The night wore on as i hurried through the dark streets to my apartment. I repeatedly looked down at my watch to check the time. I need to get home soon. The seconds continue to tick, my time is running out. I begin to run, my breath turning to smoke in the cold air, my cheeks stinging and eyes watering. I reach my apartment building and run inside and up three flights of stairs to my apartment door.
Inside i find my dog, Grim, cowering in front of my bedroom door. I swiftly walk over and open the door. Grim blots and hides under the bed.
“Sorry buddy.” I sigh under my breath, locking the door behind me. I look at the clock on my bedside table and the dim red numbers blink 3:05 a.m.
I take my shirt and pants off and climb into bed. Exhaustion quickly taking a hold of me, sinking into the dark abyss of sleep.
*Clop* *Clop* *Clop*
Loud footsteps outside my room wake me. I look at my bedside clock. 3:20 a.m. Grim whimpers under the bed and i feel my heart squeeze. I settle my head into my pillow and close my eyes. “Shhh. Grim it’s okay buddy.”
For the past 2 years, whatever is beyond my door at night, has appeared at the same time and just walks rhythmically back and forth till the first rays of morning shine through my window. I have never been tempted to see what is beyond the door at night, though i have had multiple complaints from the neighbors below me. They eventually decided to just move out.
A while ago i had attempted to contact the previous tenants to search for answers. The last person to be here had died the first night in her new apartment, mangled beyond recognition in her hallway. Poor woman.
Before her there was a man living here, i was eventually able to track him down but he is in a mental institution.
He claimed that someone was following him everywhere. With lack of proof to the authorities, he was sent home under the assumption of being paranoid. Later that day a friend found him with slit wrists.
I listen to the rhythmic footsteps, remembering the hours spent on computers attempting to figure out why it’s out there.
The first tenant that lived here back in 1982 was a businessman that sold life insurance. Living alone, no family, no friends, the man seemed to have been suspect to killing five people. The day before his trial he was found shot in the hallway. No one knew exactly how he had managed to escape the prison, though it is believed to be an inside job and the warden had him executed himself since his daughter had been one of the victims. There was never enough proof to convict the warden for the kill.
I’m sure you’re expecting it to end with me opening the door and finally laying my eyes upon what is haunting me every night. Yet ever since i was a boy, i have avoided the unknown. I lay in my bed every night for years after until insanity finally makes me take my own life. The fear of not knowing, that maybe one night it will burst through your door. Ignorance kills.