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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Sharehouse

I stood at the steps of the tall, stone, rustic sharehouse. It was old and moldering, encircled by the Dickensian rooftops of a terraced moribund dreamscape.

This is where you live now. I had come to this place to find you.

I climbed the cobbled stairs, leading to a locked gate. A resident of the sharehouse emerged from a wooden doorway and approached the gate where I stood. He was wearing glasses that had no glass in them, the black wire of the empty glasses framed his mousy face. A scarf was wrapped tightly around his neck and his eyelids drooped and fell like curtains over his sleepy gaze.

"Have you lost your keys, bro?"

I didn't say anything. I looked at him blankly.

He glanced drowsily at me as he unlocked the gate and slithered past my withering glare.

Approaching the entrance of the sharehouse, I was met with the musty smell of unwashed clothes and marijuana smoke. I pushed on the wooden door and it creaked open.

Entering a long corridor, with many doors on either side, I began to slowly walk towards the room at the end of a hallway.

I knew this was your room.

The door to your room was open wide, as if to send an invitation to strangers to pass inside. A flickering, hazy purple light illuminated your room beyond the open door.

As I walked through the open door of your room, I noticed the decorative cloths that were draped from your ceiling. The patterned cloths gave the room an impression of a Bedouin tent from 1001 Arabian Nights, but without the jewels and without the magic. The room was dusty, old and decayed.

On the floor of the room, in the far corner, was a mattress where you lay. The mattress was covered in wrinkled, stained sheets that billowed and spilled over onto the wooden, white paint-speckled floorboards.

You looked up at me and giggled as you blew purple smoke from an ornate water pipe. You resembled the stoned caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland.

Beside you lay a small girl with jet black hair and a fringe that sliced across the bottom of her forehead. She appeared half-buried in the bed sheets.

Advancing towards the mattress, I crouched and stared at you. The small girl beside you peeked nervously at me, eyes half-hidden beneath her sharp fringe.

"This is your life now?"

I stood, reached for your arm, and pulled you out of the room. The small girl melted away beside you, into the bed sheets.

You smugly chortled as I took you into a small, dirty communal kitchen that was beside your room. Insects scuttled into dark crevices and brown stains dripped down the walls.

We stood beside a small window that looked out onto a grey sky.

I pulled you close to me. I intently searched your face for something familiar, but I no longer recognised you.

As I peered deeply into your cold inner landscape, I saw lightening flash behind your eyes.

A darkness swept across your gaze, like a storm rolling over a vast plain.

You smiled defiantly at me.

Your smile began to transmogrify into an oozing hatred that was only barely perceptible, like a whispering blade of grass.

While I was distracted by the emergence of your contemptuous smirk, your arm began to slowly reach outside of the kitchen window, unnaturally extending, like a long piece of pasta.

Outside of the window, on a small ledge, was a hammer.

As I stared into your smirking face, I saw your anger barely disguised.

Your arm suddenly snapped back through the kitchen window, clutching the hammer, smashing it into my face.

I was sucked into a blackness that felt like cold marble. Oblivion was complete. 

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