A Home For The Homeless

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Cover image: Hua Ling on Unsplash.

A Home For The Homeless

Have you ever stopped to consider what happens to the homeless ghosts? I mean we’re not all lucky enough to have castles to haunt or mansions in which we can terrorize. Truth is, there are plenty of us that don’t have any four walls to call our own. We are cast adrift to search for year after year, until we find somewhere that we can call our own.

The building could not really be called a house. Even at its best it would have been pushing the definition to include this structure. Just like us, it’s best days are way in the past. It’s a bit of a skeleton in places, where its cladding has slipped, leaving it exposed to even more destructive elements. It is a shadow of its former self.

I wasn’t the first ghost to come across the place. No, Siree, there were already two haunters a haunting, or rather not, for there was no one to scare. I drifted down the chimney, spluttering on the coal dust that my decent disturbed, only to find two other ghostly presences lounging on the rat infested furniture. Okay, okay, I know they could not really be sitting having no physical substance, but that was the illusion that they created.

“You could have entered through the door,” one said.

“Or through the window,” said the other, turning to point out the frame from which the glass had long since fallen.

“But never mind, you’re here now,” the first spook spoke again. “I presume you are one... of us.”

“Dead, you mean?”

“No, that’s pretty obvious. One of the... displaced... the homeless.”

I nodded my head. “And I’m so bone-tired, or I would be if I had any left.”

The two ghosts looked at each other and I somehow knew that my future was being decided upon. It wasn’t their expressions that gave it away, so much as a frisson in the air.

“You can stay,” announced the second ghost. “Just don’t be surprised by the boredom.”

For a while I did not notice the monotony of scaring nothing but the various vermin and the occasional bird that ventured inside. That might sound a bit heartless, which of course we were, but ghosts, well they have to haunt and to do anything well you have to keep going with it.

Time didn’t really mean much to us. The building became a bit more derelict, but we had no need to sleep nor eat, so apart from keeping count of the night-times it was impossible to keep track. I gave up once I got to two hundred and eighty-two moon-rises.

Others joined us until there were six of us, all unloved and unnoticed, failing in our duty to scare. We took it in turns to pretend to be alive, so the others could manifest out of the walls or call out in a creepy voice, but even that grew tiresome. That’s why the arrival caused such a stir.

“He can’t be moving in, that’s for sure,” I said, for the building was by this time in a very sorry state.

The others looked at me. I could feel rather than see their skepticism.

“Perhaps he doesn’t have a home,” said one.

“Well, he can’t live here! This is a dead place with no room for the living.”

“But,” I said, “perhaps we should not be too hasty in scaring him away. We could all do with a bit of real honing of our haunting skills; this might be the perfect opportunity.”

And so what did we do? We made ourself scarce while from the vantage of invisibility we could watch and wait.

He was a huge man, a hulking shaggy figure that only just squeezed himself through the door. In one hand he carried a bag that we later learned was full of the rags that he used as clothes. Perhaps he thought that being alone he could throw modesty out of the window, but more than once several of us turned an alarmingly lifelike pink.

By mutual consent we gave him a couple of days to settle in. Perhaps while he was there he would carry out a few basic repairs, enough to at least keep the wind and the rain out. Stormy weather caused havoc with our constitution, making us fall apart and disperse, and sometimes we’d get mixed up with each other when reforming. The weather did not seem to bother him.

For two days he seemed to do nothing but lounge around. And when he wasn’t lounging he was sleeping. We had made several attempts at scaring him; sudden appearances through a wall, a ‘WOOO!” in the silence of the night. If he noticed he did not care. In fact once I had to sneak out and pick off bits of plasma from his shoe where he had kicked a hole in me.

It was no good. He would have to go. It was one thing sharing a house with the living, but this was like sharing with a zombie.

We would launch a planned attack. Each of us would take it in turns to appear, to float around and blow in his face. We would make the vermin run across his feet and up his legs, and when he was tired out and traumatized we would launch into our final coordinated battle.

The night was stormy which for once we decided would be to our advantage. As much as a ghost can be creepy to see, how much creepier would it be when it was dissolving and reforming? We did our best, we really did. Floating out of walls, down the chimney, rattling the pots and pans and we ‘WOOOed’ for all we were worth.

He didn’t care. The most we got from him was a half-hearted swat, like you’d give to a fly not a ghost. We were decidedly dispirited, and definitely dejected, and then came the noise. An alarming rumble was coming from the man’s stomach. Was he about to convulse? Explode? Drop dead and join our ranks?

This noise came time and time again, each time that bit louder than the previous rumble. I think we all grew that bit paler for I know I had never heard anything like it. And then there was a different noise, like something had popped and the man visibly deflated.

Oh, that wind, it blew us out through window and door. The noxious fumes were too much for us to take. We were used to the smell of damp and rot, but that... that wind brought such a foul stench even we could not live... err... exist alongside it.

So we’re homeless again. Who knows how long it will take us to find somewhere to shelter, but somewhere there’s a building neglected and derelict, and then we’ll be home again. And this time we will be sure to scare anyone away that dares to approach with their fume-laden wind.

 

 

 


Submitted: September 05, 2020

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Mike S.

Spooky-good again, Hull

Sat, September 5th, 2020 9:00pm

Author
Reply

This sort of thing seems to be where my head is at these days. Thanks, Mike.

Thu, September 10th, 2020 6:45am

Tammi Fitzpatrick

That's too funny! I love it!

Sun, September 6th, 2020 6:09pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Tammi. Glad you enjoyed the read.

Mon, September 7th, 2020 4:48am

Vance Currie

Ha-ha. Good one, Hully. A real gas, one might say.

Sun, September 6th, 2020 9:34pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Joe. Glad you enjoyed it.

Mon, September 7th, 2020 4:42am

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