Haunted

In the early days, after moving into No.44 with his wife and young son, he’d wondered if the place was possibly haunted. He’d heard from the previous owner that one of her parents had died in the property (she’d originally bought it for them as an easier place to live in for their ending years). He sometimes felt watched and sometimes thought that things had been adjusted.

Crouching down picking up leaves in the front garden, he’d often feel as though there was something standing just behind the front windows, hidden behind the passing clouds, perhaps the old husband checking up on how well he was tending his beloved little garden. Other times, back from work, he could have sworn the big wooden shutters in the bedrooms, though; now pulled closed, had been left open by him since the morning rush for school and work. Perhaps the old wife pulling them across as she used to do, to keep out that full moon which could be so big and bright.

More strangely, though, was how in recent times, he’d begun to feel as though he was a ghost too…as though it was he, not another, who was haunting No.44. Perhaps he’d been the ghost all along, looking out over the front garden, hidden from view by those dark, high windows. He was beginning to be unclear about whether or not he was really still here. His memory seemed to be tiring, losing its elastic strength to bring him and others back, letting them drift so far, far away, so the threads stretched thinner and weaker.

Sometimes, he’d wake with a start in the daytime. Where’d he been? Where was everyone? How’d he grown so old, so quickly? It wasn’t an easy transition, becoming a ghost. That, after all, was what was happening. Yet as he overcame the initial resistance and adjusted to being less clear on his limits, it started to feel more natural, more like when he was a child, when there was no room except for everything. What did it matter, he thought. He was still himself, wasn’t he, just like always…just a trimmed down, lighter version, let’s say. He could still keep an eye on things, just as well. Make sure the property was maintained and those large windows were kept clean and clear.

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