I sat down, and leaned over the table and picked up a piece of the lamp with my bare hand. No one showed up. I placed the glass down and picked it up again, thinking that maybe that would fix the problem. Again, nothing. I sat and waited, not really knowing what else to do. After a moment I could hear something. It was the sound of voices. They were quiet and I couldn’t hear what they were saying, or how many there were. My kitchen and dining table where I had been waiting were on the middle floor, but this sounded like it was coming from downstairs.
I got up and slowly inched my way down, being sure to be as quiet as possible. About halfway down the stairs I realized that the voices were from the tv. I could hear Jerry Springer, and some couple fighting over who’s grandma could be responsible for giving their child his first pack of cigarettes. I kept creeping forward until I could see someone sitting on my couch, faced away from me, watching my tv. And watching trash tv, at that.
With the confidence of my football helmet and baseball bat I quickly cleared my throat and said “Bob? Or Joe?”
The person let out a deep sigh and turned the volume on the tv down. They then slowly put their left arm on top of the couch and began turning themselves around. It was a woman. She was bigger, had dark red short hair, and was wearing a grey Mickey Mouse sweatshirt that smelled like McDonald’s. “Joe. As in Majoesaphine? What are you, stupid, girl?”
“Oh, I’m sorry I just wasn’t -“
“Wasn’t expecting a fat loser, huh?”
“What? No, I just – Sort of the opposite of this. Uh, of you…”
“Right.” Her strong southern accent was now on full display. “You were expecting some crazy son of a bitch come in ‘ere and try to kill you, like last time. It ain’t gonna happen right now so just settle down, missy. I don’t kill. I watch my shows, without being interrupted.”
“But how did you know-”
“Without being interrupted, hun.”
Fine. I will just let this random woman finish her trash tv in my living room. No problem, I have lots of other things to do. Totally.
I stared at a fly trying to get out of my halfway opened kitchen window for about 20 minutes, when Majoesaphine finally called for me. Judging her that she might be somewhat needy, I brought a couple of drinks with me.
“Mountain Dew?” I asked.
“Thanks,” said Joe, as if expecting me to do this sooner. “I’ll tell you what I know, ‘cause that’s all I can tell you. If I can’t tell you something, you gotta understand I just don’t know and I just can’t tell you. Okay?” She sounded afraid. What couldn’t she tell me? And what would it matter? She was a stranger in my home, brought here by circumstances I don’t know. Who would know she’s here, and how?
“Alright. Now, I know you don’t know Bob and I, even though we were sort of a big deal around these parts. Gotta commercial on tv, you know?” She frowned, “Had, I guess.”
“Yeah, what happened?” I really did want to know, I wasn’t just asking. I didn’t know how to appropriately convey that, though. I sat on the chair next to the couch and leaned in towards her.
She let out a deep sigh and looked at the floor. “We died, hun. Don’t matter how, just matters that it did, and even that don’t matter a heck of a lot now. What matters is what affects you now.”
I didn’t know what to say. “I’m so sorry… how does this affect me, though,”
“Being dead is like a fuzzy memory. Like being asleep, kind of. I knew we had lost our name on the store. I knew that our things had been packed up. And I knew that all of it had been moved here, but then it was sold.”
“Sold to who?”
She swallowed, still staring at the floor. Her eyes widened. “He’s not of this earth, girl. You need to be careful. You seem nice enough, but I can’t stay here and help you, you just need to know that 1A is bad. Bad, bad news.”
Then, she vanished.