Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: The Amicable Haunting

The Dunsly House was not haunted. That would mean a soul, or a ghost, or a poltergeist, or a demon, or a boogeyman, or some other human affair had infested the floorboards. No, it wasn’t haunted. Psychic residue had merely seeped into the architecture, giving the place a personality.

It tried to express itself, but it wasn’t a person, so its manners were different. Too different for its owners to ever realizing it was trying to talk. Still, its actions were considerate it. It insulated much better in the winter than it should have, so long as kids were in the house. It prevented the power from going out during some very bad storms. When somebody forgot that they’d left a cup of water in the microwave for coffee, it sometimes opened the door and removed the cup to put it in view. But some nitwit turned around, upset the unexpected cup and burned herself, and well, from there on it was “haunted.”

But it wasn’t haunted. No one had died there. Two people who had lived there had died, but not in the house. The house didn’t even know those people were dead and hoped, much as pet dogs hope, that they would come home some day. It would be a happy day.

The house hated paranormal investigators and skeptics, and kept quiet around them. The kids who resided in it watched enough science programming for it to learn what humans did to new forms of life they hadn’t studied before. Damned if the Dunsly House was going to be the first house to be dissected rather than demolished. Its only expression to a “ghost hunter” was an incidental close of a door on one of their heels. They debunked it, and the floorboards groaned in laughter. Aside from being insulted that its sentience was mistaken for a lowly ghost, it didn’t want to be discovered. It wanted to be lived in.


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