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High Maintenance

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Mike had never fully thought about what it would be like to have kids, but now he had the feeling he was sort of getting the idea.

Unfortunately, these kids were adults, who were dead and he couldn’t see or hear them.

It had been a few weeks since Alison had convinced him that the ghosts of Button house were, in fact, real and not just simply something medical as a result of her accident. At first, he had mainly just been playing along with it as it seemed to make her happy, but he had certainly become less sceptical after seeing his laptop typing away on its own and had taken advice from the plague ghosts in the cellar on how to fix the boiler.

His daily routine seemed to now consist of two things - fixing up the house to please Alison and doing a variety of weird things to keep their ghoulish housemates happy.

Every morning he would go downstairs and turn on the tv so The Captain could have his daily dose of tanks, which Alison had told him, the military man was quite addicted to by now and apparently he got in quite a sour mood if Mike forgot.

They also had to remember to switch the TV over after lunch to avoid squabbles between The Captain and Fanny about not sharing TV time fairly. Lady Button was fond of watching Alison’s Downton Abbey box set as she enjoyed complaining about the inaccuracy of the show and how Lady Mary and her sisters in would never have got away with such scandal in this house.

Mike was also required to go to the Library and switch on an audiobook of top hundred poems by the Romantics or whatever Alison told him Thomas had requested. This kept the failed poet happy as he’d had been rather frustrated for last few hundred years as he’d been surrounded by a library full of books he couldn’t read due to his inability to interact with physical objects.

After a few weeks of studying YouTube tutorials, Mike was well on his way to fixing the hole in Fanny’s wall. Well sort of. It was a working progress, let’s put it that way. He also now tended to leave the cellar light on as he heard that the plague ghosts didn’t really like being in the dark. Maybe he could invest in some night lights for them at some point.

One evening with the aid of Alison they had altered Julian’s page on Wikipedia to reflect a little more of his career achievements and less of the scandalous circumstances of his death.

Though now the dead Tory had figured out how to use the laptop and Mike would often find a variety of weird and inappropriate things in his search history. Let’s just say they needed to show Julian how to use incognito tabs or at least clear his history.

They now also had a variety of magazine subscriptions - Vogue for Kitty so she could look at the latest fashion, The Great Outdoors for Pat and Crafting for Mary, who though she couldn’t read she did enjoy looking at the pictures.

Alison was the one, who usually ended up on page turning duty as the ghosts usually complained that Mike turned the pages too quickly and too often and that they never managed to finish reading the articles.

When out shopping for building supplies, Mike and Alison had managed to pick up a digital chess simulator game in the charity shop that Robin realized he could manipulate with his electrical abilities and therefore could actually play and frequently cheat at.

They also now spent many an evening playing charades after teaching headless Humphrey’s body how to play. Logistically it was a bit difficult for Mike as he again couldn’t see him, but Alison usually narrated what was happening and on the odd occasion he actually got a few right.

Overall, life at present had gone way past the realms of normal and it had been a lot to get his head around at first, but surprisingly after working through the weirdness of it all Mike found it quite exciting. Alison seemed to have relaxed into things now and she even seemed rather happy with the situation and at the end of the day whatever made her happy, made him happy. After all they were stuck here so they may as well make the best of it and the spirits were high maintenance, but so was the rest of the house. He was pretty confident now that they could definitely make this work.