78. Poltergeist
© Bruce Goodman 27 December 2013

Caleb was not one to believe in ghosts, or angels, or any non-scientific clap-trap. It was therefore mildly disconcerting when he was alone in the house, and his toilet flushed. For his toilet to flush, someone must press the button. His toilet could not flush on its own.

Caleb thought little of it, and went to bed. It was later, just at the point of sleep, that he heard footsteps. Someone was in the kitchen. There was the pat-pat-pat sound of bare feet walking on linoleum. Caleb got out of bed and looked. There was no one there. He went back to bed and slept soundly.

These events repeated each evening; it started exactly at eleven o’clock, and ceased at midnight.

And then, more happened. The zippers on his luggage stored in the bedroom closet started zipping. Softly. Quietly. Almost tentatively, but definately zipping. And in the kitchen, the kettle boiled. It whistled on the hob. Caleb had to go and turn the hob off, only to find the kettle had not boiled, the hob was not turned on, and the water was cold.

Caleb was getting tired. It was wearing him down. They were poltergeist, someone had said. There were no options left. Caleb swallowed his rational pride and went to see a priest. He told the priest he didn’t believe in all that hocus-pocus, but “just get rid of the bloody things”. The priest came, said some prayers and sprinkled holy water.

That night, not a thing was heard. Caleb slept serenely.

The next evening, just on eleven, the toilet flushed.

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