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The finger on the invisible hand

Skippy Sleeps in a Haunted House

Friday, July 15, 2005

The other day, I overheard Dr. Maynard yelling at Alice Humbees, complaining that she had not actually written a column in some time. I realized that it had been awhile since I had written a Skippy Does It All. So I sat down and thought about some topics that might titillate and inform my readers.

A few days ago, I had heard my hetero life partner Frank talking about a nearby family considering skipping out on their mortgage because their house was haunted. For more information about my relationship with Frank, you can read the original Skippy Does It.

So, after getting the family’s information from Frank, I contacted them and asked if I could investigate their metaphysical problems. At first they were interested, until they learned which publication I worked for, but after a little convincing, they came around.

Matthew and Katie Reynolds live in a classic two story Victorian in an older part of town. They moved in four weeks ago, after Matthew received a mortgage from Frank’s company LenuBanc. From that time they have been experiencing a string of strange happenings.

“We hear doors opening and closing in the dead of night. There are strange smells coming from the basement. I’ve kept telling myself it was nothing, but a week ago, I saw an apparition of a strange woman, walking down the hallway outside our room. The next day, I walked downstairs to find a bowl of a thick sticky red liquid. I haven’t been down there since,” Matthew explained.

I moved into the Reynolds guest room on a Friday evening, because they have told me that the sounds and smells get worse on the weekend. Then it was just a matter of waiting.

Around midnight, I heard the outside door to the basement open and close, so I went down to investigate. As I walked down the basement stairs, the aroma of the basement became overpowering to the point I though I would pass out, I felt a cold hand on my shoulder, and then I saw the strange woman from Matthew’s vision, Alice Humbees.

“You like some borsht, ya?” said a voice behind me.

The voice belonged to Frank’s friend Stan. Stan was the LenuBanc loan officer for the Matthew’s account. In accord with the LenuBanc philosophy, Stan had keys and rights to come and go from the property as he pleased. He had been using the Reynolds’ basement to ferment the beet juice for a special borscht recipe.

“I really like the Reynolds, so I try to keep to myself,” Stan told me. “But I can’t make borscht in my apartment because the neighbors complain of the smell. So I keep my beet juice here and try to be quiet and not bother them.”

Stan admitted that he was quite fond of the Reynolds. “The other day, I standing in dark corner over there. Reynolds come down with a priest and blesses the beet juice. I’ve only seen people do that in the old country. How did they know? From dark corner, I clear my throat to thank them, but priest most have forgotten an appointment, leaves before I can say anything.”

During our conversation, Alice went upstairs to use the bathroom and Stan told her, “Don’t wake up the nice Reynolds again. I don’t like to disturb them.”

James Spippenofsky, Skippy Does It All

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