Once inside, she removed her jacket and shoes, and padded on stockinged feet into the living room. She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Robert walked up and down one side of the room, pipe smoke trailing behind him, the little old lady had taken over Kay’s armchair and was busy knitting, while the ghost cat chased the ghost rabbit, both getting tangled up in ghostly wool.
When Kay retreated to the kitchen to make herself a much-needed cup of tea, Edith was there, trying to lend a helping ghostly hand. Kay grabbed a half bottle of vodka from the fridge and took it out to the garden, where Muffin was hiding under a bush. She pulled up a garden chair and swigged from the bottle, muttering to Muffin, who jumped onto her lap and stared at her with emerald eyes.
“What am I going to do about them? I can’t ask them what they want, none of them speaks. What if I ask them to leave? Will they get upset and haunt me forever? Where would they go? But we’d miss Maurice, wouldn’t we, Muffin? And the rabbit’s no trouble.”
That night, Kay did not get to sleep for hours. The new neighbours were not exactly noisy, but she was aware of their presence next door. They played music until after midnight, there were children who quarrelled in the bedroom on the other side of the wall. there were dogs that barked, and whenever someone let the dogs out into the back garden, they slammed the back door.
The next day was Kay’s day off, and she did not wake up until next door’s car revved up and the father shouted at the kids to get a move on. Her head pounded. She swore she would never drink vodka again. She stayed in bed until there were no sounds from next door, not even from the dogs. The woman must have taken them for a walk.