Tag Archives: wall

The Museum

Right out of school I wasn’t really ready for life yet. I needed to get out; get away – see the world, and if the money wasn’t enough for the world, then at least my own country.

I stumbled into him on the way South. A kind lady threw me out on a country road – and he was already there, lying in the dry grass with a cheap grin on his face.

“Been here for an hour,” he said. “Hard spot to catch a ride.”

We talked. Shared a cig he had stolen from his last ride. When there was still no car in sight – at least none that would stop – we walked side by side, our loose shoes sliding over the dirt in unison.

The heat was bad, but worse was the lack of prospects. No cars in sight and only an occasional house interspersed between the large fields. Max saw it first. The blue sky was still above our heads, but a front of gray was approaching from the horizon.

“Better find some roof,” he said.

We had passed the last house nearly twenty minutes ago. The next one, a large building with white walls, was not that far ahead. We pressed on, with larger steps, while the front of gray already swallowed the color of the land.

A large sign, nailed against the fence. The first word must have fallen off, but most letters of the second one remained:

“Muse m” Continue reading

Off the Grid

Leaving Grace and the kids was the best decision he had ever made. Sometimes, when he woke up to a dark sky, he still felt her voice in his ear with complaints about the butter being too hard and the stray glass that had remained on the couch table overnight.

Those nights he laughed, rolled on his side and fell asleep with a smile on his lips. She was somewhere in the city with her litter and her own mother probably passed out on the couch again. Continue reading

They didn’t know that it was just a show.

Of course they had volunteered. Low budget; volunteers instead of actors. It’s cheaper that way and, if you’re lucky, more interesting.

That’s the core of reality TV.

You will have seen the shows; weird experiments and challenges or just a group locked inside a bungalow and manipulated to hate and attack and love each other.

Now, not all shows make it to your TV screens. Some because they are too boring. Some because the test audiences turn their thumbs down. And some because of accidents.

Accidents, that’s what you could call it.

Of course, they all volunteered and they all volunteered all liability away. Those blanko contracts are strong; even with such unusual cases. The director had trouble and we a bit too – but our studio got off with just a bit of paper money to keep things quiet.

TV works in very simple ways. With ratings and advertisers in your back there is no room for creativity. Creativity dies a slow and dry death the higher you climb the ladder. I saw quite a few that lost their creativity first, then their honor, then their soul. Continue reading

A Pencilled Cage for the Soul

A pencil. Still. All around a glossy, relective yellow, only the tip and end the roughness of pressed wood. The tip fine and pointed.

Not true. I must have overlooked it. Maybe my younger brother, when he came. But not a toy rocket or stick soldiers with far too big weapons.

Three oval shapes, pointy at the ends.

I turned away from the desk, back to the boxes that still craved emptying. Stacks of files that long should have found their place in shelves. For weeks the room was more storage than office.

Files slammed in shelves, slipped, were pushed up by my hands, then held in place by more files.

I breathed heavy, more heavily than I should have breathed after half a box. I looked at the empty shelves. Should have wiped them first. Should have vacuumed behind them.


I turned around.

The pencil, rolling. The oval shapes – thick black spots in their centers. Continue reading

Jesus of Narnia

This story is also available in Polish.

Since the breakup Melanie lived in two worlds. In the weeks with me she lived in zoos and museums and books, in the weeks with her mother she lived in bible classes and religious movies and churches.

It was confusing for her, the constant switch from reading books to believing books and back. Maybe that’s why we failed to protect her.

It was in the summer. Melanie had just turned 10. Her first summer week was spent in a bible camp. When her mother finally dropped her at my place she also brought a big bag of books.

I still remember how Hailey cocked her head.

“You always want her to read. Now she has good books. What more do you want?” Continue reading

Please tell me this is all just a nightmare

Youtuber “ImTheEvilBlackBunny” kindly provided a narration of this story.

I can’t believe this happened to me. I just can’t. This can’t be real. Please tell me that this is all just some sort of nightmare and that it will end. Please, just make it end.

Last week it was just this buzzing sound. It wasn’t loud, it wasn’t even disturbing; it was just odd. I tried to figure out where it came from, but all I really could make out was that it was from somewhere behind the wall. We’re on the first floor so there can’t really be anything. Jonathan thought it was just some sort of insect nesting on the outside of our apartment wall.

But the next day, that was Wednesday, the noise wasn’t gone. It was louder, like a small scratch in the wall, like a rat or a child’s wind-up car.

Still Jonathan said I shouldn’t be worried; he said that everything would be fine. We couldn’t see anything unusual when we looked out of the window.

At night our bedroom door kept most of the noise out; still it was somewhat hard to sleep, knowing that there was something out there, right outside our living room.

Thursday it was worse, like a constant vibration that was slowly spreading throughout the wall. The neighbors said they didn’t hear or see anything. The landlord promised he would check it out. It was hard to fall asleep, particularly with the heat in our apartment. I mean, summer was coming, but it hadn’t felt that warm outside.

On Friday Jonathan called the landlord again. He told the landlord that it was getting worse; our wall felt as if a series of small motors had been stuffed inside it. Jonathan said that it was likely the A/C unit, but I didn’t believe him. The A/C looked fine, other than that it didn’t turn on.

Jonathan also told the landlord about the small cuts in the wallpaper. They had appeared overnight; as if someone had gone along the wall with a tiny knife.

