It had been horrible, but now it was over; I was dead. After days of torment, it felt good to just lay there with no more concerns. I knew I was dead because all of the fear that had wracked me the last few days was gone. I could look over the events of the last week with calm disinterest. That hadn’t been possible when I was still alive.
“Quit laying there and get up. I know you’re dead; I can feel the curse lifting. I have some things to tell you before I can move on.”
I looked up, a surprising act in itself since I was dead. Before me stood the ghost who had been haunting me. His – and I can only assume it was a he based on the voice – appearance hadn’t changed. It was still horrible. But it no longer seemed terrifying.
“Good. Now look, I know this probably doesn’t make up for anything, but I am sorry. This was not personal. I have been here for years, and the place is often empty. The loneliness can really get to you. Watch out for that. Try to find ways to occupy yourself, or it will drive you crazy.”
The fear was gone, but confusion was quickly taking its place. Nothing he said was making sense.
“What are you…?”
“Oh. Yes. You’ll be taking over for me. Someone died here a long time ago. The woman I replaced didn’t know who it was. I tried to find out, but there really isn’t much here to discover. Not being able to leave makes it difficult to do research. Anyway, whoever it was was cursed to haunt this place. Until, that is, they could kill someone to pass the curse on to. Since we can’t actually touch living flesh, that is harder than it might sound. Every time I’ve tried, I’ve only ever managed to scare away the person and their family. Then the place is empty for a long time. I just couldn’t handle it. It was just luck that I scared you, and you fell out the window.”
“Well, luck for me. Again, it was nothing personal, you understand. I just need to get out of this place.”
“So that’s it? You spend days frightening me, eventually killing me. And now it’s over?”
“Except for you being stuck here until you get your own replacement, yeah. Why? What do you think should happen after you die?”
“I… I guess I don’t know. The terror just seemed so real. I figured something worse had to happen once you got me.”
“Like what? There’s nothing more to it. The worst part is over. You’re dead. Now it’s just the monotony of waiting for new residents before you can move on. Speaking of which… I can go now. So… Good luck!”
“Wait…!” But he was gone. And I was alone. With nothing to do. I wondered when someone else might move in.