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  • Chaitanya Kirtikar

The Ghost

Billows of wispy white fog hung in the air, with a few scattered rays of light peeking through. Glistening drops of dew dotted the vast expanse of grass, like diamonds in a morose mine. Distant mountains outlined the area; grey silhouettes against a blue sky. Thick clouds rolled across the edge of the horizon; floating lazily, yet none shed a drop of rain. The city sprawled out towards the foot of the peaks, like an insurmountable wave approaching the shore.

Slender rays of dappled sunlight glistened through the window pane, shedding their brilliance into a narrow whitewashed room. The place was drab, with stained wooden panels lining the floor, the layers of dust and grime of seemingly ages past, visibly stuck between the narrow floorboards. The walls, meagerly decorated as they were, lay covered with sophisticated tapestries of fingerprints, dirty handprints, and other such mysterious inexplicable stains. The ceiling, composed of sturdy peeling plaster, fashioned with a fantastic galaxy of holes and crevices, looked on longingly at the floor, hoping that it would be allowed to cave in on one glorious day.

The corner to the far right of the room housed a narrow bed. A lean figure lay on it, caught in an intricate mess of blankets that were slowly slithering to the floor.

The door opened creakily, announcing the arrival of a tall man. He made his way to the bed; a glass full of water in hand; ice tinkling as he moved. Slowly, he gathered the blankets into a huge ball of fluff, revealing a young boy; who immediately proceeded to bury his face in his pillow, startled by the sudden brightness.

“Morgan........ten o clock may be reasonable, but don’t you think twelve is pushing your luck?”

Muffled noises emerged from the Pillow Head, whining its disapproval of the verdict. Ice tinkled in response; cheerfully floating in comfort; blissfully ignorant of its destined plight.

“Hey chipmunk, are you going to wake up now, or do you want me to wake you up........I have my ways, remember?"

Another array of whining notes arose from the Pillow Head, twisting and turning, this time considerably louder.

A second later, the glass was tipped over, causing it to empty its contents in an icy cascade; making the Pillow Head jerk off the bed with a torturously high-pitched shriek.

It then proceeded to take off the Pillow from its Head and use it as a wonderfully blunt, feathery missile that floppily flew at the man’s head with all its dangerously delicate glory. Unfortunately enough, the thoroughly accurate projectile fell short of its aim due to its target's towering tallness; and instead crashed into his chest, then bounced to its bane onto the mundane floorboards. The ceiling shook with the thunderous laughter that followed (mostly of the man); sending a rain of plaster hurtling to the floor.

Morgan, having now become a young boy again; with all the last dregs of sleep shaken off by the hysterical laughter still ringing in his ears, grumbled downstairs behind his father after being washed and bathed; appetite awakening. They entered the dining room and were greeted by the aroma of hot food, a moderately rare occasion in the household.

Lunch was reasonably uneventful, despite the general "no-i-will-not-eat-vegetables-unless-i-absolutely-have-to" debate, accompanied by "The Lecture of Getting Up Early" and ''The Dog Is Not Supposed To Eat Your Vegetables For You Morgan". It was followed by an excruciatingly long time filled with mopping and cleaning the floor, making the bed and other such seemingly endless household chores.

The afternoon finally welcomed the arrival of some freedom wherein Mogan was permitted to go play whatever games a lone 5 year old could think of in the company of an easily excitable labrador; and of course; the Pillow (his most beloved compatriot).

Father however, stayed on in the kitchen, washing the dishes mindlessly; thoughts circling the tightly wound budget and the endless search for a new job.

A loud yell accompanied by incessant barking suddenly pierced the air. Hurriedly moving down the hallway, he walked through the open door of the living room; only to find a diverse collection of toys scattered around along with a very excited labrador, with no trace of their owner in sight. Stepping over the toys, he picked up the Pillow and said, “Chipmunk, where are you?” ill-concealed concern rippling in his voice. The door of the closet at the far end of the room opened slowly; and a little figure crawled out and clung to his dad like a magnet.

“Are you okay?”

“There was a ghost daddy.”

“Morgan, ghosts aren’t real.”

“There was one. I saw it.”

A slight tinge of annoyance creeped into dad’s next question. Sighing, he ran in his hand through the air and asked,

“Where?”

“It was standing at the front door.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“Why were you at the front door?”

“I lost my ball.”

“You must have imagined it chipmunk.”

“We have to go.”

“Where?”

“It wants us gone!!!!!!”

“Morgan, this isn’t funny.”

“It's true.”

“Morgan, I told you, there is no such thing as a ghost.”

“It was there. You can see it.”

“The ghost?”

“No.”

“Then?”

“It left a message.”

“A message?

“Yeah. At the front door.”

“Okay let's go to the front door and see what Mr.Ghost wants to tell us.”

“He wants us to leave.”

“Let’s just go and see.”

Together, they approached the front door, Morgan becoming increasingly reluctant the closer they got. The wooden front door stared back at them, completely aloof of the sudden surge of attention that had been directed at it.

“I don’t see any ghostly messages on the front door chipmunk.”

“It's on the outside of the front door Daddy, I saw it.”

Exasperated, dad slowly unlatched the door. A slight gust of warm breeze blew onto their faces as they stepped out onto the front step. A single sheet of paper pinned on the outside of the door fluttered in the wind, desperately trying to escape its bounds. The title simply stated, in bold red letters, “NOTICE OF EVICTION”.


The Eviction Notice










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