Mystery Of The Creak

in The Ink Welllast month (edited)

Image source edited with canva

When Anna called to ask for a favour, saying she had to drive out of state to see her Nana urgently, Rita knew she could not turn her work friend down. Anna had covered for her at work a week ago or else she would have lost her job. Rita packed an overnight bag since she would spend the night at Anna's apartment and also feed her cat, Tom. She hopes the cat will like her.

Rita parked her jalopy vw bug in front of the apartment, picked up her overnight bag, walked to the door and rang the bell. Anna opened instantly, breathing fast and shocking Rita.

"Everything okay?" Rita asked, peeking inside the apartment to be sure. Anna busted into laughter.

"Sorry, did I scare you? Was running from Tom." Then a golden brown cat appears beside Anna.


"He's cute," Rita remarked.

"It's a she," Rita did a double-take and stared at Anna suspiciously. Anna grinned.

"What? Tom fits her better. Come in!" Anna took Rita around the apartment then picked up her car keys on the coffee table.

"Rita darling, one more thing. My boyfriend Pete will come by tonight, say 9, to pick up his golf gear. It's right there." She points to the gear resting against the wall beside one of the bedrooms.


"Yea. He has booked a tee time for 10 am tomorrow and will need his gear…"

"Wa-wait. Hold up. Tea time? You make reservations for that?"

Anna froze, a little confused then laughed. "No dearie. Not tea, like beverages. I mean tee. T - E - E- time."

"Oh, tee time. Not tea time," Rita scrunched her nose and chuckled.

"Not a fan of golf, I see. Alrighty, I'm late already. See ya!" The ladies hugged each other and Anna left. Rita took a deep breath, turned around and locked eyes with Tom who sat on his haunches looking at her.

Spending the night in a friend's apartment for the first time can be quite a task but Rita was willing to suffer through it. At least to convince Anna that she could care for her apartment in her absence. After feeding Tom, Rita glanced at her wristwatch. It's almost 9 pm and Pete had not come for his gear. Rita became anxious, waiting for Pete to show up. Being a morning person, she preferred to go to bed early.

She decided to take a tour through the quiet, three-bedroom apartment. Towards the back of the apartment is a staircase leading up to the attic. After exploring other rooms, she walked quietly, closer toward the staircase. It was dark in that part of the apartment, with no light switch anywhere in sight. Rita shivered. She was not a fan of dark places.


She could barely see through the darkness. She turned to go get a torchlight when she heard a creaking sound. She froze, listened intently. Where did that sound come from? Still frozen in her step, she hoped she would hear the sound again so she could trace the direction it came from.

A creak again. She peered intently into the dark space where the staircase leads to the attic, hoping to see whatever was behind the creaks. Goosebumps grew and spread all over her skin. What is it about attics anyway? Could there be something or someone in the dark up there staring at her, maybe? Flashes of horror scenes in some movies she had watched flipped through her mind. She shook her head to dismiss them.

Rita knew she needed a weapon for defence purposes. Then she remembered the golf gear. She glanced at her wristwatch, it's 9.45 pm. Maybe Pete was not coming by anymore. She walked to where the golf gear rested against the wall and gently pulled out one of the clubs. She tested it. It felt strong and sturdy. She could defend herself with this.

She returned to stand at the bottom of the dark staircase.

It was late. She should be in bed but knew if she did not resolve the mystery of the creaking noise, she would be wide awake all through the night wondering if there was something or someone here with her...

Then she heard a thud, like something heavy, rolling down the dark stairs, towards her. Her heart beat a little faster…Tiny sweat beads lined her forehead. Her palms tightened around the club. She raised it above her head, expectant, ready… Her eyes made out a rectangular-roundish shape, tumbling down the stairs towards her.

Immediately it came close, she did not allow it to drop to the last step before she beat the 'thing' repeatedly with the club as fast as she could, exhausting so much strength to defeat it!

