Think I’ve figured something out.
I’ve walked the haunted tour for years now, hundreds and thousands of times. Tour groups climb these stairs to the armoire, where the guide recounts the story of the ghost inside. The doors are opened, but the armoire is empty, always empty, despite shrieks of fright from the tourists. They just want a good scare. Can’t they see there’s no ghost in there?
And then, they’re gone. I only notice when, at the foot of the staircase, the door creaks wide. Another tour has arrived. And a thought crosses my mind.
Am I the ghost?
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There’s a room at the top of a narrow staircase, and in that room is an armoire. It has large, thick doors that don’t exactly close right. The armoire is supposed to house the ghost of a girl who was locked inside and forgotten long ago. It’s the highlight of the tour. When visitors arrive at the top of the stairs they shriek with fright, or delight, I can’t tell which. I’ve pushed my way through them to see for myself but I’ve never seen a thing, not once, not ever. Not in the thousands of times I’ve been here….
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We returned to the house on Halloween night and picked through buckets of treats spilled out on the floor. The kids waited patiently as I removed the unsafe candy. Then more.
“This is candy tax for taking you guys trick or treating”, I announced. They groaned, and I ate.
Don’t remember taking more from their spoils through the night but I had, until I was doubled over in pain on the bathroom floor. I caught my breath, unlocked the door and stumbled down the hallway, my hand stretched out, leading me to more unsafe candy.
Something was happening to me.