EDITORIAL NOTE FROM RONNI: Well, aren't you a prolific bunch - there are now seven months of reader stories backed up which takes us through winter, spring and into summer. You know, I may not live that long.
I try to publish your stories more or less in the order received and although a number of you have sent two or more stories, I don't publish a repeat author until everyone else has been published once. The list is getting too long to easily sort through every week, so if you could hold off sending any new stories at least until spring, I would greatly appreciate it. I'll let you know when I'm running low.
By Darlene Costner
There's a specter living in my house and his main purpose is to drive me insane. He is an evil prankster bent on making my life miserable.
I first noticed his presence when he made all of my kitchen cabinets higher so that I can no longer reach the top shelf and even reaching the middle shelf forces me to stand on my toes.
Then he must have howled with laughter as he knocked things from my hands, forcing me to clean up the ensuing mess. That wasn't enough fun for him so he lowered all the floors in my house.
Of course, this means that I am unable to use my thumb and must try to retrieve the item using my two longest fingers. That is a very difficult tactic, let me tell you. That gave my ghostly housemate such a good time that he now performs that prank many times a day. Such cruelty!
He has other tricks up his sleeve (Do ghosts have sleeves?) He is constantly moving things from where I know I put them. I have to spend hours looking for that note that I had just minutes ago.
That must have given the spectral imp so many laughs that he does it more and more often now. Not only does he move them, but he puts them where they are right in front of my eyes but impossible to see.
I don't have a clue how he manages to mess with my mind but this trick gives him the most glee of all. He erases words from my memory. It's really maddening to be having a nice conversation and suddenly my ghost yanks a perfectly ordinary word from my vocabulary causing me no end of embarrassment as I frantically look for a substitute word.
Oh how I am becoming so exasperated with my infuriating spectral visitor.
He must find that watching me fall is hilarious because he shoves me down at the most unexpected times. That's his most vicious trick. Even though my hands are on the walker, he finds a way to give me a backward shove and I end up with the walker on top of me. He has no thought for my feelings at all.
I am sure that he has other pranks that he intends to play on me in the future. At times I think I see him watching me through the crack in the door and is plotting his next move. Reminding me of the little poem:
I saw a man upon the stair
And when I looked he wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today
Oh, how I wish he would go away.
(Variations attributed to different poets; Mearns and Antigonism, among others)