a detached victorian and an organ in the attic

“You’d probably call me a communist.”

No fur hat. No balalaika.

“No. I probably wouldn’t.”

A bottle of vodka in the cupboard. Some rye on a shelf. I looked at him.

“Not Russian. Communist.”

He carried my suitcase upstairs and left in search of duvets.


I had answered an ad in the ‘Rooms Available’ section of the university dispatch. A girl who partied polo-style with a young prince and attended his mother’s alma mater was the owner of the suite. Ella said she adored the name Buffy and was ever-so-ready to welcome an American into her home (for the obligatory 500 pounds a month room rental of course). It would be fantastic. (It wasn’t.)

She sent Phillip to help me move.


I spent my first night watching Eastenders in a flowered-to-death sitting room with the blonde Phillip, who wasn’t Russian, and a pint of Guinness. He wore a green robe with matching bottoms and leather slippers.

The all-his-life Londoner looked like a young (i.e. slim) Leonardo DiCaprio – from a distance. Up close he looked very English. Very what he was.

“Why’d you move?” He asked. “Nice house. Nice area.” He crossed his legs and stuck his hand in his pocket.

“Freaky housemates.” I told him.

I wasn’t being fair. Ahmad and Teemo were only trying to be friendly. To see me after the sun went down. Maybe share a drink with the house at the round-the-corner pub. But I was 21 and repressed and didn’t know how to be friends with a 46 year old Libyan who slept in the room next to mine. Teemo was younger, only 25, and slept downstairs. But he didn’t speak a word of American and I could only conjugate the odd verb in Finnish. So I kept my door locked and my whistle by my bed. (Really).

“Well. It happens.” Phillip hand rolled two cigarettes. Skinny. Like his legs. “Ella is a nice girl. I’ve known her for a while.” He sprinkled tobacco from a silver can and wet the papers with his tongue. “George, I have never met.”

George was the fourth house mate. Ella said his daddy was a Baptist preacher.

“I thought he moved in last month.”

“He did.” Phillip never took his eyes off his hands. “Three days before me.” He stood up, belted his robe and walked to the front door. “I take a walk every evening at sevenish. I guess he comes out then.”

I didn’t believe him. Then he looked at me, and I did.

“No way.”

“You’ll see.” Phillip stepped outside and lit up.

Stoop smoker.

I followed him. “Is he here?”

I’d spent six hours in the house. Hadn’t heard the first sound from the bedroom in the loft.

“He’s always here.” Phillip sort of laughed. “That’s what I’m trying to say.”

I was creeped. “That’s like, seriously weird.”

“Love, you don’t know the half of it.”

The words had barely left his mouth when I heard it. Dull but there. Coming from….above.

An organ. And not the kind my Pa played.

“Holy Moly!” Goosebumps rushed up my arms. “It’s Lurch!”

We listened to the eerie sound for a few minutes, then Phillip finished his cigarettes and we went back to the sitting room.

“Those old flatmates of yours….”

I nodded.

“…..did they play the organ?”

I stopped nodding.

Phillip smiled and left the room.


Oh Lordy, where are Earl and Chris when you need ’em!

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  • kerri
    Mar 30, 2006 at 23:28

    Maybe he takes requests?


    Both Phillip and Lurch sound like interesting characters indeed.

  • Buffy
    Mar 31, 2006 at 7:40

    Phillip and I ended up packing up and leaving the other two after a year.

    Partly because the girl turned into this….

    I see Dead People

    Mostly because the boy and his keyboard (turned out it wasn’t an organ. Just a jacked up keyboard) turned into something all together more strange.

  • Alexandra
    Mar 31, 2006 at 17:16

    LOL! Excellent, you can’t get better material to write about.

  • LisaBinDaCity
    Apr 1, 2006 at 13:38

    Wow, interesting place!

  • Champ - Gravity Denier
    Apr 1, 2006 at 21:18

    Hmm, A nice chapter from Past. They adored your names Buffy, you can be adored more by sayin “Buffy, the Vampire slyer” LOL!

    Hope you ‘re doin’ good. *Smiles*
    God bless you….

    Apr 2, 2006 at 5:31

    Great blog. My favorite comment, “I’m never in the mood to write.” I like the header, Plain Simple English.

  • Candace
    Apr 2, 2006 at 15:35

    Wow, can I relate to your “Why I Write.” :o) Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m really enjoying your writing. :o)

  • Serena
    Apr 2, 2006 at 16:50

    This post is motivating. It motivates me to want to write because it was such a joy to read. You definitely left me wanting more of the story.

  • Merteuil
    Apr 3, 2006 at 18:39

    “Flowered-to-death”….love it. 😉

  • divinecalm
    Apr 7, 2006 at 17:10

    I love the dialogue. Very good.