Ghost Temperatures Rising

Haunting used to be fun. I remember days when I’d wake up for my daily shift, giddy at the thought of scaring the life out of someone in the middle of the night. A fallen cup over there, a couple of cupboard doors swinging open, and bam! You had your fear quota for the day. That was until I met my newest and now longest-running case: Mandy.

Mandy was put on this Earth without fear – or perhaps common sense – anywhere in her body.

That initial fright lingering inside every human was what provided energy to all our normal haunting tools – without it, we could do little other than provide a change in temperature and some mild floorboard squeaking. I’d tried everything, but Mandy always had an answer to calm herself down. 

In the dead of summer, when I’d first been assigned as her ghost, she’d simply relished in the sudden drop in temperature that my presence had provided. She’d even thanked herself for remembering to install the air conditioning! Canberra did get surprisingly warm in the summer and I didn’t let it bother me at first – I figured I’d wait until the dead of winter where my achievements couldn’t be outshone by an AC unit.

By the time winter crept around the corner, I’d become desperate for her to notice me. I’d wake her up in the middle of the night with my cold presence. Mandy would awake with a shiver but, ever the logical sceptic she was, would simply open her phone and book ducted heating repairs online. Canberra had never been my favourite place but its affinity for natural drops in temperature had never infuriated me as much as it did, as it provided fuel for Mandy’s logical mind.

Daytime wasn’t much better with her head glued to that computer screen and headphones that could block out a train wreck. It was becoming increasingly hard to announce my presence, and without that first seed of doubt and fear, I was powerless to do much more than act as her personal, budget ventilation system. 

Stay positive, I reminded myself as I slunk back into the shadows after yet another unsuccessful week. 

I could do this, I just needed to start being a bit… creative.