is lay in bed and wallow in self pity with a cup of tea, a cigarette and some chocolate – so that’s exactly what I did. Only now it’s 2am and after being woken up at 11.30pm, I find myself wanting to be productive, wanting to do something for myself which would make me feel creative. So I came up with the (already thought of) idea to create my own blog of short stories so that’s what I’m doing. 
Call it an outlet, if you will.
I’m going to try and write at least 2 to 3 stories a week and really push myself. 
Let’s give this a whirl, shall we?