Michael set down the groceries and looked around the kitchen.
“Avery?” He whispered. There was no answer. He slowly pulled the ripe green pear from the bag and tip toed over to the sink quickly. He washed the juicy fruit and was about to take a bite when the fruit flew from his hands and into the trash.
“God damn it, I
just want a pear! It’s been months! I didn’t even like them that much until I couldn’t have them!” Michael stomped his foot like an angry child. Avery appeared and glared at him.
“Fuck pears!” He shouted.
“Why do you hate pears so much?” Michael asked, pouting his bottom lip.
“I don’t know, but I do. I don’t want to be floating around the house and then suddenly get a smell of some disgusting pear!” Avery crossed his arms.
“Can you even smell?” Michael was shouting now, too.
“No! But what if I magically get my sense of smell back? Huh? What then? Then I gotta smell pears all damn day!” Avery snapped.
“God damn poltergeist! Let me eat the fruit I want or I’ll get a fucking exorcist in here!” Michael bitched and stomped upstairs.
“Yeah right. Who ya gonna call, Michael? No-”
“Ghost fucking Busters.” Michael shouted.
“Very funny.” Avery rolled his eyes. “No one will believe that you have a real ghost in your home.”
“There is definitely some activity here.” The psychic mumbled as soon as she stepped into the house.
“Well, we didn’t get to
talk long on the phone. But I just
wanted to tell you-”
“Shhh.” She shushed him. “I’m sensing a male spirit. Very bitter and angry.” She felt along the wood walls.
“....Uh...Yeah. What I was trying to say was that I really do have a-”
“He’s very active. The most active spirit I’ve ever seen...” She
“Yeah he is. He always leaves the shower running at night. He doesn’t even have a body why does he need to-”
“I’m sensing a name that starts with a B.” She said.
“Not exactly.” Michael said.
“He’s really attached to the upstairs. Lets see what we can see.”
“The thing is that I already knew he was here I just wanted you to-”
“This way.” She turned down the hall. Michael sighed.
“It’s the room to the left. We share the master bedroom. He’s not a bad roommate he just-”
“This stain...It was where he was killed. That’s why he’s so sad.” She said, placing her hand over her heart as she looked at the red brown blood stain on the wall.
“Yeah, it really kind of freaks me out. But anyways, his name’s Avery and I just wanted you to-”
It’s where he used to sit a lot when he was still among the
living.” She said, in an eerie voice.
“You’re really not helping me here.” Michael said.
“He was unhappy when he was alive.” she said.
“Get out of my house.”
“Hi, Michael. We spoke on the phone.” Michael shook the fathers hand outside the door to his house.
“Yes, Father Bill. it’s a pleasure to meet you.” He shook Michael's hand with a firm grip that proved he was not as old as he looked. The man had shoulder length gray hair and his eyes were a soft brown that showed how much he cared for people. Michael had
never been close to religion, but
he could see that that was where this mans passion was.
“Are you ready to go inside? I didn’t tell him you were coming and he can be kind of...unpredictable. Just a warning.” Michael smiled sympathetically.
“Nothing I haven’t handled before. Lets go on then.” He smiled warmly at Michael, and followed him inside. The father stopped just inside the door. “You live here, son?”
“It’s just that... The house is completely filled with this negative energy. It’s hard to believe anyone could live in here without being effected in some way.” The father said. He gripped the crucifix around his neck and mumbled a silent prayer. He held a bible in his right hand as he looked around the house. “I’m feeling a little ill just being this far into the house.” He said, after only taking ten or so steps into the house.
“Really? I’ve never felt that...” Michael looked around, trying to see what the father saw.
“You said on the phone that he prefers a certain room over the rest?” The father asked.
“Yes, the second floor master bedroom.” Michael
“Will you show me?”
“Of course.” Michael headed upstairs, the father following behind.
“You share this room with him?” The father asked as they approached.
