They Went There

How do you get rid of ghosts?

*  *  28  *  *

Another thud sounded from the second floor.

“See? There it is again,” said the man. “We need to do something about this.”

“And what exactly do you expect us to do?” asked the woman.

The dog scoffed. “The least you could do is go check it out.”

The woman turned to the dog. “And do what, exactly, when I find something?”

“Maybe there’s someone we can call,” suggested the man.

The woman sighed, her face melting from frustration to concern. “Nobody’s going to believe us unless we have some kind of proof.”

“So,” said the dog, her ears twitching, “we’re back to my idea!”

The woman scratched the dog behind her ear. “I suppose we are,” she said.

Ever since the woman’s niece had moved out, the second floor had remained virtually abandoned, so most of the lights were burned out. Normally, since there were lots of windows and skylights and no one went up there at night, this wasn’t an issue. They saved money by not replacing them. Unfortunately, with this thudding noise, it also meant that they would be walking into utter and complete darkness.

The trio grabbed flashlights (at least those with thumbs did (actually, since the man lost one of his thumbs in an accident, it might be more accurate to say those with thumb (of course, given the fact that there are only three of them and one is a dog, I’m sure there’s a better way to word that))) and headed upstairs.

The third door on the right was slightly ajar; the second door on the left was wide open; and the door directly at the end of the hallway had no doorknob. Individually, none of these were particularly disconcerting matters. When you considered, however, that there were only supposed to be three rooms on the second floor, all of those facts became disturbing.

Based on where the sound had come from downstairs, they determined that the knobless door most likely hid the target room.

“Are we really going to go there?” the man asked.

“You started this,” said the woman. “I was perfectly content to pretend it wasn’t happening.”

“So how’re we going to open it?” asked the dog.

The woman kneeled down and inspected the door, spending most of her time looking around where the knob should have been. Finally, she surrendered to the inevitable, stood and kicked the door in.

The room beyond was surprisingly well lit. There were fluorescent lights covering the ceiling, a chandelier hanging from the center of the room, and candles floating around the walls. In the center of the room was an old bald man no bigger than a child. His size, however, didn’t make them nearly as uncomfortable as the fact that he was floating about two feet off the ground and they could see right through him.

“About time you got here,” said the old man.

The younger man fainted.

The dog ran to the younger man’s side and sniffed him.

The woman stared at the old man, afraid that if she blinked, he would disappear.

“Well,” he said, “you gonna stand there all day or get in here?”

The woman’s mouth opened and closed as though she were trying to speak, but nothing came out. The dog finally gave up on the younger man and rushed to inspect the older man, bumping the woman out of her shock on the way. “What are you doing here?” the woman asked.

The old man laughed. “That’s the lamest question you could have possibly come up with.”

The dog, after having thoroughly inspected the old man, turned back to the woman. “Ok. We know there’s something here, so can we please call someone now?”

The woman smiled, realizing the ridiculousness of the situation. “And who, exactly are we going to call?”

The dog looked between the woman and the old man.

The old man grinned from ear to ear and descended until he was practically nose to nose with the dog. “That’s a good point, pooch,” he said. “Who you gonna call? Huh?

“Who you gonna call?”

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