It Likes the Water
I once stayed in this very old apartment. It had an average size room suitable for just one person with an affordable rent. The place was also very close to my office. It was too good to pass up. After living in it for 2 weeks everything has been good so far. Although I did notice so little people were living there, despite being a steal deal. Perhaps it’s because the building was old. Every room was bland and desperately in need of furnishing. The hallway ceiling even had a few holes that exposed the ventilation shafts. Damn place was an eyesore, but it was livable.
The rooms didn't have their own bathroom. Instead they shared a common bath area. Because of the small number of tenants, I never had to rush for my shower every morning. It seems no matter what time I wake up, it's either I get there or the person before me just got done. I guess people here wake up early.
Aside from the wet bathroom tiles, I am sometimes welcomed by the massive clumps of hair clogging the floor drain. There was also a trail of water on the hallway as if whoever showered didn't even bother drying up.
'Bunch of slobs.' I thought at first, but I just shrugged it off.
'Nah, they were probably just in a hurry.'
One day I decided to take a bath a bit earlier than usual. It was still dark and there was no vehicle noise from the road outside. My room was on the far west of the building. On the east end was the bath area. It was quite eerie as I traversed the empty hallway.
As I was getting closer to the bathroom I heard a creaking noise behind me. Startled, I quickly turned around to see one of the doors to the other rooms was ajar. Behind it stood someone. A thinly built middle-aged man was staring at me. The man himself wasn’t so scary, but the look he was giving me was unnerving. His eyes were wide and unblinking while he was frozen behind that door.
I looked behind me to find the hallway empty, so he was definitely staring at me. After a few seconds I decided to move on, feeling how stupid it was to have a stare down with a stranger. It must have been a junkie or sleep deprived call center agent.
I headed to the bathroom just a few steps away and was surprised it was occupied. I heard the faucet running and saw light slipping out the bottom of the door.
'First time for everything I guess.' I told myself.
I risk a glance back to the weird man's door. He was still there, still staring at me! Did he even move? Slowly though, my uneasiness turned into annoyance. He looked like he was about to step out and lunge at me any moment, so I decided to confront him. I started walking towards him, aiming to just intimidate and scare him off. Just when I was about to ask what his problem was, I heard the bathroom door open.
He and I were still locked eye to eye, but I considered letting it go and finally have my shower. That was when I noticed. He wasn’t looking at me anymore. He was looking behind me.
I felt a sinking feeling in my gut.
Slowly, I turned my head back to the bathroom door. It was open, the running water turned off.
Seconds later a big green hand emerged, long and webbed fingers latching on to the doorframe. Then a big pile of what looked like wet hair slowly peered out. Another hand followed, reaching out to hold on to the opposite wall. It paused there as it heaved. The massive stash of hair was drizzling water on the floor beneath.
Shivers ran down my spine. My jaw hung open. I moved on instinct. I was too afraid to run but I managed to step back. Just then I felt someone grab my shoulder and drag me backward. I almost fell down but whoever startled me caught me by the arm and guided me away from the hallway and into one of the rooms.
As we scrambled away my gaze never left that thing. It was only when we were off the hallway that I looked at my savior. It was the man from before. He slowly shut the door, taking caution not to make a sound. Before I could speak he put a finger to his lips, gesturing for me to stay quiet. We sat there motionless on the floor for a bit. The man pressed an ear to his door to listen. I did the same.
Soon we were hearing wet thumping sounds. At first, it was a bit distant but got louder by each step. I held my breath as we listened. Then, it stopped.
There was a long silence. While wondering where the sound went, my eyes dropped to the floor. What I saw almost made me scream. Water.. A flood of water was seeping through the bottom of the door and into the room. My eyes widened as I saw my slippers being soaked. I would've jumped if it wasn’t for the man in front of me. He clutched my shoulder and the look on his face begged me to stay quiet. Our bodies stayed pinned to the door. I swear I can hear breathing from the other side.
We locked ourselves in that position until the wet steps came back. The water at our feet stopped flowing. The sounds of the steps were getting farther and farther. When we could no longer hear it I took a sigh of relief. To my horror the man opened the door. I hurriedly grabbed his arm to stop him but he assured me that it was okay now. He even told me to come take a look outside. If it wasn’t for my curiosity, I would've disapproved. The man looked relaxed now, the scared look in his face gone.
I followed him out of the room. As we stood there in the hallway I came to a dreadful realization. The whole stretch of the hallway now had a trail of water.. Just like every day. I asked the man what the hell was going on and he explained. That thing? It lived there too. It scared away almost everyone in the building, save for a few who were desperate for affordable living. Still it was unbelievable that this guy managed to live there for almost a year. The man says you just have to watch out for it. It only comes out early in the morning, right before the sun comes up. That was why nobody uses the showers that early.
‘It goes there every day.’ The man tells me.
‘It likes the water.’
I asked if it ever hurt anybody. He said he didn’t know, and neither did any of the others. Nobody ever stuck around the hallways to greet it a good morning. All they know is, they were fine as long as they kept their distance and be quiet while it prowled the hall.
I left after that, but not before I noticed where the trail of water that the thing left lead to. It was into an opening in the ceiling. Right beside my room.
Submitted June 11, 2018 at 01:27AM by ratedrbp