500 Words Story: Too Many Roommates

They scared the be-jeebers out of me the first time I saw them. It was late at night as I was getting up to pee. Slowly stumbling down the hall to the bathroom, everything was dark with only enough light from the windows to allow me to make out the outlines of the doorways and corners, enough to help me from stubbing my toes. I saw the glimmer out of the corner of my eye and turned to see him standing there as a hollow see-through man. He was standing in the kitchen, slightly blurry and translucent but I was able to make out some sort of packages in his arms. He saw me and we both screamed. He dropped the packages and I jumped backed hitting the wall with my elbow. As I looked back up from my hurt elbow he was gone, the kitchen was dark, the hall was dark, and my elbow throbbed. For the rest of the night I lay in bed with my light on and my eyes open. The thing that stuck with me through this whole thing was the fact that I could hear him scream…and I heard the sound of his packages hitting the floor. I never knew you could “hear” a ghost.

I wouldn’t allow the “ghost” idea until the next time I saw them. Again, it was night, very late and very dark. This time it was insomnia. I couldn’t sleep and when I did I had stress induced dreams and fits. Usually I will move to the couch and watch late-night TV until I was bored into sleep. But this time I just moved to the couch and laid there staring at the ceiling. I could barely make out anything in my living room…although there was enough light from the windows to where I could see the outlines of the room, again, so I wouldn’t stub my toes walking around. As I lay there I started thinking about the kitchen visitor again when a low flash of light…more of a glimmer off to my right appeared. A young man, younger than before stood there pointed something at me, like a TV remote. He was only two feet from my face. He kept clicking on the remote thing and then leaned forward right through me. I crawled up over the back of the couch faster than my skin could crawl off me. Standing I saw my ghostly visitor slacked jawed staring at me. I heard a faint “what the….who are you?” and his questions faded out as the light quickly faded.

So now I have ghosts. Some people have cockroaches or mice…me? I have ghosts. Try and find an exterminator for that one…and no, the Ghostbusters aren’t real. But it isn’t all bad…and actually I’m finding that they really aren’t “ghosts” as we’ve been led to believe. I mean, they aren’t restless spirits from the past seeking to resolve some issue from their untimely death. What they turn out to be are simply “spirits” from the past that are currently living out their life as they normally would. What I think is happening is that somehow we are both able to see an overlapping point in time. It turns out that first “ghostly visit” of the man in the kitchen was really a man that lived in my house 83 years ago. It was a Saturday afternoon for him and he had just returned from grocery shopping. For me it was a Monday night around 2am. How do I know this?

Well, recently I’ve begun to see more and more “visitors” during the daylight hours as well. They are light and airy and difficult to make out with all the light of the day, but I can see cloudy motion and strange outlines. Sometimes it’s my kitchen with people moving about, sometimes it’s other areas of my house. A few times I’ve even seen a couple people outside…weird thing about that is that they seem to be floating in air or sitting in mid-air as I mow lawn or rake the leaves. And with all these “sightings” I’ve begun to realize that we can hear each other as well. Mostly we’ve scared each other and all there is time for are gasps and screams.

So I’ve started leaving notes around the house. Sticky notes on the walls and mirrors. Longer notes taped to the windows and strategically left around the house. These notes tell them my story. I tell them who I am, where I live and more importantly, when I live. As I’ve done this I’ve also begun to notice more notes from them as well. The trend seems to be catching on, but their notes are strange fading messages that seem to be floating in the air in some points and written on the walls at others. And where I thought I only had one family of “ghosts” it now turns out to be many many more. I haven’t completely put all the messages together yet, since they seem so disconnected, but what I’ve figured out is that there are several people from several points in time. One is even in the future. I’ve come to realize that those glimpses of people sitting in mid-air out over my front lawn while I was mowing were just the future ghosts sitting in their living room from the new add-on someone apparently builds on to this house in the future.

I was also confused by some of their notes at first since they didn’t seem to be talking to me, but then I realized that they were talking to each other. The future homeowner was posting notes for the guy 83 years ago. This kinda ticked me off at first…I mean, their MY ghosts right? It’s MY house? But then I realized that they are probably all thinking the same thing. I sort of feel bad for the guys in the past since they are only communicating with us in their future. I can imagine it’s rather difficult to explain that one to the rest of your family. At least I can simply say “yeah, I got ghosts” (while not fully explaining the future ghost idea for fear of sounding crazy).

So, yeah, I got ghosts. Some from the past, some from the future. And even though I live alone, sometimes I feel like I really have way too many roommates.