Welcome Mat

May 1, 2012 § 2 Comments

As of late, I have grown particularly obsessed with the space underneath my refrigerator. The gap is approximately three and one half inch and seems to serve absolutely no imaginable purpose whatsoever. On cooler afternoons in spring, I lay on the cheaply tiled floor of the kitchen, my cheek pressed against the cold linoleum, and stare into the unused space for hours on end, trying to find some semblance of reason for its existence. Frequently I am there for days, forgetting to sleep or eat before smirking at the irony of starving to death in front of my own fridge. There are occasions where my mind plays tricks on me, and I believe to see the faintest shadow of a mythological creature collecting crumbs for a dinner party. Sometimes I roll small marbles into the dark and uninviting separation, listening to them click against the dusty baseboards. Sometimes they don’t click at all. Sometimes they roll back to me covered in a fine mire that smells like hope.

After months of curiosity, I write the word hello on a small piece of paper and slide it into the hungering penumbra that tempts me so. Days pass with no response and I soon grow weary of such games. I leave the flat for a few hours to run some errands and, upon returning, find a note stuck to my front door. It reads DO NOT DISTURB in large aggravated letters. I cautiously jiggle the knob but the door appears to be barricaded shut from the inside. Sitting on the floor of the hallway, I begin writing various apology notes to slip beneath the entry way. Soon all the paper I can scrounge is consumed, and I start writing on small bits of food from the pile of groceries at my side. Days later I move on to torn sections of clothing. Receiving no response after an undiscernable number of weeks, I resort to sliding mutilated pieces of skin with the word sorry poorly carved by fingernail. My pleas for forgiveness are neither responded to nor returned, and the faintest sounds of laughter taunt me from within the apartment. Having sacrificed the majority of my corporeal form, I lay down at the foot of the door, curling into a fetal position and hoping the next tenant will have better luck than myself.

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§ 2 Responses to Welcome Mat

  • Oh, I love this!

    To my mind, this is what flash fiction is really good for: strange little tales that grab the imagination and leave enough unanswered questions that you want to know more by the time they’re finished.

    Such a weird story – and that’s definitely a good thing!

    x

  • Eric says:

    I enjoyed this story and the whole thing was creepy and unsettling. I liked it.

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