Written in '03. What happens when relatives visit?
| It's another Saturday night and I’m stuck at home cuz my wife needs the car. I really don’t know what’s so great about taking night classes on East African Pottery, but she told me that staying in the house all weekend was making her sick. So I got in my comfy chair with the snacks she says I better eat cuz they give her love handles, and settle down to watch the T.V. ‘til I fall asleep. She’s out the door at half past six so there’s only really news on. Personally I’m not too impressed with the news; they seem to cause too much ruckus for not enough reason, if ya know what I mean. So really I’m only paying half attention to the T.V. (and also playing with the buttons on my shirt) when I hear this noise from the kitchen.
“Damn cats,” I grumble to myself. I’m out of the chair and scuffing my slippers on the brown rug, imagining booting one of my wife’s five fur-balls out the back door. Just as the kitchen comes into view, I see a can of corn beef hash smash and split onto the linoleum.
“Cheese and crackers!” I bend over to pick it up and out of the corner of my eye I see a wavering purple scarf kind of swaying like those ice skaters from the Olympics. I look up and see my great aunt Daphne standing bright as day with one hand in the cupboard and the other holding her cigarette to her mouth. She moves her hand to exhale the smoke and looks disappointed when nothing comes out.
“Darling, can you help me? You do not seem to have any apricots.” Her accent is still as thick as ever but that’s not what is bothering me. She shouldn’t be standing in my kitchen at all.
“What are you doing?” I stammer. I’m still holding the can of hash, even though the slimy stuff is leaking through my fingers.
“Oh I simply must have some apricots. They were always my favorite.” I look at her like she’s completely lost the point but just continues to rummage through the cupboard.
“No, why are you in my kitchen? We buried you fourteen years ago.” I look at her frilly purple dress and her matching high heels and wonder if she left her hat back in the coffin. What an odd thought to have at a time like this.
“Darling I wanted to check up on you, you’ve just been so hard to find. Really now, why don’t you clean yourself up before your wife gets back?”
“What?” I look at the can in my hand and the mess on the floor that she’s made with all the foods from the refrigerator. Now she’s starting on the cupboard and casually tossing things out she doesn’t approve of.
“Well I know how tidy she likes things. Oh, here she comes.” She looks in the direction of the driveway and I step back a pace into the hallway to see the front door.
Headlights shine thru the window and I hear my wife walk up the front steps and come through the door. She sees me standing by the kitchen and starts glancing around frantically in the living room.
“Oh honey, have you seen my class folder? I know I must have left it somewhere. I need it for tonight and I’m already late.” She walks over to me and I turn to look back at Daphne who is standing primping herself, no longer looking for apricots.
“Who is this?” she asks before she notices that the woman in purple is semi-transparent and the kitchen is a mess.
“Guess who’s come to visit?” I grimace instead of smile as my great aunt Daphne’s ghost walks closer to us and takes a pull on her ghostly cigarette.
“Darling,” she proclaims, “I have come to haunt you.”