599. Building ghost

© Bruce Goodman 1 June 2015


Garth didn’t mind the apartment he rented. It was cheap but nice. It was on the third floor of a Virginia creeper-covered gothic brick building in the old part of town. Few people rented there. Word had it that the place was haunted.

Garth didn’t believe in that. No such thing as ghosts. And he enjoyed living in an almost empty block of apartments. He enjoyed his privacy and could play his music as loud as he wanted.

One evening, around 9 o’clock, he was walking up the linoleum covered stairs. He hadn’t turned the stairwell light on. There was no need. Every twenty steps or so the staircase turned a corner. Garth heard footsteps behind him. He stopped. The footsteps stepped two steps and stopped. Garth continued. More footsteps behind him. He stopped. Two further footfalls. The stepping stopped.

This continued all the way to the third floor. Garth called out: is anybody there? There was no answer. Yes, he thought, whatever it is, an echo perhaps, it’s certainly not a ghost.

He entered his apartment. And then, HE HEARD IT! AT THE DOOR! A KNOCK! A soft knock!

Tentatively, he opened the door. It was his mother returning his laundry which she had done.

“Whooooo!” she said. “I hope I gave you a fright!”

Garth didn’t last long in the apartment after that. He began to be startled by every little creak.

17 thoughts on “599. Building ghost

  1. Cynthia Jobin

    The poor woman is walking behind him— she’s still doing his laundry, and lugging it up three flights of stairs, and has to knock to be let in to deliver it to him….no wonder she is a ghost! (And no wonder he’s trying to get away from her!).

  2. Bruce Goodman Post author

    Yes, you’re quite right. But I couldn’t think of a decent reason why she would be visiting. Anyway, it is silly. I should’ve made it his girlfriend coming for a candlelight supper (or something).

  3. Cynthia Jobin

    Nay, nay…it’s perfect just the way it is. Sometimes your tales remind me—in your wily view of the variety and complexity of human foibles—of G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown.

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      It’s not so much a WordPress thing as me – reaching for my goals: 555 stories because that was the number of sonatas Scarlatti wrote (I think in 4 years – he didn’t start them until he was 67, which is encouraging) and 1001 stories for the Arabian Nights… 🙂


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