“Yes. He usually sits at the window but we still try to be respectful of each other.” Michael blushed a bit when he knocked on the door. “Avery? You in there?” He asked through the door. He stood back and waited, the door swung open gently. The fathers eyes went wide a little bit. “Nothing you haven’t dealt with, right?” Michael winked. The father shrugged.
“Avery, this is Father Bill. I invited him over, to see if he could help with any of this. Maybe he could help us
find something-” As the father attempted to step into the room, the door swung shut violently. Michael heard the father grunt and a thud as he fell on the other side of the door.
“Avery!” Michael shouted, he ran to the door and opened it. Seeing the father hold his nose as blood gushed from his fingers. He moaned in pain. “Father I am so, so, so sorry. He’s not usually violent.” Michael said, helping the old man up.
“It’s alright.” The father
“You don’t happen to have any pears on you, do you?” Michael asked.
“What?” The father was slightly annoyed.
“Nothing.” Michael shook his head and led the father back downstairs, sitting him on a stool in the
kitchen. He reached for a folded towel and pressed it to the fathers nose.
“I just folded those.” Avery stood in the doorway. The father screamed in a withered voice.
“He’s here! H-h...He can...Oh my lord.” The father made a cross over his chest. Avery glared at him.
“Get out of here,
Avery. I can't
believe you did that. He was just trying to help you.” Michael glared at his ghost host.
“That’s shit, Michael. Is that what he told you? All he wants to do is kick me out of here.” Avery said.
“What? No he doesn’t. He wants to help you.”
“He’s a liar!” Avery shouted. The walls shook and furniture rumbled as if there was an earthquake.
“What are you talking about?” Michael shouted over the rumbling.
“I’ve seen men like him. They want to get rid of me!” Avery cried, transparent tears falling down his transparent cheeks.
“I’m sorry. I can't help you!” The father grabbed his bag and ran. He ran and reached the doorway when he realized that Avery stood between him and the way out. He stared, terrified, at the short ghost. Avery took a deep breath, though it was pointless to do so, and shouted in the mans face. The father covered his face and cried. He ran through the ghost in a desperate attempt to leave the house. Avery shimmered as the mans form passed through him and he shivered as the Father started his car, and left.
The house was in ruins. The furniture was over turned and pictures had fallen from the walls. A crack ran up the side of the study wall. Dishes had fallen out of shelves in the kitchen and a window was broken in the living room.
“What the fuck was that, Avery? He was a sweet old man who just wanted to help.”
“No he wasn’t. He wanted to-” Avery was calm while speaking, but Michael still interrupted him.
“You just want to make the rest of us miserable. Don’t you?”
“You’re not listening to me...” Avery whispered.
“You just hurt a harmless old man who only wanted to help us. Is this another thing on the list of stupid things that you
hate?” Michael continued.
“He wanted to hurt me.” Avery said, voice still only a whisper.
“He was seventy four years old!” Michael shouted. “He couldn’t hurt you if he tried! You’re dead, Avery! YOU ARE DEAD!” Michael snapped. The room was silent. Michael breathed heavily. Avery hovered silently just a few inches above the floor. A single tear trickled from his eye and dripped onto the floor, vanishing moments after it hit the ground. Avery looked up at
him sadly and Michael knew he had gone to far. The pain in those hollow eyes broke his heart.
“Avery, I-...I’m sorry I didn’t mean to-” Avery floated up to the ceiling and his feet had just disappeared through the floor and Michael closed his eyes in regret. He heard the door shut upstairs and the soft clicking of a lock from the inside of his room. He swallowed sadly and looked around at the ruins of his home. He sighed and reached for the broom.
Michael had only begun sweeping the remains of the kitchen when he had fallen asleep on an overstuffed arm chair in the study. He snored softly and woke suddenly when he heard a small tinkling sound.
Avery hovered in front of the mantel. A golden glass dome clock sat untouched by his doused fury. He moved one of the hands quietly. A soft chime playing. Michael looked around and wiped a bit of drool from his mouth.
“I didn’t want to wake you. I remember how good sleep is.” Avery whispered. “Did you sleep well?” He asked.
