“Sarah, what the hell are you doing?” Jim shouted when he came home from work and found his wife smashing holes in their bedroom wall with a hammer.
“I can hear them in the walls!” Sarah screamed.
“Them? Who can you hear in the walls? What are you talking about?” Jim grabbed the hammer away from Sarah and she collapsed on the bed, crying hysterically.
Jim walked over to the bed, put his arms around his wife, and said, “Shh, baby. It’s going to be okay. Now tell me what you are hearing in the walls.”
Still sobbing, Sarah said, “I don’t know, Jim. It’s a constant scratching sound, like there are mice or rats or maybe squirrels in the walls.”
Jim stood up and walked to the wall that Sarah had been pounding holes into just a few minutes before. He put his ear next to the wall and listened, but heard nothing. “Honey, I don’t hear anything. I’m sorry.”
“I don’t hear it anymore, either,” Sarah admitted, “but I wasn’t imagining it, I swear.”
“I’m going to get you a sleeping pill and I want you to take it so you can relax and get a good night’s sleep, since I know you haven’t been sleeping well lately,” Jim said. “Tomorrow I’ll stay home from work to look after you and I’ll patch up the holes in the wall.”
Once Sarah was asleep, Jim called her mother and told her about Sarah’s having pounded holes in the bedroom wall with a hammer and expressed how worried he was about her mental health. Years before, Sarah been institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital for delusional behavior, and Sarah’s mother became concerned that her daughter might be having another mental breakdown.
“I’ll drive down tomorrow and take her back with me to see Dr. Steiner,” Sarah’s mother told Jim. “If she’s having a relapse, he might want to admit her again.”
When Jim hung up from speaking with Sarah’s mother, he called someone else. A woman answered the call. “Hello, darling,” Jim said. “My plan is working. The audio recordings of the scratching sounds that I hid inside the bedroom’s heating duct have pushed her over the edge and her mother is coming to pick her up to take her to see her shrink tomorrow. When her mother sees the damage Sarah did to the bedroom wall, she’ll probably ask the doctor to re-admit her to the asylum. Once there, you and I, my darling, can be together at last.”
Written for the Let It Bleed Weekly Prompt Challenge prompt from Saumya Agrawal’s Randomness Inked blog. The prompt for this week is to write a post containing this sentence: “I can hear them in the walls.”