The Ghost Hunter Next Door

With the lights out, the living room glows a grayish blue, radiating from the television set. You’re watching the channel about ghosts and haunted things—and the local celebrity, from just down the street. You went to school with his brother. He’s slowly making his way down dimly lit corridors of a house somewhere in Pennsylvania. A trickle of sweat runs from your neck, straight down the space between your breasts, and you watch him move, and you imagine what you’d do with him, alone, in a haunted house. In the show, he’s safe and trustworthy, but there’s a hint of a dark smile in the way that he suddenly looks away from the camera, like he’s got an axe to grind.

The next day, you go to the grocery store, looking for bacon, and all you can think of is the guy chasing ghosts—his name’s Blaze. Oh, how you’d like to just run into him in the store, and you’d just happen to be wearing something skimpy, and maybe you’re holding a tray of bacon. He’s always eating bacon sandwiches at a diner after ghost hunting on TV. But there’s no bacon because of a shortage—only packages of chunks of ham. You want him to be carrying a hatchet. You want to hit him over the head with a brick, wrestle in blood—free some ghosts. Instead, you go to the local saloon, which is also haunted, and you find Blaze, seated at the bar, eating the last bacon sandwich in town, chatting up the bartender. When he leaves, you grab the napkin he was using, which is slick with bacon grease. You take it home, place it against your bare chest, turn off the lights, watch television—watch him, run the blade of a knife across your tongue.

You awaken to a sound, in the middle of the night, and it’s coming from an abandoned house way down the street. You see lights, so you pick your way over to the house, through tall weeds in the dark. You bring your knife. And when you get there, you recognize Blaze, in a tight black shirt, muscles bulging. They bulge bigger in person than on camera. His jeans are tight—tighter than on camera. His eyes are wild as he berates the camera crew. Your heart races as he screams something about a bacon sandwich. He can’t keep filming without one.

You slip the knife in your pocket, brush up real close against him. You slide the knife back out and enter the kitchen, heat up a pan, and use the knife to add a slather of butter. When the butter bubbles, you slice off a piece of your arm and toss it into the pan. He looks you over with that hungry look, like he could devour you, but the smell of your own skin cooking unsettles your stomach. The blood dripping from your arm is decidedly unappetizing.

He licks his lips, but you want to retch, so you throw the knife, and it lands right between his eyes, and he falls with a thud. No one protests. No one screams, and you run free, into the night, back to your house, and you’re not that hungry anymore.

Cecilia Kennedy once taught Spanish and English courses in Ohio for many years. She now lives in the Greater Seattle area, and writes horror stories. Her blog (Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks: chronicles her humorous (and perhaps scary?) attempts at cooking and home repair.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *