When I lived in Florida, I used to believe in ghosts. Not for any real religious purpose or longing for an afterlife, but because it was Florida and that’s where people tend to go to die or go to make irresponsible decisions and die.
So it was pretty run of the mill when, one night; while preparing to go to bed I heard this odd scratching noise coming from my bathroom. Me, living alone and being a coward; did the most logical thing I could do at this point: I decided if I needed to use the toilet the rest of the night, I would just piss in the bed and hid under my covers (the only true defense against household monsters).
The next day, I told some of my friends about it and as they paid very close attention simply shrugged and told me, “You got ghosts, yo.”
This sounded reasonable, so I went online and started looking up ways to get ghosts to leave a trailer and found a number of tried and true methods. Many of them revolving around arson.
I picked the method least likely to leave my home a flaming crater and gathered up the materials.
It called for a seance, which I explained to my friends as; “Like a college party for ghosts. We just get it drunk and then leave it in a ditch somewhere. A ghost ditch.”
So we went to Wal-Mart, Food Lion and Sav-A-Lot to get supplies; reasoning that if were going to hold such an event, we should at least try to save some money by going to more than one place.
The night came quickly, me and my friends wearing armor cobbled together from sheets, pillow cases and football gear. Smoke wafting in the air from incense, intermingling with the scent of burnt Cheetos (it called for cheese, we figured one as good as the other; plus we could eat the left overs) and standing water. We all sat on the floor around our offering of ketchup and Funyons and started the ritual.
The instructions were not very specific on this, so each of us agreed beforehand to just kind of go with whatever we had seen in movies or read. This resulted in me waving my arms about wildly, another friend menacing a crucifix that he got at the Circle K while picking up cigarettes and the other just hollering whatever shit came to mind.
A sudden gust filled the room, blowing out the birthday candles and dissipating the incense. Me and my friends shared nervous glances for what felt like an eternity. I doublechecked the instructions, making sure there wasn’t anything that said what to do if accidentally summoning a demon or something.
A low growl hummed through the drop ceiling above us followed by a dragging of feet and presumably the souls of the damned. Our eyes meet and as one, we look up to the hole in my ceiling. Face to face with a pair of red eyes; consumed with the burning rage of a thousand dying suns.
We all collectively lose our minds, flailing and panicking ensues. The Cheetos and Mountain Dew are among the first casualties. One friend decides he wants to be a hero (he also happens to be wearing the most ‘armor’ and figures he can take the hit), he picks up the two-liter and chucks it at the section of ceiling where the beast is; shattering the flimsy styrofoam and sending the hell-spawn careening to the floor.
It lands on all fours with a graceless thud. Its hackles raised and teeth bared we stare at it dumbfounded.
It’s a possum.
It is a fucking possum.
We explode into laughter, a possum! This fuzzy glorified roadkill is what had me terrified for the last several nights?! This fucking thing?!
The possum must have heard my insulting thoughts, because it is at this point that it decides it has had enough of our shit and lunges itself at my friend who threw the soda at it.
Thankfully, the helmet was far too large for his head and the possum couldn’t fit its teeth past the faceguard. He however, didn’t see this and only focused on the fact that a beast with dozens of sharp teeth wanted to eat his eyeballs. He grabs it by the tail, pulling it off of his helmet and whips it back up into the ceiling.
We watch it.
It watches us.
Another friend bends down and offers me and my other friend a beer. “Well dude. Looks like you’ve got a pet possum.”
I nod solemnly and take a long drink.
None of us break eye contact.
For the rest of the time that I lived in that trailer my pet possum, whom I later named “AAAAAAHFUCK!” lived in my bathroom. I did research and found that they ate bugs and assorted small game, so decided that having a hate-filled possum living in my bathroom was better than having rats and spiders.
I would have to warn any guests that came over to visit around dusk or so about AAAAAAHFUCK!, that they would need to turn on the bathroom light, step away from the bathroom for about ten minutes and then use the facilities.
Several of my guests would laugh this off, thinking I was joking or something. Me and the friends that were there that night would then shrug and smile, knowing that in a few minutes they would be shouting AAAAAAAHFUCK’s! name.
I don’t really think there is a moral to this story. If there is one, it’s this. If you think you have a ghost in your home, check your bathroom ceiling. CAREFULLY. Because chances are, you have some kind of nocturnal beast living there.
And if not, then it’s actually some kind of monster and you’re dead.
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