He looked over the myriad of objects around the room, scattered without any pattern or rhyme, thrown every which way. He hefted the ax over his shoulder and puttered around the room, toeing several objects and knocking over a table. He could hear them in the other room, breathing deeply, trying to calm their throbbing hearts. He chuckled to himself and swung the ax towards a mirror.

It shattered into a thousand pieces. People screamed in the room next door, one voice calling out, "Everyone stay calm! Shut up!" He hummed, walking over towards a decorative shield on the wall. There was a splatter of blood across its diameter, a memory of past haunts. He scratched off a bit of that natural paint with a fingernail, examining the red tint on his finger before flipping the ax around and slamming its blunt edge against the shield. It reverberated wildly, sending his visitors the next room over into torrents of screams and yells. He laughed loudly, a cackle that would send the strongest of hearts to ice, make the brain freeze over in the best moments. The room next door fell silent. He pressed an ear against the wall, hearing their labored breaths through the plaster and wood.

He bored quickly of his little game in the room. He made his way outside, where the moon shone down him, plump and corpulent, breathing some modicum of life onto the house of the dead. He considered himself dead for years, dead to the world, dead to the living, dead to life. Now, he merely terrorized any of his overnight guests for kicks. It wasn't any sort of vendetta against anyone; it didn't even arouse any sort of moral dilemma within him, where a good messenger of God would perch itself on one shoulder, the demon of the evil goat on the other.

It was, needless to say, damn fun.

He whistled gaily as he went up to the second floor through means of a fire escape, stepping through a window into a bathroom above the room where his guests were staying. The bathroom was long out of use, with the tub rusted over and the shower head busted off, the toilet and sink covered in mold and grime and things no modern human should ever sight eyes upon.

It wasn't his style to attack any of his guests directly, no dissecting them upon makeshift operation table, no chopping them up and boiling them for Sunday brunch. Far too messy, and far too much work. He set to work prying up some of the tiles beneath him, meticulously uncovering the floorboards beneath them, which were rotting and ready to give way. There was a hole in one. He bent over and peered through.

There were three of them, one male and two females, all huddled together in the middle of the room, almost directly beneath him. The guy seemed of the heroic type, strong and lean-bodied, his well-toned arms around the two ladies as he was looking around, trying to catch a glimpse of their terrorizer. The two girls both had long, bleached blonde hair, both looking like the sort that would get themselves drunk and into a situation such as this. They huddled close to their savior, as if some undignified little whelp was going to provide much comfort for them. He leaned over underneath the sink with the ax and pried one of the pipes loose with the blade.

The pipe broke and tepid, browned water gushed forth. The water quickly spread over the floor. It soaked rapidly into the floorboards, making them damp and limp. He heard the gasps from his visitors and it started to drip down the floor below. He could see it vividly in his mind's eye, the three noticing the water, taking it as a sign from Above that they were going to die. It would be as if the water was poisonous, some evil thing ready to wrap around their necks and strangle them. He watched them below, quickly evading the water and clambering up on the rubble around the room, trying to keep out of the way of this possessed water that was bearing down on him. They would be in a silent room; they couldn't hear him from above. All they could hear was the lack of noise, the lack of life in the room, all quiet except for the water dripping down, slowly and steadily, like a leaky pipe that haunts isomniacs in the depth of the night. It would simply drip down, drip, drip, as if in a vacuum.

He left the bathroom and strolled out into the hall, deciding to wait a couple hours before continuing, allowing them to relax just the right amount to think that they were finally safe from their poltergeist. It was how he worked, keep them on the edge of their very breaths throughout the night. He was their intervention, there to step in to their lives and allow them to rethink what it was to be alive and safe and breathing. He was the one to make them change their minds about everything around them, and to gain a new perspective on drinking and gambling and whatever they did these days.

It was good for them.

He paused underneath a picture in the hall, one that he never touched, no matter how many people passed through his house of haunts. It was of a royal lady, sitting ramrod straight in the painting, nearly glaring down at him, her mouth half raised in a sneer. She was his little goddess. He bent backwards to look her straight in the eye and placed one hand above his brow in a salute.

"And I thank you, mother," he said, "for all that you have taught me." And he walked away, ax swung over his shoulder. He tried to whistle, but his lips were too chapped for whistling. So, instead, he hummed.