Monday, June 17, 2013

Haunted House Hunters

"Now this home," said Robin Foster, pushing open the front door and waving her clients inside, "is a three-bedroom ranch with two full baths, a two-car garage and a fenced back yard."

"Nice," said the Husband. He was late twenties, early thirties.

Still wearing his hair long, thought Robin, but starting to realize it makes him look like a hipster asshole.

"And the . . . history?" asked the Wife.

She was young, pale and fat.

Like a bloated corpse squished into a designer label, little black dress, thought Robin, a tad unkindly. She could already tell the Wife would have the final say in the sale.

"The history is bloody," said Robin. She consulted her file. "The original owners died in their sleep, but the second owners were killed during a home invasion."

"And they’re still here?" asked the Husband.

"Yes," said Robin. "On the Barrett-Bender Scale the entities are class three."

Strong enough to do party tricks, thought Robin, but not strong enough to suck anyone into a hell dimension.

"The house certainly has a strange atmosphere," murmured the Husband.

He was walking around the foyer, peering into corners. Robin had to fight the urge to smack the back of his head. Instead, she smiled and gave them the tour and the usual spiel.

In the formal dining room, the Wife paused. She tilted her head to one side, dog-like, and frowned.

"Do you hear that?"

"What, dear?" asked the Husband.

"I’m not sure," said the Wife. "I. . . ."

Suddenly, the woman went as stiff as a board. Her eyes gaped wide, her mouth opened and she made a long, gasping noise.

"Honey?" The Husband’s eyes were wide and pale.

Oh crap, thought Robin.

"Your wife’s a Medium, isn’t she?"

"What?" The Husband’s eyes darted here and there, as if looking for a way out. "Don’t be ridiculous!"

"Then how do you explain that?" said Robin.

The Wife was rising from the authentic hardwood floor of the formal dining room, drifting toward the plaster ceiling with the faux wrought iron chandelier.

"Oh hell," muttered the Husband. "How do we get her down?"

With a sigh, Robin dug a vial of holy water out of her purse and sprinkled some on the Wife’s designer knock-off footwear. Trembling, the possessed woman dropped to the floor with a weighty thud.

The Husband swept in and wrapped his arms around her.

"Darling, are you all right?"

"What a rush!" said the Wife, eyes open, pupils blown. "We have to buy this house, darling! You have to feel what I felt!"

"I’m sorry, but that’s not going to happen," said Robin, coldly.

"What?" The Wife struggled to her feet. "Why?"

"I can’t sell a haunted house to a Medium," said Robin. "It’s against the law."

"Only if you report me," said the Wife. "If you don’t, you make the sale, your commission and a little extra on the side."

"Yes," said Robin. "And when you open a gateway to the Other Side and legions of angry ghosts descend on this neighborhood, I lose my licence and maybe go to jail as an accessory after the fact." She shook her head. "That is not going to happen."

She tucked her folder under her arm and gave the couple a withering look.

"You’ll have to find something on the mundane market."

"Surely we can work something out, Miss Foster," wheedled the Husband.

This time, Robin did smack him.

Author's Notes:
My life tends to inform what I write about and, since I've been looking for a house, this is the second short-fiction that I've written involving real estate.  Heaven help us if I ever decide to go on a diet.

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