A circle of chairs stood in the middle of the attic. On the chairs, or rather, hovering uncomfortably in the space where the chairs were, sat a group of small, unhappy-looking ghosts. In their centre drifted a taller ghost, its head tucked neatly under one arm, visibly cross.
‘So, what happened last night? I hear it was a very poor haunting. Anyone want to explain that to me?’
The ghosts shuffled miserably and looked at each other.
‘Come on, one of you. I’m waiting.’
‘It wasn’t our fault,’ mumbled a ghost who was wearing, curiously, a Viking helmet.
‘Wasn’t our fault? Wasn’t our fault? You are the Elite Haunting Corps! Trained in all types of Spectral Appearances and Mysterious Happenings! You are in control AT ALL TIMES!’ The small ghosts cowered beneath the terrifying prospect of their Squadron Leader actually exploding with rage.
The small ghost, on the verge of tears, spluttered ‘But there was a crowd of children there and they were having a sleepover and no one told us that and they laughed at us and caught us in a big net then they rubbed us on their pyjamas until we went static and then they stuck us on the ceiling and we couldn’t move til morning until the static wore off and we had to get out under the door and it all went wrong and…and…’ The small ghost wailed and was comforted by his friends.
‘Oh dear, oh dear oh dear. How very embarrassing. Static cling, eh? Well, I have to say, that’s a new one on me. Static cling…’
And then a strange thing happened. The Squadron Leader, who had never been seen to smile before, let alone laugh, placed his head back on his shoulders, gave it a little twist to secure it and began making a very strange noise that sounded like ‘Huhuhuh.’
One ghost nudged another: ‘He’s laughing.’
‘He’s laughing!’ shouted all the little ghosts together. And down below, in the house, the people looked up from their dinner and said, ‘What is that noise? Funny, never heard that before. Must be the water pipes.’