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FICTION: A Writer, A woman, an apartment by Ricki Shiers  

Posted by Scott Wilson

He wasn’t much of a human; the last time he left the apartment was about a week ago. He loaded his house with food and supplies so he could stay inside his apartment incessantly.

The apartment was a one-bedroom dungeon. The only source of light was a single, luminescent beam of afternoon light lighting the couch.

He was getting ready to work on his new book that he hadn’t started yet, although, sometimes, to feel like writer, he would pretend that the book was started and he was getting paid per chapter that he submitted. It was just a pipe dream though.

He walked from the bedroom to the living room. He remembered that he hadn’t locked the door yet because he had to sign for a package of books he ordered.

He locked the slider, doorknob, and door guard. He then dragged himself over the, to the corner of the room. There lied a desk, a pad of paper, and a Waterman pen. Next to this inexpensive word processor rested his bookshelf. Various authors were present: Hubert Selby Jr., Edgar Allen Poe, Anne Rice, H.P Lovecraft and most importantly, his own five books he had written twenty years ago.

He sat, stared, contemplated, and finally picked his pen up. The words weren’t flowing like they did before his life spiraled into a deep, dark hole. Twenty-one years ago, his wife died. She died of a heart attack which attacked his hard as well.

He became agitated so he stood up, out of his chair, and went turn the heat off; although it was 50 degrees in the apartment. He didn’t want the heat interrupting the beautiful season and its cloudy weather.

A nap sounded nice, sleeping in the cold with a warm blanket helped him sleep as opposed to the hotter seasons.

He tumbled onto the couch. His mind drifted away and his conscious mind transformed into an open space where a dream would’ve been place if he hadn’t lost his creativity.

The nap lasted a few minutes. When he woke up, he almost burst into a frenzy of tears. He held it back like he did all the other times in the past twenty-one years. These frenzies had been constant for twenty years.

He walked to the mini-kitchen to his left and poured himself a bowl of Corn Flakes for dinner. He walked back out and stood, stared, and dropped his bowl and coffee on the ground.

What he saw was unreal to him; he saw a woman sitting on his couch, peacefully reading a book that he appeared to be his. She turned around and asked, “Why’d you do that, silly?”

She radiated a burst of beauty: she had black hair down to her chest; a red bow lay on the top.

The dark hair mixed with her azure eyes, white skin, and perfectly shaped made her the second most beautiful person he had ever seen.

He ignored the question and walked to the front door; it was still locked. He turned around and asked her, “um, wh-, who are you?”

She said in a very womanly voice, “oh, jeeez, you made a mess.” She smiled and pointed at his shirt, there was a coffee stain do the front of his shirt.

She instantly got up and went to the kitchen. When she got up, he saw the body that could belong to and angel, to him at least.

She came back with a rag and started wiping his chest. Somehow, after a few minutes, the stain disappeared. He didn’t pay attention because of the questions that need answering.

He was getting ready to ask a question but she interrupted and asked, “so, what do you want to do tonight.”

“Well, I was, um, going to write but---.”

“That sounds fun.” She smiled and continued “you should write later and we should cook some dinner; I’m hungry.” She was still smiling. He gave up asking questions and asked hesitantly, “all right… what should we make?”

“Spaghetti would be lovely.” Her smile increased even further.

“Ok…”

She hopped into the kitchen.

There were so many questions he needed answers for, but at the same time , he wanted to leave it anonymous because it excited him and at this point of his life, any amount of excitement, was life altering.

He walked into the kitchen placidly.

“So, who are you? How did you get into my apartment?” he realized immediately that he may have sounded overbearing but he didn’t think much else of it.

The woman looked over at him and asked, “Do you want rigatoni noodles? Or angel hair?”

That was the end of the questions for him; there was no getting through to the woman. He decided to retain the questions inside his head and go along with the awkward situation.

Although, they didn’t know each other at all, he was starting to like her; she was mysterious and that was a trait he had always loved. Maybe she would even make his misery disappear.

He began helping her cook the spaghetti, her made the sauce; she cooked the noodles. A smile landed on his face, which hadn’t happened for a notably long amount of time.

Once the spaghetti was finished they put it on plates and he walked to the couch, she followed.

He thought that she might have noticed that he was staying away from her so she asked, “why are you ignoring me.” She gave him a childish, fake pouty-face.

“Because I don’t even know you.” He said calmly.

Her smile re-appeared, “Well, does it matter?” she rhetorically asked “why don’t we just ignore all the details and have fun.”

He almost started laughing because she thought her facial expressions were so quirky. Before his could say anything she said “Hey, your book is really good so far.”

He was hypnotized, by that sentence. It had been at least two decades before he heard those words.

In an instant, he forgot all the questions and wonder he had.

“Did you really like?” he asked in pure wonder.

“Well, I haven’t finished it reading it yet, but I was going to finish reading it while we eat.

