The message was scrawled on the bathroom mirror in thick, crimson letters.
They even included the period at the end, which I thought was a nice touch. It’s always good when a ghost understands grammar.
I dampened a cloth and wiped the bloody message away before preparing my response. I didn’t want to cut myself for a mirror-based pen-pal, so instead I used a red whiteboard marker. At least it’d be easy to erase.
“No,” I wrote, comma and all. “I bought this house. Legally I own it. YOU get out.”
The reply came the next day, when I was about to take a shower.
“I built this house with my own two hands,” the letters dripped. “It will forever be mine. YOU MUST LEAVE.”
All that blood. Where does a ghost get blood?
Another dampened towel to clean it off. I had my shower before responding though, I didn’t want the steam to skew the letters.
“That’s not how ownership works,” I wrote. “You died, passed the house on to your descendants, who sold it to someone else, who sold it again. Eventually, I bought it. So, I’m sorry but it’s mine now.”
After lunch I checked back at the mirror. Only one word sat there, filling the frame.
Again, period. Nice touch.
The ghost was quiet that evening, apparently pondering their new circumstances. But the following morning, there the new message stood.
“Can we… be roommates?”
I cleaned it off and wrote back. “Can you pay rent?”
“I can stop rats coming into the building. Would that work?”
“That would be nice,” I replied. “But you have to abide by my rules, okay?”
“No more writing in blood. You must use my whiteboard marker.”
“Fine, if I must.”
“YOU MUST.” I wrote.
“So, I can stay?” they asked, now in red ink.
“Alright, as long as you keep any and all rats out of the house, you can stay.”
I paused before leaving the bathroom, and quickly wrote back. “Do we have a lot of rats in the house, normally?”
“Not anymore,” replied the marker. “Where do you think I got the blood?”
About the author:
Alexander Hewitt is a writer currently based in London, UK. He travels whenever possible, never sleeps enough, and is rather fond of wearing hats. One day he might even become a responsible adult, but it could take a few more centuries.