The air was hot and dense and lay heavy over the night like a second skin and the screams pierced through it like a dagger. They echoed off the Atlantic and again onto the walls of the L shaped house, startling her awake from her already restless sleep. Audrey sat up and sprang to her third floor bedroom window in darkness, peering out as she centered her thoughts, ” The damn noise they make in the middle of the night! One night, I swear, I’m going to wake up to a murder.”
Through the light fog and dim, phosphorescent glow of the streetlamp, Audrey could make out three ghostly figures walking brusquely along the seawall. She fine tuned her ear, searching for a trace of a cry for help. Yet no discernable words would form, only the screech owl howling across the night from deep within a young woman’s lungs. Two of the three shadowy figures were clad in dark hooded garb. One of them, preternaturally tall and ghoulishly hunchbacked, surely was a man. The second was vague and puny, gloomy and frightful. They were pulling and dragging the wraithlike woman who was wearing a dank off white blouse that seemed to be shredding away. She was without a doubt, the noisemaker, the scream keeper. Now a gruff, muffled male voice could be heard in short monosyllabic bursts of anger as the shrill screams became less frequent, trailing off into the blackened sea.
“They must have walked from somewhere. No vehicle’s in sight. But from where at two thirty in the morning?” Audrey thought, questioning if this would be the time to call the cops.
Then abruptly, like an African impala, the hunchback swiftly jumped over the seawall without so much as looking before he leaped. Vanished, gone over the six to eight foot drop on the far side of the wall with nothing but jagged rock and water for a landing.
There remained only the two ghostly figures pacing quietly with only an occasional imperceptible wail. He tugging her. Attire of light and dark. Quiet and noise rapidly shuffling back and forth.
Wishing she had a pair of night vision stealth goggles, Audrey squinted her eyes watching, waiting, contemplating,
“What the hell is going on down there? It’s impossible to land on the other side of the wall and not get hurt. Yet, the two trudged to and fro in the murky mist.
“It can’t be so. Why the wailing?
Why the dragging? Where did that ghastly crookback go? Why the disappearing act? Why the pacing? Why the muffled angry bursts?
“Finally”, she sighs, “in all of the sweltry nights of seawall noise, at last, a murder in the making.”
In response to writing group weekly prompt, “noise”.