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Tap. Thump. Wham. Tap. Thump. Wham. Tapthumpwham Tapthumpwhamtapthumpwham

My head was pounding.

“Awfully bright out tonight,” I thought and even the voice in my head was a hoarse croak. “The moon rose over the pumpkin patch, but I didn’t think it was so bright….Screw you, Great Pumpkin.” I was lying down. I could surmise that much. I rolled to one side and the world immediately compensated by rolling to the other.

Thump…whoa….thump, ulp!

Almost a puke. Not quite. I love a good dry heave in the morning.

Fingers clenched carpet fibers in hopes of grounding my body to the earth before I spun off into oblivion. Finally, the world steadied back into orbit.

“It’s morning,” I surmised from the sunlight coming through the windows, sending my head scurrying to mercifully cool shadows.

Slowly I got to my feet, my head quickly registering something was missing…

“That was some Halloween party,” I mumbled, more speculation than memory. “Where are my clown pants, then?”

Clown pants?

“Wait…wasn’t I a police officer?” I shook my head – mistake. The world re-oriented itself. “No…definitely a clown.”

A sexy clown, I said through a grimace that would have been a bemused grin had my head not been through so much trauma the night before.  Didn’t feel sexy today. Whatever was coating my teeth could double as that stuff grease tire axles with.

Experimentally, I walked across the room. I ruffled my matted hair and searched my head for my bulbous red nose and clown wig. Neither was in correct position and, after thorough examination, appeared to be completely absent. “Maybe I left them over there on the coffee table…that I’ve never seen before.”

Was this my apartment?

My head turned, reluctantly, and spied the wall hanging with the cast of “Firefly” etched into it. Yup. This was my apartment.

“So who the hell brought a coffee table to my party?” I was really confused now. Whatever happened to wine or dessert? An extra layer of weirdness: the coffee table was on the couch, which was on the entertainment center. And all of it was covered in…goo.

“What the hell is that?”

I wanted to touch it, kind of. Resisted. Still didn’t know what it was. Ectoplasm kept running through my head. Probably just a Halloween decoration. Still…


“Stop it!” I shouted, “Or I’ll kick you!”  Wasn’t really sure how I’d do that, but it worked for the moment.

A shriek shattered the dead calm.

“What’s that!?!?!” I thudded against the front door to the apartment and fumbled with the lock, unable to negotiate the chain lock in my hobbled condition. “Maybe just tires squealing in the parking lot,” I muttered with what was left of my breath. It was not a comforting fib.

Get out! pounded now inside my head.

I decided to clear my head and made for the bathroom to splash some water on my face, but I couldn’t find a cup. It was okay, though, because only blood ran from the faucet.

“Yeah, maybe it’s time to go…” I decided. “Head, don’t fail me now. We’re out of here.”

My head hopped lightly to me with all the exuberance of a puppy and I placed it so squarely on my shoulders that the line where my head had been separated from my neck was almost invisible. Say what you want about the evil that lurks beyond the mortal realm, the poltergeists in my building were craftsmen.



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