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The Telephone

By Michael Berry All Rights Reserved ©

Other

Chapter 14

Sarah opened her eyes, instantly feeling the intense warmth of the roaring fire behind her. She could feel the roughness of the carpet beneath her and the slight breeze that wafted through the open window. She could hear a regular clicking sound around her.

Her eyes felt tired, her vision was hazy and blurred. She blinked her eyes a few times before the vision returned to normal. She looked around the room she was now in, after a few minutes she realised that she was in her living room.
She remembered every second of wherever she just was, it shone in her mind like a brilliant light. Her mind scrambled into action, desperate for an explanation.
Where the hell was I, how did I get in there, there was no windows or doors. Who the hell brought me? Was it him playing the organ? Why did he bring me back?
She slowly realised that the tape machine in front of her was still switched on, the sound of empty static still played from the end of the tape. She sighed, disappointed that she hadn’t found an answer to her pondering. She leaned forward to switch it off. Her hand stopped in mid air as a sudden realisation came to her. The static sound was not coming from the tape machine, it had reached the end of the tape and stopped long ago.
She got up and checked each and every individual tape machine she had set up, carefully checking each and every play button. Yet, she knew that she hadn’t switched on any of the others, plus, none of them had any tape machines placed inside of them. A growing uncomfortable sense of fear swelled up within her, tightening her stomach up so much, she thought that she would throw up.
After making careful checks of each machine and finding nothing, she was deeply afraid. There was nothing else in the house that would make a sound like this. She briefly wondered whether it was coming from Ted’s apartment, from some machine he had working. If that were true, she would personally make him wish that he had never moved into this building.
She stood still in the centre of the living room, carefully aligning her ears and mental senses to the source. It didn’t sound like it was coming from next door, it sounded like it was coming from . . .above her. Her breathing stopped in mid motion, her whole body went tense. She slowly raised her head upwards until she faced the darkness covered ceiling above her.
It was certain now, thought she wanted so much to be wrong about it. But, she couldn’t ignore it, it was clear and unadulterated. The sound was coming from the attic.

Sarah had fought with herself for well over an hour before she finally decided to go up to the attic. Whatever was up there, she didn’t really want to find out, but her strong human desire to investigate took possession of her body. She had tried her best to block out the sound, holding her hands tight over her ears and closing her eyes, but the sound was still there, ramming itself into her skull and into her mind like a battering ram.
She wondered whether Ted would hear the sound coming from above and decide to investigate himself. He didn’t. Though, she never really expected him to either, he was the king of chicken when it came to it. Finally, after using her full strength to block out the sound and resisting the strong desire to discover its source, she had gone out into the hall and looked up to the ceiling.
The trap door that led up into the attic was right above her, the sound of the static seemed to grow louder by the second. Keeping her eyes on the trap door seemed to allow a disquieting feeling of not being alone gather around her. She folded her arms and looked behind her, half expecting to see Ted Jessup behind her, admitting that the static was his doing so she would come out. Contemplating that thought and weighing it up against her unknown fears, the first thought seemed the lesser of two evils. She looked all around her for any sign of Ted hiding and watching her in the shadows somewhere, but all she saw was the same drab walls around her and felt only her single presence.
She felt her body go cold as the unknown fear seemed to gather.
She turned round and headed for the door at the opposite side of the corridor. She opened the door and switched on the light. A small hanging bulb came on and lit the tiny store room into semi-darkness. She reached for the wooden steps lying against the wall and carried them out. She dragged them across the floor and positioned it right underneath the trapdoor.
Stop now, a voice inside her said. Get out of here, you’ve got no idea what to expect up there.
She ignored it as best she could, though the mounting fear and apprehension she couldn’t ignore.
She separated the steps until they became a triangular shape and were completely balanced. She stood at the bottom of the steps, her hands gripped the sides as total fear terror gripped her body, preventing her from going any further. Her breathing intensified, her heart picked up a more rapid pace second by second.
I have to find out what the hells happening up there, she spoke aloud in her mind. Its gonna’ carry on if I don’t and I have to know. I have to!
She gritted her teeth and focused her attention on the trapdoor looming above her, her concentration focused on the task at hand.
She drew in a deep breath and climbed up the steps, her heart rate grew stronger, her mind raced with countless horrible visions of what was to come.
She reached the top of the steps, the trapdoor almost touching her head. With trembling fingers and a nerve popping pulse rate, she pushed on the door until it came loose. She pushed it aside until it rested on the attic floor. She looked on into darkness, seeing nothing but an endless black pit of featureless darkness. A cool waft of air poured silently into the corridor. Almost like the breathing of a waiting figure.
This is the last step, I could go back now, take the car the and go somewhere else. But, then I’d be no nearer to figuring this whole thing out. I have to continue, my father would want it, he’d want me to find it. To find him.
She climbed on into the darkness, the cool waft of air now became a rather powerful breeze. She resisted the urge to close her eyes and not see anything that she didn’t want to. If she did, she’d never be able to open them again. She forced her eyes to stay open, fighting even the desire to blink.
Her left foot left the wooden steps as she carried her whole body into the intense and unending blackness that now encircled her. She stood up, her footsteps made rather loud wooden sounds as they hit the attic floor. She held out her arms slightly to the left and right. This is your space, you’re comfortable and safe here. Nothing can touch you. She didn’t feel totally comfortable with those words ringing in her head like a bell. A small amount of comfort came from the fact that she could still see the light fro the corridor below pouring into the darkness like a night-light. She imagined her father holding a flashlight up into the attic for her. She smiled, suddenly feeling a lot better.
She looked all around her at the darkness and the shadows, objects and silhouettes were virtually non existent. She wished she had remembered to bring a flashlight, but she knew that she couldn’t go back for one. She would probably never be able to come back up here if she did.
She could still hear the static loud and clear, it was so loud now it seemed to drill inside her head. She could almost feel it in her hand as if it had physical form. After a few moments, her ears and eyes focused on the direction it came from. She slowly walked forward, the intense creaking of the boards under her feet were quickly drowned out by the ever increasing sound of static.
Finally, after great pondering and intense fear, she reached the source of the sound. It came from a large television set that she had brought up here years ago. She stopped in her tracks, not knowing whether to be confused by this or terrified by it. The screen was on, the image of the static looked just as powerful as the sound of it.
How the hell can it come on by itself, its not fucking plugged in. What the hell is going on?
A hint of a suggestion suddenly entered her mind, one that told her to take it downstairs.
Are you fucking crazy, this goes against everything that’s scientifically possible. A T.V. can’t just go on by itself when it isn’t plugged in.
She looked behind her at the inviting light coming from below. Her strong desire to leave began to find its way to her legs when a voice suddenly came into her head, almost as if someone was whispering into her ear.
Don’t leave, bring it downstairs now, work on it and uncover everything.
Her mouthed open wide as shock came over. Her body was frozen in position, unable to move.
It was the voice of her father, whispering to her. She knew he would help her if she wanted him to enough.
She quickly moved over to the television, she placed her hands underneath until she had a strong grip. Her face was inches from the glass of the screen, her eyes unable to move anywhere else. She hoped to god nothing would suddenly come on the screen and force her to drop it and break it. This was a new way to understand what the voices were saying, and hopefully now, she would be able to see them for what they really were.

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