James Holden: House Hunting

I walk out, unhappy. The first place I looked at had a cat which is never good, and this place didn’t meet my needs either. The living room was cramped, and there were only two bedrooms – we’d really be on top of each other. I couldn’t see myself being there at all.

I don’t really want to be doing this but I got kicked out of my last place so I’m house hunting again. The next one on my list is much more promising – a semi at the end of a cul-de-sac. As I walk in I get a nice feel about the place. There are fresh flowers on the hearth and it looks clean. It’s homely but tastefully furnished, with a big comfy looking sofa. I check out the DVDs next to the television – Mulholland Drive, The League of Gentlemen, Vertigo – I approve. When you’re ‘living’ with someone else, it’s important that your tastes align a bit.

I wander through the downstairs rooms, checking out the dining room which has French windows that open onto a large garden. The kitchen is well-equipped, although there’s a mug tree next to the kettle. I don’t much care for them, but I can always move the cups around later, see if I can get away with it. I walk up the stairs, and it is in the bedroom that I see her, lying on the bed, long hair fanned out across a pillow like a peacock’s feathers. She seems to be staring at the ceiling. I cough discreetly and she sits up suddenly.

“Sorry – I didn’t realise there was someone already here,” I say.

She smiles sympathetically. “It’s hard to find somewhere, isn’t it. Are you new to this house-sharing?”

“No. I was ejected from my last place after ten years. I was hardly in your face. They were always leaving the dishes on side to dry, but it really upset them when I put them away. How long have you been here?”

“Only a couple of weeks. So what happened?”

“Exorcism. They got a priest in and went the whole hog.”

“That’s tough. I spent a couple of years in a pub but left after they got Most Haunted in to drum up business. I couldn’t stand how busy it became.”

I look down at her white shimmering form on the bed. “It’s nice here. Shame I’ll have to look for somewhere else.”

“There’s a house two doors down that doesn’t have a ghost. They’ve got a collection of gnomes in the garden. Imagine the possibilities for haunting them. Come on – I’ll show you.”

She grabs me by the hand, and we leave together to check it out.

 

(The starting point for this story came from Writing Exercises’ Story Generator – it’s a cracking tool if you’re struggling for an idea.)

Advertisements

About James Holden

Brought up in Yorkshire, James has washed up on the shores of London. He spends his days working as a political geek. His short stories have previously been read by the Liars League.
This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, James Holden, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s