A couple move into their new house on the countryside...
One night, as my wife and I lay asleep side by side, I heard a bang come from downstairs. I listened more carefully. Waiting, waiting. It must have been nothing, I thought, as my wife patted me on the shoulder and kissed my cheek. Her touch felt colder than usual. “I heard a noise. The foxes have probably just knocked over the bin. Go back to sleep, love,” I whispered.
I felt so on edge that night like something was out of place. But I couldn’t figure it out. Giving up, I fell back to sleep.
BANG. I shot upwards and scrambled around under the bed, looking for my golf clubs. Someone had to be there unless a fox had got in. Either way, I needed to defend my home. As I neared the bedroom door, my wife grabbed me, muttering something. “Go back to bed, everything’s fine,” I said. “I think a fox has got inside”. She kissed me on the cheek and scuttled off back to bed. There was a strange smell in the air, damp and musty.
There can’t be anyone here, I thought. The nearest house was 3 miles away, and there hadn’t been any cases of burglary for years. BANG. My heart skipped a beat; man up, I told myself. After taking a deep breath I pounded down the stairs, intending to surprise them or scare them off. I flicked the light switch on. Nobody in this room. I continued towards the kitchen. There was a chill in the air. Once I reached the kitchen, I flicked the light switch on. The backdoor was wide open, the wind making it slam into the wall over and over. I wandered over there and slammed the door shut.
I heard a wailing sound coming from outside. Foxes. I’d heard the sound every night since we moved here. Damn things never shut up. As I stepped outside the cold night air hit me, it’s freezing! I walked around to the front of the house. A couple of foxes were running away. I must have forgotten to close the door when I went to bed, I thought. I was exhausted, after all, I’d had a stressful few days at work. In the distance, I could see the shed. That bloody shed. I could never make time to knock it down. I’ll do it this weekend I told myself.
Just as I was about to turn around and crawl back into bed, I saw the shed door swinging in the wind. That’s odd, the shed’s been locked ever since we moved here. The wind was blowing and snow had begun to fall. I wonder if we’ll have a white Christmas I thought offhandedly. I jogged towards the shed, trying to warm myself up. I should have just gone back inside, I thought. I’m going to catch a cold, or worse.
The shed was quite large. One of the reasons I wanted to get rid of it so much. It didn’t have any windows. I hadn’t been inside the thing since the day we moved in. All that was inside it had been a couple of rusty old bikes and a few cardboard boxes. Not now. Inside were packets of food, canned meat and a dirty old mattress. But that wasn’t what made my bones quiver and my body shake. Vomit crept up into my throat, unable to hold it back I threw up. I dropped to my knees, my mouth unable to utter a single word. All I could do was scream.
My wife and I had always talked about having children. It was one of the reasons we’d moved here. A nice family home. I continued to stare at the corpse that lay on top of the mattress. Mind and body numb. Unable to cry or scream now. All I could do was stare at her; my love, my wife. Scratched into the surface of the wood next to her body were the words, ‘your bed is warmer than mine’.