What a Crappy Day
"I wish I hadn't slipped off my shoes." Blair Rothe thought to herself, not for the last time, as she stood frozen in the middle of hallway. She looked down at her feet and wiggled her bare toes in the shaggy red carpet. The bottoms and edges of her feet had already began to stain with the ashy dirt from the observation deck outside. "And they'll be even dirtier once I get outside. That is, if I can even run fast enough without shoes to get outside." Her thoughts came to her fuzzy and distant. "Paul always said I had cute little feet."
Blair was a tiny little thing at five foot two inches tall. Her thick, blonde hair barely draped over her shoulders but brushing it was always a pain and she was looking forward to having it cut short next week. With blue eyes, fair skin, and a nice figure, Blair had been very popular at college. And after breaking up with Paul last Wednesday, she was enjoying being very popular at the party tonight too. Until all this other crap started happening.
Her dirty feet made her wonder about her hands now. Without looking up, she held her hands out, covering the view of her feet. Quickly, she flipped her hands palms up and palms down a few times, inspecting them for grime. "No dirty fingers so far." She thought, "And the pink nail polish still looks great."
The sound of crunching plaster reminded her of her situation. Still not looking up, trying to steal just a few more moments of a smaller world that made sense, Blair used her hands to smooth and straighten her long pink jacket and short white dress. She noticed she had missed a spot shaving on the inside of her right calf and pursed her lips into a pout, just one more thing to ruin this day. The tan she had gotten while in Key West was nearly gone too, she hated her pale skin. "Why can't I have lovely olive skin like Emmanuelle Chriqui?" She heard more cracking and crumbling plaster and knew that she was dangerously overstaying her time in Blair's Bubble.
"Alright, baby steps." She told herself. She slowly began to raise her head while facing only to the left. She still wasn't ready to look at where the noise was coming from. She'd already seen it once and hoped that it would appear... different next time.
The Victorian wallpaper was red with the same floral design repeated over and over again on the diagonal. No door, no switches, no hanging lights or sconces, and no furniture. Just a dirty, stained wall covered in ancient wallpaper.
Disappointed she reminded herself, "Baby steps, Blair! Baby steps!"
Blair slowly swung her head down before raising it again, this time to the right. This side was decorated with the same ugly wallpaper but a mirror hung from the wall. She could only see the top of her head, the mirror was hung for someone taller than herself. And that was it, nothing else and certainly nothing useful.
She was down to two options, turn around and go back or figure out how to move forward. Some of the things behind her might be more frightening than what was before her now. And she knew the stairs weren't back that way. No, she had to go forward if she wanted to escape.
Blair looked at her feet again and wiggled her toes nervously. "They were really pretty shoes too!"
The thing in front of her banged hard on the wall twice, quickly and she cringed. The banging was followed up by more crunching and crumbling plaster. She knew it was time to face what stood no more than twenty feet before her.
She tried to keep her breathing calm and even as she raised her head, eye's closed for the time being. When her head was level, she opened her eyes and hoped again that she hadn't seen what she thought she had. Unfortunately, her eyes had not deceived her.
Her heart began to beat faster as her safe little bubble was popped, falling away to the floor in soapy droplets of delusion. What she saw, on the surface, was nearly normal. An almost everyday image of life. Yet it was incredibly peculiar and disgusting, so as to make you wonder how you ever could have mistaken it for something mundane. Blair swallowed hard as she tried to absorb what was happening, to make sense of it.
The old man wore a black suit with a white shirt and orange tie. He was about the same height as Blair but his frame was slight and bony, nothing to be afraid of if it were standing in front of you at the checkout line. He was bald on top and only wispy stragglers held on at the edges of his scalp and large liver spots speckled his shiny head.
He was facing the wall to Blair's right so she could just make out some of his profile. The front of his suit was coated in white plaster dust. He had a scowl that portrayed extreme disgust and rage. His disturbing eyes were cloudy, white orbs that stared into nothing, he was obviously blind. It looked as though he must be missing all his teeth on each side from the premolars back, leaving him with only his canines and incisors in the front. Maybe most disturbing of all was the thick, black spittle that oozed from the corners of his mouth and down the sides of his neck.
The angry old man plunged a fist hard into the wall near the hole he had been tearing through and pulled back a small handful of plaster with tiny remnants of wallpaper stuck to it. He crammed the material into his mouth and the plaster turned to a paste. The white paste mixed with the black spit and covered his chin and throat. Black and white streaks soaked the front of his white shirt. In some places, scraps of gold and red paper adhered to the thick sludge.
Blair felt her stomach rumble with displeasure and she wondered if she would be sick. It almost seemed as if the old man had heard her sour tummy as well; he stopped masticating the bits of wall and turned his head to the right, quietly listening, intent. His face filled with rage and desperation. He raised his chin a little, eyes widening, then the old man gently sniffed at the air.
Scrap Author: Ty Rucker
Added by Ty Rucker for House of Possession