Charley sat down, a little overwhelmed. Either Itrene and Bob were dead, or he was. Either way, it wasn't good. But how could he be sure?
Then, it occured to him - couldn't ghosts walk through walls? He decided to try it. True, he risked smashing into the wall and looking like a damned fool, but if that was as bad a sthings got, he wasn't complaining.
Glancing over his shoulder, he saw the two of them still going through his cupboards. Then he looked for a section of wall to test. He soon found one; found some space next to the sink.
Charley walked over. Taking a deep breath, he shuffled forwards.
A cold sensation swept over him. It felt like the time when his brother Joey had cracked an egg over his head when he was fourteen. It was like cold slimy egg white slithering over his body, right down to his feet. He shut his eyes.
When he opened them again, he was outside the trailer. There was the grass, there was the wall of other trailers. It was undeniable.
Feeling glum, he walked around the trailers. So he really was dead. Why on earth hadn't he realised? He meandered off past the trailers, towards the fence overlooking the river.
He gazed at the fence. There was a style there. When he was younger, he could have leapt onto that stlye, over bthe fence and far away, but of course he couldn't now. He never would.
He leaned against the fence, and looked out at the river. Then he heard noises, and turned his head. And for the first time ever he saw them.
About ten dogs, still springy with youth, sniffing around each other, tails wagging. One dog had an old chew toy at its feet. It took it in its mouth and shook it. Two more dogs ran over, trying to snatch the toy.
Well, they seem like real dogs, Charley thought. But who on earth do they belong to? Nobody has dogs around here.
All ten dogs looked up at him, tails still wagging.
'Who are you?' said a small terrier.
Charley felt very ill indeed.
'You can talk? Are you dead too?'
'Yeah, we are,' another said. 'Have been for about twenty years, probably.'
Charley slowly hauled himself over the stlye, and sat atop the fence. The wodden beam creaked a little, but didn't give way. 'Am I dead? I mean, are you absolutely sure?'
The first dog nodded. 'Certainly looks that way, Gramps. So what happened to you?'
Charley, more than a little annoyed to be addressed as 'Gramps', answered, 'I - I don't really know.'
A beagle squeaked, 'We don't remember much either. We had an owner, Mr Beaton. He bred dogs, but he couldn't seem to sell us for some reason. Maybe it's the fleas.' She bit her leg. 'Darn things.'
Charley knew Mr Beaton. He lived two streets away, Dunbar Street.
'He took us down here,' a mongrel piped up. 'Said he'd be back with food. That's the last thing I remember. He hasn't been back since, so I guess something must have happened to him.'
Charley said nothing. He remembered years ago, when the police came to the trailer park. They dragged the river, and found a large mail bag. Inside the bag were ten dogs, all drowned. He didn't look at the water, although he knew the corpses couldn't possible still be there.