Neighborhood Ghosts

The sound of pressure released momentarily filled the air. A hissing sound followed by a pop. It was another beer being opened. I sat around with several of my buddies. We went way back. I remember how we used to get in so much mischief. It seemed like those were the days. “Man, I missed you guys” a said with a heightened sense of enthusiasm.

Now days, I hardly drink. To be honest, I never really cared for the buzz. I did it because it was cheap, legal and something to do. I retired when I moved to the city. Found a decent job as a mason. Felt the drinking was getting out of hand. Then, I found myself a good woman. We had a couple of kids. I wanted to leave a good impression. But right now, it was “down the hatch”.

This was because tonight was different. I was hanging out with the old crew. They were veterans when it came to parting. The alcohol was elementary to many of these old boys. Most had graduated to meth, crack or even heroin. Fortunately for me, I never graduated from this school for hard knocks. Three beers in and I was already feeling buzzed.

Personally, I enjoyed some weed from time to time and even experimented with psychedelics when I was younger. Now, I sat drinking with buddies I knew since elementary school. They’d been working on rehabilitating this house for are buddy Joe. He sat there in the circle with us feeding beers to the boys as a favor of a job well done. He always loved to keep his friends fat and happy.

They liked to tell Drunken Horror stories. Sometimes, they were for laughs. Stories about the people we knew and the stupid shit they used to do. Like the time one of us got stuck on the Mississippi as a child. But, it also got serious from time to time. Like the UFO experience one of my buddies had. Mostly, they just liked to tell stories and share their experiences. It was something to do.

“Yeah, said ole Louie. We nicknamed him Lucifer. He used to be quite the hell raiser back in the day. Now, he lives a quite life with his wife and three beautiful children. He was one of the good ones. Smart as hell and funnier than most. He loved to talk in third person. ” Man, Louie would love to meet some ghosts”. We sat quietly to here his outlandish exclamation as to why he would love to encounter a specter.

“Ole Louie always wanted to meet those wandering bastards. I wanna know how thy do it! Because, when I come back Ole Louie’s gonna wanna haunt some hot college slutty’s”. You know, watch over them like an angel. “Yeah”, I replied. “When, their showering”. Everyone had a good laugh. He nodded his head in agreement with his tounge sticking out. He wife Melody stood next to him rolling her eyes.

“Hey”, replied Joe. Pointing at me. “Hey, Jay. Don’t you remember that haunted house on Chestnut?” “Kinda. Wasn’t it the one with the creepy cellar door. You couldn’t go down there because the branches from the bushes hung over like arms guarding the entrance?” “Yup” replied Joe before taking another chug of beer. “The one and the same”.

“Hey, Joe” shouted Louie. “You know me and some buddies of ours went up there in the attic and performed a Ouija board experiment drunker than a skunk on Halloween”. “What happened?” asked Joe curious to know. “Ah, pond scum. I ended up going home with Cheryl Matthews that night. You remember that hot blonde from high school?”

“Lucky you” exclaimed Joe. “Not me. Hey, Jay! Did you ever go inside that place?” “Nope” I proclaimed. “I didn’t want any bad karma on my record”. “Good for you” responded Joe. “I’m the one that started bringing a bunch of people over there. I stirred that old couple up! They pushed my car down”.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” I asked. “The house was weird, Jay. When I first heard about it, I couldn’t believe it. Some couple just abandoned that house for no reason at all. All the stuff was supposedly all there and easy pickings. It was to good to be true. That was back when I was really into breaking in entering. I had to know for myself. I knew it was a trap but I took the risk”.

“Now that you mention it Joe. The only thing I ever broken and entered into was my last girlfriend” announced Blondie.  The group busted out laughing. “No, this is serious” demanded Joe. “I cased the place out first. No one came or gone. So, I opened the door and went in. The house had been ransacked before. Nothing of much use was salvageable on the first floor”.

The others stood silent. They must have heard this story a hundred times before. Yet, each retelling added a new spice to the same fable. Joe went on without hesitation. The story was as much apart of him as he was the story. “The second floor had brand new Marshall amps and Gibson guitars”. “What did you do with all that equipment?” I asked.

“Oh, you know. I pawned it”. The others starting hollering and high fiving him. “But, in all seriousness” he went on. “I shouldn’t have messed with those ghosts. That couple was actually the elderly couples children”. “Yeah” said Louie. “They probably wanted some peace and quite”. Joe took another sip of his beer.

“How do you know this?” I asked . I didn’t quite believe him. “The thing I remember most is the letters left untouched on the coffee table downstairs. The last names were both the same as on the will. The will was also left on the coffee table. They left in such a rush. Their cat’s corpse had burned a hole in the couch in its final resting spot. It reminded me of burnt jerky”.

I sat nervous by this revelation. The others sat silent in anticipation for the ending to the story. “Then one night, weeks after we all partied in that house. I was coming home drunk from the bar. That’s when, crash! My whole car stalled. I thought I hit someone! I got out to check and found nothing, not even a paint scratch!

That’s when I looked over and saw that house. I knew it was those damn ghosts. They were so made at me. They smashed the whole front end of my car down. That’s when I was driving that little red Honda at the time. Remember that Blondie?”

“Oh, yeah” agreed Blondie. “That was a beautiful car”. “Well, anyways; I was so scared Jay. I was so scared. I drove around town until the cops picked me up. I didn’t know what else to do! The cops thought I hit a parking meter or something after they impounded my vehicle. They found nothing, not even a dent! They had no choice but to let me go”.

We all sat dumb founded. “I never heard that story” I told him. The only story that comes close is one my buddy once told me. He looked around at the others for interest. The others sat attentive to his words. They were generally interested in hearing what it is I had to say. I froze for a moment trying to quickly put the story back together in my head.

Then finally, the story started unraveling in my head. I had to speak slowly in order to keep up. “Apparently, when he was younger. His house was haunted. Books would show up missing. Locked doors would mysteriously open. Voices would call and everyone in the house would come running.

However, he thought it was a good ghost. Because, one day him and his sister were playing with some friends in the living room. They played tag, colored in coloring books. You know, little kids shit. The whole time they were playing, their mom put on a video of an elderly man smiling at them.

A few hours later, the kids got tired. They sat half awake coloring. The room now quite set off the mother instinct. The moms of these kids were in the other room having a cocktail party. They knew something was out of place. One of the mothers from the party went to investigate. She had a tipsy look on her face.

Walking in she asked them, “so, what have you kids been doing to be so quite?” My buddy said to her, “we were playing games and watching the nice man on television. She was stunned. She asked her son and he lifted up a drawing of a smiling face coming from the tv set. “Why?” he asked. “The electricity has been out all day” is what she told them. Truth is, you never know”.

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