Crackling

I’ve heard them for all of last week. Crackling noises. Every night. My bathroom doesn’t have a window. There it also happened during the day.

I don’t know where it started. I remember hearing it while I was making dinner. Then again while watching TV. It was faint, like a piece of paper being blown with the wind. But it was there.

Probably an open window. Something being blown around. At most a mouse. That’s what I thought.

Then I found the mouse. In a moment there was a crackling or rustling sound behind the sofa. Then a squeak. When I pulled the sofa away she was just lying there. The blood was still flowing out of the body. The head was ripped off. Or maybe bitten off.

I looked everywhere and couldn’t find the head.

But the noises continued.

On Wednesday I heard something that sounded like a cat. A sort of meow. I couldn’t find it then but it stopped.

On Thursday I heard it again, louder. High pitched, as if the animal was scared.

At night I could barely sleep. The meowing had stopped some time around 11 but the crackling was back. It seemed closer. Every time I thought it was just outside the bedroom door – but the moment I checked it stopped.

I only found them on Friday. Their bodies were stuffed in the bathroom cabinet. Four in all. The big one was yellow, golden even. Two of the smaller ones were golden and one was gray.

Their heads had been ripped off. The police said it was weird. They asked whether I had been threatened recently or if there was any connection I could possibly have to the mafia.

“Nothing at all? Maybe you insulted some Italian restaurant owner or so?”

They placed someone outside the apartment. I told him to come inside and use the sofa instead. He sat there and read his book and every few minutes he checked the apartment windows and door.

At just before midnight the crackling started again. He must still have been on the sofa. I was already in the bedroom.

I heard it through the wall, first a crackling, then a thump. And a second one. And a third.

They continued and I heard the officer getting up.

“Hello?” he asked. “Is that you?”

Before I could answer he was already screaming.

I never heard a scream like that. So loud. So panicked.

I couldn’t move. I just sat in my locked bedroom with tears in my eyes.

There was a loud sound. Like a firecracker. In that moment he stopped screaming.

It’s 4am now. I called the police four times but I don’t think they understood me. I sent them texts but the texts just bounced back. The emails just get an autoresponder.

I don’t want to speak loud. I can’t speak loud.

The crackling noise keeps brushing past my bedroom door.

I placed a chair there. It blocks the door handle.

Once every few minutes the handle slightly moves.

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