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Rise and Grind, Let's Get This Ectoplasmic Nut

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“Ah, fuck.” You groaned as you stood up after lowering yet another box of your belongings to the ground. As you took a deep breath, you looked around the grand entryway where you stood.

You still couldn’t believe that a house this nice had had such a cheap price on it. There wasn’t a single thing wrong with it. As a matter of fact, it was relatively new and almost completely un-lived in.

You had asked about that when you were buying the house. The agent had told you, warned you even, that no one who had purchased the house had lived in it for more than a week. Various agents had come and gone as agency after agency dropped the house. Rumours had spread in waves following every failed resident and the house was now well known in the area to be severely haunted. You had suggested that perhaps advertising it as haunted would help sell the house, as advertising places as haunted often did. However, the agent had replied that they had tried that and that even the skeptics and ghost hunters had left in a rush. Strangely, they had largely reported taking footage of the occurrences, only to find that the data had been erased upon their departure.

The rumours and reports of the haunting itself consisted of an apparition of a man and a room that would occasionally manifest with him. The room was always said to have large windows that looked out over a city from long ago and from far higher than the house was situated. These windows were always partially covered by heavy ornate curtains that had been tied back. The longest staying resident had been a lone man named Dan who had set the current record of staying the grand total of one week and had, remarkably, encountered the room twice. He had reported that on his first encounter, the room was pristine and beautiful despite how eerie it was. He had been frightened at the time, but had decided to stay in the house since it had been such a good deal. He glimpsed the apparition once after that. He had immediately turned around with the thought that he’d hate to bother the specter, but upon later going through what should have been the door leading out to the garage, he found himself instead in the room again.

That time, as he had said on a ghost show that had interviewed him before trying to see the room themselves, the room was different. It was still, for the most part, pristine, but the middle window was broken. Blood dripped from the hole and down onto the window seat where it continued to run all the way to the ground. Something had been on the seat amidst the blood, something white, but Dan hadn’t stuck around to get a closer look. He had nearly vomited at the sight of what appeared to have been a murder and had made arrangements to move out as soon as he had left the room. He was gone within the next day as he hadn’t even finished unpacking his belongings.

Thinking about it all again, you rolled your eyes.

You didn’t believe any of it. You were a skeptic. A non-believer. You weren’t sure where the benefit was, but you were sure it was all a hoax. Ghosts weren’t real, you had told the agent. You had, in fact, told the agent that many times as he had repeatedly tried to stop you from buying the house. Your mind had been made up already, however. You bought the house and now, with the box you had just set down, you had finished moving all of your belongings in.

You groaned again as you stretched. There were many boxes, and your furniture was piled up in the living room, but you would get to it. You had made sure that one of the couches would be left uncovered such that you could sleep on it until you had gotten your bed set up and, at the moment, it was looking very welcoming.

You shook your head. It was only the late afternoon. You had plenty of time left in the day. Heaving a sigh, you grabbed your keys and headed out the door. The fridge was completely barren, and it was a good hour to head to the grocery store to stock up.

 

You phone was ringing. Distracted by the options laid before you, you answered the phone absentmindedly.

“Hello?”

“Hey, what’s up? What’s going on? How’s moving going?”

“Oh, thank god it’s just you. Hey Polly.” You smiled as you greeted your best friend.

“Were you expecting someone else?” Polly’s voice was dripping with sarcasm. She knew you didn’t exactly get a lot of calls.

“You have a point there.” You huffed.

“Of course I do. So, c’mon. Tell me. How was the move?”

“Great, actually. I just finished getting the last box in earlier, so technically I’m all moved in.”

“Technically? At least your furniture is roughly where it should be, right?”

“Heh, no.”

“No? Didn’t you have help?”

“Yeah, but it was hot today and I don’t own that much and besides, I kinda want the pride of setting up my own house.”

“...were they paid by the hour?”

“...” You paused.

“...”

“...yeah.” You answered.

“Mmhm. I told you you should pay however much it is and just get it all set up, didn’t I?”

“Yeah, you did.”

“So?”

“It was just...already so expensive.” You cringed. It wasn’t a lie; the movers were indeed very pricey and although you had saved a massive amount in the cost of the house, you felt like you were about to make it up in the price of moving in. You heard Polly sigh on the other end of the line.

“So where were you planning on sleeping tonight?”

“I’ve got a couch.”

“_____.”

“It’ll suffice until I can get my bed put together. It’s not ideal, I know, and that’s my fault, I know, but I’ll get it sorted.” Polly sighed.

“Well, you’ll be needing help, won’t you?” You paused before answering.

“More than likely definitely.”

