Whispers

I’m getting ready to leave. TV off, ceiling fans off. Windows, closed. It’s quiet on the third floor. I turn off the lamp in my office, the last light on the third floor that was on.

I hear a door shut on the second floor. I thought I was alone in the house.

Whispers. Close. On the stairway. Halfway up. I freeze. The whispers continue. I imagine they’re whispering that I’m coming.

“Hello?” I say. It was instinctual. A bad line straight from of a horror movie.

“Just me,” my roommate calls from the second floor. The whispers stop. “I’m headed out.”

He’s much farther away than the whispers.

I poke my head around the corner and peek down the stairs. Empty.

“Ummm…OK,” I say. “I thought I heard something.”

“Must be the ghosts,” my roommate says. He’s already walking away, heedless of how his casual comment echoes the thoughts racing through my head.

I listen, hoping to hear something I could have confused for whispers. There’s only my roommate’s footsteps going down the stairs a level below me.

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