Suddenly she stopped when she realised the 'thing' did not fight back or bite her as she'd imagined. She looked closely and saw…. IT WAS AN OLD PILLOW! Then, Tom descended majestically down the stairs, stepping out of the shadow after the old pillow.

Rita and Tom both stared at each for minutes. Rita could not believe what just happened. She took a deep breath, nodded to herself and went to bed. What a night, she thought.


Bang, I did it again... I just rehived your post!
Week 60 of my contest just can now check the winners of the previous week!

This is so funny. A nice contrast between the horror buildup and the pillow. All the while the reader is certain Rita is beating the cat. What a relief (comic and real) to learn the offender was a pillow.

Just an editing tip: in one sentence there seems to be name confusion

Rita packed an overnight bag since she would spend the night at Rita's apartment and also feed Anna's cat, Tom

The story is entertaining and well crafted. Also a nice interpretation of 'Tee'. Thank you for posting this story in the Ink Well community and for commenting on the work of your fellow authors. This helps our community thrive, and also makes you eligible to be chosen for a spotlight in our weekly highlights magazine.

Keep writing!

Just a plain, old pillow and Rita's wild imagination messed with her! I'm glad you found the story funny.

Thanks for pointing out the name confusion. I have corrected it. I appreciate your kind feedback. 🙂

The title is wonderful. People don't pay attention to titles, often, but they make a difference. Think of the Telltale Heart. It is clever and descriptive. Your title has the same kind of appeal.

Flashes of horror scenes in some movies she had watched flipped through her mind

You use cinematic cliches to your advantage here. We all had the same thought. Then, we thought, the cat! But no, you turn the cliche on its head and surprised us with a pillow. What a 'soft' landing for a horror story.

Great writing.

You are right, ma'am. The title is the glue that draws a reader to a piece. You mean Edgar Allen Poe's Telltale heart? It is certainly descriptive.

Hehe, I knew readers would think dear Rita was beating the life out of the cat, only to breathe easy when it's a pillow! 😀

Thank you for taking the time to read through. Your kind comment is appreciated. 🙂

We live full of fear!
A new environment, with its shadows and unfamiliar noises, is the perfect setting for fears to turn into terrors.
Good application of the call of the week, @kemmyb.
You carry the tension well and end up relaxing us and making us smile.

Thanks a lot @gracielaacevedo for your thoughtful comment. I enjoyed writing this story and I'm glad I made you smile. 🙂

Ha ha ha... she killed that pillow! I really enjoyed this story, @kemmyb. You did well with the spirit of the prompt, and the confusion between tea time and tee time. And there's great suspense and confusion building up to the end of the story, giving it a very nice story arc. Well done!

She certainly killed the pillow! 😄 I'm glad you enjoyed this story.

Thank you!

@kemmyb you are amazing with your writing skills its very difficult to spend a night in someone's house without the person present.

Weldon, I enjoyed The fiction.

You are right. It's difficult to spend the night in a friend's house alone for the first time. Glad you enjoyed this story. 🙂

Funny story, glad she didn't swing the golf club at the innocent cat. I can imagine how terrifying it is to hear strange noises at a friend's apartment when you're alone.

Hehe, true. It can be terrifying to be alone in an apartment for the first time and hear weird noises.

Innocent? I think the cat was mischievous.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Too many of these movies with attics and cellars I tell ya!!

It's the golf's vocabulary for me. Tee time, gear and clubs.

What a story! With some wonderful twists.
Tom for a name of a female cat?

I'm glad it was neither Tom nor Pete that was lynched with the club.

That would've put her in trouble with her friend.

I hope the club wasn't damaged, and it was safely returned to the gear.

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Haha, no. The club was not damaged, since it was just an old, soft pillow and not Tom or Pete!

Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Wow... I'm glad she didn't beat poor Tom with that golf club!!! A very suspenseful story, with a happy ending :) !!! Thank you, Kemmy :)

Hehehe, lucky Tom!
Glad you liked the story. Thanks! 🙂