Looking for answers to life's questions

The Voice

Since I’m overloaded with moving right now, I’m filling in with a writing assignment I did for class. I don’t get any feedback to find out if it’s awful so you get to suffer through and feel free to critique. I promise to let you know when I know what gives with the home purchase. This is a major lesson in patience. I have none and it shows.


Seven year old Maddie had been outside playing for an hour while the little ones took their nap. She wasn’t allowed back in until they were awake in case she made too much noise. Mom was taking a nap with them and waking her could be disastrous. Mom needed the nap more than the 2 toddlers and another baby on the way.

Maddie was hoping enough time had passed because she was thirsty and bored outside all alone. All the other kids had already gone back to their own homes. She quietly opened the large front door that led to the six interior apartments. There were 2 apartments on each floor with housekeeping rooms on the fourth floor that ran the entire length of the building to the other side where there were six more apartments. Downstairs a basement filled with storage lockers ran the full length of both units as well. Both sets of units had a large playroom at either end. The kids rarely played up there because there was nothing they could really do without making too much noise.

Stepping into the foyer, Maddie started for the stairs that led to her first floor unit. That’s when she noticed movement and heard someone call to her. Turning toward the basement steps, she saw a man dressed in a nice brown suit and a hat. Odd attire for someone in the storage area. Maybe he was lost. Again, he call to Maddie asking her to come down and answer a question for him. Maddie took a step forward to ask what he wanted. He waved her on down. He seemed nice enough and Maddie was always told she lived in a very safe place. She took a second step forward when she heard it. A voice she didn’t recognize said to her, “he means to hurt you; RUN!” Maddie looked around for where the voice was coming from but saw no one. Thinking herself silly, as her mother often called her, she reached for the handrail to go down. Again the voice warned her with more intensity this time. Then something happened that just couldn’t. A breeze in the closed basement blew the man’s jacket open. Inside the top jacket pocket was the handle of a long knife.

Maddie didn’t waste another second. She ran to her apartment door and banged on it loudly. No one answered and she was afraid the man would come up the stairs and take her down there. She banged one more time and still on one came to open the door so Maddie ran up. She ran all the way to the top floor and across the building, then down the stairs coming out the other side through that front door. All the while she was terrified because no one saw her or heard her run. She was afraid she would see the man outside but there was no sign of him anywhere. She stood outside for what felt like an eternity, shaking in disbelief. What had just happened?

Finally, she could wait no more and tried one more time to go home. Opening the front door to the building ever so carefully and quietly, Maddie looked inside to see if the man was still there. No sign of him by the door or in the basement. Maddie ran to her front door and knocked again. At long last, mother opened the door and she ran in. Her heart was still racing as she tried to tell her mother what happened. Mother thought she was being foolish but when dad came home they reported it to the police anyway. The police looked around the building but there was no sign of any strange man in a brown suit with a brown hat in the area. The police said if he had been there at all, he was probably long gone and Maddie shouldn’t worry.

Maddie never told her parents or the police about the voice that warned her. They weren’t really listening to her anyway. Maybe she had just imagined it. Maybe she was as silly as her mother said. That’s what she thought; until the next time she heard it.

Comments on: "The Voice" (28)

  1. Wow! I love the way the tension builds. I was terrified along with her. I think we’ve all heard ‘the voice’ at different times in our lives. Nicely done, Marlene.

    Meanwhile, I’m impatiently waiting along with you. Tap, tap, tap with my fingers. Let me know if you want me to call the bank with a character reference. 😉


    • You just tickle me to pieces, Alys. They said they have pulled the docs (whatever that means) and just need to schedule signing. I think everyone is overwhelmed so I’m patiently (not) tapping my fingers too and waiting. Thanks for the offer of a character reference. It would be funny if you had to tell them we have never really met. I’m giggling here. 🙂 I’m glad you liked the story. Telling it effectively is the challenge.


      • I’m familiar with that term, since I once worked for a title company (in human resources). It can mean loan documentation or it can mean title documentation, essentially tracking back to all grants, deeds, leans, easements, etc. for any piece of property. Once those have been satisfied, the loan documentations do something similar on the financial end of the deal. So. Much. Paper.

