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Under The Bed

by scriever 

Posted: 12 April 2017
Word Count: 856
Summary: For the challenge. What's under the bed? And why is it so annoying?

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It was late, and I was knackered. I hadn’t stopped since I left the house at six that morning, So when I got in I fixed myself a sandwich and a cup of tea. I'd bought a cream egg for afters, as it was February, when the first Easter Eggs traditionally appear in the shops. I arranged it all on a tray and took it upstairs to the bedroom.

I like my bed, it’s the only place I can relax. So you can understand my annoyance when I was interrupted by a hissing sound. Not the kind of hissing sound when your tyre gets a puncture, a hissing sound made by someone trying to attract my attention. It came from under the bed. 

I ignored it at first; I was always taught that it’s impolite to speak with your mouth full. It kept going though, so when I finished my sandwich I spoke. ‘What is it now, Henry?’

The hissing stopped. ‘How d’you know it’s me?’

‘Could it be anyone else? I mean, really?’

‘No, I suppose not. Yes. I could be an axe murderer.’

‘Are you an axe murderer?’

A snort. ‘Course not. I’m Henry, as well you know. Axe murderer indeed!’

‘So. Henry. I repeat: what is it now?'

‘No need to take that tone.’

’Henry. Is there a realistic chance of you telling me what you want before I go to sleep? I’m very tired and the light’s going off in five minutes.’

’I’m hungry.’

’No you’re not, you’re a ghost.’ I sighed. ’We’ve been through this. You’re an apparition, a very annoying apparition, and you only exist on a spectral plane, most of the time. Which means you aren’t hungry.’

’Fair do’s. I’m bored though. Eating would be a distraction, if I could do it. Hearing you chomping away on your sandwich brought back memories. What was in it?’

’Cheese, tomato, lettuce. Crispy lettuce. Fresh, juicy tomatoes. Tangy, strong cheddar. On thick white bread. With butter.’

’Cow,’ he muttered. I chuckled. He was so easy to wind up.

’That it then? Can I go to sleep now?’

’I’m lonely. Can I come into your bed?’

’Absolutely not. Remember the last time? Disaster. Took me three washes to get the ectoplasm off the sheets.’

’I did apologise. I hadn’t been to bed with a woman for 327 years. Wasn’t surprising really.’

’No, it wasn’t. And the same thing would happen again. The answer is no.’

’It’s lonely down here. I’d be careful.’ The tone was wheedling now, but I hardened my heart. 

’Think of something nice. Your last birthday as a real person. Your wife. Anything.’

’You’re cruel, you are. I was burned at the stake on my last birthday. And my wife left me for a chapman. One of these travelling salesman johnnies. Seduced by his bright ribbons and rude jokes.’ I heard a snuffling noise from under the bed. Much more of this and I’d be feeling sorry for him. ’And it’s not as if anyone else is going to be in there. Last bunk up you had was months ago.’ That did it.

’Is it any wonder? Is It?’ I was starting to shout now. ’With you making all these .. noises while we were.. while we were trying to..’

’He wasn’t good enough for you. He wasn’t much good in the sack either, and he wasn’t even someone you could talk to. I like talking to you. And you like talking to me, don’t you? A bit anyway?’

I sighed again. ’You’re right, he wasn’t much use. None of them are. Perhaps I should just let you sleep with me and be done with it. NO. Stop!’ I was shouting again, because he was materialising through the mattress. I won’t tell you which part of him was materialising first. ’Let’s just talk.’ He withdrew, slowly.

’There’s a word for women like you.’ He sounded hurt.

’I know there is. Alive.’ I regretted it as soon as I said it.

’I don’t enjoy this, you know. I’d rather not be here. In limbo under your sodding bed. Although you’re an improvement on the previous occupants of the house. At least you speak to me. Most of the others just screamed, nailed the door shut, that sort of thing. Three exorcisms. They didn’t go well.’ He gave a filthy chuckle. I could only imagine, but tried not to.

’Is there any way I can bring you peace?’ I asked. And some for me too.

’You know, nobody’s ever asked me that. There is something.’

I was suddenly interested. ’Go on.’

’All you need to do is say my name out loud, my full name mind, then say 'You are forgiven. Go ye now, to a better place'’

'Go ye now, to a better place? I'd feel right daft saying that. No, don't think I'll bother. Besides, who would I speak to if you weren't around? No, if it's all the same to you, I'll just keep things as they are. Night night.' Was that sobbing I heard when I turned off the light? No, it sounded more like chuckling.

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Comments by other Members

V`yonne at 11:14 on 13 April 2017  Report this post
Well I am certainly chuckling laugh

Took me three washes to get the ectoplasm off the sheets.’

you wee divil!!! devil

Great banter and a good finish and you got some easter eggs in.

I think iof you wanted to send this out, (and you should) you should change the beginning slightly and make it so she already knows it's Henry.
Then it started, the usual hissing. I ignored it at first; I was always taught that it’s impolite to speak with your mouth full. It kept going though, so when I
finished my sandwich I spoke. ‘What is it this time, Henry?’

Really enjoyed that. Thanks for the laugh.

Cliff Hanger at 12:16 on 13 April 2017  Report this post
Bit like a grown up Rent-a-Ghost. I used to love that programme. 

Great story. Lively chat. Very funny.


scriever at 13:25 on 13 April 2017  Report this post
Thanks for the sugegstion Oonagh, I've done a quick edit, and you're right, that one little word helps!

Bazz at 14:08 on 16 April 2017  Report this post
A "lively" twist on a haunting, Ross! Snappy and fun, while also giving us two interesting characters in a curious, mutually beneficial "relationship". You could expand this, follow all the people he haunts and interacts with over time, probably be a lot of fun, going by this :)

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