“Yeah...thanks.” Michael mumbled. He looked at his watch and realized he had slept for six hours. It was the middle of the night now and he couldn’t believe how tired he still was.
“I’m sorry I yelled at you, Avery. I didn’t mean what I said.” Michael apologized.
“But you were right.” Avery said sadly. He turned and faced Michael. “I am dead.” He whispered. “And I’m never coming back.” He turned and rested his head on the wood mantel. His eyes held so much sorrow and regret that Michael felt he would cry any second.
“Why were you so angry that he was here?”
“The man I haunted before you...”
“Yes.” Avery whispered. He lifted his head and turned to look at Michael.
“He hired one of those men. To get rid of me.” Avery said.
“An exorcism?” Michael was awake now. Avery nodded in response.
“He set out a bunch of candles and was saying something. I don’t remember what he was saying. But I remember his words hurt. I was fading. For awhile I was gone completely. I was so scared.” Avery said, his voice filled with tears
though he wasn’t crying. “There was nothing there. I just flickered in and out of nothing. There were others there...with me. They all seemed so hopeless. I tried to ask what was going on but it was like none of them could hear me.” Avery said. “I didn’t want to be like them.” He whispered.
“I pulled myself back to the house and used the candles to light his book on fire.” Avery said. “He got scared and ran away. Your grandfather was really mad. He said that I was selfish for staying and that I deserved to go away.” Avery said. If Michael didn’t know any better, he could have sworn Avery was a small child. But he knew the ghost was probably far older than he was.
“They tried to force you out of the house, and that wasn’t the way you were supposed to cross over. So you...what? Ended up in limbo?” Michael asked.
“I guess.” Avery said.
“Isn’t where you’re at now, limbo?”
“No...I’ve been thinking about it. I guess it’s like being on a bus route. There’s before you get on...” Avery said. “Like life...then there’s when you get on. If someone pushes you off the bus before it’s your time to get off... then you’re stuck in the middle of no where with no map and no way out.” Avery whispered.
“What if you get off when it’s your time?”
“I don’t know.” Avery shook his head.
“Well...when you get there....tell me, would you?” Michael smiled. Avery gave a weak smile back.
“Why don’t you go to bed. I can clean this up.” Avery said.
“Thanks...” Michael said. Normally he would decline and help Avery. But he was so tired. Avery nodded and watched Michael climb the steps to his room.
“Oh, Avery?” Michael said the next day. As promised, Avery had cleaned the house.
“Yes?” Avory asked.
“What do you know about the third floor?”
“Huh? Why do you want to go up there?” Avery frowned.
“I don’t. I was just wondering about it.” Michael said, grabbing himself a soda.
“It’s not a good place. Just don’t go up there, okay?” Avery said seriously.
“Alright. Calm down, jeez.” Michael said. Avery continued washing the dishes in silence.
“So why are you all dressed up?” Avery asked. Michael wore a black suit with a blue tie.
“Oh, I got a date.” Michael smiled.
“A date?” Avery seemed shocked.
“Yeah, Valentines day is coming up in a few weeks.” Michael said.
“How long have you been dating this woman?” Avery asked casually.
“A few weeks now.”
didn’t know about her.” Avery shrugged.
“Well.. Actually...She’s not a...she.” Michael coughed. How do you come out to a ghost, after all?
“Huh?” Avery finished the dishes and faced Michael.
“I’m gay. My date is a
man.” Michael shrugged.
“Oh! I didn’t realize...” Avery said.
“I hope that’s not a problem.” Michael smiled.
“Uh...No.” Avery shook his head.
“Are you sure? You seem kind of off about it.”
“What? No...I just...” He sighed. “I guess I just really am from a different time. It just feels wrong.” Avery admitted. “I have nothing against you though!” He quickly added when he saw the hurt look on Michael's face.
“No, that’s fine. It makes sense.” Michael waved his hand dismissively. “I just
wont bring my date home, is all.” Michael shrugged.
“Oh, don’t do that! It’s your home, too.” Avery said. “You can bring him here. I won't do anything.” Avery said.
