Michael stepped into the front room of the very large house. He looked around as his footsteps echoed through the hand crafted halls.
“It’s really great of you to be doing this while your grandfather is in the hospital.” Julie said, snapping Michael out of his trance.
“It’s not a problem. It’s not like I’m complaining...” He looked around the small mansion again.
“Come on in, I’ll give you the tour.” She said. She began leading him through the ancient house. It’s floors were all hardwood, the kitchen had all the newest equipment, the complete opposite of the rest of the house. The upstairs was carpeted. eight rooms, four bathrooms, two kitchens, and multiple other rooms that could be used for things like libraries and studies. The three story mansion wasn’t kept in great condition. Spiderwebs clung to the walls and the walls themselves creaked and groaned.
Michael’s grandfather had been sent to a state mental hospital a few weeks ago, and Michael had flown down to care for his house like he had asked him to do. The old man was desperate to get someone to stay in the house, though he wouldn’t tell anybody why. The staff had all quit when they realized they weren’t going to get paid by the new owner, and now Michael was alone with his closest neighbor, who still lived two miles away.
“So, that’s the house.” She smiled. “I’m surprised I remembered it all, I’ve only been here a few times.” She said, stopping in one of the biggest bedrooms. “I guess this will be yours.” She looked around at the empty room.
“Where did my grandfather sleep? Shouldn’t he be using the biggest room?” Michael asked.
“No, from what the staff has told me, he slept in the study.” She frowned.
“Weird.” Michael mumbled. He had never been all that close with his grandfather. But the few times he did visit, they got along well. The family seemed to have a running streak of early children. When his grandfather was eighteen, he had had Michael’s father. When Michael’s father was sixteen, he had had Michael. His grandfather was only 57 years old. He had never married Michael’s grandmother and lived alone in the house that He inherited.
For years, he spoke about ghosts. Saying they lived in the house and bothered him to no end. Of course no one believe him, who would? A few months ago, he had gone insane. He said they were trying to kill him and wouldn’t leave him be. He became a threat to himself and others, and finally they had no choice but to send him to the mental hospital after he was found holding a knife in the study, alone.
Michael was glad to move in. After a rough break up with his last boyfriend, he was looking for a change of scenery. The move had come in perfect time. The lease on his apartment was up, and his boyfriend had finally gotten his shit out of Michael’s place. Michael packed up his stuff, and moved. He looked around the hardwood room and frowned at a spot on the wall.
“What is that?” He frowned. The spot was a pale reddish brown and it ran down the wall, at about four feet. It slid down the wall and looked like whatever it was spilled onto the floor. Even the wood was stained.
“Ew. I don’t know.” The neighbor frowned. “Have fun!” She went back to her perky self and left down the stairs. Michael stared at the spot a moment longer before moving to the U-haul that helped move his stuff here.
After hours of bringing his stuff up the stairs to his new room, and getting set up in the house, he was starving. He walked over to the fridge and looked inside. The food was in there was long past expired. He wrinkled his nose and picked up the phone to order a pizza. He set the box he was holding down on the counter, and then began dialing the number.
“Hi, yes I would like a large pepperoni pizza.” He said, after dialing the pizza place.
“Would you like to-...” Static filled the phone and the man’s voice on the other end cracked and sounded odd.
“What was that? I couldn’t hear you.” Michael said. He began heading towards the front door, assuming he got no reception in the house.
“I said, would you like-....” The phone did it again. Michael frowned and pulled the phone away. Seeing he got four bars in the house, he continued to go outside, thinking maybe the phone was wrong.
“Sorry, about that. Can you repeat it one more time?” Michael asked.
“I asked if you would like to make it a meal deal and get a two liter of soda and bread sticks for five dollars more.” The man said.
“Oh, sure. Thanks.” Michael said. Michael gave the pizza guy his address and went back inside, looking at his phone to see if the signal changed. He shrugged and set it down on the table. He walked back into the kitchen and reached for the box he had been unpacking. He blinked when it wasn’t where he thought it was. He frowned.
‘Didn’t I just put that on the counter?’ He asked himself. He looked around and found it a few feet away, on the floor. He frowned even deeper. ‘I swear I did. Great, now I’m going crazy, too.’ He laughed at himself. He picked up the box again and began walking back to the counter. He was about to set it down when it fell to the ground in front of him with a crash. He jumped back and looked around.
“It just slipped out of my hands.” He said, scolding himself for being so jumpy inside the large house by himself. He picked the box back up and saw a picture of his boyfriend and himself.
‘Ex-boyfriend.’ He reminded himself. The glass was cracked and he threw away the frame and the picture. He set the box on the counter and went to go put another box upstairs. He climbed the stairs and stepped into his room. He shivered. The air in here was colder than the rest of the house, which was extremely warm. He noticed the window open and shut it. He set the box down, before returning downstairs.
