I originally published this story on Reddit’s NoSleep community. Since then much has happened and now you can not just read the story here, but can also listen to a stunning narration as well as read an excerpt of it in one of the reference works of voice acting.
I don’t usually talk much to my neighbours. There are just three apartments in our house but I can’t remember the last time I talked to Jude and Stella. I wasn’t exactly surprised that they moved out. And it’s not like I expected them to invite me to their farewell party, but couldn’t they at least have left a note?
Well anyway, now there is Ken. From the glance I got into his apartment he even kept most of their furniture. The only new thing was a painting. He had leaned it against the old sofa when I peeked in. It looked like an ancient map, ocre and beige patches that seemed to be marking countries. Thinking about it, he didn’t just keep the furniture, Ken even dressed a bit like Jude.
It’s strange that I never really got to know Jude and Stella. It was one of those weird neighbour-relationships where we greeted each other in the hallway. Occasionally we even promised to meet up for a beer. But somehow I never made the first step – and neither did they.
Ken is different. He came right on the first night, but I was already going out on a date. Actually he came nearly every night, but as things are when a new relationship starts, and the dating paired with the usual stress at work, I always had a reason to decline.
In the beginning Ken came frequently to ask for stuff. With a big grin on his face he would stand in my doorstep and ask for scissors or packing tape. He even borrowed my kitchen utensils “to prepare food for a few weeks”. From the smell of it he must be using a camping cooker – maybe the gas company didn’t connect him yet? Continue reading