A rear wheel on the tea trolley squeaked and rattled as I pushed it over the polished floorboards in the hallway from the kitchen, and onto the oriental rug before the fireplace. Then, as an angry heat flushed up my neck, I noticed it. The poker, the brush and the little shovel had moved, and were once again on the left of the hearth.
“For God’s sake,” I skirted the trolley and slopped a little milk from the jug onto its doily as I knocked it with a wild hand. “I don’t know what’s going on here, but it’s not clever and it’s not funny.” I ranted at the heavy damask curtains. Perhaps I kept moving the thing without realising?
My knuckles curled around the large forged iron handle when a loud command jolted through my mind, “Leave it!” I froze in place, back bent, arm outstretched, clutching the handle. “Leave it!” The words came again and I released my grip and scanned the periphery of my vision. There was nothing there.
“Nonsense!” I lifted the contraption no more than a half inch from the hearthstone when something pushed my arm down with such strength that I saw the impression of fingers about my wrist.