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[WP] Ghosts are real and widely known about and they tend to be attached to the place they die. You are a real estate agent and have to sell these haunted homes.
"Alright, so hear me out."
It wasn't the best way to start a tour, but looking at the ramshackle single-story home from the outside with its peeling viridian exterior and crusty brown lawn wasn't going to inspire much confidence. My main sales technique involved keeping my mouth running before the prospective buyers rolled their eyes and walked out of my life. I needed this commission and I needed it yesterday. My pickup's transmission mount wasn't going to go and repair itself.
"I know you said you're okay with sharing a home with a house ghost, but not a lot of new families are willing to go that route. That's one of the reasons this beauty has been on the market for as long as it has. More and more folks are building new ever since the Reawakening."
The blonde raised a perfectly arched eyebrow, her eyes flickering over towards her wife and searching for some sort of reaction. The brunette, her abdomen slightly swollen with the couple's first, lifted her shoulders into a shrug that said, 'Eh, what the hell.'
Good enough for me. I twirled the key ring about my forefinger and boldly stepped over the cracked pavement of the front walkway, waving my charges forward.
"His name is Geoff," I said, unlocking the front door and letting the couple enter the front hall and attached living room. They glanced around in the same way every prospective buyer does, their heads darting about like curious birds. "He spends most of his time on the first floor and when you do see him, it'll probably be in the kitchen. Incredibly sweet guy. Great conversation. World traveler. Lived one hell of a life. He used this house as his home base, so to speak, for over fifty years before he went down swinging. Pancreatic Cancer."
The blonde dipped her head to the brunette's ear, the two of them exchanging a private conversation. I caught the word 'carpet' escaping the blonde's lips accompanied with a disdainful curl of her upper lip. A few seconds later, they were predictably asking about making sweeping changes and renovations. I sucked in a breath between my teeth. Here we go.
"So that's the thing," I said, tempering my words with a note of apology. "Geoff insists that the house stay in the exact condition he left it in when he passed. Says it keeps him calm. The last realtor that tried to paint the walls found himself looking down the barrel of a full fledged poltergeist. Wasn't pretty."
The blonde started tugging at the brunette's sleeve and made a nod of her head towards the front door, but the brunette's nose crinkled and she remained anchored in place. Her nostrils flaring, the mother-to-be glanced towards the rear of the house. Towards the kitchen.
"If you'll follow me, we can cruise around the rest of the first floor and then I can take you down into the basement." I waved at them to follow along. The brunette floated behind me as if enchanted, her steps light and her gaze distant. "The kitchen is just through here..."
The gasp that escaped from the brunette stopped my pitch dead in its tracks. She froze in the threshold, her eyes locked on transparent form shuffling about the space and tending to his most recent masterpiece. Sitting at the kitchen's small round table were three place settings and a bottle of something cold and sweet resting in a bucket of ice. The blonde opened her mouth for one final objection, but I cut her off with a wave of the hand.
"Sparkling grape juice," I assured her. "Nothing more."
I was rewarded with a bright, breezy laugh from the brunette as she took a seat. The blonde continued to scowl, but she sat too and I hurried to join them.
My smile, my fake 'oh-god-please-buy-this-house-so-I-can-eat' smile, melted into something far more genuine and my heart finally rose out of my toes. I had been skeptical of Geoff's plan at first, selling his lonely self as the star attraction, but now I was feeling like an idiot for not giving him a shot sooner.
"Let's pop this cork, shall we?"