… continued

Finally, without any further interruption …

One morning I was up a bit earlier than usual, and I was in the bathroom shaving. It was an hour or so before sunup. The lighting in the bathroom was poor, but there was a security spotlight outside the window, as I recall, so I had opened the frosted glass pane to let in a little more light, as well as the clean, cold but dry night air, which would keep the fogged over bathroom mirror clear.

As I was just starting to scrape the razor against my face in the bathroom, I heard the ghostly footsteps walking one way down the hall .. away from me. Then I heard the preternatural footfalls coming back the other way. Slowly, deliberately, the steps grew closer and closer until they paused right by the bathroom door.

I was just about to open the door and see what the heck was out there, when suddenly a sound came in from just outside the bathroom window. With my attention abruptly drawn to this new sound, and I turned, rather startled, just in time to see a giant furry cat drop from the roof onto a nearby ledge. Leaping, she came in through the bathroom window and landed directly on the bathroom sink, and without an introduction of any kind, proceeded to insisted that I pet her.

Which I did. And after a minute of this, she became bored and leaped out of the window onto a ledge, and back on to the roof of the building. And there, she walked to the other end of the roof over the guest quarter’s hallway, and my observation of her doing this allowed me to understand the nature of the ghost that had haunted us all these days and, indeed, driven the Norwegians to alternative quarters.

The roof was metal. There were joints in the metal roof. As the cat pitter-pattered along the roof in it’s cat-like fashion, she would come to a certain point along the roof, in relation to these joints, and the joint would creak or ping. This was just like walking along a creaking floor, which will occasionally let out a sound depending on where you step, but much more regularly. Like footfalls. Like ghostly, preternatural, disembodied footfalls.

So, the ghost was a cat walking back and forth on the roof one or a couple of times a night almost every night. Looking for an opening. And finally, I gave he one. And then she …

Well, for the rest of the day, I couldn’t get that song out of my head.

The End.

Comments

  1. #1 Alcari
    July 19, 2009

    As always, real ghost stories are bit more anticlimactic then the less-thruthfull ones ;)

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    July 19, 2009

    OK, alternate ending time:

    …. As I looked in the mirror contemplating my half-shaven face, I saw movement in the reflection of the half opened window. As the thing that was moving slowly came into focus, I realized I had seen this before. It was the very skeleton of one of the bodies uncovered earlier that week in the graveyard! But on the basis of the insignia on it’s half rotted lab coat and the stethescope around it’s neck, I further recoginzed this fiend as the very ‘doctor’ who had been removing brains of the deceased a century earlier in Kimberly!

    The Zombie Attack had Started!!!!!111!!

    .. Or perhaps you have a better ending?

  3. #3 ceza
    July 19, 2009

    It was the very skeleton of one of the bodies uncovered earlier that week in the graveyard

  4. #4 Toaster
    July 19, 2009

    Better ending.

    The sound outside turned out to be one lone stray dog rattling through some garbage scraps. But when I turned back to the sink, I looked down and noticed some wet clods of blue earth ringing the drain that I was sure hadn’t been there a moment ago. As I shrugged and plied my cheek with the razor, a burbling rattle came up the pipe and more blue earth heaved itself into the sink. I leaned down closer, curious to know what could be causing this, when out of the blue earth a skeletal hand stained black by the earth shot out of the drain and grabbed at my face. I reeled backwards, shocked, razor dropped and forgotten as the arm groped about blindly, rotten tendrils of stubborn tendons waving about like a grotesque beard. I backpedaled out of the bathroom, out of the building, and out of Kimberly, South Africa, leaving everything behind in my haste. One of my students in now in an asylum, the other was never heard from again.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    July 19, 2009

    Maybe this story needs a squid.

  6. #6 MadScientist
    July 19, 2009

    The alternate ending should involve a baboon.

  7. #7 C.Anderson
    July 19, 2009

    Best part: “Which I did.”

    Good story.

  8. #8 José
    July 20, 2009

    You missed this one.

    …With my attention abruptly drawn to this new sound, and I turned, rather startled, just in time to see a giant furry cat drop from the roof onto a nearby ledge. But Fluffy had been killed in a horrible truck accident ten years ago!

  9. #9 Kate from Iowa
    July 20, 2009

    There’s nothing wrong with this ending!

    Except the lack of bacon. Everything’s better with bacon.

  10. #10 KeithB
    July 20, 2009

    Footnotes! I demand footnotes!

  11. #11 KeithB
    July 20, 2009

    Oops, he said sheepishly. Maybe you should put in a link?

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    July 20, 2009

    Footnotes are up!

  13. #13 catgirl
    July 21, 2009

    It’s a great ending. I love cats, especially friendly ones.

  14. #14 Brumilda
    Kimberley, Northern cape
    January 15, 2013

    What about theman you saw whlst peeping through the keyhole?

  15. #15 Greg Laden
    January 15, 2013