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The Most Ghost (Part of the Myths and Tales Collection)

I bought a lovely new house. It had everything – high celings, lovely gardens and splendid views. My nearest neighbour was not so far away that I felt isolated and yet not so near that I had to see them all the time. You could go so far as to say it was perfect!

Moving day came. I must have been so exhausted unpacking I didn’t even notice at the problem at first. I slept well the first few nights. It was on the fourth that things started to change.

Bump, bump, bump through the night. It was a little irritating at first but I ignored it and I assumed I could sleep through it but continued on and on.

The next morning – after having spent the worst nights sleep of my life – I decided to call in an exterminator.

He came around noon, carrying potions and poisons that would kill on known creatures on God’s earth.

“I think it’s rats,” I complained. I was a little disgruntled that I hadn’t been warned of it before I moved in.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve seen all sorts of things. I’ll take a look,” the exterminator said with his moustache twitching.

He did his checks. There was a lot of banging and clattering. Finally he emerged wearing thick goggles.

“So what is it? Rats? Roaches? I want all the details so I can sue the estate agent.”

The exterminator took his goggles off.

“It’s none of those things,” he said.

“Then what is it?” I asked.

“We’re going to have to bring in specialists.”

“What is it?” I asked again.

“Ghosts.”

“Ghosts! I knew the house was old. I just didn’t realise how old.

“Not just one ghost. There is a whole family of them,” the exterminator said with a knowledgable air. “You are infested with them. I’ve never seen a ghost infestation like that in all my years.”

“How did that happen?”

He seemed to know what he was talking about so I had to ask him.

“It all starts with one lonely ghost. Then they invite their friends before you know it you can’t get rid of them. The government is the cause of this really for not keeping stricter checks on them.”

I don’t know how much the government could do. If the ghosts were lonely maybe they just needed somewhere to go.

“It’s best you just ignore them,” the exterminator went on. “Pretend they don’t exist. More often than not the problem just goes away. Or you can call a specialist to get rid of them. They just want to come here and make us like them anyway.”

I started to feel sorry for my ghosts. What if they needed help?

“If they are lonely why can’t I just give them a place to stay?” I wondered more to myself.

“But what if one goes bad and starts throwing things around and hurts someone?” the exterminator was appalled that I would accommodate the ghosts.

“Even if one of them were bad that doesn’t mean they are all bad. In fact some of them may actually be really good and want to help around the house … you know … contribute.”

The exterminated started gathering his equipment.

“It’s your choice,” he said. “I wouldn’t have them in my house, around my children. In my experience they just want to come to nice places like this and drive out good people like yourself.”

I ignored the ignorance. I wanted to learn more about my ghosts. I wanted to learn their individual stories that brought them to my home.

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Cat Splat! (A Myths and Tales … Tale)

They say cats have nine lives. Mine has an infinite number and let me explain to you why.

He first came into my life as a kitten. I was ten years old and I came home from school one day to find my dad was up to something.

“Come meet your new friend!” he cheered.

I didn’t have many friends as a child so my dad thought a pet would make an ideal companion. My heart leapt with joy when I heard a meow. He ran at me, his eyes gleaming with instant friendship but rather than leaping into my arms he misjudged and jumped right through the open window. We were three stories up!

Luckily he was okay. He was a little dazed but okay.

“That’s one life lost already,” dad joked.

That day the grey kitten earned his name. Splat!

What featured after that was a long line of mishaps. Starting with Splat! having climbed into a tree. ‘Most cats do that’ I hear you say. Whilst I had the fire brigade on the phone I looked out of the window and Splat! toppled from one of the top branches.

“Never mind,” I told the fireman. “He’s down now.”

Splat! Shook his body and ran off onto his days adventures.

Keeping Spat! out of trouble and away from danger was no easy task. He was run over by Mrs Ninn, who came charging down the street in her little green car looking over the steering wheel through her thick prescription lenses. Splat! didn’t stand a chance. I was distraught. I should have known better by then though. I ran to him. Mrs Winn sped away not realising what had happened. Splat! was still breathing. By the time I reached him he was back on all four feet.

“Are you all right?” I asked.

“Meeeouch!” he gasped but disappeared off. He even came back with a disgruntled mouse that night.

The more of those things happened to him the more I began to realise how amazing a cat he actually was. There was feline agility and then there was surviving an attack from the Keddle kids’s nasty Pitbull.

Splat! was no ordinary pet. That much I was sure of. When I asked dad where he had gotten him he replied, “some old lady.”

I paid a visit to that old lady. She had at least fifty cats.

“I never intended on becoming an old cat lady,” she explained to me. “Splat! and all of his brothers and sisters come from a special breed that dates back to Ancient Egypt. They were worshipped because the never died.”

She pointed to a fat one sleeping in the corner. It had the same grey fur as Splat!.

“That’s Heckles,” she said. “He’s the father of most of them. He’s been with me my entire life and I’m eighty eight! My mother had him at least thirty years before that.”

Heckles opened his large yellow eyes and looked up as thought to say, ‘so what?’

I looked around at the other cats. One brown one with a white dab on it’s nose was using a litter box. A far cry from the creature worshipped by ancient people.

I returned to Splat!. He was stretched out on across my bed bathing in a small slither of sunlight that broke through the window. What was I going to do with an immortal cat?

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