For whom the bell tolls

WARNING: Chilling tale of stupidity to follow.
Important background information for this story is the fact that Keith and I have finally entered the modern world and are now the proud owners of CELL PHONES! Keith was given one for work and we bought one so that we can now communicate as much as needed, free minutes and all that. My new phone made me feel cool and impressive, as all new toys tend to do--for about 10 minutes. I even knit (knitted?) a little cell phone cozy which has proven to be rather useless but was fun to make.

SO...a few nights ago, after putting Ethan down (huge sigh of relief) I went upstairs to check my email, look at blogs and all that good stuff. At some point, I began to flip around on the TeeVEE to see what was on and noticed a strange noise which sounded like a doorbell (we do not have a functioning doorbell). I figured it must have been something on TV although I remember thinking it didn't correspond very well to what was on.

Several minutes later, I heard it again. It sounded like it was coming from downstairs but by the time I reached the stairs to investigate, it was gone. I looked around a little but couldn't see anything out of order so I just went back upstairs. Mostly, at this point, I was just annoyed and hoping that it wouldn't wake up Ethan, whatever it was.

Again, five or ten minutes later, the noise which I can best describe as two or three faint gongs came again. This time, I decided to call Keith on my handy cell phone and explain the situation as I looked around. He suggested maybe it was a noise-making toy gone bad but it was just too precise of a noise for that. I decided to wait downstairs, with cell phone in hand, til the noise happened again. The next time it was much louder and I went sprinting around the corner towards Ethan's room to see what it was but then it went away.

At this point, I began to get really frustrated. Knowing that there would be some reasonable explanation for all of it did not stop me from contemplating strange and awful possibilities. Someone was playing a cruel joke on me, somehow making noises and watching me run around to find them. Meet Liane's imagination, just getting warmed up. I told Keith I would have to check out the basement next since I hadn't yet been able to pinpoint it. I figured it must be something to do with the furnace or some machinery which I normally ignore.

The creepiness of the basement made it all worse and then of course there were the cats. If you are ever feeling jumpy about possible intruders, ghosts or unexplained noises, do not hang out anywhere near a cat. We all know cats are extra sensitive to sounds, smells and such and both of my cats were down in the basement acting weirder than usual. I tried not to notice as their ears would perk up suddenly or their heads jerk sharply to the side, or as they stared into the distance at some nameless THING.

The noise did not return so I told Keith I would stand in the stairwell between the basement and the first floor in order to tell from which direction it came. As soon as I spoke these words my cell phone cut out. I tried to call Keith back but the battery had died. In the meantime, Keith was trying to call me back and said later that he almost called 911! Yeah, and I'm the hysterical one.

This is way too long, but anyway, as I plugged my cell phone into it's charger, I remember thinking that the noise was about to come again and I wanted to be in touch with Keith when it happened. But, as time went by, another thought came to me. And, as it came, I knew it to be true. Too true. The scary, nameless noise was my cell phone alerting me that the battery was dying. And, true enough, since charging my phone, I haven't heard it since.


DJ said...

Now that was a priceless story!!! But sometimes experience is not only the best teacher, but the only teacher period. Glad no monsters got you...

the Joneses said...

I've had my new cell phone for about 6 weeks now, and it always freaks me out when it rings.


Karena said...

Cell phones are freaky things. Speaking of which,
Lexie took her toy one in her wading pool today! How clever! Couldn't get the thing to stop ringing afterwards. Water did something funny to it, and only way to stop it was to get the battery OUT!!!!

Claire said...

Great story! I love the creepy, mounting hysteria. And everything is worse at night. Kind of reminds me of a certain house-sitting episode where you woke me up at 2 in the morning and we searched the house, guns in hand, for prowlers.

melbrown said...

HA! This is such an excellent story, made all the better now that I know the layout of your house and could vividly picture you scuttling around it.

I know the noise of which you speak, since we have the same phone and all... I had a simiar experience in Bible School when I would hear this weird, faint gonging every once in a while. It totally freaked me out because it was so regular and mechanical but I couldn't find ANYTHING that would make such a noise... it was like a harbinger of a Dickinsesque spirit or something.

ljmax said...

THANK YOU Melissa, I'm not insane after all!

Anonymous said...

"Harbinger of a Dickensesque spirit"??

Melissa, that was an incredibly literary and quotable phrase: the kind you roll around in your mind like some kind of wine...or coffee. (Not that I do either, but you get the point!)


hesper48 said...

Oh my word, Liane. That was just too funny. I can just picture it. I've had kind of similar experiences with my cell phone. Cell phones are great--sometimes, but they can let you down with a bang at the most inopportune times--like when you were really, really needing to be in touch with Keith re:the "weird" noise!!!