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June 11, 2013 / Althir

#124: Density

Tywin Lannister must have the heaviest privy in the seven kingdoms.

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I made the gold ingot with certain measurements. At 19 grams per cubic centimetre it should indeed be around 132 pounds. Despite what the media tell you, gold is an extremely dense material. Imagine Sodoff Baldrick, but shinier. And hopefully less smelly.

For whatever insane reason, I know not myself, an HTC One found its way into my hands. Never had a smartphone before, never thought I’d ever own one, and here I am. Why? Spur of the moment. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Well, no, it didn’t. I knew it was a shitty idea the entire time. Nice bit of kit though, price aside I haven’t a complaint. What price? Well, there’s 24 payments of 27.50€ over two years, 1€ down payment and I had to pay 5€ to get my SIM cut down to Micro SIM size. All in all that makes 666€. Sounds like the kind of thing I’d do, doesn’t it. But no, I only realised that about half an hour after I got the thing.

A few days ago, I got inspired and motivated to write a short story. Interestingly the idea came within hours of purchasing the complete works of H.P. Lovecraft, but before starting to read. Strange, isn’t it.

At the Window

I often sit at the window, looking out to the street. Nothing better to do, really. Sometimes I hear people talk as they walk by. There’s rumours going around. They say people disappear. One or two go amiss a month and turn up again later, dead, rotting, torn asunder and apparently gnawed on. Ghastly rumours. A lot of people dismiss talk of monsters or demons, suggesting a wild animal in the woods instead.
Those are the boring ones. Those who embrace the idea are interesting. And they talk more. According to them, all those who disappeared were last seen walking down this very street. They blame a particular house, claim it haunted. I can actually see the front door of that house from my window. It looks… off. The angles are right and not right, at once straight and askew and everything in between. It hurts my eyes to look at it for too long, and it’s worse at night when the darkness blurs the outlines. There’s never any light coming from the house. People say nobody lives there, but few dare to see if that’s true. Rumour has it, those are the people who disappear.
But I know. The rumours are interesting to listen to, but I know for sure. I know what happens when someone knocks at that door. Yet I always leave my window when it happens. I couldn’t watch it, couldn’t be witness to what happens to those poor bastards. The people aren’t wrong. Those are the people who disappear, they disappear in this street, the house is to blame and they are very dead in the end. Well, okay, the last bit is less rumour than cold, hard fact.
Some days, I sit here so long. Too long. Days come and go and I do not move. I just… I forget the time. Until I see someone coming along to knock on the door. Then I leave. I realise I haven’t eaten for a week, so I have supper, or lunch, or whatever meal would be appropriate for the time of day. When I return to the window, it’s over and soon another name would be added to the list rattled off by those spreading the rumours that aren’t.
I have seen it. Not what it does to people, but the thing itself. Terrible to behold, truly. Recognisably human but yet not, with eyes and arms and mouth and ears, but something, I can not say what, looks so off about it that none could possibly mistake it for an actual man even in complete darkness. I can’t bear imagine what it’d look like doing whatever it does to those people.
Cars drive by, people wander around suddenly quickening their pace until they are past the house, whispering to each other. The street lights turn on, then off again, then on and off once more. In the early morning, I suddenly realise how long I sat as I faintly, under birdsong and a distant car engine, hear a knock. Someone is checking. I get up and look away from the window, away from the door, away from the poor fool who saw fit to come and knock. Famished, I stumble across the hallway. I know there is a mirror in the bathroom. Knowing how long I was without food, I decide to check just how thin I got.
As I look into the mirror, I remember something. My stomach growls, and with what could be seen as a smile I walk to the front door. I open it. “Hello”, I say.

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