The Neighbour

The Neighbour by Chris Barraclough, Humour/Mystery, 2,000 words

After a traumatic confrontation with a mugger, the nameless protagonist finds himself suffering from agoraphobia. Unable to leave his apartment, and tormented by a noisy neighbour, he soon discovers that his possessions are going missing...

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6. Awakening

 

Now it’s evening again. Almost everything has gone, even the shattered remains of the vase. My bed is the last thing remaining. I lay spread across my ruined mattress and pull the pillow over my face and try to block out the endless tirade of Cliff.

Too much. My brain bursts, an excruciating heat filling my skull and almost popping my eyeballs clean out of the sockets. I throw back the deadbolts and my naked form stumbles out into the hallway, expelling sprays of sweat and a vicious stream of curses. I crush my palms against the wall, side-stepping away from my room and towards my neighbour’s door. My eyes are squeezed shut. My forehead scrapes along the rough wallpaper, leaving a dripping smear like a snail trail. I think I’m whimpering, but I’m not certain. I’m too busy counting each and every step, shouting and screaming the numbers in my head to block out Cliff. After just a few paces, my stomach is convulsing so bad that I’m sure it’ll lurch up my throat and squeeze out between my lips. My eyes snap open and those familiar black bubbles dance across my vision, bursting and melting right there on my corneas. I want to scream but my lungs are deflated. Already my limbs are turning numb, jerking me along until my outstretched fingers nudge something solid. Creeping closer, my hand grips the doorframe and then slides across the door itself, searching for the handle. There, cold and slippery in my grasp! Somehow I twist it and the door caves in and I plunge after it, collapsing to the floor of my neighbour’s flat. My head rises so I can see into the room, resting my eyes upon the domain of my torturer. A startled cry is all I manage. There is no room - only a bright white light, and the sound of my mother's voice, breaking apart with sorrow. An invisible hand wraps around mine, squeezing gently. The music is still playing as the light consumes me, and my head drops to the velvet touch of the floor and an exhausted smile crosses my lips.

The End

 

For more stories and ebooks, check out www.chrisbarraclough.co.uk. You can also read my full-length novella 'Desperation' here on Movellas.com. Thanks for reading!

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