Fiction | Short Story

The Cost of Dehaunting

“I don’t believe in ghosts, but you have a reputation for helping troubled properties.”

The market for housing in San Francisco was still strong, but had begun to soften at the very highest end. The condo Petra had been hired to cleanse had originally been listed for 11.9 million, but was newly reduced to 10.2. The current owners were looking to avoid another reduction. Petra could tell right away that there were no ghosts here, but her fee was nonrefundable, so she did a walk-through just to be sure. Three bedrooms, four and a half baths, ten stories up. Floor to ceiling windows, white rugs over polished concrete floors. Mid-mod chairs, tropical plants. All these high-end places were beginning to look the same. Were all rich people really so similar?




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“It’s cold in here,” said Joanna. She reached for the cardigan draped behind her chair. Petra took this as a sign that it was finally time.