Things That Go Bump In The Night
When I was a child I heard a mysterious tiny thumping, like a flutter, every night when the light turned off. Mom and I looked everywhere. Then, one day I heard it in the afternoon, in the daylight, and walked straight to the source: a cottage cheese box on my shelf, with holes cut in the top. It held a cocoon. Poor moth. I released him, and the mysterious noise flew away.
One night, years ago when our youngest daughter turned four and was facing ear surgery the next day, we were awakened by her scream. Something had jumped on her, she said, and made a squeaking noise. We thought it was about the surgery, and put her in bed with us. They went to sleep, but I lay awake listening to the crumpling sounds of the birthday wrapping paper in the wastebasket. I woke my husband and we crept into the bathroom. We definitely had a visitor. What? Where? We finally discovered the tiny red flying squirrel hanging flat as a pancake between the shower curtain and liner. Wrapped in a towel and terrified, he was released out the back deck. No more birthday party for Squirrel.
Shortly after we moved into this house, one night I was alone and called security because I kept hearing loud thump-bump-thumps. I thought someone, or something, was trying to get in. He came with big lights and we surveyed the property. We discovered a couple of gray squirrels working to create a home under the tarp that covered our rack of firewood, on the deck off my bedroom. When they kicked off a log it noisily thumped down the stack landing on the deck. Mystery solved. Creatures evicted.
In July of this year, a huge bang in the night followed by strange hissing told the story of the burning of the country club. Some night noises turn out worse than others.
My next two works in progress are both about night noises. The third in the series of Little Beth books is coming up: Beth and the Night Noises, for pre K-2, and a middle grade historical ghost story about the real family, with kids and dog, who lived in the Saint Simons lighthouse with a resident ghost. I’ll be spending time at Saint Simons Lighthouse Museum in the upcoming months learning to know the family and hopefully, meeting their ghost. I hope he or she will go bump while I’m there. I like authenticity.