Writing Prompt: He ran downstairs.

Morning all and welcome once again to Friday. This weekend we have a big painting party planned. That’s right, we finally managed to agree on paint colors for the bedroom and so we are painting the walls before the new bed frame arrives. And so this afternoon, I will be taping woodwork. Fun stuff. But before then, we have some writing to do. Let’s start with the Friday Writing Prompt then, shall we?

I have to admit, I kind of enjoyed this one. Not quite sure where I’m going with it, but it’s kind of fun anyway.

Friday, February 5th: He ran downstairs.

He ran downstairs, his shoes thundering on the old wooden treads.  Momentarily the sound of his own feet and the beating of his heart obscured the noise he thought he heard.  At the foot of the stairs he paused, he held himself motionless and trie to hear past his own heartbeat.

There, he heard the thumping again.  The sound was coming from the back of the house.  This time he didn’t race but stepped cautiously.  Here there was too much on the floor for him to risk running around.  Renovations were just beginning and the front rooms were serving as his supply depot at the moment.  Here stacks of dry wall waited along with can’s of paint and an assorted collection of tools.  While everything was more or less organized, moving through the space was still like traversing a maze.  He didn’t want to risk knocking over a container of nails or dinging up the corners to his drywall sheets.  He was certain that in installing them his ineptitude would damage many.  He didn’t want to add to the cost by carelessness.

The hair on the back of his neck lifted and he swallowed hard when he heard a low wail accompany the banging sounds. He stopped, freezing momentarily in place.  Others warned him that the house was haunted.  How many stories had he heard of people seeing strange things, feeling odd sensations and of kids daring each other to enter?  He lost track as everyone who heard he bought the place seemed intent on telling him their version of the hauntings.

But he didn’t believe in ghosts.  He told each and every one of them that.  Many agreed with him that it was probably overactive imagination to blame.  But even though they said the words and laughed off their own experiences, he saw the look in their eyes.  They believed the stories they told.  They only mocked their own fears in the face of his disbelief.

‘It’s not a ghost,’ he told himself.

Still he was alone in the house and it was clearly something making the noise.  He wondered if he should wait until someone was with him to investigate.  It could be a break in and he could need assistants in dealing with a criminal.  It wouldn’t be the first time a break in occurred in this neighborhood.  It was one of the reasons he took his tools with him every night and secured many of the more expensive fittings and materials elsewhere. 

But none of those who were scheduled to assist him today were due to arrive for several hours.  He couldn’t sit upstairs pretending he didn’t hear the sound until they arrived.  He checked his cell phone.  The battery was full charged and he had full reception.  He slipped the phone back into his pocket, confident that if he needed help he could call out.  He then picked up a hammer from the collection of tools he brought with him for the day.

While he doubted he could actually bring himself to hit anyone with the hammer, he supposed he at least looked like he was willing to defend himself and that should count for something. A low unearthly wail drifted out across the floor and another series of thumps sounds. 

As prepared as he felt he could be.  He lifted the hammer in his dominant hand and moved towards the basement stairs.

‘Why is it always the basement,’ he thought.

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