Ghostly Complications

“Are you having a laugh?” The voice was distorted with anger, but it was recognisably Rob. “I thought you’d got rid of that thing – but it’s worse now!”

“Wait, what do you mean?” My fingers scrabbled for a pen; I had a feeling I might need one.

“The ghost – it’s back and it’s pissed about something – probably your half-assed exorcism!” In my mind’s eye I could see Rob’s florid face, spittle flecking his lips. I closed my eyes and tried to think what could cause this.

“I’ve had to move out; she’s relentless and there’s no way to blame gusts of wind or electrical faults when she’s running up and down the stairs and breaking shit!”

A nasty thought had just occurred to me and I was still feeling my way round it which was why my mouth was on automatic when I said: “That shouldn’t have happened – she should have gone on to… wherever she should have gone… unless there’s something else binding her there – then it would be like a bungey cord – the ritual kicking her out and the binding pulling her back…” I became aware that the other end of the line had gone quiet. Rob’s voice, when it came, was dangerously soft.

“I don’t give a fuck. Get that bitch out of my house.” I was half-expecting an ‘or else’ at the end but got the feeling that making threats wasn’t something he did; that there would be consequences but he wasn’t in the habit of talking about them. I then had a sudden memory of the young man he’d had answer the door and how big his muscles were, and began to realise that I might have misinterpreted the nature of my employer’s business.