He heard the sound the minute he walked into the dining room to start work removing the ugly fireplace.
A faint scraping sound echoed around the room, but where was it coming from?
His mind returned to the job in hand, the removal of the totally unsuitable faux marble fireplace. He swung the large club hammer at the bolster chisel to separate the cheap surround from the wall. Seconds later, the scraping sound set his nerves on edge. He winced.
“Don’t be daft…you’re imagining it!”
But every blow he made was answered by the sound that seemed to be coming from the walls.
Once the fireplace lay on the floor in pieces, he started to carry the pieces out to his truck. Each time he returned; the noise greeted him.
What began as curiosity and amusement, slowly turned to annoyance and he couldn’t decide what to do about it.
He had to be imagining it, for he had moved in six weeks ago and not heard anything before now.
Maybe he should just ignore it.
Instantly, as if it heard his thoughts, the slightly louder sounds seemed to argue with that idea.
He slowly walked around the room, pausing at each wall but annoyingly, he heard nothing.
Three of the walls were brick, but the one adjoining the kitchen was a partition wall, plasterboard on a timber frame. He remembered building it the week before, and if there was anything trapped, it would be in that one.
It was getting late, and he was hungry. Whatever was going on would have to wait until tomorrow. As he turned to leave, the noise began again, and the sense of urgency was palpable.
He reached into his toolbox for his utility knife and approached the partition wall. Carefully, as he couldn’t remember exactly where the power cables were, he cut a sizeable hole and using the torch on his phone, he stretched his head through to see what the wall might conceal.
He could hear something moving about. He tried to see what it was, but the hole was too high.
Minutes later, after cutting a hole at ground level, a small, bedraggled cat crawled out, barely alive.
But how had it managed to get trapped in there?
©Jaye Marie 2020