The coin was caught between the gaps in the wall when I dropped it.
I turned my head, cheeks squished against the cold rising damp crust of the wall and forced my hand through the mouse hole. I grimaced as I found rat feces and splodges of half digested chewing gum. I had to find it, the last of my pocket money and soon the ice cream man would come round. Bells tingling a merry tune.
I had done worse for money then getting muck on my hands. I nearly had it, felt the raised inscription of in God we trust on my muddy finger tips. And then the hand grabbed my arm.
Thats a big rat, I thought.
Then her finger nails punctured my flesh and I screamed once before passing out.
Mother was washing up when I told her the girl had tried to rip my damn arm off.
She said she wished I would not make up such stories, and hoped I took more care when falling out of trees. She had warned me – hadn’t she warned me time and time again about climbing that front garden oak?
She’d just bought me a new computer console through her job scrubbing hospital floors. Why couldn’t I be like other children and tear a zombies head off on it?
Dismayed by her continued disconnection to my problems I went back to the mouse hole in the wall. My left arm bandaged to the elbow, a flash light in my right hand. I lay it down before the dark hole and took a breath – wait – I headed back to the kitchen. Mom was getting on with the dinner, trying to shove a Dodo sized turkey into a dog kennel sized cooker for the coming party. Tonight was New Year’s Eve, and I was the bottom of Mom’s list of things to pay attention to. As usual. She did not look up as I got the butcher knife and headed back into the living room. Better safe then sorry if it was a rodent.
“I got something now.”
Where the hell was the flash light?
“Ah, very funny.” I moaned and lay down, peered into the hole and screamed as a bright, brilliant light filled my vision like a train in a tunnel. Something laughed behind the dry rot and turned the beam off. When the red dots before my eyes burned away I checked my watch with a nasty burning sensation and saw mom had thirty minutes till the party.
More then enough time to sort an exorcism.
I stabbed the hole, hoping to be rewarded with a satisfying yelp.
“Come out of there – hey!”
She had my arm again. This time there was no pain, just a seizure of my being as I saw a narrow vein line crack materialise in the wall move up along toward the heavy China display case beside the drooping curtans mom had not moved despite her feng sui favourism as she’d put her back out last time.
The massive brown thing wobbled, righted. Fell, with me in it’s path.
“Let me in, let me in.” I bellowed to the hole and suddenly I was free, rolled over as the cabinet case heavy as a baby elephant smashed into the floor, ripping the boards up like a meteorite had hit the ground. The TV flicked off from it’s tedious pop songs and I tensed, waiting for mom to explode.
But there was nothing, no demand of what I was doing and that undoubtedly I was doing it on purpose tonight of all nights to make her look foolish in front of coming friends. More scared by her silence then the mess around me I ventured into the kitchen and for a moment thought she might have sneaked out for more additional herbs to
compliment the meal.
But after some exploration I found she was there all right. The turkey on the floor, her head in the oven. Though the gas was not turned on, the knife in her neck made quite sure that she was dead.
Again that awful laughing behind the walls assaulted me.
I knew I was alone in the house with a killer.
When I was very small, mom would scare me. Tell me about the girl in the wall who would come late at night to the bed of every bad boy and take them away. Within the walls. No. I decided I would be good. I would remain in the light. On this side of the wall away from the dust and asbestos insulin.
I would be good.
But now that was all gone and I would be blamed. Mom had not believed in ghosts and what right minded person did! Only the good and they deserved to be in the light.
The front door bell drilled like a fire alarm. Damn. The guests were early. They couldn’t come in, not right now. They just couldn’t. Still the walls laughed.
“Shut it, you.” I said but it took no notice.
Ring – ring. Ring – ring.
They would blame me. Even the fire when the microwave plugged into the wall bubbled, fizzed. Then erupted like a dying star.
I didn’t do it. I really didn’t.
Four walls surround me now. Padded.
But I am still good. Mommas good little boy.
I was right all along you know. When the house burnt to the ground they found the skeleton in the wall. My younger sister. Mom always argued with her and there had been theories she’d run off into the sunset where no doubt she was happier then I ever could be under mom’s shadow. She’d argued with me on the last night she breathed too. But I didn’t kill her.
I know it was her who cut my flesh, opened my arms to the bone when I invaded her space, so now, doctors have to wrap me up in this damn jacket. I do not like it here. I want to go home.
There is something in the walls, watching me.
Maybe if I am good it will leave me alone.
©2012 Matthew Wilson
Matthew Wilson, 29, is a UK resident who has been writing since small. Recently these stories have escaped to Literary Lunes Magazine and Temptation Magazine.