Dear Mr and Mrs Havel,
It is with deep regret that I write you this letter. I am sure you must be quite aware of the fact that summer – with all its daylight and sunshine – is a troublesome time for us and it concerns me that you seem to show no consideration to your fellow beings.
In the deep dark of winter, we kept reasonably low profile as not to bother you too much. We are aware that noises and surprise appearances are unwelcome and can be downright scary.
We did not turn on the lights at night, as you probably expect of our sort. Neither did we slam doors or look through the windows from the outside. Never did we rearrange jars in the kitchen or throw furniture around. We are not like that.
We prefer a quiet and calm house, where we all can go about our business. It is therefore unacceptable that you insist on keeping the lights turned on at all times. What is the point in keeping a light on in the toilet when you’re not using it? Back in the day, this was my bedroom and while it’s frustrating enough that you satisfy your earthly needs there with the unavoidable smell, keeping the light on is simply rude.
Same can be said of the living room and the hallway after you’ve gone to sleep. What is the point in keeping lights on while you sleep? I realise you were scared after I bumped into the table a few weeks ago and finding the lights turned off in the morning seems eerie, but you make noise too and you keep the lights on. And yes, you were shocked when I entered the living room rather too quickly the other day, slamming the door by accident and leaving a trail of light that you saw from the corner of your eye and can not explain.
But you must understand that we mean no harm. Sometime we simply get ahead of ourselves and in the excitement, you sense us.
Oh, and that incident in the kitchen when the jar fell on the floor and broke. I know, stupid of me. Having died so recently, I hadn’t quite realised I am not a solid animal like you and as I tried to get myself a cookie. It slipped through my hands and I was just as surprised as you would have been. I have since learned that I do not feel hungry, have no use for cookies and that I am unable to hold objects for more than a second or two. Even that takes a lot of energy, so I try to avoid it.
Make no mistake though, if I must, I will pick up objects and throw them. I will rush through doors and turn lights off.
It is my hope that this letter finds you well, that you understand my concerns and do your best to be as considerate as we have been. That visit by the priest last week was an insult. Do you really believe a man of the cloth is going to make any difference? Surely, you don’t think we’re some kind of Satanic beings? Diabolical demons whose only purpose (I almost wrote “in life”, but that would be an odd choice of words) is to make your life hell? We are none of that. All we are is people that have gone before you, lived in this house and died, making way for you. A singing priest with a necklace in one hand and waiving a cross in the air, is comical to us. Not scary at all. Had it not been for the reason he was here, we would have been quite amused.
Your action of calling him and getting him to come with the purpose of supposedly exorcising us out of the house is very unfortunate, indeed. It proves your hostile intent.
It is with great regret that we must inform you we see no other option than to pay in kind, to act like you do, with a perfect disregard for beings of other dimensions. We will slam doors, appear on your TV, open the curtains and look through your windows, and turn your lights on or off as we see fit. We will also sit and watch you in the bedroom, boring as that is.
The only way for us all to find happiness is if we coexist in peace and respect each other. We hope that our activity in the coming days and weeks help you understand that only by respecting each other, can we live here together. We have been here longer than you, and we will not let mortals drive us out.
Annie and Keith Ullman (previous owners of your house)
This is the twenty-third installment in the Moments series