The other night, I woke up after something banged in my living room.
It wasn’t an oh-shit-something-broke bang. More of an eh-the-neighbors-dropped-something-in-their-living-room-again kind of noise. So I rolled over, pulled the comforter back over my head, and went back to sleep.
I’d forgotten all about the noise by the time I crawled out of bed the next morning, and my brain struggled when I noticed that one of my candles had fallen out of its candlestick. It lay across my dining room table with small clumps of broken-off wax in the little collection area at the bottom. Had it been like that when I went to bed? No, I thought, no. It hadn’t.
Eventually my brain put two and two together: the candle falling over was the bang from the middle of the night.
But what made it fall over? I posed that question to my [probably] haunted figurines: Miss Georgia and Phillip.
Me: Hey, Miss Georgia, do you know anything about this candle?
Miss Georgia: I am afraid not, dear. I was enjoying a rather spirited conversation with Nosferatu about the rights of vampires when I heard the candle hit the table.
Me: The rights of vampires…? You understand that he’s a vampire, right?
Miss Georgia: Of course, dear. That is quite evident.
Me: O-K. What about you, Phillip? You keep tabs on the living room at night. Did you see anything?
Me: Excuse me?
Phillip: You’re implying that I had something to do with that candle being knocked over. I didn’t.
Me: That’s totally not what I said but all right.
Phillip: I don’t like your tone.
Me: Oh for f#$%s sake. Did you or did you not see who knocked over the candle or not?
Phillip: … Perhaps.
At this point, I realized that my fingernails were beginning to make gouges in my palms, and I flexed my fingers until they no longer felt cemented in place.
Me: Look, nothing’s broken. I’m not mad. I’d just like a straight answer.
Phillip: If I saw what happened, and this is hypothetically, I imagine there might have been a poltergeist.
Me: A poltergeist?
Phillip: Hypothetically, yes. The poltergeist decided that the best way to freak you out would be to knock over the candle. Now, I’m not sure why this hypothetical poltergeist would want to freak you out. Maybe because you sprayed him in a clear-coat of spray paint or something. Maybe to get you back for that because that stuff smells, you know.
Me: Phillip. Is it possible that–hypothetically–you’re the poltergeist?
Phillip: Hypothetically, no.
Me: All right then. Well, tell this hypothetical poltergeist that he’s going to have to try a hell of a lot harder to scare me. And for the record, that spray paint is going to make sure your paint won’t fade.
I turned around at that point, and I’m pretty sure Phillip flipped me off as I walked away. There’s no doubt in my mind that the hypothetical poltergeist isn’t going to stick around. As long as he doesn’t break anything, I’m curious to see what kind of trouble he gets into.