He was sp ecstatic that someone enjoyed his book that he said, “all right, you can stay here, eat, and do whatever, as long as you let me work on my book in peace.”

“Don’t you mean start your book?” She asked, almost laughing. Usually that remark would have irritated him but he didn’t say anything, he just let out a laugh.

They sat on the couch and she started reading his book until they started to talk to each other. He was amazed by how much they had in common. The things she said made him reminisce about how abusive his wife was. He laughed before he could think anything else of it.

The helplessness he had before they met evaporated into a mist of hope. The smile he had earlier hadn’t faded.

Something else that he thought was impossible happened after they ate their meals. He wrote; She helped. The words flowed from his new resource: Her. Before, he couldn’t pick up the pen without wanting to throw himself out the window.

While he was writing, he fell asleep. It had been years since he dreamt. The dark spaces of his mind lightened with images and dreams.

In the dream he awoke in his apartment and he was sitting at his desk. The women walked out from the back in a robe with two coffee cups. She walked one over to him. He gave a faint smile and took the cup.

He scooted the chair back and looked at an ocean. A blue land of salty liquid stared. The woman touch his shoulder, he looked back. Her mouth moved and shaped as if she was talking. The words weren’t vocalizing.

The writer pulled his head up from the desk, ending his dream immediately. The woman yelled from the kitchen, “Wooo! You’re awake, I’ve been waiting.”

The writer cracked his back a walked towards the woman, “so, ya’ stayed all night? Huh?’

She scratched her head and straightened her bow. “Yeah, hehe.” She giggled.

“Hmmm, how long are you plannin’ on staying?” he asked causally. She frowned, “I can leave now if you want.”

The writer’s heart clenched, “No, no, no, no, that’s now what I’m saying, I actually want you to stay.” He truly meant those words.

The woman opened her arms and hugged him amorously as if they had known each other for an extended amount of time.

She looked past him towards the window and said, “Depressing outside, isn’t it?”

“I’ve had worst,” he said laughing lightly. She joined in the laughter.

The rest of the day was mellow but he was excited nonetheless. For most of the day, the writer worked on his book and she continued helping him write it. The book was going well; they finished about one-hundred and fifty pages of it. After he stopped writing, they wrapped around each other tightly on the couch and talked about a variety of things. They made dinner soon after, ate, and fell asleep on the couch, holding and protecting each other from the cold.

The next day was equally fantastic for him; he finished his book. She praised it with a glory like no other person had ever done before. With her around, his life was perfected… until evening hit.

Once they unlatched from each other, he checked his pantry; it was depleted of anything edible. Usually, he would starve himself so he wouldn’t have to leave the house, but his this time it wasn’t a big deal.

The writer said goodbye to the woman, kissed her on the cheek lightly and left to the store.

He got a bit of food; there wasn’t any need to stockpile food anymore.

He arrived back at his apartment an hour later. He attempted to turn the knob, it was locked. Maybe she was scared someone would walk in, he thought.

He unlocked the door and walked in. It was vacant. She was nowhere in sight. He dropped the groceries and ran towards his-their- room, no one. He ran towards the bathroom, no one. The kitchen showed no further results.

The writer walked over and sat down, letting the facts sink in. A bit of hope returned when he looked at a note on the coffee table. It read:

Hi, I’m sorry about this but I need to get out for a while. I might not come back, I haven’t decided though. The reason this is happening, is because I need a place to stay, and your house looked empty, so I decided to stay, and then you walked out and it all went to hell. I got in before you locked the door and hid in your room until you woke up, and then surprised you when you got your coffee. As you can tell I’m pretty good at making people like me. The reason I’m leaving is because I started to like you more than I wanted to, and I’m sure you liked me just the same. I don’t know if I’m returning, so goodbye… for now…maybe. –Love, Anonymous

His body felt dead. The seemingly nameless women that gave him a hope and a sense of meaning, left without warning. Instantly, he ran over to his desk, grabbed his nearly-finished book, and tore it every way possible.

He stayed door for hours, hoping, and praying someone would knock, and that someone would have blue eyes and a bow in her hair. He finally came to the realization that she wasn’t returning.

The next day, he felt as useless and miserable as ever. He stood at the window, looking towards apartments and weighed down clouds set in a casing of, bleak, grey skies. He imagined the blue land of water and smiled.

He toppled over the window sill and the wind consumed him. The moment he fell, he heard a knock at the door, a smiled landed on his face for a before he was splattered on the concrete below.

The woman continued knocking at his door, regretting that she ever left his house, she opened the door since it was unlocked. Once she saw the curtains flapping in the ferocious breeze, she hustled to the window and looked won below, seeing bloody mess, she knew it was him.

Not knowing what to do next, she fell down onto the couch and dreamed of looking out the window and seeing an ocean of salt and sapphire blue.

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 12:47 AM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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