I’m an idiot. I got fed up with my neighbors, who would smoke pretty much every day, stink up the place. I kept complaining but all the landlord ever did was just politely ask them to not do that. To which they would always say, “Yeah, whatever, we’ll stop.” But they never stopped.
Now, you might be wondering why I haven’t called the cops. Turns out where I live, (I just moved here) you have to have more than an ounce to even show up on the cops’ radar. There’s really no law about toking up in your own home.
So given my options, I just waited until my lease was up, and left. Now, I could have complained, saying they were breaking the rules of their lease by smoking every day, but that would have taken some time. And in addition to being an idiot, I’m also pretty much a pussy. So I just sucked it up and dealt with it.
But I moved out kind of hastily. I mean I got a truck, but the longer in lived in that pothouse I kept getting angrier and angrier. So when I packed my stuff, I didn’t really do a very thorough job. I took most of my stuff, but one thing I left behind is something I simply cannot do without.
See, I thought it came with the apartment, but it didn’t. It was mine. And I wasn’t about to go back and show my face around there again. On the other hand, I didn’t really feel like shelling out for a new one, as that would be a reminder of what a fucking dipshit I am. So I did the next best thing.
Yep, I took some time (about an hour) and found one for only ten bucks. I mean, all it has to do is make the microwave popcorn pop, and make the frozen pizzas come out hot and gooey, right? But the guy I bought it from was this old guy. He looked at me funny when I showed up. Like he didn’t trust me or anything. He even wanted to take a picture of me holding the microwave, before I put it in the back of my truck.
By the time I got home, though, I had forgotten all about that old goof. (Who kind of reminded me of the guy on Back To The Future, but much angrier). This was the most powerful microwave I’d ever had! It nuked up a whole bag of popcorn in twenty seconds. I mean as soon as I hit “go” it started popping. Not like in the beginning part, when there’s only one or two pops per second. I mean it goes straight to the money part when they’re all popping at once.
And pizzas are AWESOME. Here’s the way I usually eat them. I put one in for three minutes. Then let it cool. Then while I’m eating that one, I start the next one. It’s like a perfect pattern of pizza consumption.
But the new microwave blasts through those cheesy slices of love in TEN SECONDS! Seriously. Which means I had to kind of change up my eating routine. Now I cook like five at one, let them all cool, then fire up Netflix. It’s like having my own pizza buffet right in front of me.
But then something happened.
You know those screen things on the front, that’s supposed to keep that radiation or whatever from going into your brain? Mine doesn’t have that. But the glass is really thick, so I figured it would be OK. But I started to feel a little differently. Not a lot at first, but I noticed some changes.
Like I wasn’t eating as much. Before, I could eat five, six, pizzas in one sitting. Now it’s only one and done. Even popcorn doesn’t taste so good any more. And I used to watch like four or five movies a day on Netflix, but I started watching documentaries. And I started reading blogs while watching. Not some goofball picture blogs, but ones with these long, in depth descriptions of world events. I was eating them up. I mean I couldn’t get enough.
But then it got weirder. I’d be out in public, waiting at the corner for the light to change, and I could start to predict what people were going to do before they did it. Like once I was watching this lady walking toward me, and I just knew she was going to stop and turn around. And a couple seconds later, she stopped and turned around.
This next part is even weirder. You know how you wake up in the middle of the night, and get something to drink from the fridge? Or like you’re sort of hungry, and you just stand in front of your open fridge and stare into it? Like there’s this double cheeseburger hidden in there somewhere?
I’m doing that a lot. Only I wake up, and I have this weird craving. I don’t know what it was at first. But drinking something didn’t get rid of it. Eating something didn’t get rid of it. The only thing that got rid of it was turning on the microwave and just standing in front of it.
And sometimes? I open the door. And it still works. And it feels really good. It’s like I’ve got this itch in my brain, and when I open the door and push “start” it feels like I’m scratching it. Like when you have this itch, and you scratch it, it feels really good.
But something else has started happening, and I’m not really sure what it means. When I’m out in public, I started to see these people. They sort of looked normal people, but they were different. They only wore black. Mostly older men and women. The men would wear these big hats with wide flat brims. The women would wear these old fashioned bonnets.
And they would just stare at me. They didn’t seem angry, but they didn’t seem happy. I guess the best way to describe them would be disappointed. Like I’d done something wrong. Like if you were a kid, and you broke something really important. And your mom looked at you, but didn’t say anything. But you knew what it meant. Dad would be home soon and you were going to get a beat down.
But pretty soon, I started to see more of them. At first, there was maybe one or two. But now, when I go outside, they’re everywhere. They’re never walking. Only standing. Watching. Like they know where I’m going to be before I get there.
I tried talking to them, but they just keep staring. And last week they started showing up in my apartment. I wake up in the middle of the night, and there are two or three people in my room, just standing there. Looking at me. When I walk towards them, they actually move to get out of the way.
And can hear them. They aren’t hallucinations, because I can hear them breathing. See them taking breaths. Hear them walking as I move through my apartment. Normally they just stand there, but if I suddenly get up and rush one, he or she quickly moves to the side.
And right now, as I’m sitting here writing this, there are two of them right next to me. They aren’t watching what I’m writing. They are watching my face as I write this. And it’s driving me insane. I don’t know when I’m going to break, but it is going to be soon.
But here’s the really creepy part. I don’t think they just showed up. I think my brain has been altered somehow. I can’t explain it, but I think they were always there. And they are angry I can see the. They are angry I know about them.
And now, so do you. Which means you’ll start seeing them do.
But don’t worry. They won’t do anything. They just watch. Like they are watching you right now. Maybe next to you. Maybe behind you. Maybe in your bedroom as you sleep.
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A boomtown on the edge of economic liftoff. An evil lawyer with inescapably psychotic power. When Marcus Canfield, an underachieving bartender realizes his gift has been reawakened, only to have the girl of his dreams snatched away, he knows he must stop the horrific threat to both her and the entire United States before it's too late.