Avery lied. It had been a long time, at least he guessed it had, since he had felt something for another person. Michael was that person. Michael had continued dating the
mystery man for a few days before
he brought him home. The man was short and thin, but had an odd beauty about him. Avery couldn’t help but feel the jealousy in him.
Though there was a deep sense of wrongness about feeling something for another man, but he couldn’t help but want his friendly roommate. Most of all he missed being touched. He could pick things up from time to time. But he couldn’t feel the coldness of a plate or the softness of a freshly dried towel. He missed his sense of touch the most.
“Wow, this is your house?” The man said, dangling over Michael's arm.
“Yeah. Do you like it?” Michael smiled.
“Yeah, it’s great. I can't believe you have this whole place to yourself.” He giggled.
“Well, not entirely to myself. I have a.... roommate.” Michael picked his word carefully.
“A roommate? Really? Where is he?”
“Uh, I don’t know. I think he’s...out. Hopefully.” Michael winked at his date.
“So...show me your room?” He asked. Avery frowned. Great, he was going to fuck this dumb boy in their room.
“Sure.” Michael smiled and took the man's hand, bringing him up the long stairs. Avery couldn’t help but follow them up. He watched bitterly as Michael began undressing the twink slowly. He kissed down his chest and was about to pull down his underwear when Avery had enough. He phased through the floor and sat in the kitchen bitterly.
A few hours later, he decided to go see if Michael had finished breaking his heart. He poked his head up through the floor boards. They both sat in bed, Michael spooning the sleeping twink against his chest.
Avery glared that them. That was their bed. Sure, he didn’t sleep. But that didn’t stop him from lying by Michael at night. Avery walked over to the bed and stared down at the naked blonde man. He hated him then. Something deep inside him stirred and he felt the hatred bubble forward. The windows rattled but Avery got control of himself. The twink stirred and stretched. He yawned and looked around the
dark room. For a moment their eyes met but Avery knew he couldn’t see him. He stood up and slipped on his tight baby blue briefs. He got dressed quickly and before he knew it, the twink was walking out the front door. Avery frowned. He just left Michael alone like that.
He floated back upstairs and watched Michael sleep for another ten minutes or so when he realized Michael's sleep was restless. He tossed and turned and kept reaching out with his arm for a body that wasn’t there. Avery turned his head and gently sat down on the bed. He reached his hand out and paused as it hovered above Michael's chest. He focused on his hand and let it fall down to touch the smooth skin of Michael's chest. Michael sighed and
turned to face Avery. Avery lifted his weightless legs and allowed Michael to cuddle with his transparent form.
“Avery? You here?” Michael called out.
Avery had ‘slept’ with Michael for three hours before he
decided to float around for a bit. He walked the halls of the house and spent the rest of the night doing nothing. Michael had finally woken up, it seemed and was now calling his name as he stumbled down the steps sleepily.
“Yes.” Avery said. Where else would he be after all?
“There you are.” Michael said as he walked into the kitchen. Avery had already poured him a bowl of cereal and milk when he heard Michael get up. “Thanks.” He smiled. “Where’s
“Deshawn? He knows he’s white, right?” Avery frowned. Michael smiled.
“Yes... Where did he go?”
“He left after you fell asleep.” Avery said.
“In the middle of the night?” Michael frowned when Avery nodded. “Weird. I’ll call him later.”
“How did you sleep?” Avery asked.
“Great, actually. Best sleep I’ve had in a long time.” Michael finished his cereal and washed the
bowl and spoon in the sink.
“Have you gotten any idea about when I died? Or who killed me?”
“No, I’m sorry. I’ve just been hanging out with Deshawn, I haven’t gotten a chance to do more research.”
“I’m going to visit my grandfather today though, so I’ll see if I can get anything out of him.” The plates in the cupboards shook. “Easy now, big guy. Why do you hate my grandfather so much?”
“I don’t remember!” Avery said, pissed.
“Okay, just calm down. I assume you died before he moved in?”
