These Hollow Walls

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
"48 Cardinal Drive. The home I never left, when I was alive or now that I'm dead. From the womb, until the tomb."
Heather has been living in spirit at 48 Cardinal Drive for the last 34 years, hiding away from the inhabitants but taking an interest in watching their lives in depth. But now, a new and dark occupant George Colby has arrived, and she has never wanted to leave more.

Submitted: November 06, 2018

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Submitted: November 06, 2018

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Chapter 1
 

48 Cardinal Drive. The home I never left, when I was alive or now that I'm dead. From the womb, until the tomb. On the 6th of November in 1984, after years of suffering from PTSD, I took my own life at the age of 26. My body wasn’t discovered for about four weeks.
Much to my dismay, the person that did find me was the only person I had left. My landlord. He had turned up that morning to evict me. I was unemployed and suffered from chronic anthropophobia, which prevented me from going to the mailbox, let alone from getting a mind-numbing 9 to 5 job that paid the bills. My late mother’s inheritance I had spent on drugs. Yes, the bad kind. The only thing I had ever loved incidentally took my life too. Heroin was my poison of choice, in the end. And let me say, the end wasn’t so bad at first.

I had the choice whether I was to reveal my existence as a ‘ghost’ to the next residents of my shabby 2 bedroom heap. Of course, I chose not to. My new home became the hollowness in the walls, the slits in the floorboards, the slight draft under the porch door – whichever discreet method I could find of existing. For the next couple of months, I indulged myself in learning about the lives of Billy and Janet Rhodes, a relatively newly-wedded couple, who also happened to be newly-miserable. Billy discovered weeks after the honeymoon that he was suffering from lung cancer. Unable to afford the medical bills, the relationship started splintering under pressure from week one. Janet, a reasonably well-dressed, fresh face started having an affair with some beer-bellied guy called Micky, before breaking things off with poor boney Billy and disappearing out of the door one day. I don’t know if Billy Rhodes ever recovered from the heartbreak or the cancer, because he only lasted for four months, before he made his departure too.

My interest was never in disturbing them, rearranging their furniture or slamming doors in the middle of the night. I just wanted to know just how much better (or worse) other people had it than I had. I wanted to be nosey, but to remain hidden. More importantly I suppose I wanted a distraction from the fact I was a lost soul, trapped between two plains of reality. So, I kept it up. Over the years, I got to know a variety of families and couples from the comfort of my own invisibility. Each dynamic became more tedious to pay attention to than the last. I was coming to terms with the fact I would never be free. I would be stuck here watching the same mundane families live their lives, with slight hiccups in between like a divorce or the death of a pet dog. I found it shocking how boring, simple or ‘normal’ most people’s lives truly were.

Until George Colby moved in - and for once in my life and death, I really did want to get the hell out of that house.


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