You walked along beside me, along the high street. Who were you? Clearly you weren't real in the corporeal sense – when I turned into Tanner's Wynd to cut up to my flat, you were there, and walked straight through my neighbour, who was going the other way.
Two blokes, walking along the street, not talking, not even looking at each other much. And yet, I knew I was looking through a window at you. In the manner of your dress and style, you were definitely of some other time. The bell bottoms and sports jacket were a dead giveaway, even in this backwater town, where nothing much changes.
Maybe that was the key. The route I took every day wouldn't have changed much in decades. Sure, the shops would come and go; but the big stuff, like the sandstone library building with its' old wooden doors, the 50's built concrete police station at the top of Tanner's Wynd, and the cobbles I walked on, wouldn't have.
I went home, put the telly and the kettle on, sat down. You were there. Thinking about it, the block of flats would've been around when you were too. Maybe this space was yours? So did you come back, or did you just never leave, and I hadn't seen you until then?
I'll be honest, I don't normally believe this sort of thing. But when the telly kept turning over to Baywatch (which I wouldn't normally believe in either!) I got this sort of happy vibe from the other end of the settee. And I definitely didn't smoke the last two cigarettes in the packet. Who'd have believed that you guys could remove physical objects, even small, light ones? The telly, I can just about understand, it's all electronics; and they're easily influenced by all sorts of outside factors. But my fags? Hope you enjoyed the tea...
That was the text of the letter I wrote to my 'ghost' in the first place, after my mate and his weird new girlfriend were all over it. I didn't know what to put it down to; she was sure there was 'a presence' in the room. So, at least to shut them up, I tried what she suggested. My 'ghost' wasn't talking, so I wrote him a letter. I posted it under the carpet, roughly where the settee was at the time it happened.
She reckoned I'd have to leave it a few weeks, so I marked a couple of weeks after, on the calendar, for the unveiling. They were busy on the appointed day, and so it got left; time dragged on, as it does; after a few months it seemed too much of an effort to lift the carpet again, so I left it.
It was only after upstairs' central heating sprang a leak, and flooded my living room, that the carpet came up. There it was, soaking wet, sitting there on the floor where I'd left it. I couldn't just bin it, my curiosity was aroused again, by holding it. So, I dried it out for a few hours, carefully removed the envelope, and opened the letter. It tore a little at the edge, but otherwise, it looked like a soaked and dried version of my letter.
As you do, I held it up to the light, and – hey presto – there were marks in the blank margin. Like watermarks, is how I put it. I couldn't make it out to start with, but after a bit of turning it round, and over, and all which ways, I started to see it. A message!
“WINDO WORK BOTH WAY. KEEP SHUT.”
I fell onto the settee, howling with laughter, only later did I feel slightly offended that my message from the other side, was from an anti-social grump. I still don't believe every supernatural thing that I hear, but I've admitted to myself that it is possible, sometimes.
And on that basis, given the hundred plus year history of these flats, I did wonder what (or who) else was quite literally, hiding in the woodwork. I don't care to know precise details, and I don't intend to make a career out of it; but it's fun to get a random answer, in the back of my head, now and then.
If you guys see mine, in passing, send him my regards, would you? He's welcome to come for a walk.