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Breathing (1)

January 1997

It is said that "Dead men tell no tales".....Shouldn't that mean they don't BREATHE either?

My story begins about 10 years ago, when I was about 14. I lived in a large old house in London, England with my parents, two sisters and two year old niece.

On this particular night, my older sister, Debbie, my niece, Amie and I were the only ones in the house and it was time to put Amie to bed. After saying goodnight Debbie took Amie upstairs to her room and began the usually long process of getting her off to sleep. I continued to watch television until around half an hour later when Debbie called down to me asking for me to come up. A little irritated, I asked why and she replied, "just come up here!"
So with no small amount of disgruntlement I made my way upstairs and walked into Amie's room. Amie was sitting quite happily in her crib, AWAKE I noted and Debbie said "Listen."

I listened. There was a quiet "breathing" coming from somewhere in the room which I couldn't pinpoint. I leaned into the crib to listen to Amie's breathing and watch the rise and fall of her little chest to see if it coincided with what we were hearing. My heart crawled up into my throat as I realized it wasn't her. I looked at up at Debbie who's face had turned pale when she saw my reaction. I guess I must have gone pale too.

As we stood there in silence the breathing became faster and faster until it stopped a minute or so later. I picked Amie up out of her crib and hustled us all back downstairs to the living room where we spent the rest of the evening until our parents got home. We didn't actually tell them what had happened, there was a sort of unspoken agreement between us but nothing else happened that night and Amie eventually got to sleep.

I had sort of hoped the noise was due to old pipes in the roof or something, so the next day I climbed up into the loft to look. I climbed as deep into the corners as I could and checked all around the space above Amie's room but found nothing.

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