I heard the familiar loud popping noise, but it didn't frighten me. It comes from behind my TV or somewhere on that side of the room every night. Or I hear noises near my jewelry armoire on the opposite wall, near the chest of drawers, or in any part of my bedroom. Have for years. It varies from being almost inaudible to sounding like a person's tripped over a chair or a picture fell off the wall. Other times, it's more like a huge branch being snapped in half. I rarely find the source.
A few minutes later, though, a different, louder noise in the hallway got my attention. It sounded like a person staggering down my long hall was bumping into the walls every few feet.
With a disbelieving sigh, I got out of bed and turned the knob to open the bedroom door and see what my resident ghost was up to now. I did this with every confidence that I wouldn't find out. The ghost that we named Ezechiel was a figment of my imagination. I knew that.
As I cracked the door asking, "Who's there?" I expected no response, but I also had no qualms. Even though we rarely called him by name, we knew all about Ezechiel. He was a poltergeist. He went bump in the night, made indescribable racket, rattled door knobs, and even disturbed our sleep when he got too loud, but he never seriously bothered us or made any kind of threats.
Perhaps half-awake, I stepped out of my bedroom and peered down the dark hallway, squinting at the shadows coming from a light always left on over the bar in my kitchen about fifty feet away. I took a deep breath. Did I see a figure? No, couldn't be. My husband was out of town on business. No one was in the house but me. Right? Who was I asking that question, then? Oh, Ezechiel. Yes, or no?
I decided that my mind was playing tricks on me. The form of a young curly-haired male in a dark T-shirt covered with blue daisies with white centers floated nearer. When it drifted to the wall, I clearly heard a bump. Illogical, I thought. Nonetheless, seconds later, another ka-klump made me shake my head. Taking a deep breath, I pinched my wrist to prove I wasn't dreaming.
A very loud bird-chirping jerked me awake. Blinking twice, I sat up in bed and stiffened my shoulders. It was my alarm sounding that it was six a.m.
Funny thing, though. I quickly noticed that the bedroom door--which I never, ever fail to close and lock when I turn off the bedroom TV before going to sleep--stood wide open. And, as I headed for the bathroom, I heard another solid thump coming from the hallway.
Shrugging, I said with a yawn, "It's morning, Ezechiel, go away, and peace be with you." If he was there, he didn't respond.