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The Castle Ghost

Jordan really hadn't considered the whole maintenance part when he'd bought the place. The castle was astounding. Turrets stretched toward the sky. Big windows looked out over the hills below. Jordan could stand on the battlements and see forever. But he really didn't have that much time to marvel with all the work the castle needed.

Jordan glanced down at the to do list on the kitchen table. Sealing the bricks, patching holes in the floor, oiling the door hinges - there was a lot of work to do in this place, far more than Jordan had anticipated when he used his inheritance to buy it. Obviously, it was old, but there was so much more that went into it than he thought.

By the time he recruited his friend Mark to help, Jordan was in over his head.

Mark took one look at Jordan's to-do list and sighed. "You really do know how to get yourself into situations don't you?"

Jordan grinned. "But look at this place! Think of the parties I can host! I can have tournaments here."

Mark crossed his arms. "Jordan, you know like 10 people. And tournaments for what? Movie watching?"

Jordan held his hands out. "We could get a Quidditch league together."

Mark pinched the bridge of his nose. "Oh my god, you have to stop going on about that. But seriously, Jordan, look at this place. Do you even know what you bought?"

Mark opened a random closet door and screamed. Jordan peered around his shoulder and stared at the plastic skeleton dangled from a coat hanger.

Mark gestured. "There are literal skeletons in the closet of this place."

Jordan studied the skeleton up and down. "I like it. I'm naming it Karen."

"That's a good name."

"You think so?" Jordan asked.

Mark looked at him. "I didn't say that."

They held each others' gaze for a moment, then slowly turned around. An elegant gentleman dressed in a richly embroidered doublet with a high collar and ballooned pants stood behind them. He was perfectly translucent.

Jordan and Mark both screamed.

"Are you a ghost?" Mark said. "Are you the ghost of Karen?" Jordan said.

The translucent man turned his pointed nose up to the sky. "Heavens no. That contraption is a fake obviously. But yes, I am what you fleshy ones would call a ghost."

Mark glanced at Jordan. "Congratulations. You literally bought a haunted castle."

Jordan nodded. "It fits with the Quidditch theme."

The ghost bowed. "Sir Eustace Montview at your service. It's been ever so long since someone has been here to employ me."

"Employ you?" Mark said. "People pay you to haunt this place?"

Montview twirled his mustache. "Oh yes. I'm a full service haunter. I slam doors, unclog drains, flicker lights, frighten away undesirables, and make horrible shrieking noises. I refuse, however, to perform at parties. That is beneath me."

"You unclog drains?" Jordan asked.

Montview drifted over to a sconce hanging precariously from two loose screws and swished his hand. The screws turned and tightened. "Indeed. A full service ghost provides both your basic haunting services and general upkeep of the property as well as minor security presence. We must maintain the property. Otherwise, where would we haunt?"

Jordan nodded. "That makes sense."

Mark furrowed his eyebrows. "Basic haunted services? What's premium haunting... You know what? Never mind. I don't want to know."

Jordan glanced around the drafty room with its tapestries of lions still on the wall and the dusty tables. "So if I pay your fee, you'll help me keep up with this place?"

Montview smiled. "And provide the general ambiance of living in a haunted castle."

"What's your fee?"

Montview looked him straight in the face. "Every week, I require a stein of fine ale, a stick of frankincense, and a brand new book for me to read. No horror. It's all so crass."

"Can ghosts drink ale?" Mark muttered to himself.

"Done!" Jordan said. "You're hired."

Montview smiled. "Excellent. I'll get right to it. I'll start you off with a high quality wail."

The ghost shot into the ceiling and disappeared as a mournful moan echoed through the house.

Mark shook his head. "Jordan, you've got an interesting place here."

Jordan smiled. "I know. Lets look in the other closets. Maybe there's enough brooms for a Quidditch team."


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