Today is a Bad Day, because I have to leave my apartment for a second time after work. I’m an incurable homebody; it’s one of the side effects of living in a situation like this. You’d think it would be the opposite, that I would spend as much time as possible anywhere but here. Believe me, I’d like to. But leaving the apartment means coming back, and that means dealing with Bob twice when I could just stay home and try to pretend he doesn’t exist. Staying out longer after work isn’t a great option either, because I’ve learned the only thing worse than dealing with Bob during the day is dealing with Bob at night.
But today is the building’s AGM, and there’s no avoiding it. Well, I could skip it technically, but if I’m absent everyone is going to think I’ve been eaten and send someone up to check on me. Then I’ll have to fake a cold, which no one will believe because no one ever wants to go to these things. Besides, if we’re not coming we’re suppose to let the super know by email, so no one has to risk their lives to check on anyone, and I’ve completely missed the boat on that.
No, I am going. I sit up on the couch, preparing myself to stand and brave the corridors of this cursed building. The clock on the wall reads 6:37. I still have over twenty minutes. I flop back down again.
The super, Terry, said he would provide muffins at the meeting. I will try to think about muffins for the next twenty minutes, a muffin meditation, if you will.
The muffins will be the grocery store bakery kind. Possibly baked on-site, but this makes little difference to the overall quality. Either way, they will be monstrous things, two or possibly three times the size of a single homemade muffin. They will have a soft, spongy interior with a not-terribly appealing moist and slightly sticky exterior. There will most likely be Things in the muffins, inclusions which can either propel the muffins to near-cupcake levels of culinary delight or render them inedible.
Odds are, we will have a mix of Tolerable to Inedible inclusions. Nuts, blueberries, raisins, the carrot/coconut/candied fruit mix of Morning Glory muffins. But perhaps…just perhaps, we may have chocolate chips, or even a pool of jam hidden in the center of some muffins. Knowing Terry, though, this is fairly unlikely.
Most if not all muffins can be improved by heat, and the application of butter, but this is not likely to be possible either. The best I can hope for is a napkin to keep crumbs off my lap.
It is nearing 6:55. Now I am both hungry and depressed, but I suppose this is better than the state of existential dread I would be in had I spent the last eighteen minutes considering the possibility of being eaten on the way to the meeting. Needless to say, I am not a muffin and I don’t appreciate being treated like one.
I sigh, and go check the peephole in my door. The coast is clear. Of course I knew it would be, because no ruminations on muffins is capable of preventing me from hearing Bob lurch his way down the hallway. But not checking would be a pointless risk and I refuse to engage in pointless risk-taking, even on principle.
There are others in this building who pride themselves on using deductive reasoning and logic to intuit where Bob is likely to be, and don’t check their peephole or the monitors unless they feel they really need to. I suppose they think the smug feeling they get from being right most of the time makes up for getting the living daylights scared out of them every so often. I think it’s idiotic.
I slip out of my apartment and scurry to the monitors beside the elevator. I’m used to feeling like a rabbit caught out in the open whenever I leave my apartment, but that doesn’t make the sensation any more pleasant. Bob is coming up the west stairwell. More to the point, he is not on the ground floor where I intend to exit the elevator, so the coast is clear.
As I enter the elevator, I hear the stairwell door open at the end of the hall, and the familiar rustle of Bob’s feathers as he pushes through.
I frantically stab at the Close Door button, and after a pause that seems to last for an eternity, the elevator door closes and I begin to descend, away from the creature lurking in the same hallway I occupied only moments before.
I double over and release an aggravated sigh.
It’s been ten seconds since the last Bob-related incident. Congratulations everybody. Get back to work.
5 thoughts on “The Monster in my Building: Part Three”
Very intriguing story.
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