“Yeah. I guess. He was here when I first woke up.”
“Yeah, when I died...It was like I was sleeping for a
long time, and
when I woke up I couldn’t remember much from before I went to sleep.” Avery said, rubbing his head.
“I’m sorry.” Michael really did sound sorry.
“Thanks. Go ahead. I’ll clean up here.” Avery said.
“Are you sure?
Just because you’re kind of attached to the house doesn’t mean you have to clean all the time. I’ll rent you some movies or something. Can you play Tomb Raider?”
“Tomb Raider?” Avery wrinkled his nose.
“The only Playstation one games. Not those new ones. Those are shitty. Beat Chronicles and you have my respect.” Michael threw the game at Avery and it passed through him and fell to the floor behind him. “See ya.” Michael waved goodbye.
“So Avery was there when you moved in, right?”
“Yeah, I guess.” His grandfather said.
“You guess?” Michael asked.
“Why do we always have to talk about that stupid poltergeist?” His grandfather shouted.
“He’s not a poltergeist. He’s a really sweet guy once you talk to him a little bit. He said you tried to have him exorcised. How could you do that to him?”
“He wouldn’t leave me alone! I just wanted him out of my house!” His granddad was pissed now.
“It’s his home, too. He has no where else to go he’s kind of attached to that stain on the wall. We did a test to see how far he could go. Once he got a few steps out the door he started flickering like he does when he ‘sleeps’.” Michael said.
“It doesn’t sleep. It used to stomp around the house and break things all through the night.
He would just walk up and down the hallway in front of my bedroom door. He would pause and just stand there in front of it. For hours!” His grandfather said, he looked exhausted. “He used to just opened the door and stand in my room and stare at me. He would just stand there and stare all night.”
“Isn’t that from Paranormal Activity?”
“Yes! I watched that movie and after that he just kept doing everything. He even went so far as to pour flour all over the floor and make footprints in it! It took the maids days to clean up
all the flour!”
“He does have a sense of humor...” Michael couldn’t help but smile a little.
“He’s sick, Michael. He’ll kill you.”
“He wouldn’t.” Michael wasn’t even scared of Avery. He was nice, just troubled.
“But he would. You haven’t seen him when he’s angry!” His grandfather said.
“Believe me, I’ve seen him on a Wednesday.” Michael chuckled.
“I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about when he’s REALLY angry. You’ll fear for
your life when you see that.”
Michael sat at the table, no sounds but the clock ticking quietly. He wondered what was on the third floor. He found it weird that he had never been up there and this was, after all, his house. He finished his drink and jogged up the first steps. It was time for him to see all of his house.
He stopped at the door that led to the third floor. Where was Avery? He shrugged. The sorrowful ghost was probably at his window. He reached for the knob and turned the handle. It clicked satisfyingly and revealed the dusty steps leading to the third floor. He left the door open behind him and climbed up the creaking floor. His feet left prints in the thick dust and he saw more than a few spiders scurry away as he stepped past them. He reached the flat surface of the third floor and looked up and down the hall. It was almost identical to the second floor. A few doors lined the way and he could guess what lie behind most of them. He walked to his left and decided to just look through each room. He opened the first one at the end of the hallway and was greeted with a plain empty room.
He shut the door and opened the one across from it. This one was empty as well. Michael was about to leave when he saw the item covered by a sheet in the corner. He frowned and stepped inside the room. He flicked the light switch and nothing happened. He frowned and stepped inside the dark room. He pulled the sheet off the item and revealed the painting beneath it. He turned his head. Whatever the painting USED to be, was long gone now. The canvas was ripped apart and the only visible part of the picture was a picture of his grandfather. He held a drink in his hand and was obviously posing with whoever else was in the picture. Michael lifted one of the torn edges of the canvas and tried to piece together the other person. He
finally managed to put the shreds back roughly where they belonged. A man a few years younger than his grandfather stood next to him, a smile on his face. Michael laughed.
