Squeezes-Through-Mouse-Holes eyed the cell phone nervously. He’d never been assigned a phone before. This could be a huge step in his career.

It was a small phone, barely taller than Mouse-Holes himself. He had to marvel at how the humans could build a device capable of shouting across the planet, keeping tabs on their friends, and pretty much running their entire lives, and then go and make it so small. It was almost like they wanted to lose them.

“If you’re going to do it, do it,” Ghostly-Chill-Down-the-Back-of-Your-Spine said. He stood at the edge of the nightstand, leaning against a few books stacked there. “Just don’t send it through time. It’s got a clock, you know.”

“I know that!” Mouse-Holes snapped. “I’m not some junior ‘geist, you know. I’ve been misplacing house keys and wallets for two years now.”

“Phones are different. A human like this one could go days without realizing it didn’t have its wallet. It wouldn’t notice missing keys until it was out the door. But the moment it wakes up, it’ll grab its phone.”

Mouse-Holes put a hand on the phone, then jumped back as the screen lit up at his touch.

“Jumpy much?” Spines asked, clearly suppressing a laugh.

“You’re the one going on about how important this phone is,” the Mose-Holes said. He gave his friend a meaningful stare. “This is a test, isn’t it?”

“What makes you say that?” Spines said, in a too-casual voice.

“You’re Ghostly-Chill-Down-the-Back-of-Your-Spine! You move human’s cars so they can’t find where they parked. You hid a book for three years on an alphabetized bookshelf. Right next to the copy they bought to replace it! The fact that you decided to slum along on one of my misplacement runs on the same time they assign me a phone is a bit of a giveaway.

The other poltergeist shrugged. “If you’re right and it is a test, then you’d better make that phone disappear.”

Mouse-Holes turned his back on Spines and picked up the phone, grunting with the effort. Physically speaking, the phone was incredibly light, but for poltergeists like Squeezes-Through-Mouse-Holes, the weight humans put on an object mattered far more than ounces and grams.

He glanced around, looking for the perfect place to hide it.

He had just found it, when the phone began to ring. The vibration made him bounce up and down on the nightstand. He tripped over the clock-radio’s antenna, and went sprawling to the ground. The phone flew from his hands, bouncing once before sliding across the wood. It reached the back of the nightstand and fell off, hitting the carpet below with a muffled thump.

One giant hand reached out, groping blindly at the nightstand. Mouse-Holes had to leap up onto the books to avoid getting squashed.

The human muttered something unintelligible, and was silent once more.

“Is… is it asleep?” Mouse-Holes whispered. His heart was pounding so fast, he was sure that if you put an ear to his chest, he’d sound like the vibrating phone.

Spines, on the other hand, looked almost bored. “Yep.”

Mouse-Holes peered over the edge where the phone had disappeared. The phone must have bounced underneath the nightstand. He smiled. The nightstand was pretty heavy, it’s drawers filled with all sorts of junk and knick-knacks the human couldn’t find better places for. With any luck, it would tear apart the house looking for the phone before it decided to try moving the nightstand.

His smile faltered when he turned to see Spines looking at him critically.

“I meant for that to happen,” Mouse-Holes said. Spines just continued to stare at him.

“That is… I didn’t mean to do it that way,” he clarified, “but I was going to hide it behind the nightstand. And the human’s none the wiser… So everything went according to plan… even if it didn’t go exactly according to plan.”

Spines was still silent.

“So… put that down in your report. The phone ended up where I intended it to. Make sure you note that when you file your report.”

“What report?” Spines said with an exaggerated smile.

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