Ghost House

I am in an old house with three floors and lots of rooms. The stairway railings are all wearing tee shirts and other bits of laundry, as if someone painstakingly dressed each pole and rail before assembling them so the tee shirts and boxers and socks held their shape once the rails were in place. There are lots of people around that I feel like I know, but I'm not sure if I know them outside of my dream. There is a ghost cat with a white face that keeps appearing and disappearing as I hurry through the house trying to avoid whatever malevolent presence seems to be after me. He is always crouched and hidden and peering at me from almost-total obscurity; from between the spokes of a bicycle, from atop a cabinet, from under a chair. I am walking fast and powerfully, and I can tell I'm tired from the physical exertion. There is an evil housekeeper who keeps finding things that belong to me and shouldn't be there and then looking at me strangely, as if she's building a case against me and each thing that I've accidentally left out of place is fueling my impending inquest. She reminds me of Mrs. Danvers from Rebecca, but also of a wicked head maid from the soap my mother watched when we were kids (her name was Helga and she was always up to fuckery). I keep trying not to meet her gaze and to appear innocent of whatever infraction she has in mind. Then I'm trying to herd people out of the house, because it becomes apparent that whatever paranormal entity I've been fearing is done cooling its heels, and the preternatural shit is about to hit the fan. No one is listening. I open a side door to look off the back porch, and notice that my housemates are dangerously close to sinking in the muck at the bottom of the flood water that has surrounded the house. I caution them to keep out of it, but they laugh at me like I'm uncool and continue to sink. I glance over the porch rail and notice that the sky is dark, but I can still see clearly. There is a flooded ditch out by the road, and I decide that it looks like the perfect place to park my car. I turn back inside and go back up to the attic. Jeff and John are putting up wallpaper. I tell them that they should watch their shit because this is the most haunted room, and if I can't satisfy the spirit causing the ruckus there will be bloody hell to pay. Jeff looks at John and appears to be considering it. "I like bloody hell," he concludes, and takes a drag off his cigarette. I turn to go back downstairs, noticing the ghost cat on the ceiling beam (his tail is hanging off, but his face is hidden). I am halfway down the stairs when I realize that the ghost will wallpaper Jeff and John to the walls if I don't get them out of there. But then I look down and see a young blonde's torso lying across a stair. She has perfect teeth and looks up at me blankly. Her lips are deep purple and drawn way up away from her face, as if she died with a torture device that held her mouth open far wider than it is meant to open. Then I realize that she is the one I've been looking for to save the day. "Jessica?!" I ask, and her eyes brighten and she lifts her ghost arms to me, looking utterly relieved. I reach down to touch her, but can't. "I'm going to save you," I tell her, and step down toward the floor. The evil housekeeper turns to give me a scathing glare, as if to say, "The hell you will!" Then I'm back with Jeff and John, and they have made gigantic Japanese lanterns out of newspapers that are bobbing and rolling on the floor, and I suddenly feel like I've royally fucked up somehow. I never know why, however, because then I wake up and have slept for an hour longer than I wanted to.

No comments: