It had been a long day. This was my last job. A few quick notes and I’d be finished.
“You look exhausted, sir. Why don’t you sit down? Take the weight off your feet.”
I turned around. The voice seemed to be coming from an old, battered sofa in the corner of the room.
“You look confused, sir. My fault entirely. Let me explain. I’m a sofa ghost and I haunt this particular piece of furniture. I can’t be seen, only heard and felt.”
I edged a little closer to see if I could make out any shadowy forms or shimmering lights. “So you’re saying if I sit down on this sofa I’d be able to feel you? Will it hurt? ”
“Not at all, sir. Would you like to try?”
I slowly ran my hands over the full length of the sofa. There was definitely nothing there. I perched myself on the edge of the seat.
“Why don’t you lean back, sir. Make yourself more comfortable. When you’re ready I will demonstrate what I can do. To begin with I’m going to blow in your ear. I often use this trick on people who talk too much. It soon shuts them up.”
I shivered as a cold blast of air went through my right ear. For a moment it seemed to swirl around inside my head, numbing my thoughts.
“Next, I’m going to run my hand down your spine. I find this quickly gets rid of those boring visitors.”
I trembled, as something icy cold slid slowly down the full length of my spine. I felt paralysed from head to toe. “Stop!” I shouted, “Please stop, I get the idea.”
“As you wish, sir.”
Without knowing why I found myself telling the ghost who I was and what I was doing here. “It’s my job to do the final survey of these old houses,” I explained. ” Once I give the OK, the demolition can begin.”
“When will that be, sir?”
“Next week,” I said, “Any bits of old furniture still left around will be cleared this weekend and the bulldozers will move in on Monday.”
“That soon! What exactly will happen to the ‘old furniture’?”
“It’ll all be burnt,” I said, somewhat sheepishly, realizing I was talking about the old sofa in front of me, his sofa. “I’m sorry but I’m afraid that’s how it is. Is there anywhere else you can go?”
“Oh don’t worry, sir. Everything is in order. I’ve been given a new haunting.”
“Well, I’m glad to hear that,” I said, as I made my way towards the door, “It’s been nice meeting you but I really must be off. My wife will be wondering where I’ve got to.”
“Of course, sir. We don’t want to keep the dear lady waiting.”
Before I could ask what he meant by ‘we’ there was a cold rush of air and a whistling sound in my ears and my head felt as if it was going to explode.
“Don’t panic, sir. I’ve merely taken up a little space inside your head, purely a temporary measure. Once we’re at your house I will leave you and take up residency in your sofa. I’ve been told it’s very new and a lovely shade of red. I love red. It’s my favourite colour. I’m ready when you are, sir.”