Thursday, July 19, 2012

Its been seven hours and 15 days

Oh well its been about two weeks or so since I promised I'd write 200 words per day and I have just not all here. I wrote some as responses in other people's blogs I've written reports, short fiction etc. just not all here. That being said though it sounds like a bit of a cop out. So here's for making up for list verbiage. I'm going to try for 1600 words here and now.
Zen dog dreams of a medium sized bone. Adam Long
Another renter had come and gone. This one was some kind of hospital worker. The courts had helped and hindered, they said I was entitled to eight month's rent out of him but that finding him was my own hangup. His baby momma took my nice carpets and bed. she left a ratty sleep sofa, a pile of old crts and several rooms full of medical detritus.
I had a cop come with me to look through the stuff to make sure it wasn't drug paraphernalia. It wasn't, although the piles of needles, lancets, tubing and bandages were certainly potential biohazzards. I walked the block to the hospital to ask for a sharps box and some related equipment and they were quite helpful. On y own I decided to use a pair of red plastic salad tongs to pick up the various objects and put them in the sharps box, I also wore gloves, mask and goggles. Its not paranoia just preparedness. I wandered, swaddled in protective equipment through the house. After a day of cleaning an old colonial home in hundred degree heat while wearing  such things I was soaked through. I spent the last of my energy to get to the beach, float in the ocean and get a sandwich on the boardwalk.
On the drive home the cars ahead of me contained hurried tourists and small grey stones tapped on the car window, kicked up by their tires. That same irregular staccato tapping was repeated at night as I slept. The heat broke and the rain on the air conditioner made gentle taps through the night that even invaded my dreams as though I were haunted by the ghost of Gregory Hines.
The next day was cooler in the morning and a surprising amount of cleaning was done but by noon the remnants of the rain had ceased to cool and merely turned the air into a swampy mess. I took a nap in the newly cleaned kitchen, the compressor from the fridge making the occasional tap. When I awoke I found that with well rested clear eyes I could see medical waste I had missed the night before. bits of needle and tube strewn about with gauze. I cleaned long into the cool night and in the end took pictures to attract future renters. A fruitful day demanded a reward, so a wander to King's and some Pineapple ice cream later, my sleep was a blissful one.
The dreams that night involved being chased by a rabid Shirley Temple as she sang about the good ship lollipop and attempted to rend me limb from limb with her Medusa-like curls, but that's what I get for eating dairy before bed. I do not regret my gustatory decisions.
I awoke and set about preparing the house to be viewed, purchasing cookie dough, getting forms and pencils etc. when I noticed a pile of needles, tubes and gauze I had apparently missed. It was small and after cleaning I had to see to a dripping faucet on the second floor, the drip of the water against the basin was made audible by the newly earned and hard won stillness of the house. I slept this night in the rental property to get a feel for it once again, as potential renters would surely ask about the climate control or any other potential issues with the house. When I awoke I went to the kitchen and went through the motions of a breakfast. and I noticed, in the corner an arrangement of needles, tubes and gauze. I quickly flipped though my phone to the pictures I had taken of the very same corner not long before. It had been spotless. I quickly looked around the area to see if it could have fallen off any shelves or out of any holes in the wainscoting or vents or other reasonable places. Then quickly discarded the idea that my house was beset by diabetic Ninja with Alzheimer's. I again heard the tapping. this tie I moved the fridge. I thought I saw a small gleaming ball bearing roll beneath the counter, making arrhythmic tapping noises all the way. Effort with flashlight and tongs revealed a small and improbable creature. Eight hollow needle legs, like hypodermics joined with bits of tubing to a bulbous translucent rubber body. It attacked the tongs with fangs that jabbed like lancets and attempted to wrap them in strands of silken gauze. I placed the creature in a steel thermos. eventually the tapping stopped and it fell apart into a pile of medical debris. I could still faintly hear the tapping. The fridge was unplugged, the sky was clear of rain, and Gregory Hines had been dead for years. I followed the sound to the floorboards and decided to instead go around to the door that leads beneath the house.
Normally this would be called a crawlspace but the erosion and the age of the house has turned it into an unofficial cellar where a man can stand if he's under 6'5".  The floors and walls are made of the same sandy soil that makes up the whole coastal town and deep strong beams are sunk into the ground. From time to time communities of cats must be discouraged from holding whatever dark congregations they arrange through the use of traps, chemicals or simply finding and filling in the holes they make. There hadn't been a problem with the local feral felines in nearly a year, perhaps this should have been my first suspicion as I stepped upon the sand and heard a muffled crunch. Kicking the uneven sand revealed the skeleton of a cat, wrapped in its fur. devoid of flesh or fluid and preserved in gauze and the cool dry air beneath the house. I thought briefly of Egypt and their mummified crypt guardians and was about to leave when I saw it, a mound the size of a man. his face smoothed over, wrapped in threads of gauze and silk. Unlike the protagonist of many a horror movie I ran then and there. I knew I could not hear the tapping of the needle spiders on sand and staying home was not an option.
I now knew the location of my erstwhile renter and will be contacting the local police with this information. I will no longer be seeking monetary redress for his late rent. I have however sent you this letter. As a customer of your insurance company I have paid quite an exorbitant amount for your policy regarding loss property value or income due to vermin and other animals after the feral cat incidents over the past few years. I wish for you to please rid my house of this cryptozoological horror post haste as  I have potential renters coming in and I do not wish to have them exsanguinated.
B. Walker

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