Something Is Up There

RDP Thursday: On The Roof

Karl Nordstrom

When I hear the old floorboards in the  hallways outside of my bedroom groan and pop, I know it’s just my house feeling it’s age.

When I feel a draft at night, creeping around my feet and sometimes touching the back of my neck light as a feather and sometimes giving me a little nip, like playful kittens and impish adult cats do, I know it’s cold because my windows are old and wobbly in their frames and they can’t keep the weather out like they should.

When the lights go off for no reason at all and stealthy distorted shadows suddenly appear on the walls around me, I know for a fact that they are there because the wiring in my house is older then me.

Not, however by a lot.

But when I hear that scratching, that clawing on my roof I know what it is, I know who it is and when I am not tired from a day of haunting my favorite bookstores and gardens  I ignore it and go to bed.

Though there are nights, when the scratching the clawing that stops when I turn down the radio and look up at the ceiling and the scratching and clawing is accompanied by  a string of words that for will turn into a tune and then weeping that I know I have to make it stop if I want any rest at all.

So I open the door and step out onto the porch and from above the scratching, the clawing the babbling come together and I can hear them race to the porch eves just above my head.

I step back and stand into the doorway and from the roof above Alberik Prat drops down halfway head first and hangs there and whispers and pleads for me to let him in for a little rest, for something to eat. Maybe a drink. He’ll be gone by daylight he says.

In the spiderweb covered porch light, Alberik Prat’s face is swollen and red. The skin across his forehead his dry and has fallen away in little patches exposing the smooth white bone underneath it. When he talks his teeth click and they sound like rats chewing and clawing in your walls at night.

” Go away.” I say ” there’s nothing for you to eat here. ”

” Please. ” he says, ” I am so cold and I just want a little rest. ”

When I don’t say  no right away he drops a little lower.

” You can’t come in. I won’t let you. Not after what you did to us. Go back to your grave and sleep with the worms- if they’ll have you. ”

Alberik wants to yell, he wants to gnash his teeth, he wants to scare me to death- but he can’t do that again.

” Vampires. ” I tell him. ” Belong in their graves. Not on porches begging for a bite. ”

” And ghosts ” Alberik hisses ” are full of themselves. ”

I close the door and I hear  Alberik scuttles across the roof and back into the darkness, where I suppose we both really belong.