Challenge #01040-B308: The Tenant

It doesn't count as a haunting if the ghost pays rent. -- Gallifreya

[AN: ARGH, so tempted to make this another Undertale fic...]

There's an old gold digger who shares my house with me. He died in his mine, somewhere under where my house is. And I only know that from researching the history.

He's a quiet fellow. I only see him in mirrors. Dusty, of course. Old canvas pants, held up with braces, and shirtsleeves. He comes up after dark, but can't go further than the fence line.

Poor old salt likes to sit on the back veranda and watch the stars.

I have a lot of reflective mobiles up there. Just so I don't accidentally sit in him. And after the first time you do it, you won't want to, either.

Every night, he'll watch the stars and I'll sit nearby and ask him yes or no questions. Of course, I always start with, "Do you want to talk, tonight?"

And every morning, there's a tiny amount of gold in a little bowl we agreed on. Flakes, for the most part. Some little dots that could count as nuggets in a kind light.

Of course the law was up my face about it, when they clued on. I introduced them to Clancy - not his name, I know. It's what I call him. Let them observe and record the process.

Clancy's not your average poltergeist. He keeps to himself, for the most part. And as long as you don't mind a little dirt down the hallway, it's okay. I get the feeling he never said much when he was alive, either.

I get more gold when I leave him an open beer in the kitchen. The beer goes, the gold stays. The law doesn't like it, of course, and I'm under legal obligation to only give Clancy one bottle a week.

Tight-fisted arseholes.

They're still deciding what to do. They actually made me leave for a week? And tried to encourage him, themselves, to get him to give them the gold. Turns out, Clancy just likes me. Those officials didn't get more than a few sparkles out of him, no matter how much beer they left lying around. And I had to clean it up.

They let me give him three beers, the week I came back. And Clancy showed his gratitude with some genuine nuggets.

There's talk of including Clancy as a 'permanent tenant' to the property description. People have already heard of it and are asking me about the haunting.

But you can't really call it a haunting. Poor bugger's paying rent.

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