“How about I come by tomorrow morning, then?”

“That’d be perfect, thank you so much.”

“I’m your friend, you should’ve just asked for my help in the first place.”

“I lost my brain cells in the packing peanuts.”

“We’ll try to find them tomorrow morning. What are you doing now?”

“I didn’t bring any food from my last place, so I’m out buying some groceries.”

“Well that sounds like a blast.” Polly said dryly.

“It’s a real stimulating experience. I’m looking at an entire quarter of an aisle of variations on mayonnaise. I wanted to get sandwich ingredients. I thought it would be the easiest. I don’t even see a regular mayonnaise here.”

“Is there that olive oil one? It tastes normal.”

“Uhhhhh...Yeah, yeah that’s right here.”

“Well there you go then.”

“Thanks, Polly. So, what time do you wanna be by in the morning?”

“I don’t know, do you want to get breakfast first?”

“Honestly that sounds great.”

“How about I pick you up at six then? Let’s get an early start.”

“Sure.”

“Great, see you then, love you!”

“Love you too!” You said before hanging up the phone and grabbing the recommended mayonnaise.

It was a good few minutes after you had set the mayonnaise in your cart that you remembered what you were doing. You shook your head in exhaustion. Were you really that tired that you had completely blanked out in the middle of a grocery store aisle?

You supposed so. Running a hand through your hair, you pushed the cart onwards to finish your grocery shopping and get home. You really needed to crash.

 

By the time you had gotten home, the sun had long set. You sighed in relief as you unlocked the door and entered your house, groceries in hand. You had a parrot whose cage had at least been set in the spacious dining area adjacent to the kitchen, although you aimed to move his cage to the living area once the furniture was where it belonged. You also had a very large skunk who already had an area set up for her in an adjacent room. You had come a day before the movers to set up your pets’ areas, so everyone would be okay while you spent time setting up your own living areas. The house was far more than the three of you had any need for, but you were excited to live in such a spacious environment.

That is, you would be excited. However, you were at the moment very tired and Timothy, the parrot, was screaming now that you were home, and you could hear Priscilla, the skunk, clawing at the boundaries that you had set up for her in order to protect the house itself.

“Hey, babes, I’m home, I’m home it’s okay, I’m back. Give me a second, let me set down the groceries and then I’ll take care of you.” You called. You went into the large and admittedly very beautifully decked out kitchen to set your groceries down and you once again caught yourself wondering how they could sell a place like this for so cheap. After all, ghosts weren’t real.

It didn’t take you long to take care of your pets and open their enclosures to let them adventure and investigate their large and expansive new surroundings while you made yourself a sandwich. You managed to fish a blanket out of one of the boxes as well as a pillow. You tossed both onto the one uncovered couch in advance. You didn’t really want to be looking for them once you had finished eating and bathing and were ready to sleep.

A chill ran down your spine as you chewed your last bite of the sandwich. Shivering, you rolled your eyes. It was getting late, you thought. It was getting chilly. It was still early in the year - January - and it wasn’t weird for it to cold. You huffed a laugh. Were you not a disbeliever, you were sure you would be thinking of leaving like everyone else.

But like hell were you going to leave the house when it had been sold at such a steal. Spooks weren’t real. It was chilly tonight. At least the water heater was set on a timer. The water would be hot when you went to bathe.

You took a deep breath and tilted your head up. You were so tired at this point. You stretched and, huffing, you went to take a bath in the largest bathtub you had ever had the joy of owning. It was more a hot tub than it was a bathtub. It seemed like every bit of the house was so much more than you should have been able to afford. What a steal it had been. How stupid those other owners had been.

You drew yourself a hot bath. The heat seeped into your body and relaxed your muscles. You made a mental note to yourself to buy some candles.

Nothing was strange. Nothing happened. It occurred to you that in a horror movie, someone or something would be watching you as you bathed. A lurker in the attic or a spector by the door or something hiding under the water.

You huffed a laugh. Maybe that’s what had happened. Maybe it had just been a series of wild imaginations. You finished your bath in peace and in comfort.

 

When you had finished bathing, and you had gotten out and gotten dressed, you had to round up your pets to make sure that they didn’t wreak havoc while you were asleep. Timothy, fortunately, recognised what you wanted and flew back into his enclosure. You didn’t find Priscilla for awhile, but eventually you found her playing in the clothes you had left in the bathroom. You picked her up and carried her to her enclosure. Telling them both goodnight, you curled up on the couch with your blanket and your pillow and quickly, comfortably, fell asleep. As you did, your thoughts strayed to your beautiful new home.

 

Haunted. Hah. What a joke, right?

After all...

...Ghosts weren’t real…