The thumping started sporadically and quietly. The first few months, no one noticed — it was surely the house settling. Enough noise to notice, but in a relatively unnoticable way. A noise you hear but decide to ignore. For a long time, it wasn’t even every night. Maybe once every week or two at most, then a couple times a week, then a bit more.
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The increase was subtly picked up upon but written off as mostly likely the result of changes in weather. It HAD been awfully humid lately, so perhaps the wood had expanded or contracted or whatever it is that wood does to create those kinds of sounds. Aside, of course, being knocked on, but that went without saying.
Then the frequency became nigh-constant. Still quiet, but now noticeable enough to be irritating. As such, examinations were made of the house — nothing. Architects and surveyors were summoned who couldn’t find anything wrong with the house. Again, the house settling was surely the culprit, even though no one had heard a house settle in quite that way.
The only way for the knocking to go was up — in volume, that is. Instead of the almost-tapping-rapping, it sounded more as if someone was at the door. Not urgent — but loud enough to be heard but more to say “Oh, I’m still here if you happened to forget; I know you’re busy though, so I can wait!”
Needless to say, the family dog was not a fan of this stage.
When, again, nothing was revealed, the knocking became much, much louder. More urgent sounding. This actually came to the knocking’s favor, as it was loud and persistent enough to really have a location pinpointed. The odd thing, however, was that the knocking wasn’t coming from a door or window, or even a neighboring room. The knocking was coming actually FROM a wall — an exterior wall, though no one was on the outside.
Studfinders were used to show that there was indeed something there. Along the ENTIRE wall, however — not just the place where the knocking came from. Which made sense, as after all, the wall was known — or at least believed — to be a solid wall. There wasn’t supposed to be a crawl space there, and given the dimensions, even if there was, it wouldn’t be wide enough for someone to fit. At most, a rat — assuming the rat was malnourished and the runt of its litter to boot. So, there was only one thing that could be done.
“Hey, how’s it goin?”
“…uh… pretty good? How about you?”
“Eh, can’t complain.”
“….so… uh? What’s up?”
“Eh, not much. Just wanted to say hi. Geez, you people are hard to get ahold of.”
“Oh, uh… hi. Who is this?”
“Yeah, y’know. Your house.”
“Oh… um, OK. Do… you want… anything?”
“Nah, just wanted to introduce myself.”
“Oh, uh, hi, then. Good… to know you.”
“Well, um… great!”
“Cool… that’s all I wanted! See you around!”
“No problem. Have fun!”
“… Will do.”