The a few minutes later the doorbell rang. He set the box down and grabbed his wallet as he headed off to answer it. He opened the door and was greeted with the young pizza guy looking around at the house.
“Hi.” Michael said.
“Whoa, you got down here fast.” The guy laughed.
“Excuse me?” He frowned, while reaching for his money.
“I just saw you upstairs as I was parking, opening that window.” The pizza guy said.
“Oh...How long were you out there? I was closing that window like five minutes ago.” Michael laughed, trying to hide his confusion.
“No, it was just now. As I was walking up.” The guy handed him the pizza and waved goodbye as he headed back towards his car. Michael shut the door and stood in the opening hallway. He frowned and set the pizza down on a box as he walked slowly up the stairs. He turned and looked at his room from down the hallway. He couldn’t see the window from here so he stepped closer, trying to see around the corner. He readied himself for anything and took a step into the room. The window was closed.
“I cant believe I just did that.” He laughed at himself. He turned around. “There’s no fucking ghosts.” He said. He stepped out of the room and was halfway down the hall when he heard a loud slam. He turned back and ran towards the room. The window was open.
“What the fuck?” He shouted. It had obviously been thrown open with a lot of force. Michael walked up to the window and shut it. He stared at it and nothing happened. He backed out of the room slowly and this time reached the stairs before it opened again, just as hard. Michael cursed and slammed the window shut again. He walked back downstairs and was sitting in the kitchen, eating, when the window slammed again. He slammed his fist on the table and walked back upstairs.
“I’ll call someone to come fix this, tomorrow.” He said. He shut the window, and this time, nailed it shut. He walked downstairs, and was cleaning out the fridge, when he heard a rattling sound. He looked around and heard it above him. He frowned. For the thousandth time that night, he climbed the stairs. He looked into the room and saw the window shaking against the nails.
“What the fuck...” He whispered to himself. He stared at the whole window and frame shook, as if someone was trying to shove it open. It shook harder as it struggled against the nails, and finally, the wood cracked and broke at the window was slammed back open. The nails sat against the frame, still holding down chunks of wood. Michael stared at the window with an open mouth. He blinked before going back down stairs, and finished cleaning out the fridge.
“You cant close the window, it makes him angry.” His grandfather said. He held onto Michael’s hand as he sat across from him. Michael had decided to go and visit his grandfather the next day. He was surprised that after he left the window open, he didn’t seem to have any other problems in the house.
“Who is he, grandpa? He’s not that ghost you’re talking about again, is it?” Michael asked.
“It’s true! He’s real! You know it! Let me guess, you cant get phone reception inside the house, even though your phone says you have a signal?” His grandfather asked.
“That has nothing to do with-”
“That him! He hates technology!” His grandfather said, slamming a fist on the table. Several other people visiting their relatives turned and stared.
“Just calm down.” Michael said. “I’m sure it’s just a weird spot. I didn’t get reception inside my apartment, either.” Michael said.
“It’s him.” His grandfather whispered, like an angry child who was still trying to argue with his parents.
“I’ll just come and have someone fix the window. It’s probably just some weird broken...nail things or something.” Michael waved his hand.
“He doesn’t like anyone else in the house. I’m surprised he didn’t do anything to Julie when she was showing you around.” His grandfather said, arms still crossed over his chest.
“He didn’t do anything, because he’s not real.” Michael stood up.
“But he is! You’ll see. Wait until Wednesday, he hates Wednesdays.”
Michael spent the next few days straightening up the house. It hadn’t taken him long to unpack, since it was only his personal stuff, and he had gotten to working on the chores the staff would normally do, had they not quit. He stayed alert, watching for any signs of the activity his grandfather had promised. But there was none. It was noon on a Wednesday and the mystery geist ad yet to make an appearance. Michael knew his granddad was crazy, he didn’t know why he listened to him. His judgement told him better than to believe in something as stupid as ghosts.
He sighed as he sat down to order a pizza. He hadn’t had a chance to go shopping yet, and would get to it as soon as he could. But for now, his diet consisted of dough, cheese, tomato sauce, and whatever toppings he wanted. He got the same man he did his first day in the mansion and ordered his pizza. In an hour the pizza guy was knocking on his door. He opened the door and smiled at the same kid who had delivered his pizza the first time.
“Hey, how are you?” Michael smiled.
“Good, I noticed I was coming back to this awesome house.” The kid smiled.
“I left my wallet inside, come on in.” Michael said. The pizza guy smiled as he walked into the mansion. He looked around and followed Michael to the kitchen where he had left his wallet on the counter. Michael blinked hard when he realized it wasn’t where he left it.
