A Life of Duty: Still Doing It
by Karen L.

(Halloween Fic)

...Sea Spot looked up at the big clapboard house with its wide top floor
shutters opening to a view of the sea beyond the intricate maze of narrow
streets, which riddled the slope of the harbor town. The realtor glanced at
her notes.

"Now, this might be what you are looking for. It's about 200 years old. The
Historical Society here in town says it was built for an elderly doctor, but
since then it has been owned by a succession of well-to-do maiden
ladies...all of whom claimed to adore the house and lived in it all their
lives. So it has been extremely well-cared for."

A potbellied gentleman with a profuse growth of back hair sticking out from
under a pink tank top (with the logo "I Waxed My Stick at Ron Jon's Surf
Shop") walked out of the front door with another estate agent.

"I like it, it has real potential," Sea Spot heard him say as he got into
the agent's car. "Let's see that last place again and then maybe I'll be
ready to make an offer."

Sea Spot looked again at the darkened attic windows. "It looks sort of,
well, creepy."

"Oh, come now! Any old house here in England ALWAYS has a few ghost stories
told about it, but that's all they are. I'm sure this house is...just a
house."

"Hey, no problem, I don't believe any of that paranormal bullshit, anyhow.
May I spend some time walking around in it? It is empty now, isn't it? No
one lives there?"

"Of course, dear, take all the time you like. I'll run back to the office. I
think we might have a plat map of the property."

Sea Spot wandered through the empty rooms, carefully checking to see if the
pipes were copper, lead, or PVC (lead); testing the floorboards (they
squeaked); and looking at the amount of counter space in the kitchen
(inadequate). The bathrooms were small, old-fashioned, with little room to
put in a Jacuzzi even with extensive remodeling. The wallpaper was
fussy...huge pink cabbage roses on a navy blue background. The lighting
fixtures looked like they dated back to the Eisenhower Administration, oops,
make that the Churchill Ministry. Really, it just was NOT what Sea Spot was
looking for in a writer's retreat. Still, the realtor lady had been so nice
about everything, driving Sea Spot around all morning to a succession of
houses only to have Sea Spot either turn up her nose at the curb or go in
and immediately announce that she hated the carpets, wallpaper, and couldn't
abide a house where the only door to the backyard came right off the living
room. Her acid commentary on the funky brown discoloration inside the
dishwasher at thelast place had nearly reduced the realtor to tears.

So Sea Spot, trying to at least play the part of a buyer seriously
considering this quirky old house, made her way up to the attic. Storage
space--very important to a packrat like Sea Spot. The attic did not
disappoint. Here she also found a few remnants of the antique furnishings
left by the previous lady owner.

A gorgeous gilt-framed mirror filled up most of one wall. She looked at her
reflection...a short, blonde pugnacious woman in a metallic gray turtleneck,
wine-colored stirrup pants, and black leather boots...vintage rhinestone
cocktail jewelry glinting around her neck. Suddenly, she gasped as a grayish
mist seemed to coalesce out of the nothingness of shadows behind her. Smoke?
Dust? No, it took form, shaped itself, and lawdymomma, what a shape it took!

A young man of extraordinary handsomeness, in the glittering gold-trimmed
braid of an old fashioned naval officer's uniform stood behind her shoulder,
towering over her and looking into her mirrored eyes with an expression of
such helpless pleading--he wanted, what? Sea Spot looked behind her, saw
nothing but shadows. But the image in the mirror was as clear as her own.
Hot Damn! This was one fine-looking ghost. The apparition touched her
shoulder. His touch felt warm, the light kiss he leaned over and planted
behind her ear felt even warmer. A tantalizing scent of salt air mixed with
Bay Rum caressed her sensitive nostrils. In the mirror, she saw the ghost
smile a wicked smile at her...beautiful lips curving in a grin that hinted
of sweet dreams to come.

Then he was gone. Sea Spot's shoulder still tingled where the ghost had
touched her. She pounded down the stairs, only to collide with the startled
estate agent as she flung open the front door. "Ah. There you are Mrs.
Reynolds!"

"Well, what do you think? I know the kitchens are outmoded and the bathrooms
a bit small, but you can always remodel...it's a good location."

"I want to make an offer on this house. I'll offer list price for it, with
the condition that I can move in right away." The realtor looked shocked,
her glasses slipped down her nose.

"Well, dear. I'm glad to hear it. Now then, let's go to my office and start
the paperwork. It's been a pleasure, now tell me again how you spell your
last name? Was it M..u...i..r?"