Blog Post 49: Des Res Part 4
Continued from Part 3
Of course, I was doubled up with laughter by now! But I can remember what I said, down to the last word. “Well shit on my grave, Charlie-baby,” I said to him “The spirits are here for you and not me after all.”
“Noooo,” he moaned from the couch, sounding completely out of control now. Urine was seeping through the crotch of his trousers now. Later I realised that there should have been a dark stain on the material. But for now all I could think was “God, the lengths he’ll go to, to convince me this is all real.”
“Noooo…” he repeated as the sofa slowly creaked and shuddered its way relentlessly towards the door.
“All right, all right,” I said, finally. “I’m sorry to spoil the fun, but I think its time we brought this little Victorian melodrama to a close.” I strode over to the sofa, which by now was about two feet from the apparitions and grabbed it by the arm furthest from the door. “Sorry, ol’ boy,” I said again, Putting all my ten stone weight behind it I gave it an almighty shove that pushed the furthest end of it, the end that Charles was sitting on, out through the open door way. If my aim hadn’t been dead straight it would have wedged. But as it was, I’d given it a clean push and it seemed almost to sail out through the door. The rest of the story you can guess. Charles’ cries now rose to a high-pitched scream and the wispy-men took hold of his arms. Their smoky bodies seemed to wrap around him until he all but disappeared in the fog, in the best Hollywood tradition. I was half expecting to see a Demi Moore look alike appear from offstage left, struggling with her tears. As Charles’ cries died away to a muffled silence, the fog slowly dispersed leaving nothing but me applauding what had really turned into an excellent performance. I was impressed with the lengths to which he’d gone to frighten me away. But I was even more delighted that it had been so clichéd that it never had a ghost in hell’s chance of frightening me.
I stood in the doorway waiting for something to happen. Nothing did, except that I began to get chilled by the night air after a few minutes, despite still having my coat on. In the absence of further instructions from my host for the evening, I pulled the Chesterfield back through the doorway and into its original place by the inglenook. Despite the absence of Charles sitting on it, it seemed somehow heavier and I had a devil of a job (no pun intended) getting it back to where it had come from. I also couldn’t find the wires it must have been pulled on, which puzzled me considerably.
Well, all went quiet after that, so I got some shuteye until the clock woke me again at seven. It was cold – the fire had gone out in the wood-burner. It was also light by then of course, so, still being in the house I’d won my bet. I packed my bag, returned the sports pages to the magazine rack and left the house, closing the door carefully behind me. You can’t be too careful these days, even in Minstead.
Of course as you know already, it was only when I got home that I retrieved Marcie’s answer phone messages, the first left for me the previous evening just after I left my flat. She was near incoherent in that first recording. It wasn’t ‘til I reached the third message that I made some sense of what she was saying. You know, she didn’t seem all that bothered that Charles had jumped out of the window after the failure of a crucial business deal. Her real concern was that there was now virtually no money left, so she was pretty much as poor as I was. She knew she’d have to sell the forest estate to pay off the bills. I thought it was only fitting when, a couple of months later, she bought the semi-d with the inglenook in Minstead. But I never did hold her to making good Charles’ wager with me. How could I after, he’d gone to such trouble to tell me he had no life insurance? I guess blood really is thicker than gin and tonic.