“GET OUuuuuT!” A male voice wailed as Jasper set his first box down. He’d visited the house on several occasions during the purchase process; each visit left him feeling vaguely uneasy. It seemed the house decided Jasper bringing in his first set of belongings was too much of an intrusion. The mid-30s man chuckled to himself and tried to project a smile at the empty living room.
“It’s nice to have someone else to talk to for once. What’s your name?” he asked the house.
“LEEEEEEAAAVVVVE!” the voice wailed again. A viscous bright red liquid began seeping out of the off-white walls.
“No! No no, shhhhh, don’t do that!” Jasper frantically waved his hands at the wall to try and convince it to take back what the coppery stench told him was blood.
“What the Hell is going on here?” Jasper sighed as he heard Laina’s familiar voice behind him. He turned to find his lifelong tormentor walking in the door carrying another box. A red-skinned, black-horned woman in a black suit. “We just started unloading and you’re already taking a break? If we take too long doing this I won’t be able to cook your favorite dinner; we have to celebrate our first night in a new house properly.” She dropped the box to the muffled sound of shattering glass. She immediately balled her fists and shut her eyes to try and calm down.
“WHY was there glass in a box labeled ‘bedroom’?” She asked through gritted teeth. Jasper shrugged.
“Lamps, picture frames, I don’t know.”
“Why didn’t you mark it fragile?!”
“You kicked me out of the bedroom and sent me to pack the garage because you said I was doing it wrong.”
“Obviously I was right because you didn’t label it as fragile!” Laina growled under her breath.
“GOOOO AWAAAAYYYY!” the house repeated.
“What the Hell was that?” Laina asked. Jasper shrugged again and pointed at the bloody walls that she hadn’t noticed yet.
“I wasn’t taking a break, it looks like this house is haunted.”
“Oh, I don’t think so. Listen up Mr. ghost or ghosts. This house is ours now. You’ll either start following the rules or I’ll exorcise you so fast you won’t know what hit you. Rule #1, I don’t want any poltergeisty stuff between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Jasper needs exactly eight hours of sleep, plus two to wind down and two to get ready for the day.” Laina paused. She crossed her arms and tapped her foot waiting to hear some sort of snarky reply, but none came.
“Rule #2, Food isn’t free. I’ve perfected the absolute healthiest diet for Jasper and it’s expensive to maintain. I will not have your antics wasting all my gluten-free and vegan foods. Obviously you’re able to make your own messes without disturbing our pantry,” she pointed at the bloodied walls.
“Which brings me to rule #3. You make a mess, you clean it. I have a hard enough time cleaning up after this man-child, I will not clean up after you too. You’re welcome to live here, but as a ghost, your job is to not be seen, is that clear?” Laina glared at the wall and the blood began to fade from existence leaving it brand new again.
“Rule #4. No peeking on the second Friday of the month between 6:30 and 7:00 p.-,” she was interrupted by Jasper.
“I think he gets the point for now. It’s getting late, remember? Let’s finish unloading so you can make that delicious soy-loaf,” he rubbed his belly. “You can give him the rest of the rules over dinner.”
“See? You can think sometimes, good boy,” Laina patted his head and walked out the door. “You’d better be right behind me,” she said. Jasper sighed. And started to follow her out.
“I should have been more specific when I made a deal for a girlfriend for the rest of my life,” he shook his head. He heard the voice one more time as he crossed the threshold.
“If you need a buddy to talk to, my name is Homer.”