Damn Those Horror Flicks

Skritch. Skritch. Scratch.

What the hell was that?

Of course, Fate HAD to do this to me when I'm alone in the house; just so it could watch me freak out. Fate has a sick sense of humour you know.

I turn down the volume on the TV to ensure I wasn't imagining.

Skritch, Scratch.

There it was again! I look around and realise it was coming from...

... the fireplace. Up INSIDE the fireplace.

In the chimney.

Scuffle, Scratch, Skritch.

Holy crap. There it was again! There was definitely something up there. I check the resident zoo. One, two, three cats all accounted for... easily done, as they're all sitting beside me, heads cocked sideways staring wide-eyed at the fireplace too.

Okay, so it's not a cat.

What the heck do I do? Was something caught inside? What if it was an injured bird, unable to free itself???

Scratch, Scuffle. Clang.

The cats back up slowly.

Not a good sign.

I open up the front of the fireplace (gad, I should clean this thing out once in awhile) and check the flue door.

Phew! Closed up tight.

Maybe I should open it so whatevertheheckitis can get out.

Waitaminnut... what the heck am I going to do IF whatevertheheckitis DOES come scuttling out? Am I going to chase it around my livingroom? I need a bag. I need a box.

No, I need my CAMERA.

Hah! Now I'll find out whatevertheheckitis... I open the flue door and suddenly my hand begins to shake uncontrollably as scenes from every stupid horror movie flash through my head.

[You know the one; where the heroin (aka me) screws up enough courage (not me) to shove her hand up some awful place (my dirty chimney) searching for the door whilst a John Williams' soundtrack reaches a crescendo as the camera, from the monsters point of view, descends speedily at his target, to be kept at bay with a last-second slam of the door. (Ha! Safe once more!)]

What if whatevertheheckitis comes down and bites me? What if whatevertheheckitis is evil and grabs my hand and drags me to...

Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!

It's probably a bird. Or maybe a mouse. What if it's a bunch of mice! Ahhhh!

The scuffling and skritching become louder. I take a deep breath, point the camera up into the chimney and FLASH! take a photo.

Scuffle!!! SKRITCH!

I check the photo. Nothing. Nada. No hairy beast. No evil eyes peering down.

Evil Chimney
Not even feathers.


And then I get creeped out once more; outside the weather suddenly changes. The formerly bright blue sky now is blackish green with dark swirling clouds. Trees bend in 100Km winds and everything not nailed down in the neighborhood begins to fly everywhere. Dust and gravel pelt the windows...

Sudden Storm
... and I see a bird swoop from our roof to the safety of the large pine tree in the front yard.

Okay. So now I know whatevertheheckitwas inside the chimney.

But that still didn't keep the panic from swelling up inside at the unnatural tornado-like storm that suddenly appeared. Maybe I DID disturb something evil in the chimney after all...

Damn, those horror flicks.

19 People would rather be commenting:

Anonymous said...

At least you were able to find out what was making those noises. I once had similar noises in one of the bathroom vents upstairs. They went on for days. Then they stopped. I still have no idea what it was. I still worry that maybe there's a dead thing up in my attic.

Cupcake Blonde said...

This happened at my parents' house except the bird came out of the fireplace and hopped around the living room. All while my mother shrieked, my brother cried (he was 2) and I tried to capture it in a laundry hamper. I was 4 and scared to death because it was covered in soot and didn't look like any bird I had ever seen.

Jaffer said...

A couple of summers back, I had a mouse problem. Long story short, you know how mices like to get their claws into everything - they don't mind even screeching on metal ! That drove me crazy !

Well, we finally got rid of the mouse family but come winter, my heating system decides to play tricks with me.

I'd jump into red-alert mode when ever it made that noise.
Then one day, I actually spotted a mouse. Laid down all the traps and successfully caught him the next morning.

And now, when ever I hear the heater screech - I just fucking kick it.

Daisy said...

Here is a very funny joke I like to play. When my Mommie is home alone late at night, all of a sudden, I get very alert and stare intently at the door. My eyes get big and round, and my whole body tenses up. Just when my Mommie gets worried enough to check out the door, I relax and go back to sleep. Hahahaha!

Irene said...

I've thankfully never had anything like that happen to me and I would have been scared to death too. I have a vivid imagination and so do you, I think. My imagination is usually worse than the reality, but that doesn't prevent me from thinking the worst. I won't tell you what I thought it was.

