October 18th
by brian urreta

‘Why won’t you come out tonight?’ read the text.

Slightly annoyed, she replied ‘😴’. Not tonight.

She put her phone down and opened the book in her lap. Focus on the words.

Her screen lit up again. From the kitchen, her pot of boiling water began to faintly whistle.

‘I don’t believe you’ read the text.

“Ew,” she said out loud. ‘Take a hint. Goodnight.’ Sent.

She shut her phone off and tossed it to the other end of the couch. Back to book.

Her screen lit again.

“Are you kidding me?” she said as she reached to pick her phone up. The kettle whistled louder.

‘You’re no fun...’ read the text.

She scoffed. Frustrated, she powered off her phone. Forget that noise.

Her kettle screamed. Tea. Make tea. Relax.

She leapt off the couch and jogged into the kitchen. She noticed that her refrigerator door was slightly open. Dumb. She grabbed milk from inside. This time she made sure to close the door.

Steam rapidly shot into the air as the volume of the kettle reached full pitch. Don’t burn your hand again. She grabbed a dishtowel.

“Okaaaaaay, I hear you!” she replied to the screaming pot of boiling water as she moved it from one side of the stove to the next.

The steam from the spout slowly faded. She reached for a mug from above the stove. Her silver kettle continued its wail. Confused, she again picked it up from the burner. What?

The scream wasn’t coming from the kettle. It was coming from behind her.

She turned around and locked eyes with the old woman standing in her pantry. Her crooked mouth opened wide with a smile of terror frozen on her sunken jaw. Her large eyes rolled into the back of her head as she continued to mimic the scream of the kettle.

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