Dawn of the Hipsters
by Raoul Marlowe
Forty minutes outside of Portland, Oregon was a small pink house in the woods. It stood two stories tall, with three bedrooms and one bathroom. Mike, his wife Susan, and their daughter Denise had lived there since the 1980s. Mike worked as an environmental consultant for a local paper mill. The job allowed the family to thrive in an upper-middle-class lifestyle, which included nice cars and a yearly family vacation. He worked a regular nine-hour day and spent the rest of his time with his wife and loving daughter. The three lived happily in the house for years, until March 1994, when the family became the victims of carbon monoxide poisoning. While they became separated from their physical form, their spirits still reside in the house. One could argue that the tragedy only strengthened their familial bond. Although haunting a house may not appear to be the ideal afterlife, Mike and his family found the experience blissful. They had always maintained a loving relationship, and the loss of their bodies allowed them to avoid forces that could have pulled them apart.
Mike woke up around nine o’clock and drifted downstairs into the kitchen. While his features were discernable, most notably his short brown hair, his translucent skin gave them all a subtle appearance. He entered the kitchen to find his wife Susan frying eggs on the stove. Unlike her husband, Susan was short, with blonde hair. Susan and their daughter Denise both shared the same translucence.
“Hey honey,” said Mike as he drifted into the kitchen.
“Hey Mikey, how’d you sleep?” She poured coffee into a mug and handed it to Mike.
“Breakfast be ready in a couple minutes.”
“Ok. Hey, where’s Denise?”
“She’s in the living room.”
Mike floated into the living room and found Denise reading. Denise loved to read. Since they were unable to leave, she could only read the books that were still in the house, all of which she had read several times.
Mike enjoyed his coffee and watched the sunrise in Denise’s silent company. Mike felt a sense of tranquility wash over him. While Mike had dreaded mornings in life, he found himself eagerly awaiting every sunrise in death.
“Breakfast is ready,” Susan called from the kitchen.
The three of them sat down the table in the kitchen and began to eat their fried eggs with bacon and hash browns.
“What a beautiful morning, I’m so glad to be spending it with my loving family,” said Mike. Denise playfully rolled her eyes at the comment, while Susan smiled and placed her hand on Mike’s. The moment was cut short, however, by a sound at the front door. At first, the family thought nothing of it. No one had stepped foot in their house in decades. The family continued to enjoy their breakfast.
“Oh my god it’s so retro!” yelled a voice from outside.
“What was that?” asked Denise.
“I don’t know,” said Mike.
The front door swung open.
A short, oddly dressed couple entered the house. The man sported long and unkempt mutton chops while wearing a train conductor’s hat, a flannel shirt, and a scarf. His girlfriend wore rainbow aviators without lenses and a lime green hoodie without sleeves. She also wore black stockings and an American flag skirt.
“Hide!” Mike yelled, and the family ducked under the table.
“What are they?” asked Susan.
“I don’t know,” Mike answered.
“They look like homeless people,” said Denise.
The hipsters walked around the house and began redecorating. They hung posters of the Smiths and Neutral Milk Hotel in the living room and put a record player on the coffee table. Then they entered the kitchen.
“Man, it’s freezing in here,” said the girl.
The hipsters began rifling through the drawers and marveled over the retro appliances such as the old coffee grinder under the stove.
“Maybe I should go talk to them,” Mike whispered. Susan attempted to protest, but Mike had come out from under the table before she could speak.
“Hey guys, listen it’s great that you stopped by,” said Mike, “but I think it’s time for you to leave.”
The hipsters, unable to see or hear Mike, continued digging through the drawers.
“Hey!” Mike screamed. “I said get out!”
Still unaware of Mike, one of the hipsters said, “We should totally throw a party here.”
“Oh my god we should,” agreed her companion.
About an hour later, dozens of hipsters came to the house wearing skin tight jeans and skull caps. They drank Pabst Blue Ribbon and listened to albums from Mike’s record collection. At one point, one hipster decided to play the song “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins. The whole party sprung to their feet and began to dance.
“Why are all these guys dancing to Footloose?” Susan asked. “This song is terrible.”
“Yeah, nobody likes footloose!” screamed Mike. “It’s time we get rid of them once and for all!”
While the hipsters awkwardly danced to “Footloose,” Mike used the telephone to call the local ghost priest. Mike explained the situation and asked for the priest’s immediate help. The priest arrived moments later carrying a large golden cross and a bottle of holy water. He met with Mike and the family underneath the table.
“We’re sorry to bother you, father,” said Mike. “But we didn’t know where else to turn.”
“It’s quite alright,” replied the priest. “I have never seen something this out of hand. It may be too late for me to stop them, but I’ll see what I can… Are they dancing to Footloose?”
“I know, right?” replied Mike.
“I don’t get it. Is it a joke?” asked the priest.
“I don’t think so,” said Denise. “I think they just like things that suck.”
The priest watched momentarily, which only grew his confusion.
“Anyway,” he said. “I’ll see what I can do, but I can’t make any promises.”
The ghost priest walked around the house waving the cross screaming, “The Power of the Holy Ghost compels you!”
The hipsters did not take notice as they were too busy dancing. The priest then opened his bottle of holy water and splashed it onto the crowd. Some of the water splashed on the record player and caused the music to stop playing. The hipsters looked at each other in silence. A few of them continued to dance jokingly, but they too eventually succumbed to the awkwardness. Another moment went by before one hipster said, “This is lame, let’s go buy a case of PBR and watch a mumblecore movie at my place.” The hipsters had been defeated. They filed out one by one never to return.