My House ISN'T
by Rose DeShaw
I should've realized
something was up with the universe when I was
coming back to our nearly 200 year old, vine-covered
house with some groceries, earlier. A little kid,
walking with his mother yelled, "Hey, is
your house haunted?"
"Of course it isn't
haunted!" I said indignantly. "Do I
look like a ghost to you?"
"Maybe there are some
inside," he persists.
"Why would you think
it was?" I said, curious.
"My Daddy says it's
haunted," he says.
"Be sure to tell your
Daddy he's wrong, then," I said, worried he
might be a stringer for one of those ghost-buster
shows. There are at least 3 running on TV this
season. I thought about the occasions when I had
the door propped open with a lifesize statue of a
woman in a black dress, which I thought was
rather elegant. After that, occasionally, someone
would chuck a little kid in and hold the door
shut while he screamed, "Lemme Out! Don't
let the witch get me!"
know culture if they tripped over it in the dark",
I muttered to myself, but I'd thought that was a
one-time thing. Or maybe Daddy was one of those
little kids grown up. I know the vine makes it
look different but I never thought, spectral.
Then I cleaned out our
freezer. I took everything and crammed it into
the top of the refrigerator. As long as you didn't
open the door, it was okay. I had to replace the
freezer as it was leaking all over the kitchen
floor. I had another one coming in the afternoon.
They sent two young guys to deliver the
replacement and haul off the old one.
"What'll we do if we
find stuff behind it or under it?" one of
the guys asked as I started for the front door to
sit outside and ignore what was going on in my
"Oh just put it
anywhere," I said.
When the two of them came
out, they seemed nervous, didn't look me in the
eye, just handed me the paperwork and peeled on
out. I went back in noting that the kitchen IS
rather dark the way the vine has surrounded it
outside. Then I saw a little pile of what they'd
found under the freezer sitting on a stack of
newspapers. On top was a black-covered,
watersoaked copy of Bram Stroker's Dracula.
Personally I think that was
jumping to conclusions but lately at
neighbourhood gatherings I've been introduced as
the woman who owns "the weird house."
Unless I go vineless and maybe install a little
aluminum siding, I'll no doubt be fending off
producers of those TV shows for some time to come...