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  • Writer's pictureAnn

House Party Anyone?

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

Last month I was mulling over several part time job opportunities, for, as marvellous as having time to myself has been (thanks to my amazingly understanding hubby) to 'sort myself out' after getting into a right only pickle over my last pretty dire form of employment at the end of which I had some sort of mini nervous breakdown. I quit when I was on a balcony in Greece - I simply couldn't go back to that. I haven't been back since. Now I feel the desperate need to contribute something financial to our marriage, even if just pocket money. I have spent the last few years doting upon EVP, horses, and Greece. Not bad really! The aim of my housewife years was in fact to write - and I have been, it's just that the blessed book is rambling on and I've sort of lost patience with it, but that's another story.

Anyway, I saw on an ad' by Co-op Funeralcare for a part time position as an assistant funeral arranger in a nearby little town just twenty minutes away. Perfect! I thought. So off I trundled for my informal meet with the very friendly current assistant, who made me ever so welcome as he went over the requirements of the job and showed me around. To begin with I thought that I'd have no problem dealing with the position, but as the hour ticked by, there came upon me a weird feeling of distinct unease.

It began with the smell of the place. Now, don't get me wrong, I am a realist. I know what's behind those double doors and I know what goes on in there. There were actually no 'residents' in situ that day as the last funeral of the week had just taken place, but there was an overriding background scent that ran turgid beneath the sweet floral sprays, disinfectant, and air fresheners. The nicer smells were so strongly deployed that the air was cloying, and then came the background one.

I am no stranger to the darker things of our lives, as you may guess, but there's something deeply unsettling to a normal human about catching a whiff of one of our kind decomposing. And I'm not ashamed to say that it freaked me out, and as I drove home after a good hour and a half of chatting to the wonderful man at the desk, the dark creepy feeling didn't just follow me home, it flipping well magnified.

By the time I got through my front door on that warm afternoon I was jittery, nearly shaking, wide eyed and dry mouthed. I tried to relax, tried to put it behind me saying that I didn't have to take the job, there'd be others...

I felt (and I'm sorry if I've used this metaphor before) like I'd rolled in strawberry jam and run through a wasp's nest. I felt as if I had collected a few souls at the funeral home who had decided to tag along! Given how enormously strange I felt (now getting sick, the taste of the embalming fluid and air freshener was strong and bitter in my mouth) I went upstairs to my ghost cabinet and got out the K2 and voice recorder, trotted back downstairs and began a session asking if anyone had followed me home.

Of course they had! Not only did I receive both male and female voices, but my old regular who's been recorded here before (at least I think it was him) was full of resplendent bad manners and told me in a jovial loud and clear voice that I'm "getting fat!". True, lockdown's not been very kind to me, but since then I've actually managed to lose a bit and tone up a tad. So take that, rude man.

Aside from this choice comment, one of the male entities that came through shouted "House party!" so I'm wondering if my Residents were merrily welcoming the Newbies into my home.

The K2 flashed orange and red, and then went off.

I have since been away for several weeks and now feel that the passing folk from the funeral home have moved on or back. I will clean up the audio properly and present it in my Video Vault if you care to listen for yourself. I may be wrong, but on first hearing it sounded like I had a Frank, and an Emily present.

Watch this space! Until then, I'm still job hunting. I'm fine with talking to the dead - but perhaps not those that are as fresh, if that makes sense. Onwards and upwards!

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