Written by Angela Pickering
What will happen after Lorraine inherits the old armchair from her nana?
“What’s that?” Michael asked as he came into the lounge.
“It’s Grandad’s chair!” announced Lorraine, a note of triumph in her voice.
“I know that,” he replied, scowling. “I meant, what’s it doing here?”
Lorraine had placed the chair in the corner of the room, out of the way, but facing the television.
“You know Nana wanted me to have it,” she reminded him. “She always said so, and now she’s gone, it’s mine.”
Michael shuddered. “We’re not going to keep it here, though, are we? It’s too gruesome.”
“Don’t be silly. It’s only a chair.”
“It’s only the chair your grandad died in. It’s only the chair your nana kept empty for him to sit in whenever he visited from the grave. It’s horrible.”
I know you don’t believe in the spirit world
Lorraine sniffed and gave him a chilly look.
“It’s a lovely idea. I find it comforting to think that either of them might visit us here.”
“Either of them? Crumbs, it’s getting worse. Now we’re inviting both of them to pop in.” He grimaced. ”And you’ve even placed it so they can watch television.”
“There’s no need for that attitude,” Lorraine said. “I know you don’t believe in the spirit world, but I do. And it’s my chair and I want it there.”
“I think it’s spooky and unpleasant.”
“So don’t sit in it.”
“I certainly don’t intend to; not if I had a broken leg. Not if I had two broken legs.” His mouth was still open as she walked away from him, and he was obviously thinking up some more “not ifs”.
All she wanted was for him to keep out of the chair, just in case. She wasn’t sure she believed in visits from the deceased herself, but it didn’t hurt to be prepared.
Tell that to the dear departed
“It’s moved,” said Michael one morning. “I swear it has, look.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Lorraine grumbled. “Now who’s being silly?”
“They’ve adjusted it so they can see the television better,” said Michael. “It must have been for that ghost-hunting programme on last night.”
Lorraine inspected the chair. It did seem to have shifted a fraction to the right. She straightened it up.
“Oh, they won’t like that,” said Michael. “You can’t quite see the screen properly at that angle.”
“How do you know? You haven’t been sitting there, have you?”
He looked sheepish. “Not really, no,” he said. “Only just to make sure it was comfy for them.”
“You are having me on,” Lorraine said, her face creased in a frown. “Aren’t you?”
Michael sniggered. “Would I do that?”
She threw a gentle punch at his shoulder. “Behave yourself,” she said. “Don’t disrespect my feelings like that.”
“I didn’t move the chair, though,” he said. “It must have been the cat.”
“But we don’t have a cat,” she began to correct him, but he’d already left, still sniggering as he went.
“Sniggering is most unattractive in an adult,” she called after his retreating back. “And leave my chair alone.”
“Tell that to the dear departed,” he threw back at her over his shoulder.
Nana?” she whispered. “Grandad?”
That night Lorraine decided to give Michael something to really think about. Once he was fast asleep and snoring, she slipped from the room and crept downstairs. She was going to move the chair again. Lovely man though he is, she thought, he still needs to be more open-minded.
“There are more things in heaven and earth … ” she was muttering to herself when she noticed the dim light shining in the lounge. And was that the television she could hear?
She pushed open the door, her heart thumping with trepidation. “Nana?” she whispered. “Grandad?”
“Boo!” cried Michael, leaping out from the corner. Lorraine screamed. Michael laughed.
“That’ll teach you,” he gloated.
Lorraine started to tremble.
“But if you’re here with me, Michael,” she gasped, “who’s that upstairs – snoring in our bed?”
“What?” Michael’s face paled as they watched the lounge door slowly creak open. “You didn’t tell them they could stay overnight, did you?” he whispered.
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