The buzzing was like a constant barrage of white noise; it was impossible to ignore. It was surprisingly easy to sleep though. I think I rarely slept that deeply.

I think that’s why I didn’t feel anything when these small bulges appeared on my feet and arms. I mean. I thought it were bugs, maybe bed bugs or something. Jonathan had some too.

When I was out shopping I noticed that the bulges kept growing. They were a light red and a transparent whitish liquid kept seeping out. I never had any bug bites that were that bad.

When I came home in the evening Jonathan had crushed a hole in the wall. He said that it wasn’t him, but I didn’t believe that. I mean, pieces of cement don’t just fall out of the wall.

The wall was hollow. Jonathan said something must be living in it.

The buzzing was still there, louder though. It wasn’t near the hole, as if whatever made the buzzing had moved away from the light or maybe from us.

Jonathan took a flashlight and shone it inside the wall to see what made the sound.

That’s when the wasp came out. It was just one tiny wasp with black and yellow strings. Jonathan smashed it right away and cursed about spring. He said that whatever broke the wall must have made a hole on the other side too and the wasp flew right through it.

We ordered food and ate with the TV on full volume to hear anything at all. The noise was hurting my ears. Small pieces of the wall kept falling.

I don’t know when it came out. We must have overheard it because of the TV, but when we shut it off Jonathan suddenly screamed. There was a rat skeleton on the floor.

The thing looked disgusting; the head and tail were still attached, but all the skin and flesh were gone. Even the skull was open and empty.

Jonathan threw it out. He said the hole must be big and that some bird must have thrown the dead rat inside. I’m not sure if he even believed that himself.

We pushed a table in front of the hole before we went to bed. Jonathan said we would have to wait for Monday to call someone to look at it. And maybe a mason or plumber could have an idea about the noise.

I think I heard the table vibrating. While lying in bed I couldn’t really pinpoint what it was, but it must have been the table. I even put earplugs in, but even that wasn’t enough for me. For Jonathan it was fine; he slept like a baby.

I woke up around 6am, just when the light came inside the room. My legs were swollen; it looked like some sort of infection. Jonathan had the same, but he had it on his arms too.

The buzzing was making my head hurt.

We should have left then; when we saw our legs, or when we saw the small holes in the table that we had pushed against the existing hole in the wall.

Jonathan said it would be okay. He said that we could go to the hospital on Monday. He said it wasn’t that bad and we shouldn’t bother the emergency staff. And he mentioned that I don’t have health insurance; that it might cost more on the weekend.

Why didn’t I for once get through his stubbornness? Just why?

We stayed in bed for most of the day. I made soup and we covered our legs in creams. My legs got better in the afternoon, but Jonathan got feverish and the buzzing sound got even worse. I had a thundering headache and Jonathan said the same.

Jonathan said it must be rats, large amounts of rats scuffling through the walls or fighting or something. He said he watched a documentary once where rats were stuck to each other and fighting and he said the sounds they made sounded a bit like that buzzing sound, just less regular. He said that we must have hundreds of rats in that wall but he said that rats wouldn’t hurt us. They only carry disease, they don’t hurt people, so as long as we kept the bedroom door closed we would be fine.

I said we should go to a hotel, but Jonathan said he didn’t feel well enough to leave the bed. I thought he was just being stingy again. After that Jonathan fell asleep. Maybe he was just pretending to be asleep so I would stop arguing. He did that sometimes.

In the evening our electricity went out. It was out everywhere except for the kitchen which has a separate circuit. I figured the rats cut through one of the cables.

It was already dark outside and there wasn’t much light in our apartment; only this constant, droning, deafening sound from the wall.

I read a bit with my mobile phone as the light source. That only made my headache worse.

I brought our phones to the kitchen so they could charge. It was on the way back from the kitchen when I noticed that the table was moving; the table we had pushed against the hole.

It was moving as if a person was pressing against it and slowly moved it away from the wall.

It was too dark to be sure. I stepped closer to check whether I wasn’t seeing things right; that I wasn’t just imagining things in the dark.

I didn’t just imagine it. When I stepped in the living room the table jumped inside the room. The buzzing sound stopped.

I ran to the kitchen and shouted for Jonathan to wake up. I grabbed my phone and called the police.

Before I even managed to describe that someone was breaking through our wall the buzzing returned; it was so incredibly loud; as if I was standing in a stadium full of screaming people.

Then I saw the dark shadow moving out from all sides of the table. It spread around the wall and the buzzing grew so loud that I couldn’t even hear my own voice when I screamed at the operator.

It was like a carpet; a carpet of wasps that suddenly spread throughout the room. I screamed for Jonathan; I don’t know whether he could even have heard me over the noise.

They flew towards me. I wanted to run to the bedroom, but they were too fast; like a cloud of black exhaust fumes spreading through the living room and then in the corridor and to the bedroom.

I just ran out of our apartment. The door was vibrating behind me; as if the wasps were hammering their bodies against the door.

I think I heard him screaming.

I think I heard Jonathan screaming.

It took two days until they left. I saw a thick, large swarm of them flying away. The pest control guys had been spraying chemicals for hours all throughout the house. Even the firefighters sprayed something.

They even consumed the sheets and his clothes. The firefighters didn’t allow me inside. They said I shouldn’t see it. I heard them speaking though; I heard them saying that only Jonathan’s skeleton was left.

This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.