Monday, June 29, 2015

Story #24: "The Man Upstairs"

Here's Story #24 on this, Day 29, of my #astoryaday June Writing Challenge. The end of the tunnel is approaching. I can see the light. This story may very well not be what you were expecting it to be by its title, but I think you may still enjoy it.  ~  JH

"The Man Upstairs"

The man upstairs is spying on me. 

He listens at my doorway when he thinks I'm not paying attention. Sometimes, he calls me on my phone and when I answer, he says nothing, only breathes heavily and grunts incomprehensibly. When I go out at night, he peeks down at me from his bedroom window, jostling the blinds carelessly and giving himself away.

I know what he wants from me, but I'm not going to give it to him. After all, it's only the twentieth of month. The rent's not due for eleven more days. 

Sometimes I feel like screaming out loud – and maybe I should, because he's probably listening – "Payday is what it is, man! You can't squeeze blood from a turnip, and you can't stalk me into paying up early. It doesn't work like that. We have an agreement!" 

But it probably wouldn't do any good anyway. He'd probably slink upstairs like the snake he is, and do whatever it is that creepy people do in their spare time; and the second he got bored, he'd be right back at my door – the wretched mouth-breather.

Five months is a long time, but it's all I have left on the lease. I can neither afford to buy out my lease, nor can I risk the consequences of breaking it. 

Occasionally, I've fantasized about opening the door when I know he's out there listening, binding his hands, and dragging him forcefully back up the stairs to his living quarters. But I'd probably get arrested for that. And I can't afford to let that happen, either.

Not to mention the fact that my mother would probably bawl her eyes out and never forgive me. You see, the man upstairs – he's her husband.

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