Outside her window stands the old paper mill. Between its peeling gray paint and decades of decay from the salt-toothed seaside air, it’s no surprise that the local barber likes to whisper to curious passerbys that it’s possessed by something lonely. Something hungry. Something foul.
Ironic, she thinks.
The Waxen Woman is no stranger to haunts, having been one herself for the last odd year. People die in every kind of building, you know, it’s not just the old ones. With glass eyes, pale skin, and a penchant for faded cotton-blend pajama pants over the more traditional sheet, she begins her morning with a nod to the aging empty building.
The only two other occupants in her apartment are a curly haired man and his dog. Her dog. Her man. They know she’s there, she thinks. Most days, they don’t mind. Do you hear that? Drip drip drip …and the smell of dust, water, and iron. Coffee. For one brief moment, she wakes, stretching sallow limbs out into the world before she sinks back into the shadows to tap-tap-tap on keys both computer and piano. It’s a good afterlife.
You see, most ghosts are not so dramatic after all.