Anonymous said...

I think you're right. You DID stir up something evil in the chimney. Now I just wonder when it will reap the whirlwind on you, so to speak? Hmmmm....

Well, with that thought, have a nice day. ;)

jay said...

Hahaha! We've had birds in the chimney before. We once had to rescue a starling that fell down inside and had to be caught and ejected. My, what a mess they make!

Swubird said...


Great story. It took me back to those years when I was so young and so sensitive to weird noises and shadows around the house. Very brave of you to point your camera into the unknown thinking you'd get a peek at the monster--and, that the monster wouldn't eat your camera. I laughed all the way through. Excellent.

By the way, I took your comment on my last post very seriously and, based on what you aid, I made a few important changes. I knew I should never have gone with that vampire theme. It was dark. In my book, that story is actually called The Radioactive Cowboy, and it's supposed to be on the light side. So stop by again and let me know what you think of the way it is now. See--constructive comments are appreciated. You saved my post.

Happy trails.

Momo Fali said...

Reason number 874 why I don't watch scary movies.

Babs-beetle said...

Ha ha! That was funny, but not for you at the time :O) I always say it's better to face whateverthe heckitis than sit wondering.

Anonymous said...

At least you did not start up the fire, as I would have!

Shawn said...

When we lived in North Carolina, we used to get bats in the chimney sometimes. Never down into the house proper, though. That would have been friiiightening...

Maureen said...

Pinklea: Yes, it must have been that bird. It hasn't come back at least. Yikes about your attic! I too would be hesitant about investigating up there.

Vegas Princess: Holy crap! I would have been the shrieking mother... see? So it DOES happen!

Hahahaha Jaffer! I don't think I've ever seen you swear before!

Daisy! You little trickster you! Our cats do the same; and they never fail to FREAK.ME.OUT!

The Gossamer Woman: You are absolutely right; my imagination is far too vivid. And my memory of horror movies.

Har Unfinished Rambler!!! Well, it was another stormy day today; so we'll see what I've unleashed... I really couldn't tell if today was worse than any other day; being a Monday and all.

Aw, Jay, good for you for rescuing the starling! I am so glad ours got out on its own.

Swubird: Aw, Swu, your writing is perfect, never change it because of me! But I do love the title Radioactive Cowboy! It does fit better! I loved the story - I just noticed that your "Vampire" story was right on the heels of your "Grim Reaper" one. Perhaps with all that happened around here, I was much more aware of evil forces ;)

Momo Fali: I wish I could avoid them, but unless I hide in another room, I am subjected to them because hubby and daughter LOVE them. So I am out-voted.

Babs: You are right... better to face the unknown and put the wild imagination to rest.

Lady Banana: Yes, far too vivid for my own damn good.

The Things We Carried: Ahhhh! I would have had charred whatevertheheckitis!!!!

Shawn: We have bats here too; and that was one thing that ran through my mind. Thank the gods it wasn't... I can't imagine a BAT wildly flapping its way around the house.

Ed & Jeanne said...

Thanks goodness I have a new house with a gas fireplace insert and no real chimney. The only thing scary around here are teens...

Jill said...

I actually have three comments instead of one -

First of all, very funny on needing your camera!

Second - there was your problem right there! You should NEVER do a head count of the animals. Any strange noise I just automatically chalk up to the cats. Actually seeing the cats would ruin this illusion (or whatever the hearing equivalent is for an illusion)

Third - You were right not to put your hand! It's the snake rule: never put your hands or feet anywhere you can't see!!!!!!!

Janet said...

Oh, definitely, that would have freaked me out, too. Good thing you had your camera at hand. The forensics people could have looked at your last photos for clues to the cause of your demise. That's what I always think, anyway!

Jill - The snake rule??? Never heard of it, but it's good advice!

Maureen said...

VE: As a mother of a teen, I can fully concur.

Jill: Ha! Well, I thought the camera was better than sticking my head up there... and luckily, snakes are one thing we DON'T have.

Janet: Ahahahaha!!!! You're right; I even took video to record the sound. It would have made for a good record, ala Cloverfield...

Bruce Johnson said...

Only a true Star Wars geek would use the words John Williams Soundtrack Cresendo......

Maureen said...

Bruce: Ahahahaha! Guilty as charged!

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