13 Sturridge Street Part 2 of 5

After a few days of settling into their new life, they start to make it their own home. Jane is wearing her ‘decorating clothes’ which to Steve’s dismay, she actually went out and bought especially for the task. Steve couldn’t understand this logic, decorating clothes are supposed to be old, not new, they will only get covered in paint and dust anyway. But Jane wanted to still look good while doing the jobs, she didn’t have anything in her wardrobe which fit the bill, none of her old clothes would have sufficed. Jane is alone in the house as Steve had gone out for more supplies, she is tackling the almost impossible job of painting the ceiling herself. Every inch of her is now proudly showcasing the tiny spots of undercoat which span off of the rolling brush and attached themselves to her new decorating attire. She is reaching with all her might, as far as she can possibly stretch around the room without moving the ladder. Jane is teetering on the tipping point of the stepladder when she wobbles the support onto two of its four legs. She quickly adjusts her weight to touch down all four feet back onto solid ground, that feeling of uncontrollably plummeting from a summit now coursing through her body. Humans hate that feeling, the one which makes your stomach rise up into your chest and your heart pump wildly. Jane composes herself for a while, gripping tightly onto the top of the stepladder, still trying to steady herself even though she had stopped swaying some time ago. Once composed, she realised that in her panic she had dropped the rolling brush which was heavily laden with white paint. The brush had splatted itself on the floor below and managed to rotate its way across the room leaving a long white line on the newly painted brown wooden floor. Why did they paint the floor first? Probably because it was an easier job, ‘leave the hard stuff until last’ wasn’t the best motto to go by. “Damn it” she swears as she makes her way over to the brush which has settled close to the far wall. Jane trudges over to it telling herself off for dropping it in the first place, making sure to step over the paint tail left by said brush. As she bends down to pick up the fallen roller, she noticed a swift cold draft engulf her body. Jane looks up to find the source of this gust of wind, there is a dark ventilation hole directly in front of her about a meter away. Jane holds her hand towards the vent to see if the draft is coming from this area…‘wait, what was that? Did something move in there?’ Jane asks herself internally, she takes a while to stare at the void trying to focus on the darkness in the wall. The more she gazes the clearer something becomes; she isn’t sure what but it’s definitely becoming more prominent…eyes. Her heart beats wildly as she focusses on a pair of eyes which are staring straight back at her. The dull eyes aren’t moving, fixed solely on Jane’s face, she stands frozen to the spot as they bore into her. ‘Maybe it’s a doll trapped in the vent, misplaced by some child years ago and forgotten about’, she convinces herself that this is the case and goes in for a closer look…the dead eyes blink as she moves in, they weren’t dead at all. Jane stumbles backwards falling onto the paint trail left by the fallen roller. The eyes disappear from the vent in the time she falls, leaving Jane only with an horrific image left in her head. What just happened, was that real? Jane gets distracted from her unnerving thoughts by the welcoming sound of the clunking squealing front door as Steve walks in. Jane runs downstairs to greet her husband “Where have you been? You’ve been ages”.
“You know where I’ve been. I went to get more paint and a paintbrush, the traffic was terrible. Was I that long?” Steve said a little confused at her question, “what’s wrong, are you OK?”
“…yeah, yeah I’m fine…I just, there was something weird which just happened upstairs” Jane recalled.
“Like what? What happened?” Steve asked.
“Nothing, it was just I saw…something in one of the wall vents…in the room upstairs” she stuttered.
“Something in the wall vent? Like an animal?” he said in an ever increasingly worried tone.
“…ummm…yes, I suppose it must have been” she said trying to convince herself more than Steve.
“…OK. Well, hopefully that shouldn’t be a problem, I’ll just go back out quickly and get some traps…”
“No!” Jane interrupted him, “you don’t need to go out now, we can go out and get them tomorrow, together.”
“…Yeah, we can do that if you like…so what have you done whilst I was out?” he said trying to change the subject to remove the air of weirdness from the room. Jane let out a long thankful sigh, she was glad that Steve decided not to go out, and the fact that he was trying to change the subject. She didn’t want to talk, or think about what happened anymore.
“Well, you know I was supposed to be painting the ceiling? I have also added a little extra paint to the floor” she said with a cheeky smile on her face which she hopes will soften the admission.
“You painted the floor? But hadn’t we already painted the floors upstairs?” Steve said quizzically.
“…I may have accidently, probably, possibly dropped the roller on the floor…which then preceded to travel for a while painting the floor with a badger stripe” she confessed.
“Accidently, probably, possibly? So that definitely means that we have to re-paint the floor doesn’t it?” he said with a smile on his face to show that he wasn’t angry.
“Probably possibly it does” she smiled back. They both go upstairs hugging each other, Jane holding on more tightly than she usually would after her frightening ordeal which she cannot remove from her thoughts. No matter how many times she tells herself it was nothing, that it must have just been a rodent in the vents, she cannot convince herself that what she saw wasn’t eyes…human eyes.

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