Ghosts like toast

I would have thought the dogs would alert
To another presence in which to flirt
Nothing but silence as I left the room
No portent of dismay, nor omen of doom
All was right with my breakfast upon the desk
A simple warm up of the cuppa was my quick task
So upon return, it surprised me most
To make the discovery that ghosts like toast

                                                          –d.m.black-sword

I walk into the dining room to set my fresh cup o’joe on the table. Another glorious work-from-home day, of which I am one lucky chick to have, and I’m setting the scene for a productive morning.  
A cup of my very own special-brewed version of Cowboy Coffee, a slice of peanut butter toast and a peaceful aura emanating from the still sleeping dogs. Gonna be a good day, Scooter.
Well, I pass by two sleeping dogs. Jager is at the table and does a quick spin around when I return. He is obviously going through great effort to appear casual. If dogs could whistle, he’d be puckered up.
Um, I say. What’s going on?


Nothing, says Jager, a little too quickly. I’m just standing here. Doing nothing. I don’t know what you’re getting all freaked out about.

Oooo-kay, I say. Carry on, then. 
I sit down and take a sip of coffee. Perfection. Then I reach for my peanut butter toast and …
*urp*
*urp*
Hey! I say. Jager! Where’s my toast? I left it right here when I went in the kitchen.
Well, it’s not like I would know anything about your stupid toast, says Jager. But it’s under your foot.

I lift up my socked foot and see, yes indeed, it was resting on the remains of my toasty breakfast. Peanut butter oozes onto the carpet as I peel up the mess.
Aw, man, I say. How did my toast get on the floor anyway? Look at this! It’s half chewed up.

Again, says Jager. You’re all over me like this was my fault or something. You know what? I don’t have to take this abuse. I’ll be on the sofa if you need someone to blame for why you can’t keep track of your stuff.

Right, this is the same former street dog that I found standing on the dining room table withers deep into a family-size bag of potato chips.

Standing. On the table.

The same spotted pooch who had his stomach pumped after indulging in a box of fine chocolates that was put away “out of reach.” 
Still.
Weird things have happened around this place in the past. Unexplainable things, y’all.
Or at least, hard to explain, with a touch of spooky.
You know that disclaimer where a real estate agent has to disclose that a death had occurred in the home you’re buying? Ok, so we’re ready to sign the contract on this adorable little story-and-a-half that was built in 1949. That’s a lot of family history, right? Marriages, births, kids growing up and moving out. 
I forbade the agent to disclose anything. I don’t want to know, was my command to him.
But …, he said.
No, I mean it, I said.  It would only taint my happiness in my new house.

It was that But. I already knew.
Not long after we moved in, things started happening. Simple stuff like something you set down would be found somewhere else in the house. The odd noise that you can’t quite identify where exactly it came from. All shrugged off as the distraction of making the place yours.
And then it escalated. The television would turn on in the middle of the night, blaring so loud we thought it would blow the speakers. The dog must have jumped on the sofa and sat on the remote, I’d think as I’d run downstairs to shut the thing off. 
Only I’d find the television remote would be on the arm of the sofa, right where we left it to rest. The channel on the television a different one that what we were last watching. And good grief, the volume. Rattling the windows, it was.
And the dog was in his crate. With the door closed.
This happened a number of times over the period of about three months. And then stopped. 
The times I heard the sound of water pouring in the dining room. Jack!, I would yell, thinking my old dog had gone incontinent, just to find him by my side wondering why I’m hollering at him. 
I lost my keyring. Super inconvenient, that. My house and car keys, as well as my office keys for work.  I looked everywhere from dirty laundry, my bottomless purse and the mess that is my car’s interior. Nada.
Three days later, using my spare key I let myself into the house and walk to the kitchen. My keys are sitting on the counter. Right in the center and the first thing I see as I enter the room. 
Oh my gosh, I say to The Husband when he got home that night. What a relief. I’m so glad you found my keyring. Where was it?
I didn’t find your keys, he said. 
Now hold onto your candy buckets, people. This next story is absolutely true. I’m not even going to embellish anything here.
So, I’m in the cellar finishing up a laundry load before going to bed. Just pulling some stuff outta the dryer so it doesn’t get wrinkled, because Lord knows, I don’t want to have to iron anything. I’m grabbing a shirt and just about to slip it on a hanger, when the Husband is behind me and says Hi.
Hey, I say back, turning around to greet him. I thought you already went to …
He’s not there. Nobody is there.
The dog erupts into his Intruder Bark in his crate upstairs.
And a shirt hanging on the laundry line is rocking back and forth.
One shirt.
It’s not the last one I hung up.
Well, I suppose I could actually iron the rest of this load, I think. Leaving the lights on the cellar, I hot foot it all the way to the second floor to the bedroom, pausing only to shush the dog.
The Husband is sound asleep, I can tell by his breathing. I grow a pair to man myself up to turn out the hall light and make it into bed, climbing in from the foot of it so as to avoid anything grabbing my ankle from beneath it. (Thanks a lot, Sixth Sense, for reinforcing my childhood fear of that.)
I’m safe
But what’s that? Creaking on the stairs? Aw, c’mon, are you effen kidding me? Things are dire enough without going all B-movie cliche on me.
But no. There it is again. My panicked mind isn’t making this up. Someone is steadily coming up the stairs. Something is.
My eyes widen as I stare at the open doorway to the hall. I have just enough night vision that I should be able to make out a shape if it darkens the threshold.
I watch and wait. 
The creaking stops. I count one … two … three… and let out the breath I was holding. Ok, all is well. What an idiot. I’m just freaking myself out for noth…
Gah! It has me! Oh holy cow, it has my feet! I’ll be pulled from the bed and dragged to wherever its evil lair awaits my only slightly tarnished soul. Oh God, I’m sorry about the time I lied to my mom about going to the movies and Kim and I really went to the Kiss concert and it was awesome. I’m not that bad a person, really. Don’t let them take me.
Err-ow.
Err-ow?
Now purring. Gads, it’s only the flippin’ cat. Taffy Cat came upstairs and jumped on the bed because, you know, it’s bedtime and everything.

But the creaking on the stairs. 

Tomorrow that cat’s going on a diet.
And that’s my spooky story. Like I said, everything is true.
Kiss was awesome.
And I don’t iron, people.
You look like you've seen a ghost
Did somebody say Hi?
_______________________________________________
For past Halloween stories, click this to page through them. Or go back in time one post at a time to hit these highlights.
Spirits of the Season which I should have called Imagined Terrors While Babysitting
Ghosts in the Walls, another true-ish experience with the other side.
When Spots are Scary, a story of a bad mothering moment that I can tell now that the kid is grown up.
The Grench who tried to steal the Halloween spirit from me.


Categories: Jager Hund

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