Lynn Miclea: Beyond Static

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Image by Mateusz Omelan from Pixabay

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image by Mateusz Omelan from Pixabay

Beyond Static

Lynn Miclea

Startled, Olivia jerked her head up and looked toward the kitchen. What was that? Having been deeply asleep and suddenly jarred awake from a nap she desperately needed, she frowned in confusion and struggled to stand up from the recliner she had been dozing in.

She focused and listened for any possible sound coming from the kitchen. What had she heard? What woke her up? Then she heard it again — static coming from the kitchen.

Hesitant, she slowly approached the kitchen and peered in. It was empty.

She wished Douglas were still there to help her. Recovering from her husband’s death three years earlier was the hardest thing she had ever been through, and it had devastated her. Depths of grief had threatened to destroy her, but she slowly made it through. Douglas was the love of her life, and the loss still overwhelmed her. Times like this when she was scared were incredibly difficult, and she needed him. How could she face this alone? She blinked back the tears and stepped into the kitchen.

Static again cut through the air, then went quiet. Olivia’s eyes zeroed in on the radio sitting on the counter. The radio’s large, luminous dial lit up and then went dark. What the —

Her heart pounding in her chest, Olivia slowly stepped farther into the kitchen and gingerly approached the counter, her eyes glued to the radio. It lit up again, and static emanated from it. This time the dial stayed lit.

Her hand trembling, she slowly reached toward it.

She jumped as a burst of static came from the radio. It went quiet again, and the dial light went off.

Tentatively, she pushed the power button. The radio lit up as it always did, and a song from the ’80s emanated from the speakers. Good. That was normal, and it was a favorite song of hers. “I love this song,” she murmured. She pushed the power button again, and the radio went off. Quiet and peace settled in the kitchen, and she let out her breath slowly.

Olivia shook her head. She must have imagined it. It made no sense.

As she turned to leave the kitchen, the sound of static made her hair stand up on end. Eyes wide with fright, she turned back and stared at the radio. The dial was again lit up. It had clearly turned on by itself.

Strange whispers filled the air. The light in the radio dial flickered, and static cut through the air. Then more eerie whispers.

She sucked in a breath and felt her throat close as an icy tentacle of terror crept up her spine. This was impossible.

The whispers coalesced into discernible words.


Olivia gasped as goosebumps rose on her arms.

The voice grew louder and clearer. “GET OUT!”

She froze for a few seconds and could barely breathe. Then terror flooded her body, and she turned and ran from the house. Confused and panicked, she tripped over the step down to the porch, but quickly caught her balance. Her heart pounding, she broke out in a cold sweat. Her breath came in quick, shallow gasps, and she rushed down the driveway to the sidewalk, then turned and looked back at the house.

Movement got her attention, and Olivia watched as her next-door neighbor’s tree started leaning toward her house. It suddenly picked up speed, and a loud crash shook the ground as the tree crashed through the roof of her house. Her mouth opened in shock as she stared at the ruined structure of her once beautiful home.

“Nooo,” she whispered as she stared.

Trembling slightly, she went to the front door, opened it, and looked inside. The tree had destroyed much of her home. She gasped as she glanced in her living room. The tree had landed next to the recliner where she had been napping, with one sharp branch embedded in the back of the recliner. If she had still been there sleeping, she would have been impaled.

Her throat tight, she walked into the kitchen. The radio sat on the counter as though nothing had happened.

She stepped close to the radio and put her hand on it. “Thank you,” she whispered to it.

The dial lit up briefly and then faded, and one small chirp could be heard. Whoever or whatever it was, it clearly heard her and acknowledged her words.

She let out a long breath, knowing she needed to deal with home insurance, the neighbor, and fixing the house. She would take pictures and she knew who to contact. She trusted things would work out and she would take care of what needed to be done, but she would deal with that soon enough.

She chewed on her lower lip. Instead of fear, she now felt protected, and her lips curled up in a small smile. Whatever spirit was in the radio, it was not trying to hurt her — it wanted to help her.

Despite having to deal with the mess, Olivia felt a warm rush of relief. Something or someone was watching out for her. And having someone look after her and protect her gave her a sense of peace. Maybe staying in the house would work out, even without Douglas.

As she turned to go back to the living room, the radio dial lit up and the radio turned on. That same ’80s song was playing — the one she liked. She started singing along and then abruptly stopped. Was that song put on deliberately by the spirit? Was that song playing because she had said she liked it? Was the spirit trying to please her?

As the song ended, the announcer’s voice filled the air. “Again, that was dedicated to Olivia from Douglas. And now, a word from one of our …” The radio turned off and was silent.

Olivia stared at the radio. What? Did she hear that right? To her from Douglas? That was impossible and too coincidental. Was Douglas here with her, helping her? Was he the spirit in the radio? Was it her sweet husband who warned her and saved her life?

Her eyes burned and a tear slid down one cheek. “Thank you, Douglas, my love,” she whispered.

The dial lit up, the radio made a small chirp, and then it turned off.

Olivia placed her hand on the radio and choked back a sob.


Copyright © 2021 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.

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