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The clock stops.
I bang the alarm clock on my bedside table, trying to get
it to start up again.
“It must’ve been the rain.” I think “That goddamn rain must’ve ruined it when I ran it from the car. I just get to this apartment and shit’s already breaking. Great.”
In the listing, this place looked like an amazing place to bum out while waiting for my first semester as a freshman to start. A quiet, little apartment on a quiet, little street, but still not that far from the university. It sure as hell beats the dormitories. It even has a cool view out the door on the bottom floor. Right down the street and out onto the city.
The bottom floor is set up like most places around here: one door, with buzzers for each apartment on the wall. When a room is buzzed, it says the apartment number, and then lets the visitor say what they need. Its all rustic and cool, but still modern. My apartment number is 6.
After admiring the view, and mentally reminding myself to take a picture of it later, I close the door and climb the three flights of stairs up to my apartment. Once inside, I look around, decide the boxes look organized enough, and retire to my bedroom. The room’s a little musty, but I turn my phone alarm on, plug it into the charger, and climb in bed. I’m quickly asleep. I don’t dream, at least I don’t think I don’t. I sit in darkness, night quickly flying by. But suddenly, the dark feels somehow too dark and very close. I wake up, sweat on my forehead. I’m up nearly five seconds when my phone alarm goes off.
I bum around for the next few days, get my boxes unpacked, and look around the neighborhood a bit. It’s nothing special. A typical area for this part of the world. Suddenly, surprisingly, it’s Friday night. No plans, the entire neighborhood basically sketched out in my head by now. A realization comes to me, I have yet to take that picture. I pick up my camera, put a new memory card in it, the door closes. And another one opens, I’m at street level.
Click, click, click. The sun’s nearly down, it’s raining, and I don’t want my camera, of all things, to get wet. Satisfied with what saw in the viewfinder, the door closes again, and I’m at my apartment door.
I stick my key in the door, and my right shoulder goes cold. I open the door, and pull the shirt off of my
shoulder, trying to get the water off of my skin. But I notice it’s dry. “Odd,” I think. But shrug it off, and go to my computer. I plug my camera on, leave it to sync, and go to bed.
Lights off, eyes closed.
A noise wakes me up.
The alarm on my alarm clock is going off. Not my phone. I impulsively smack it, and it immediately goes dead. My room is dark, darker than it should be. I get up, and walk into the living room. Half-conscious, I notice my camera’s syncing is done. I walk over there, and start scrolling through the pictures.
The third one catches my eye. There’s a dark figure there, one not there in the others.
Abruptly, my apartment gets buzzed. Not once, not twice,
but three times. Over and over, groups of three.
The automated voice announces:
“Six six six… Six six six…. Six six six… Six six sixxxx…”
The room goes cold.
Credit To: Anthony