I wake and see through my bedroom doorway that the kitchen light is on.

The kitchen light shouldn’t be on.

Like most people, I have a nightly routine. The kitchen light’s the last thing I switch off before going to bed. Now I wonder if I’ve forgotten to turn it off, or if there’s somebody in my little flat.

Which is the likelier possibility?

I might’ve forgotten to switch off the kitchen light. It’s possible, because everything is possible. But it’s unlikely. I’ve never forgotten it before. Also, I would not only have to forget to switch it off, but then jump into bed, switch off the bedroom lamp, and not see through the open doorway that the kitchen light is still on.

So if I haven’t forgotten, what’s the alternative?

It’s unlikely that somebody’s broken in. Why would they be so careless to switch the light on? And if they could be so cavalier, then surely they wouldn’t be furtive. I’d hear them doing whatever it is they came in to do.

So then it has to be something … what, supernatural? It’s just as silly. If it was something supernatural, why would the extent of their incursion be to switch a kitchen light on?

But now that my mind’s on that track, I do think about that. Little things have occurred in my flat that have been dismissible, yet unexplainable.

In my study, I have a salt lamp that I usually switch on when I’m writing. While I worked on one script that featured sleep paralysis and a subworld of shadows, the lamp would flicker incessantly. It’s never done that before, and has never done it since.

Other times, I heard faint shuffling footsteps coming from the kitchen. I’ve lived here in my little flat long enough that I’ve learned the sounds of the neighbourhood – the possums outside that breathe like Darth Vader, the neighbour’s wheezing car, the hurried little footsteps that scurry across the roof at night (possums again), and all those things that have largely become white noise to me.

The shuffling has always sounded like a person, and inside my flat, but whenever I’ve gotten up to investigate, naturally I’ve found nothing. The footsteps have stopped.

There could be logical explanations – ranging from fluctuations in electricity (for the flickering lamp), sounds I haven’t identified that are filtering into my flat (for the footsteps), to an overactive imagination (always working), but sometimes I believe thinking about the extraordinary opens you to an array of possibilities that usually aren’t accessible.

Because what else is there in life? Is it just this and that’s it? Just what we can see, touch, hear, and all that?

Everybody has weird unexplainable experiences. Some disregard them entirely, even when they’re wholly inexplicable. Others invest in them fully, even when they’re pedestrian. I don’t believe easily – I nurture a healthy scepticism. But neither do I dismiss arbitrarily.

I can discount that most experiences, if not nearly all experiences, have a logical explanation.

But not all.

Somewhere in between scepticism and belief, there might just be a reality that exists on our periphery.

I get out of bed and, quietly as possible, make my way out of my bedroom, through the living room doorway, and into the adjoining kitchen.


I check the laundry, which adjoins the kitchen, just to be sure nobody’s in there, and then also check the laundry closet.


The back door and front doors are locked.

I am alone.

Switching off the kitchen light, I return to bed, but it’s a long time before I can sleep again.