Stolen Ghosts (Flash Fiction Part 1)

Image by vishnu vijayan from Pixabay

Flash Fiction #139

The rivalry between the “Ivy Training Center” and “Step By Step Academy” has been well known in the Asian immigrant community and it was elaborated in a previous story.

Recently Ivy, the owner of the “Ivy Training Center”, is a little worried about the student enrollment numbers, which are down by 15%.

“You know, Ivy, one of our parents told me that people think that our training center is haunted, which is why parents are more inclined to send their kids to our competitor.” Fei, a physics tutor, says to Ivy.

“Haunted? Nonsense. I’ve never heard anything more ridiculous.” Ivy says. “Probably our competitor has been spreading rumors. I mean Halloween is coming and people are talking about ghosts etc. Our competitor pounced on such an opportunity to slander our good name…”

“Is it because of the lights in the restrooms? I mean they are dim, and they give off a little sizzling noise and flash mysteriously once in a while.” Doro, the math teacher says.

“I asked my husband Tom to fix it, but he has been postponing it. He says, ‘they are still usable for a while’, and he will replace the bulbs when they are completely gone.” Ivy says.

“Well, the students go to the restroom and come back thinking that our center is haunted.” Tana, the English tutor, says.

“Actually it’s not just about the lights. I mean whenever it’s windy outside, several windows give off a little ghostly murmur. Last time when there’s a thunder storm, people heard footsteps on the roof.” Fei says.

“And the student’s desk-chairs can creak a little. And a couple of doors don’t shut so well and can be thrown open when nobody is even there.” Tana says.

“Oh, give me a break.” Ivy says. “It’s not easy to be the owner of this property and we still have a mortgage to pay every month. My husband Tom has this philosophy of never fixing things unless it is impossible to get by. You know the dear old Tom. He’s a good husband and good business partner, but as you know even a good husband has his little quirks and even a good business partner can require one’s forbearance to deal with…”

Tana and Fei exchange disappointed looks since they have wished that Tom can be called upon to fix all the shaky infrastructure, including one toilet paper holder, which looks like it’s going to give away if one accidentally puts a little pressure on it.

“So what are we going to do about this ghost rumor? We are losing students right now…” Tana says.

“We are not selfishly thinking about our own comfort, but rather we are thinking about the reputation of our center. Ivy, we have to do something.” Fei adds her comments.

“Oh, it is really a … What can we do about it? Don’t think I am not worried. Do you think I should ask Tom to fix those things? I mean I can ask him, but he will delay and delay until I am tired of complaining… With all the inflation and everything else going on, the price of the material from Home Depot is going through the roof…” Ivy says, trying to put the blame on her poor husband Tom.

“I have an idea, which will solve your problem without getting Tom involved.” Lulan, who has been silent for a while, suddenly budges in and gives her opinion.

“Oh, please, Lulan, please. We are trying to force Tom to fix up things around here.” Fei and Dana cry out as they somehow feel that Lulan is going to say something that will derail their plan.

(To Be Continued)

4 thoughts on “Stolen Ghosts (Flash Fiction Part 1)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s