Trapped….?

https://pixabay.com/photos/hand-knocker-door-ancient-handle-4036918/Lucka_S For days I’d heard the soft knocking that I couldn’t place. Had Rocky returned? Last year I named the large woodpecker that pecked on my living room window, “Rocky.” I finally googled what to do about birds who nearly kill themselves knocking on windows, and I closed the curtain for two months until the light changed the reflection. I haven’t seen Rocky since.

But still. Knock Knock. Knock. A light tapping. 

One day I ask my neighbor Bill to check it out, and he rattles every door and window in my small two-story house. He checks the attic and the batteries in the smoke alarms. “Karen, there is absolutely nothing wrong here,” he declares.

But he never hears the knocking, which resumes ten minutes after Bill leaves.

Today, I deftly take my shoes off and walk softly and smoothly over my mom’s oriental rugs that she bequeathed me when she died. In fact, she left the entire house to me, and I know every nook and cranny.

Aha! As my foot lands on the long hallway rug I feel a slight dip. Strange, I never noticed that before. I roll the rug up halfway, just noting the beauty of these old hardwood floors. However, nothing shows but a little dust. rug, hardwood floor, trapped, flash fiction

I roll the rug a bit more, and gasp.

The wood floor is lighter at this spot with a square seam noticeable as if detailing a small flattened door. What the….?

And then it happens again. Knock. Knock. Knock. And with each Knock, the floor rises a tiny, tiny bit. Almost imperceptibly.

My fingers touch the seam, which I realize is not wood, but a hard metal material, like iron. Knock. Knock.

My finger catches a tiny hook at the edge of the square.

Knockknockknockknock. The sound is faster, louder. Insistent.

I begin to pull the hook, and then I think of every scary movie I’ve ever seen where I shout, “WHAT MORON GOES INTO A DARKENED BASEMENT?” Or in my case now, a mysterious trap door in an old house.

I quickly release my hand and flee out the front door like the smart woman I am.

But why? After all, this is my house.

I walk determinedly back through the door, down to the hallway, and pull that hook as fast and hard as I can. Oh my god. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. Can it be? It can’t be.

It’s ……

https://pixabay.com/vectors/question-mark-abstract-geometric-1751308/GDJ

Best guess gets a softback copy of my book FLASHES OF LIFE. 🙂

133 thoughts on “Trapped….?

  1. You got me, Pam.
    What if the woodpecker’s knock-knock has nothing to do with the opened hatch. I already have your lovely book, so I’ll leave the good guesses and the award to readers with better guesses. I see you are tapping into a new genre. Mystery thrillers, perhaps?? 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    • Creativity comes in so many forms. I might as well try mystery thriller. 🤩 But mostly I really love seeing what other bloggers here come up with. It is interesting to wonder if the woodpecker is a false clue or a real clue. 🙃

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a very Poe-esque feeling as well. “Suddenly there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping…”

    I’m not sure I want to know what was behind that door. But there was only a hook? Not a heavy lock or something sealing off the little door? The ghost of the mother, perhaps? A house elf? Her reaction is not necessarily fear but I don’t know. Things rapping on mysterious doors under a rug does not inspire me to open it, at least not alone.

    Nice thriller!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hum!!!??My 1st thought living in the country, a raccoon, or other such creature! BUTTT THEN I THOUGHT “The Twilight Zone!!! Nope would of never opened it alone!!
    You’ll have me thinking on this all day. As I hear the rustle in my attic.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Who is that knocking at my door?
    Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
    Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    Is all I can hear in my head now. LOL! Are we supposed to guess?🤔

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I don’t know what it is but I can’t wait to find out next week. We had a woodpecker in the mountains that would fly into our windows, the poor thing.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. As soon as I started reading, I knew you were going to leave us hanging (listening to or for that knock)!
    If it’s something real, it has to have a way to get food. . .something supernatural seems too obvious. . .so I don’t know! 🤣 Horror doesn’t seem like you, but that first image is creepy!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Wonderful mystery, Pam! I was holding my breath as I read. I could hear the faint strains of Derrick’s “Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door” in the background, for sure, but figured if heaven was under the floor boards, I was in serious trouble, as most of our floors are ceramic tile, and “unlift-upable.” And I decided against the woodpecker, too, as I couldn’t picture a clever scenario that left him trapped under the … erm … trapdoor.

    So by my clever process of elimination, I finally realized there was only thing it could be: a gnome who’d taken a wrong turn on his way to the garden and tumbled into the basement, where he’d been for days and days, and had become totally desperate to be set free, because … hungry. Very, very hungry!

