By Luis De Estores
I’ve always thought that the space we live are like pictures where the walls carry embedded memories. This, I think, is most especially true to my new home, a small house in downtown Montreal, where it stood for more than a century. I have lived in it for about a year now, a small period of time, where it bore witness to the many lives that lived in it. My name is Jean Luc, and since graduating college, I’ve worked in a nearby bank. It is a beautiful house, that I intend to make my beautiful home. With the help of an inheritance from my grandmother, I have worked and saved enough money for a downpayment for a mortgage. All is well, and I am proud of my new place. The floor squeeks sometimes, as expected from an old house, and the kitchen windows open to the morning sunshine, a perfect spot for breakfasts.
Yet, weeks after I moved in, I started feeling a strange “presence”. I could never fully explain what the “presence” is like, but maybe perhaps a feeling of being watched, and you wouldn’t know exactly by whom or where. It was just there, waiting, observing, and cautious.
“So you come to me for help?” the old man said in French with an indistinguishable accent, and definitely not Quebecois. There, I also noticed his white shirt, typical of his vocation.
“Oui.” I told him, staring at his blue eyes, tired from age, “and I was told to come to you.”
“Please sit, and tell me more.”
I felt it in the kitchen the first time. It felt weird finding the cupboard doors open, when I knew I kept them closed. Then, on sleepless nights, I’ve felt it the hallway, the basement, and worst, in my bedroom. Actually, after a few months of building courage, I’ve managed to ask an old friend, Yvette, for a date, and we have been seeing each other on a regular basis since. It is a serious romantic relationship that I intended to pursue.
Yet, there is this incident that happened one strange night. I’ve invited her to my house, made us dinner, and tried to get close to her at the living room. Sitting beside her, I was aiming to kiss her. I think she was responsive. Well, not until we heard a crash in the dining room.
“What was that?” she ask.
“I… I don’t know…” I said, with me standing up, surprised. We looked at the dining room, and there we see the broken plates on the floor, but there was nobody there. Nothing, but we knew what to suspect.
“That was creepy.” she said looking a bit scared, “but anyways, maybe I should leave for the night. It seems you have work to do, and I have to be at work early tomorrow.” I saw her the following week at her apartment, where she made us a good dinner. She never mentioned that incident, and I did get my first romantic kiss from her.
As weeks went on, similar incidents happened, and last night was the worst.
“What happened?” the old man asked.
It was around midnight, when I felt “it” in my bedroom. I never fully saw it, but only for a very short period and from the corner of my eye. I stood, determined to confront it. I walked into the hallway, and from there, I could clearly hear scratching sounds. The scratching became louder and louder as I walked towards the end of the hallway. The sound was coming from… the ceiling!
I took out a flashlight, and went towards the hidden ladder to my attic. I have never been to the attic since I moved in. A strong smell greeted me – a putrid, musty smell. And there, I saw eyes staring at me – three sets of eyes!
“Trois?” the old man ask.
“Yes, three.” I said, “The hair at the back of my neck raised, and I got really scared, ran into my bedroom, and locked the doors.”
The old man looked into me as he spoke. “Do not worry. I can help you. As you know, I’ve been doing this for many years. I must come to your house right away.” I was desperate, so I answered him “Yes, today if possible. I really need to get rid of those racoons and your business had been recommended for pest control.”
We value your opinion. Please let us know what you think about this column.