Wind howled outside on this miserable night. It had looked like rain all day and, sure enough, the monsoon had arrived. Ok, monsoon might be a stretch but it was raining hard enough to make Janet worry about the cable going out. Tonight, Janet was playing babysitter to Tammy’s two boys, Bryan and Jackson. Although she’d been over plenty of times, it was never alone with the boys at night. Janet had finally agreed to watch the boys so Tammy could get out of the house and now it looked like she was going to lose the TV. That was a reason for panic! The lights flickered with a crack of thunder and Janet found herself holding her breath.
“Get back in bed,” Janet called toward the stairs.
A loud thump was followed by crying and Janet knew the cast of The Good Wife would have to wait. Running upstairs and into the boys’ room, she saw Bryan on the floor while Jackson sat in the lower bunk laughing at his brother.
“Boys and bunk beds,” Janet thought to herself. “Are you ok buddy?”
Bryan nodded and started to climb back to the top bunk. Janet gave him a little boost and started tucking him in when she heard the toilet flush at the end of the hall.
“Jeremy!” the boys sang-out in unison.
Startled and confused why the boys seemed ok with this, she listened.
“Who…is…Jeremy?” she asked.
“Jeremy lives here, Aunt Janet,” Jackson replied. “It’s ok. Mommy knows.”
“Jeremy?” she called. No response. Janet had been all over this house and knew she was alone with the boys. Her “fight or flight” instinct was telling her to grow wings and get the hell out of there and the hair standing on her neck wasn’t helping. She called Tammy who picked-up on the first ring.
“Who the fuck is Jeremy?” she whispered into the phone away from the boys so they wouldn’t hear her.
“Remember me telling you about the doorbell that rings sometimes?”
“And the lights that I think are out but they’re just unscrewed a little?”
“Well that’s Jeremy. I got the house from a woman whose husband, Jeremy, passed away.”
“Tammy!! You have a damn ghost in here?”
The doorbell stopped Janet’s conversation cold.
Tammy interrupted the silence, “Look, I’ll be home soon since this date’s more dud than stud anyway. I’ll tell you all about it and you can sleep over.”
* * * * * * * *
Janet got back under the “Steelers” throw on the couch and resumed The Good Wife. More than a little freaked-out, she sent a text to Mitch.
SCARED SHITLESS – GHOST IN THE HOUSE :O
The phone vibrated with Mitch’s call and Janet nearly threw it across the room. Thinking she may have peed just a little, she answered, “Oh my God!! Did you know there was a ghost in this house??”
“Yeah, Jeremy’s harmless. Can’t say I miss him since I moved-out, though. When are you going home? I can swing by and…tuck you in.”
“I think I’m staying-over so I can finally have that talk with Tammy. Sounds like she’s having a shitty date and will be home soon.”
Thunder cracked outside and the line filled with static. Mitch came back on.
“So you’re going to tell her you’re screwing her ex-husband? Are you going to tell her how long you’ve been doing this?”
Thunder cracked again and the house went dark. “Great! Lights are out here, babe. Hello? Hello??”
The trembling made it impossible for Janet to find the flashlight app on her phone. In the darkness, without TV, the rain was deafening as it beat on the roof and windows. Still, she was sure she heard the scrunch of someone sitting on the other end of the leather couch.