The Haunting

The Haunting
"Ah, this is the life," I said, settling into my easy chair and taking a sip of orange drink, "Not a care in the world."
 
I glanced at the clock. 6:04. The show had already begun. Grinding my teeth in anticipation, I flipped on the television. A fierce battle sequence erupted on screen. I rocked and squirmed in my chair, punching the air and feeling every blow. Captain Niros kicked a bandit in the face, sending him tumbling to the bottom of a steep incline, where he was graphically impaled on a number of jagged rocks. Suddenly the title card appeared: "Legendary Journey". I cheered, pumping my fist, and cleared my throat in anticipation of the theme song.
 
Click, went the television, changing to channel 46. The intro to a funniest videos program blared from the speakers.
 
"Um, excuse me," I said, to no one in particular, "I was watching that."
 
There was no response. I looked at the remote, which sat perched on the arm of the recliner. On screen an obese child stumbled into an ornately crafted wedding cake. The studio audience howled with laughter. Shrugging, I picked up the remote and changed the channel back. The cast of "The Legendary" were piloting their airship through a howling sandstorm. The actors stumbled back and forth across the screen, cursing through perfect white teeth.
 
"Boy oh boy!" I exclaimed, craning my neck forward and shoveling a fistful of chips into my mouth.
 
Click, went the television, as the channel changed yet again. On channel 12, an anthropomorphic dog was expressing his distaste for a particular brand of kibble.
 
"Oh come on!" I cried.
 
"Woooooooo!" a ghastly voice moaned, "Wooooooo!"
 
"What's all this now?" I said, getting to my feet. "Are you a ghost? Is this a haunting?"
 
"WOOOOOOO!" The voice replied, insistently.
 
"What, is that supposed to be scary or something?" I said, turning off the set and starting towards the kitchen. "Get lost."
 
I felt a tug and the specter yanked the bag out of my hand, sending it skittering across the floor.
 
"Hey!" I said, "I have to reseal that to ensure freshness!"
 
"Wooooo!" Said the ghost.
 
"Yeah, right, 'woo! woo!' I heard you the first eighteen times." Rolling my eyes, I stooped to pick up the bag.
 
The ghost yanked the package away yet again. It levitated at eye level, just out of my reach. I crossed my arms defiantly, saying nothing. Almost immidiately the bag began to juke and shiver. Seconds later, it exploded with a pop, scattering a rain of chips throughout the kitchen. Cabinet drawers snapped open and began hurling their contents into the air. The garbage disposal roared to life, grinding and growling as it spouted a geyser of rotting vegetables into the ceiling tiles.
 
"Hey!" I shouted, ducking and covering my ears, "What the hell is wrong with you!"
 
Soon the ruckus died down. Crushed potato chips and bits of browning carrots coated every surface, along with a thin layer of watery muck. A fork, embedded in the wall, vibrated like a recently fired arrow. I threw up my hands and started down the hall, shaking my head.
 
"Do what you want." I said, rounding the corner into my room and ignoring the hail of bent silverware which clattered against the wall behind me. "I have to get up early tomorrow."
 
Once inside, I locked the door and crammed a pair of pants into the crack at the bottom. I flipped off the light and climbed into bed.
 
"I showed that old ghost", I thought. "Don't give em' the satisfaction."
 
Closing my eyes, I pulled the covers up to my chin. Not a minute had passed before I heard the clunk of footsteps approaching the door. The knob turned ever so slowly in one direction, and then in the other. The door began to rattle. Then, a knock. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.
 
I let out a sigh, rolling over.
 
"What is it NOW?"
 
"Woooooooooo!" came the reply.
 
"Oh my god." I said. "What is this crap."
 
The knocking grew more insistent. Soon the ghost was pounding. I snatched up a book from the nightstand and heaved it at halfheartedly in the direction of the door.
 
Thump! Thump! Thump! Came the response.
 
"Hey!" I shouted, "Cut the shit!"
 
Bang! Bang! Bang!
 
"Aarrrrrrggggggggg!!" I cried, kicking my feet and pressing a pillow over my head.
 
THROOM! THROOM! THROOM!
 
There was the sound of cracking wood, and the door splintered open. The lights in the room began to flicker, and the clock radio next to the bed blared to life, filling the room with the rushing sounds of static.The ghost let out an otherworldly shriek and a shockwave rippled through the room, shattering the windows and overturning my bed.
 
"Eek!" I said as the bed tipped over.
 
I tumbled to the floor, the bed rolling on top of me. The floor began to rumble and shake. The sound of static grew to a roar punctuated by peals of demented laughter. Peering from under the mattress, I could see that the closet doors had sprung open, and heaps of clothes were streaming out, whipping themselves into a sort of makeshift cyclone at the center of the room. One of my nicer shirts, still on its hanger, danced out the window and whirled off into the darkness.
 
"Oh man," I muttered, "that cost 30 dollars."
 
In response, the ghost shrieked and directed a pair of soiled leggings at my head. Striking my face, they crumpled loosely to the floor. With a grimace, I picked them up between my thumb and forefinger and tossed them into the vortex. Suddenly there came an immense groaning sound, and billows of plaster began to rain down upon my makeshift shelter. I watched a thin crack work its way along the ceiling's perimeter, until with a final cracking groan, the entire roof peeled itself from the walls and went tumbling away.
 
"WOOOOOOO!" Shrieked the ghost enthusiastically. I traced my finger along a crack in the floor, pretending not to notice.
 
The vortex--which until this time had only contained clothing, empty soda cans, and loose scraps of paper--now began to increase in size and speed, scooping up larger and larger objects as it stretched towards the heavens. Heavy chests of drawers, filing cabinets, and various other pieces of furniture came careening towards me, crashing against the bed frame before whooshing another lap around the room. I yelped and wriggled further under the mattress.
 
The noise had grown deafening. The wind screamed through the tiny opening under the bed at what seemed like the speed of sound. I pressed my hands to my ears, squeezing my eyes shut. The bed began to tremble and shake, and I felt it life from my back and lift into the air. I prayed for its safe passage to heaven while digging my fingers into the white shag carpeting, envisioning the cruel fate which would befall me if I were to lose my grip. The whirlwind screamed and howled as it wrenched my legs into the air, and soon I was nearly perpendicular to the floor. White-knuckled, I squealed and begged for the mercy of the gods.
 
And then...it was over.
 
It was as if someone, somewhere had flipped a switch. Everything stopped. I dropped to the floor, releasing my grip on the carpeting. The room was, and still. Rolling over, I opened my eyes and looked around. It was all gone. Every piece of furniture, every appliance, everything. Even the walls seemed to have been torn out by their roots. What had once been my home had now been reduced to a small patch of shag carpeting in an empty residential lot. I rolled onto my back and sighed heavily.
 
"I'll give you credit for being thorough," I said, gazing up at the stars, "But I still don't see what the point of all this was."
 
"Woooooooo." said the ghost, dissipating into nothingness.
 
I mumbled something indistinct in reply and turned over on my side, drawing my knees to my chest. Closing my eyes, I thought of the bread maker, and of the television set, and of the potted plant from the guest bedroom. I imagined they were rising, gently, and pushing their way into the jet stream. I imagined they were hurtling through the clouds above Moscow with great speed. I imagined they were plunging into the sea on the darkest of nights, and sinking down, and down, into the lightless depths, where the cloudy-eyed creatures would pay them no mind.
 
Soon enough, I was fast asleep.


Photo Credits
1