        It would be funny, I suppose, to offer a character reference, but honestly, I feel like I know more about you via blogging, than I do about others I’ve known for years.



  2. Marlene, I’ve had you on my mind these last few days hoping you will get word soon on your home.

    Loved your story and the resourcefulness of the little one as she uses what she knows of the building to avoid the man.


  3. Well done Marlene – your story reads like a real event, even down to the warning voice! You must keep writing and polishing, you have a talent!

    Your Canadian process in buying real estate is among the stranger I have come across – it makes me very appreciative of our straight forward and brief process! Hanging out for the good news 🙂


    • Thanks for reading my story Pauline. Glad you liked it. I am in fact in the US and the process here to buy is just horrid since the mortgage meltdown. I appreciate the carefulness of people loaning money, but I’m paying the same in rent right now so it should be easier. Rent on my apartment are going up $40 a month. That would be hard to handle.


      • Sorry for placing you in the wrong country Marlene – I did know where you are, but got myself muddled and – thinking of Boomdee also – had a wee brain melt-down 🙂 That’s a big increase on rents in one jump! We have the same situation here now, rents are almost as high as mortgages, the issue for us is having the deposit [15 – 20% of purchase price]. Once you have that it is plain sailing, and once the deal is closed [which can take a week] there can be immediate possession or at the most a one month wait to move in. Still got my fingers crossed for you!


      • Yes, I understand the confusion. Boomdee and I will be moving about the same time if all goes well. I tend to expect the best but plan for the worst. I think we are all excited for these new adventures. I’ve never done this without a husband so I tend to worry a bit more though I know it’s a waste of energy. Relaxing is a new think for me.


      • Two things may help: Remember ‘this too shall pass’ and ask yourself when did worrying ever make for a better outcome or make you feel positive? 🙂


  4. Sending good home buying vibes your way Marlene!
    Very good story, nice tension and a very likable and resourceful main character. So I think you did very well! Now I want to know when she heard the voice again! 🙂


  5. Now, hold the phone, is this story to be continued? Maddie’s heard the voice again? When will I get more story Marleney-bean? I was just getting right into it and it ended too soon.

    I have the feeling you and i will be moving at the exact same time. I’m so excited to hear. Ta ta for now. Xok


    • Ha, you are probably correct. I will sign docs Wed. noon, then they get over nighted to seller and back. Then the bank fund the money to her. My deposit is being wired tomorrow. :)))) Then I’m really broke.:((((. I hope to have keys by early next week as there is a great deal of work to do before I can move in. She left it a real mess which helped the price. Family emergency and all I guess. I don’t mind a little hard work. I hope to get time to write more of Maddies story soon.


  6. I remember you sharing this story in class…very well done, Marlene!


  7. Marlene, It’s taken me awhile to read your story, but it was worth it. I loved how you paced the story. I felt the terror of the girl, and having her trust the voice teaches us all to learn to trust those voices which are there to guide us. When revising, take a look at passive voice. I think you could build even more tension by eliminated the “was” and “were” verbs. Make it more active. Nice ending, by the way.

    Good luck with your move. Keep writing. My best, Barbara


    • Thanks Barbara. That’s the kind of thing I wanted from my writing class but no one offers. I’ll look at the story again once I’m settled in and can breathe again. Appreciate the input very much.


  8. La la la, snoopity snoop. Just passing through. Pretend you never saw me. I wanted to see if I’d missed a chapter of this delicious, heart pounding, nail biter. Alas, not yet. Da-hang!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are too funny so early in the morning. What in the world are you doing awake so early. The sun just woke up and I haven’t gone out to water, dig dirt or paint fences…yet. We are having a heat wave this week so maybe I’ll write another chapter. :)))) Hugs and love. Now get some sleep!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This was awesome! This is my first time to your blog and I love it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great story! I like how you took this image of a man in a nice brown suit and, by putting it where it doesn’t belong, in a storage basement, turned it menacing haha. I also really liked the way that so many questions were left for us, like, did the brown suit man really have a knife or was the danger really just thought up by the protagonist? And what was that warning voice? A spiritual companion? Her own instincts speaking up? Lots to think about…

    This made for a lovely short piece. It could also be a lovely long piece, if you continued it.



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