What was that?
The Good Lady looked up at the ceiling in puzzlement.
I looked up too and rumpled my brow as if eating peanut butter jelly and wondering how it had come to this.
Dunno. Sounded like someone moving about?
I said uncertainly.
The Good Lady peered at the silent baby monitor.
It's not the kids, the monitor hasn't gone off?
She made to speak further but from upstairs sounded a creak then a thump and another creak.
The Good Lady looked rattled.
This happened the other night too. It's freaking me out a bit. I don't like it. Daddy-Bear, get your arse up there and investigate.
She said firmly.
I looked up at the ceiling and made a cat eating a cranberry face.
It's all quiet now. Don't worry about it. It's an old house, it's just the timbers settling.
I said, parroting something that I had heard someone say in a movie once. I hoped that it hadn't been a horror movie.
The Good Lady huffed out a giant long-suffering sigh.
I'll bloody go then. Pfft, men.
She turned on her heel and headed for the stairs. I followed, then waited at the foot of the stairs as she ascended up into the dark.
It seemed like only moments before she materialised out of the murk and smiled.
Nothing there, Daddy-Bear. Come, back into the lounge.
She stepped swiftly past me, back into the welcoming lamplight of the lounge.
I made to follow but stopped when I heard a thud and the creaking from upstairs again.
Actually, I can still hear something. I'll just pop up and make sure everything's ok.
I said turning to the darkened stairs.
Don't be silly. I checked. It's all fine.
The Good lady's voice echoed from the lounge.
I'll just be a minute.
I made my way swiftly up the stairs using my phone screen as a crude torch.
Upstairs all was dark. From one of the rooms I heard one of the kids snoring. Smiling, I gave myself a shake and turned back to the stairs.
As I did I noticed a dark shadow on the floor near the stairs to the attic.
I moved over and lifted my phone screen up to illuminate whatever it was.
I let out a small shriek, almost dropping my phone.
In the weak silvery light of my phone screen, the shadow was revealed to be the Good Lady, crumpled in a heap, obviously dead, her eyes and mouth stretched wide in mid-scream.
I staggered back, my brain refusing to believe what I was seeing.
'Daddy, it's time to come downstairs now...'
The voice of the thing that was wearing my wife's face called from downstairs...
Jesus-fuck Daddy-Bear, that's a fucking horrible story. And anyway, I'm not dead upstairs I'm right here in front of you?!?
The Good Lady stared at me with a combination of dread and disgust after hearing the story of my adventure upstairs.
I gave her a spooky grin.
It's true, I swear it. Every last word.
I said as sincerely as a fox in a pantyhose drawer.
Hmmph. Bloody freaky story. Sometimes you're just weird.
The Good Lady shuddered.
I lifted my arms as if to fly like a bat.