Things That Go Bump In the Night

What was that? I sat up in bed.

       The clock read four.  I shook my head.

                There it goes, once again.

                                             Goodbye to sleep and what might have been.

                                                               Here is where my rhyme time ends,

                                                                           before mass groaning begins.


I wished that night I could have recalled Paul’s words to Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power”(II Timothy 1:7), but at that moment I was too groggy to think of anything but my mission—getting to the heart of the matter.

Sleepily I trudged to the bathroom to investigate. When I opened the door, I was startled awake by a low-pitched whine and a trembling vanity. What was this?

I’ve not lived through an earthquake as some of you have, but my first thought was of the fault that lies fifty miles west of  the Oregon coast, that somehow it had moved in the night, and the shaking wall was evidence of its quake. As I grew more aware of my surroundings, however, I realized my feet stood on sturdy floors. The house wasn’t shaking, only the wall.  Weird.

As my foggy mind struggled for some coherent thought, I wondered if the kitchen range hood fan had been left running.   My husband had changed a halogen bulb earlier that evening and managed to punch the fan to all three of its speeds before finding the light switch—but that’s another story. I walked into the kitchen to check only to find everything there silent, the blue LED lights from the various appliances adding shadowy images to the quiet room.

Then I entertained the idea that  maybe my subconscious was playing tricks on me.  Only that morning my husband had read me a story about a hotel on the eastern side of the state where patrons reported hearing dancing ghosts and clinking glasses. Considering the upcoming candy grab on October 31st, had I invented this mirage in response to the season from my memory of the article? Even though my family doesn’t celebrate it? Was this a trick…or a treat?  I didn’t know.

I returned to the bathroom where the vibrations continued.  The heater had clicked on in the night since outdoor temperatures were supposed to plummet below freezing for the first time this autumn.  Perhaps the fan on the heater, with nothing to do during the long summer months, had developed a glitch.  But no, the heater hummed along, warm air bathing my face.  Yet the wall continued to shake.

I opened the first door on the tri-fold vanity and found nothing.  Then the second door, but not a clue. Would the mystery lie behind door number three?  I felt like a game show host.

 I opened the third mirror and started to laugh.  An electric toothbrush, left running in its glass, had slowly edged its way across the shelf and sat rumbling against the back of the mirrored door.  Who would ever have thought such a small device could make create such a disturbance? 

I shut off the switch and returned the brush to its container, chuckling as I closed the vanity.  I thought I might wake my husband to tell him, but decided the story would keep until later.

When I did relate the account, he said he’d wondered what all that racket was when he was in the bathroom.  It sounded like a wailing animal to him.  But he’d gone back to bed without checking it out?

 Don’t you just love it?

2 Replies to “Things That Go Bump In the Night”

  1. Just caught up on your blog. Fun story about the bathroom quake. Lovely photos of my favorite time of year in my favorite region. And your daughter’s drawing of the bunny is amazing!

  2. Funny story Patricia. Enjoyed it. I live in a huge house and only use the upstairs apartment so every time I hear something in the night I get up and walk the huge house checking for freezing pipes, breakins, anything wierd. It made me smile. A toothbrush? How simple and wierd. Abigail Blue, author

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