Rosemont North neighborhood; Orlando, Florida. USA, Present Day…
“…Buenos dias, Mr. Jones,” his wife said to him as Zander finally got up from their bed and ventured out into the small dining room. Sundays were his only days off from his online, floor-sales job where he stocked and helped move all sorts of items to and from all over the world!
Ime was playing music from her phone and piping it through her tech-tethered speaker while she was cleaning parts of their medium-sized house.
“Have you been up all night, Babe,” he asked as they gave each other a quick kiss and the stocky man proceeded to brush his teeth in the bathroom.
“Not quite all night…decided to take the day off from the coffee house today! Mary’s been with us for about half a year; she’ll know how to run it by herself.”
“Great,” Zander said after spitting out water after his teeth-brushing was done. He wiped his face of the water with a towel and would shower after his coffee.
“Hey, while I was up really early this morning, it happened again,” Ime pointed out after turning down her music from her phone and Zander having gone into the kitchen to make his coffee.
Zander paused slightly, trying to remember what his wife was referring to. “You mean in the basement?”
“Yep…this time, it’s more recent. Newer, I mean.”
She disappeared into their nearby sunroom and came out with a clean, silvery bolt. It was basically brand new and had the notches on top for flathead screwdrivers. She handed it to Zander after he clicked the coffee pot on. Zander tossed it up once—feeling the weight of the piece of metal, and rolled it around in his hands while examining the bolt.
“I don’t remember seeing anything like this around the house at all,” he stated. “This has to be the newest one since it started…well, at least, since I’ve been noticing it!”
“Another one for your growing collection, Zee!”
He thought on something while Ime walked off to continue her cleaning chore. “Did you notice the time?”
Ime, tall, slender, and already in her day clothes, stopped in the middle of their modest home and thought for a bit. “I think it was around Three-something—”
She gave her husband a look. “What, is that like the bewitching hour or something? Jesus, Zee, it’s just a coincidence!”
“Babe, I’ve told you several times that a lot of unusual things happen around Three in the morning! Let me ask you this, Ime: Of all the times this bolt could’ve fallen from the basement ceiling, why just after Three in the morning? Why not 11 last night? Or, Two in the morning…?”
Admittedly, Ime had no viable response to Zander’s rhetoric. But she did have her own questions. “Ok, but what about those other objects you found in the basement? The first one that you noticed was the only one that you’ve heard fall on the dryer a couple of years ago—”
“But now this!” he pointed out while holding up the bolt.
“Yeah, that’s two…but out of, what, five or six objects now, Zee? Since neither of us were either home at the time those objects fell from the basement ceiling, or we didn’t notice from the ground-level.”
A shrug from Zander; admitting to her good point. “It would’ve been nice if I had been livestreaming the basement some of those times.”
“But how would you know which night to do it? We’ve been here for over seven years now, Babe! These drops from the basement’s ceiling are only natural, especially with an unfinished basement!”
At that point, Ime had resumed finishing up her early-morning cleaning.
“Ok, my Love, please think about what you are saying: Yes, the basement’s ceiling is exposed and with an older house like ours, there are bound to be some objects that fall onto the floor. But—” Once again, Zander held up the shiny bolt from earlier in the day. “Does this look like it was used by any of the contractors on our house, Ime? You’ve seen the basement’s ceiling: tell me you’ve seen this type of bolt or even a screw like this anywhere else in the house, let alone the basement?”
She actually went silent as she thought on the matter. Her Top-40s music continued to quietly play over her wireless speaker.
“Also,” he went on, “all the other objects look as if they’re older—as you’d expect for a house as old as ours. But what about that wooden dowel, Ime? All the other stuff are screws and this bolt. I looked and looked around the basement’s ceiling for any other dowels used on the house and I did not see any other dowels used!”
She was nodding her head at Zander’s last point. “I have to admit, I looked around the basement a couple of times while doing laundry and I didn’t see any dowels used anywhere in the basement!”
He gave her an askance shrug, as if to say he wanted her to confirm that he was right! Ime laughed at his insistence! “Ok, so what does that leave us with, Babe? Are you saying our house is haunted? Why would ghosts drop old tools used for houses in the basement, except for that one newer bolt? That doesn’t make sense to me!”
On that point, even Zander had to nod in agreement. “I’d have to do more research on that point…” He, then, turned toward the stairs that led to the basement and went downstairs, so he could file away the bolt with the rest of his collection of mundane, domestic items that normally would have been ignored on any other occasion.