“Not again...” He mumbled.
“What was that?” The pizza guy asked.
“I just misplaced my wallet, let me look for it.” He smiled. The pizza guy nodded and set down the pizza as he looked at the granite counter tops and the granite island in the center of the large kitchen.
“Maybe I put it in the study...” Michael mumbled, leaving the room to check for it. He frowned when he heard a loud crash. He ran back into the room, seeing the pizza guy on the floor against the wall. “What happened?” Michael asked, rushing to help the young kid out. He rubbed his head and groaned.
“I don’t know...it felt like someone pushed me!” He said. He pulled his hand away and checked for blood, there was none.
“Jesus...” Michael mumbled. He looked around and saw his wallet on top of the fridge. “I know I didn’t put it there...” He whispered so quietly only he could hear it. He left the kids side and grabbed his wallet. He pulled out a hundred and gave it to the kid, who’s eyes went wide.
“Your meal was only fifteen...” He said.
“Keep the tip, I’m sorry you hit your head.” Michael said. The kid nodded dumbly and let himself out. Michael stood alone in the kitchen.
“I told you he doesn’t like Wednesdays.” His grandfather said, making a move in their game of checkers.
“Okay, say there IS a ghost. I’m not saying there is, just hypothetically here.” Michale said, when his grandfather smiled.
“Okay, there’s a ghost...” His grandfather waited for him to go on.
“What else doesn’t he like?” Michael asked.
“Well...He hates pears.” His grandfather said.
“What?” Michael frowned.
“Pears. The fruit? He hates them.” He shrugged.
“Why?” Michael asked. His grandfather shrugged again. He sighed and rolled his eyes. “Anything else?”
“Um... He’s not a fan of the third floor. He really doesn’t like going up there.” His grandfather said.
“I don’t know. I’ve only seen him go up there once or twice. And that was when he was looking for me. He wont go up there otherwise.” He made another move. “To be honest, I don’t like it up there either. It gives me the creeps.”
Michael remembered the tour of the third floor. It was dark and hardly any of the lights worked. The staff refused to go up there and the windows were crusted over with dust and grime. It had made him sick when he was up there so long, he sensed Julie feeling the same way.
“Okay, pears, technology, wednesdays, and the third floor. Anything ELSE?” Michael asked.
“Uhhhhh.....I don’t think so...” His grandfather thought hard. “Oh! He doesn’t like it if you stay in the room with his window.”
“The one with the stain?”
“That’s the one.”
“I’ve been staying in there for days, he hasn’t done anything. NOT that he exists.” Michael said.
“Really? He wouldn’t ever let any of the staff in there, he didn’t like it when I came in there either. He would throw things.” His grandfather looked thoughtful.
“What about things he likes? Does he like anything?” Michael asked.
“Well...He really likes that window.”
“Besides the window.” Michael scowled.
“He likes it when there aren’t pears in the house.”
“Besides the windows and the pears!!” Michael shouted, getting tired of the ramblings of an insane man.
“He likes classical music.”
“Bach is his favorite.”
“What’s his favorite piece?” Michael asked, getting ready to type this information into his phone.
“Toccata and fugue in g minor. Oh, and Vivaldi’s Winter.” His grandfather smiled. Michael wrote down the pieces and his grandfather moved, taking Michaels last piece.
“Damn it.” Michael said. He stood up.
“You’ll never win.” His grandfather chuckled as Michael left.
Michael returned from his shopping trip and put all of his groceries away before grabbing the speakers to his ipod. He plugged them in and set it to the song he wanted, pausing it before it could play. He pulled out a pear from the bag and set it on the counter. He backed up and watched. It sat there for a long minute and Michael was about to give up and call himself stupid when it began rolling off the counter. It hit the floor and squished a little bit on the side, before rolling to the trash can and bumping into it. Michael smiled. He took out another pear and set it on the counter. Only a few seconds passed this time before the pear was violently shoved off the counter. It hit the wall with a splat and landed in the trash.
Michael smiled wider. He grabbed another pear and set it on the counter, backing up again. Instantly this time, the pear was thrown against the wall so hard it was only juice and mush when it landed in the trash, leaving a large splatter on the wall. Michael grabbed another and set it down in the same spot. This time, a knife flew from the knife block and speared the pear into the wall.
“Holy shit...” Michael stared at the pear stuck in the wall. He swallowed, and dared to take out another pear. This time he turned the music on and let Vivaldi’s winter play as he set the pear down. Nothing happened. He waited and waited. When the piece finally ended, the pear rolled off the counter and onto the floor.
“Well then.” Michael said. Looking around the room for something he couldn’t see. “It looks like I have a ghost.”