I awaken with a painfully full bladder in a darkness so thick that, for a few panicked seconds, I think that I am either blind or still asleep. My body hurts from sleeping in a strange position, and my head feels like I have a jackhammer embedded in my skull. I wiggle all of my fingers and toes slowly, testing to ensure that everything is still attached. With this house, I never know what might happen while I’m sleeping. So far, nothing too drastic has occurred. I think the worst incident was when I fell asleep in the bathroom and woke up in the trunk of my car. Luckily, it was open, so I was in no danger of suffocating or anything. Not that the house would care if I did.
(So I’m still a little bitter about that night. I do believe that my feelings are justified.)
Everything appears to be in working order, so I flail my arms around, searching for something to pull myself up into a sitting position with. My fingers touch nothing but air. Whimpering, I press my palms onto the floor – I really hope it’s the floor inside of the house and not, say, the garage – and push myself up, tensing in anticipation for the wave of nausea that I know will wash over me. It comes swiftly, making me moan and gag. I ride it out, determined to win this battle of wills with my body. I emerge from the nausea fest victorious, and get to my feet with a grunt.
I stagger and sway as I struggle to stand up straight. I feel unbalanced, uneven; it’s like the floor is tilted sideways! After a few failed attempts at being upright, it dawns on me: the floor is tilted. I vaguely remember some shaking, some cursing..
“Dammit, was there an earthquake?” My voice sounds muffled, and my tongue feels swollen. I knew I should have diluted that vodka instead of sipping it from the bottle. Too late to worry about it now, I suppose. Disoriented and aware of my full bladder, my first, immediate order of business is to figure out where I am, and if there is a toilet nearby.
The oppressive darkness thins slightly, and my eyes happily adjust to the more vision-friendly light. I see that I am in the kitchen, and that everything seems to have moved a few feet away from their places. I stumble over to the table, kicking the two (TWO!?) empty alcohol bottles; they slide and spin across the floor. I stare after them in disbelief.
“I didn’t drink all of that by myself.. did i?” I mutter into the silence.
My hip hits the heavy table, jostling it. I hear more clinking sounds, and I squint in the direction of the noise. The table is littered with bottles, some empty, some containing a swallow worth of liquid. I frown and wonder if spirits can indulge in my favorite pastime. Even if they can manage to drink, surely they can’t waltz into a store and buy what amounts to a case of malt liquor, right? Right?
I stumble away from this scene out of a bad college movie and feel my stomach clench. The nausea has returned, and it brought a couple of friends with it – namely, dry heaves and vertigo. My muscles are screaming from trying to remain upright, and my kidneys are beginning to cry. With a groan, I make my to the gently swinging door that leads out of the kitchen. Bracing myself for another wall of blood, or hallway full of swamp, or curtain of spiderwebs, I shove the door open and dive into the hallway. There, I am met by.. a dark, empty hallway.
I shake off my slight disappointment at this lack of new house tricks and tell myself that I am relieved to escape the usual scare tactics. I waddle into my room and rush toward the bathroom. The light switch does not seem to work, but I pay it no mind. There is no dead guy hanging from the shower, no weird shapes and shadows twisting around the porcelain fixtures. With a happy sigh, I go to unzip my jeans and stiffen when I realize that I am wearing my red satin pajama pants. The red satin pajama pants that I had last seen balled up on my pillow. My eyebrows shoot up to my hairline, because I don’t remember changing my clothes. I chalk it up to another one of the house’s quirks, yank down my pants, and plop myself onto the toilet.
I feel several pounds lighter as I fumble with the roll of soft paper. I dry myself quickly and push the lever to flush, wincing at the loud roar of the water. I fix my clothes, and am reaching for the soap pump when I hear an inexplicable noise from my bedroom.
I clean my hands quickly, and shut off the water. I reach for the towel that I keep on a hook next to the sink, but only touch the tiled wall. I feel around, thinking maybe I misjudged the distance in this dim light; nothing. Sucking my teeth, I curse the house for playing hide and seek with my belongings again. It’s all fun and games the first ten times; after that, finding your last pair of clean panties in the freezer is really freaking annoying.
The laughter comes again. This time, I can make out two distinct voices. So either the ghosts are having a party, or I have two unexplained, uninvited guests. Given how people generally react when they find out about my bloodline and abilities, I sort of hope that it’s a party of the ecotoplasmic kind. Yes, I am aware that that is probably not a real word, but who cares? There is strange laughter coming from the room where I sleep!
I ease out of the bathroom, feeling my way around, as it is still inexplicably dark. I can see two figures sitting on my bed. They turn to me, and one of them speaks.
“Girl, I thought you’d never wake up! That was some drinking we did last night, huh?”
As my mouth falls open, the darkness of my vision lifts, and I see who the intruders are. I raise a shaking finger and shout, “Jackie? Drea? What the hell are you people doing in my house?”