    This was fun, Pam. Can’t wait to find out the answer to the beautiful big question mark! 😁

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Well, you’ve done it again, Pamela. Made a situation that double-dog guarantees that I’ll be back for the answer. I’ll have to guess that Bill figured out how to get into the space. After all, when he was there the knocking stopped.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Okay. Bill checked the attic, but he didn’t check the crawl space under the house. I don’t think it’s a trapped person because, as he started running out of food and water, he’d get frantic and pound on the floor and scream. Instead, it’s someone who can slip in and out of the crawl space. He’s been listening to you, watching you when you go out, softly making his presence known, building you up in his mind. By now, he feels that you have a kind of relationship. When you open the door, he greets you by name. “I’ve been waiting for you to welcome me into your house, my darling,” he says as he climbs out and reaches for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Didn’t you tell your guy to quit playing under the house? 😊

    Your story reminded me of when I was in college, housesitting for some people. Part of the job was looking after their dog. I had a mild-mannered dachshund that I brought with me, figuring the dogs would get along fine. The people had a fenced-in backyard that seemed to be inescapable. I came out of the house, and my dog was in the backyard, but the other dog was missing. I thought there must be some logical explanation, but the dog was nowhere. I walked around in the neighborhood, and someone had seen a dog matching the missing dog’s description an hour ago. Now I’m freaking out, wondering how I can tell these people that I lost their dog. I searched for two hours but had no luck. I rechecked the fence to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. No place to escape, and it was too high to go over. I’m now assuming someone stole the dog. Two days later (the people were coming back the next day), I’m upset, and the dog is still missing, I’m sitting on the back porch, and I hear whimpering. The dog had crawled under the house through a small opening and stayed there for two days. Talk about relieved.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Now THAT is a scary and horrifying story, Pete. i can imagine how worried you were, not only for the poor dog, but how the owners would respond when they got home. As a reader (and author of this post on a trapped door) I decided (hoped) that the dog was stuck down in a crawl space or had gotten in the basement with no way to get out. The poor thing! Thank goodness you heard his whimpers for help. I’m not sure who was most relieved – the dog or you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a cliff-hanger Pam! I’d be terrified but I’d have to open the door – maybe I’d recruit a friend to be by my side when I did it! I love the answer of the lost gnome….I don’t think I can come up with anything better than that 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good point, Andrea. If Karen doesn’t explore the knocking, she’ll never feel as if she can stay in her house! Should she ask Bill back? Or is he a culprit? Hopefully Karen has another friend nearby who can be her “wing man.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh! And you have once again left us hanging! So… let me see… Bill never heard the knock… how convenient… Then again, maybe who(what)ever is knocking is smart enough to not be heard by anyone but Karen…Friendly ghost mysteriously trapped (coz we know usually they can go through walls and stuff…)

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I love, love, love this story, and especially love all the readers’ varied answers. Janis’s totally cracked me up. My first thought is that whatever when behind that door had to do with Karen’s mother. As for me, I would never ever open that door and would be out of there F-A-S-T!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Readers’ comments tell me I did a good job piquing their interest in Karen’s predicament. Hmmm, I wonder how Karen’s mom is involved? If that’s the case, then whatever is behind the door is not nefarious. I hope you’re right, but ….. hmmmmm. 🙂

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  14. Lol. So much tension in this. Okay, here’s my boring guess… it’s a waterpipe that Granny had workers clamp down because it knocked, and the clamp rusted. And here’s my fun guess… Granny hid a million dollars under the floor that she stole over 40 years as a bank teller. Because she was also an uncanny granny, she didn’t want to die and have her criminal scrimping go to waste. So she set a “knocking” (she had a Gothic sense of humor) alarm to go off under the floor at a random date in the future, assuming that Karen would discover the trap door! 🙂 And loved that book, Pam. Someone is going to be a lucky winner!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Oh wow, that’s scary. i think Karen should go and get Bill, not because he’s male, just to have a second person there. I think it’s a genie that’s been captured there since even before the house was built and has finally woken up and desperately needs to pee before they can grant Karen three wishes.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. ohmygodohmygod……yes, she knew every nook and cranny of this house. And once upon a time she had been braver and more curious. That’s when she had loved that dark space beneath the old house. That trap door had been her best kept secret. It held every journal she’d ever written. It also contained every souvenir she’d gleaned from every victim. She thought she could keep them hidden forever. Her personal treasures. Her darkest self. Trapped for all time……..but ohmygod ohmygod here they were demanding her attention, demanding that they join her, demanding her soul !!!!

    or that’s my take on it anyway. 🙂 Loved this spooky foray into the Twilight Zone!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Always Pam, your stories are unique and this one has us holding our breath as the trapdoor is opened.. My guess its a mouse or rat.. LOL… , chewing on a piece of string lol, that is attached to a ring in the trapdoor underneath.. I dare not think of anything else.. LOL…
    What ever it is Pam…. you will describe it perfectly..
    Much love your way dear Pam.. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Pingback: Trap Door Ignition | roughwighting

  19. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me! I am so glad that you held onto your childhood spark of wonder in creating stories that bring delight to others. (You do keep people on the edge of their chair…such a gift!) Thank you! I think of the post when you went out and made snow angels in the snow. I remember thinking, ‘That is her true self; only a ‘grown-up’ in love with life makes snow angels and posts the pictures for others to enjoy as well.’ You remind us that it is good to keep that spark of fun and wonder through all of your life…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Awww, thank you so much Linda. I learned the importance of enjoying every moment’s spark from my mom. Her “life joy” inspires me still. She was a party girl though- I like to have my fun with words and stories. 😊You’ve made my day. 🌸🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Very clever writing, Pam. When I got to the end, I was like oooh, you left us hanging! But sometimes a story is ours and ours to finish. I would have been one to run away as far as possible, thinking that the knocking and something bigger was out to get me. I’d say maybe this was all a dream. Hope you are doing well 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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