February 2003 Page 7
from the Stove
by Julian S.
A couple of years ago I was home alone sitting on the pc. I was about 23 yrs old and lived in a newly built two-story townhouse. It was furnished with my deceased parents' furniture and featured many photos from the past. The house had always had a eerie feeling to it, even though it was new, but nothing that really bothered me too much. Occasionally books or photos would fall from the bookshelf, but I always put it down to natural occurrence as they didn't end up at an unnatural distance from the shelf.
This particular evening I was sitting downstairs in the living room on the pc. Across the end of the room was the kitchen. The only thing separating the living area from the kitchen was the kitchen bench; therefore, I had a good view of the whole room.
While I was at the computer, the phone rang. It was my girlfriend at the time. We began arguing and I became quiet loud. I cannot remember the details of the argument, but I know I was being unreasonable to her. While we were in the midst of yelling at each other, I heard a loud noise start up. I thought the ducted heating had kicked in and ignored it for a few seconds. My girlfriend could also hear the noise from the other end of the phone and thought I had gone to the car and started the engine. It was then I noticed it wasn't the ducted heating - it was the range hood above the stove in the kitchen. It had switched itself from the OFF position to the 3 position, the highest setting. The switch has a sliding mechanism which is quite stiff and could not possibly have been caused by anything accidental.
I walked over and switched it off. By this stage I was beginning to freak out. I told my girlfriend what had happened and that I was sorry and was grabbing my stuff and heading to her place. I didn't come home for three days. Looking back, it was as if someone was telling me to pull my head in and wake up to myself. The noise surprised me out of my yelling and my girlfriend and I made peace.
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