I’d had a hard day at work and my divorce was pending. It was raining cows and elephants as I trudged down the street to my new home.
When I got inside at last I slumped in my recliner and poured myself a drink. But before I even got to it I noticed a little elf over the brim. He was sitting on my TV, and grinning at me with an evil grin.
I sniffed the drink doubtfully.
“I’m not a pink elephant. I’m really here.”
His voice was raspy, and made my nerves crawl like fingernails on a blackboard.
“I could use your pot of gold,” I said.
“I am not a leprechaun. I am your guilt. I will be with you wherever you go. I will follow wherever you flee.”
I’m just tired, I thought. It was a hard day. But I was too wrought up to sleep, so I went to the kitchen to get some tablets. He was there ahead of me, doing a handstand on the bench.
“Not even that way,” he said. “I’ll be with you in your dreams. Anyway, you shouldn’t mix those with alcohol.”
“What do you want from me?” I managed to get out.
He flashed me a wider evil grin. “The pleasure of your company.”
I went back to the sitting room and turned on the TV. He was sitting on it again. The news came on but the sound wouldn’t work. “You’re not even unique,” he mocked. “There are millions of men with a guilt like me. No-one else can see us, no-one else can touch us, but we’re with them always. You’ll know them on the train by their haunted look.” When he finished the sound came on full volume because I’d turned it up trying to get it to work. I turned it down fast as I could.
That was the final straw, so I picked him up and carried him into the bathroom, and flushed him down the toilet.
I turned the TV off and went into my room to turn in. He was there, of course, dripping water from the toilet all over my bed. His grin was wider than ever. “You can never escape your guilt,” he leered.
For a moment I stared at him in cold fury. But then I thought: when he’s right, he’s right. So I grabbed him and tied him up some string I had in a drawer, and began sticking needles into him.
He keeps screaming. Oh boy, is this fun!