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Message From The Bottom of The Sea “Hello!”

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A number of years ago I was away for the weekend and returned late. There was a phone message. I would do nothing about it at that hour but . . . I listened to it anyway.

It was a garble of words just out of reach, and sounds as if bubbling through water. The backdrop to a horror movie. Or an opaque dream. It kept on and on.  I hung up before the end.

 

Next day I had many things to do, so I did not listen to the message until late afternoon. My interpretation of it was no different. It consisted of sounds heard behind a door in a dream.

I probably would have just ignored and deleted, but it went on and on. The phone number of the caller meant nothing to me (other than it was localized to the two immediate provinces). So, from curiosity and a touch of concern, I phoned back.

A woman answered. She was as confused as I would be if I was hearing the message I was now delivering. She even said that she did not understand. I repeated my predicament. Then she checked the phone number I was calling from.

“That number is from Chelsea, a friend of my daughter,” said she.

Although this added to the confusion, it also started to make some sense. I had been getting phone calls for “Chelsea” for the last couple of months.

“But Chelsea has moved.”  The woman also started to make a connection. “But I still have her on my speed dial. You must now have her number. I must have hit it somehow when it was in my pocket or my purse. I’ll erase it.”

Two mysteries solved.

I listened to the message a bit longer before I deleted it.

There was a portion where I could make out the CBC National News on television. Probably from a pocket but, it still sounded as if it was more from a fish tank.

DE

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A Door To Open / A Guest To Greet

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The first claw was so faint upon the door he barely raised an eye from the page. It could have been the wind – it sounded almost like the wind. Wind at other time,s and in other places, might blow such a sound – but not this night. As his thoughts returned to what lay before him, the tiny scrabble, hesitant at floor level, moved slightly to the right, aligning itself more closely to the doorknob.

 ****

The noise skittered up the wood, almost a metallic sound. His head swivelled toward the door.  The first thought he had was for the paint. Then he could sense, by the sound alone, the movement was groping in the dark, that it was unsure of where it was. He closed the book on his lap, still keeping his place with a finger. His eyes remained fixed on the door. He thought he saw the light of his lamp glint off something through the keyhole.

  ****

The doorknob twitched, a slight movement counterclockwise.  Then a brief turn clockwise. He let the book slide down the side of his chair as he put his hand into a pocket. He felt the key between his fingers. He held it tightly. There was more fumbling with the knob, muffled sounds as if a grip was hard to get. The knob turned once more, and then the pressure on the outside was released. He could hear shuffling against the wood. Then he saw, through the keyhole, light reflecting off a muddy iris.

  ****

He stared back through the keyhole, only to see the eye blink and move slowly away. He started to rise from his chair, but was stopped by a thump near the floor, as if a clumsy foot had bumped the wood by mistake. He realised that all the sounds he heard seemed fuddled and uncoordinated. The doorknob was once again twisted, but the motion seemed to lack an ability to grasp. He was wondering whether to turn out the lamp, when a hesitant, hollow knock came upon the door.

(image) http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/blue-door-keyhole-27445.jpg

DE

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