Got a Little Problem….

Housefly on a window screen

First published

I need some advice from friends who are a little more… “spiritual” than I am.

For those who don’t know, I recently landed a new job out of state, and I’ve been living by myself in a rented two-bedroom condo for the last two months while the family packs up the old house and finishes off the school year. It was difficult finding a place that would rent to me without a one-year lease, but we found an owner who was very eager to get someone in, even if month-to-month. She seems like a nice lady, but she told me something weird when I first met her to pick up the keys. “You might hear noises in the back bedroom coming from the attic,” she said. “I think there might be mice or bats up there. I’ve told the property managers and they’re going to take a look. Let me know if you hear anything.” Okay. Well, it must’ve hit me on the subconscious level, because that first night I dreamt I had woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of heavy footsteps above the ceiling. In the morning I laughed it off – funny how those kinds of suggestions affect you. She also does another odd thing: every time I see her, she gets a very concerned look on her face and asks, “How’s it going? Is everything okay?” I always tell her everything is peachy, and she seems to accept my response begrudgingly, as if she’s expecting something to go wrong. Well, last night something happened….

Let me back up a bit. So, three days ago the back bedroom where I sleep developed a bit of a “fly problem.” I woke up one morning and there were over three dozen large flies inside, buzzing around the window. None in the bathroom, none in the other bedroom, none downstairs; only in my bedroom. “Great,” I thought, “whatever was living up in the attic must’ve finally died or something.” I went to Target and bought a cheap vacuum, because the thought of smashing three dozen flies seemed a little messier than I was comfortable with. I sucked them all up and emptied the canister. The next morning, three dozen more flies. And the next morning. I figured they would have to taper off at some point.

Well, yesterday was another stressful day at work. It had been hot and humid all day and the condo doesn’t have air conditioning, so it was a tad warm inside. Before going to bed I decided to take a quick rinse-off in the shower. Afterwards, I toweled off, wrapped the towel around my waist, and when I opened the bathroom door, there was a young woman, maybe mid-twenties, standing there in the hallway right outside the bathroom. She was dressed in a nightgown and completely drenched. I startled, jumped back, and let out one of my choice swear words. But I didn’t immediately panic because there were so many discordant things going on, it instantly registering with my brain that something wasn’t quite right. She was dripping wet, yet the carpet under her appeared dry. She seemed perfectly calm, and she was looking right at me, talking as if everything was fine… but absolutely no sound was coming from her. Nothing. Complete silence. She was half my size, so I didn’t feel physically threatened by her, so I pretty much just stood there motionless for a spell, our eyes locked together, as she casually chatting away in utter silence.

I don’t know how long I stood there; it probably wasn’t long at all. Finally, I managed to mutter, “I… I can’t hear you.” She stopped for a second, and then continued on, this time with a tinge of concern in her slightly knitted eyebrows. I added, “Is there something you need? Is there anything I can do for you?” Her one-sided conversation continued, but frustration was beginning to register a little more in her expression. I couldn’t run away – I was in the bathroom and she was blocking the only exit. I had to do something, so I reached out to touch her. I half expected my hand to pass through a hologram or something, but as soon as my hand began moving, her eyes widened as her gaze lowered to my hand. She had stopped talking, I presume in mid-sentence since her mouth remained open. With my hand outstretched, I took a step towards her. At that instant her expression changed to a look of terror and staring at my hand she appeared to shriek in horror – still in total silence. But it only lasted a second or two, at which point she… I don’t know how to describe it perfectly, but she dissolved into a gently swirling column of black smoke that quickly coalesced into dozens of large flies, which then proceeded to buzz into my bedroom and began bouncing off the window.

So, I’m not sure what to do. First thought is that it’s somehow a pretty damn elaborate prank. But then I think back to all the times dishes have fallen over or things have shown up where I was pretty sure I didn’t leave them. And the landlady’s concern. And the flies. It’s not like I can just run out and easily find another place to live that will rent to me without a lease. And I didn’t get any threatening vibe from the young woman whatsoever, no “get out” messages scrawled in the steam of the mirror or anything like that. In fact, she seemed perfectly at ease with me, until I tried to touch her. Any advice on what I should do? What would you do?