His grandfather did like to live large. Who else would have an actual canvas painting of themselves in their mansion? He couldn’t give him to much shit about it, he did look pretty nice in the painting. Michael covered it back up and left the room, moving to the next one. He opened the next few doors and every one was empty. Occasionally there was a piece of furniture covered with a sheet, or an exceptionally large spider on the ground, but nothing of any notability. That is, until he found the locked room.
Michael frowned. he jiggled the handle again, maybe it was just stuck? But no, it didn’t move. He stepped back and stared at it. He skipped it and only after he searched every other room would he come back to it. He had only gone a few rooms when it started driving him crazy. He went back to the locked door and rattled the lock again. He growled in frustration. The wood looked weak enough. He hesitated for only a moment, before kicking in the door.
Avery heard the crash and it snapped him out of his trance. He floated downstairs to see what Michael had gotten up to and saw it empty. He frowned. Had Michael left?
“Michael?” He called out softly, searching the study again. He would have noticed if Michael had left. He could still sense him in the house. But that could only mean...
“No...There’s no way he went up there.” Avery floated back up through the floorboards and was going to search the second floor rooms when he saw the door, that should never be opened, opened.
“No...” he whispered. He physically climbed the steps and looked up and down the hallway. All the doors were closed except for one. He ran to it and saw Michael standing in the doorway, pale and gasping for air. If his heart could beat, it would break his chest. Avery froze at the scene and felt his dead heart tear at the sight of his own body.
The house shook and every last window in the mansion shattered as Avery screamed. Michael turned around to see him clutching his head like he had the worst headache in the world. His eyes were squeezed shut and he just screamed. Michael felt like he was going to throw up.
He had assumed the locked room
was a bathroom,
as the identical second floor had a bathroom in the same place. But he wasn’t even close to prepared for what he was met with. A thick trail of long dried blood ran from the edge where carpet met tile, to the bathtub. The tub itself was filled with a vile black mixture of blood and what Michael assumed was once water.
Lazily thrown in to the tub was the body. Most of it’s flesh was rotten away, revealing stained bones. But some pieces still clung to the bone. He, Michael assumed was Avery, was flung diagonally into the tub and his right hand and foot hung outside the once what porcelain. His fingers, though a little pale and grey, still looked untouched by death. But the rest of him did not. The lower half
of his head had sunk into he water and all that was left of his jaw was a few scraps of muscle holding his jaw together. Michael was unable to pull himself away before he stared into the one perfect eye, and one hollow eye socket.
The jaw sagged in a long silent scream. A large knife sat on the bathroom counter and the sink was also filled with bloodied stagnant water. Two bloody hand prints were stapled onto the mirror and the finger tips dragged down to the edge of the mirror. The scene was truly horrific.
Avery continued to scream and the house shook. Michael finally snapped out of his trance and he covered his ears. Avery suddenly faded out and Michael heard pounding foot steps followed by the sound of a slamming door on the second floor. Michael staggered back from the gruesome scene and swallowed the bile rising in his throat. Even the smell was revolting. It was obvious the corpse had been there for quite some time and had been left untouched behind the locked door. Michael wondered how the smell was kept from seeping through the cracks. It was then he noticed that the door had not only been locked, but had rags, towels, and a thousand other things taped around the edges to keep the smell in. Michael reached forward and shut the door, trying to catch his breath as he staggered away from the cursed room. He stumbled downstairs and looked at the
“Avery...” He was still choking from the smell. It seemed as if it had soaked into every piece of wood in the house, now. “Avery...Come out here.” Michael said. His ears were ringing from the scream that had died out on his way downstairs. He looked down the next set of stairs and saw the floor covered in shattered glass. He shook his head, trying to get rid of the ringing in his ears.
“Avery!” He said again, giving himself a headache. It sounded
like someone had fired a gun next to his ear. Everything was muted except the ringing. He stumbled down the hallway and the door swung open at the end of the hall. He stopped and looked at Avery, who was paler than usual. When Avery finally spoke, it stopped the ringing and were the clearest words Michael had ever heard.
“I remember who killed me.”