by Benjamin Judge

It was August, but when Mary woke at midnight she was as cold as she had ever been. Ice clicked in the marrow of her spine. The chill air formed wispy clouds from her panicky breath.

She reached for the comfort of the bedside light but its tepid glow only illuminated further horrors. The wallpaper had peeled from the wall in long dog-tongue-shaped strips and on the plaster underneath, in letters a foot tall, and scrawled in human blood, was a message for her.


Mary ran downstairs. Black smoke was racing up the walls. Bacon fat bubbled threateningly in the grill pan. She quickly turned the grill off and dumped the pan in the sink.

“Wow!” she said out loud “er… thanks Frederik.”

Mary poured herself a glass of water and drank it down in one frightened gulp. Silvery drops of water fell from the tap and sizzled in the grill pan. She placed the glass next to the sink and stumbled back upstairs.

In her bedroom she found more wallpaper peeled away, another message written in blood.


The next morning Mary found that Frederik the Helpful Ghost had polished her shoes and that the glass and the grill pan were freshly washed and drying on the draining board. Mary wondered briefly why, if Frederik could do all that, he had not just turned the grill off instead of covering her walls with blood. But she didn’t say anything aloud; one rarely gets anywhere questioning the supernatural.

Benjamin Judge lives in a little room full of books in which he divides his time writing very short stories and gazing sadly out of the window, wondering if the owl will return.

  1. #1 by The Malt House on July 6, 2011 - 8:12 am

    one rarely gets anywhere questioning the supernatural
    How true! A great read Benjamin! I do wonder if Frederik lists wallpapering as a skill too :o)


  2. #2 by thepygmygiant on July 6, 2011 - 1:33 pm

    I bloody love this. (ho ho)
    Thanks Benjamin.

  3. #3 by Diana E. backhouse on July 6, 2011 - 5:51 pm

    What a thoughtful ghost.

  4. #4 by Sheila Cornelius on July 6, 2011 - 9:53 pm

    I love this quaint lttle tale.

  5. #5 by John Ritchie on July 8, 2011 - 11:13 am

    Yeah, they move in mysterious ways. Great story.



  6. #6 by Sal Page on July 9, 2011 - 3:16 pm

    Like it. Funny!

    Wondering where Frederik got the ‘human blood’ from? While being ‘helpful’ to someone else?


  7. #7 by benjaminjudge on July 12, 2011 - 12:36 pm

    Thanks everyone.

    Sal, In answer to your question, Frederik is very mysterious. I hope that clears things up.

  8. #8 by Lyndsey on December 22, 2011 - 12:26 pm

    Just read this again. Still love it!

  1. The Happy Bit | Who the fudge is Benjamin Judge?

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