Dark and empty

It was drizzling the whole day. And it was dark, when he came home. He was drunk, like he almost always was since his wife Kate had left him. Now he was alone in his big, empty flat. There was nobody he could speak to. There was nobody who cared for him, who would ask him, how his day was or how he felt.  He sat down in the living room and opened a bottle of red wine. He poured the wine into a glass and put his feet onto the table. He sipped from the glass. He knew he had to drink a little bit more to sleep well. With his left hand he turned on the TV. He fetched the remote control and zapped through the diffrent channels. It was boring; they were talking about politics on one channel and there was a talk show on the other. A documentation about some animals in Africa caught his interest for a short time.

He got tired. He left the bottle – half-empty – on the table, took off his clothes and went into the bedroom without washing, or brushing his teeth. He fell into a deep and dreamless sleep.

He didn’t know how long he had slept. He woke up from a loud noise. He didn’t know where it came from. He didn’t even know, whether there was a noise at all. Half asleep he looked at the watch on his bedside table. It was half past twelve. His flat was one of two in the house. The other flat was empty and so he was alone in the house. He considered what to do. Perhaps there was no noise. Bam bam bam. There it was again. It seemed like steps in the staircase he heard. He had no gun or any other weapon in his flat. He sat there on his bed, frightened and not knowing what to do. Again, he heard that noise from outside, perhaps from the cellar. Should he look outside to see what was going on?

He decided to look into the staircase and the cellar. Slowly, he put on his trousers and his shirt. He heard the sound again, as if someone were walking through the house. He felt great fear. He carefully opened the door and with a glimpse at the staircase, he saw that there was nobody. Slowly, step by step, he went to the cellar. He couldn’t see the large brown parcel he had put there the day before in the dark and fell over it. He was lying on the floor, trying to get back onto his feet again. He felt for the light switch to find it in the dark. Ah, there it was. He turned on the light. At that moment, he heard the door slammed shut. How could that happen, all windows and doors were closed. He felt his pocket for the key and took it out. He went upstairs and opened the door to his flat. As he went to the living room he saw that the door to the patio was open. But no-one was in the flat or outside. After he closed the door, he considered calling the police. But what should he tell them? There had been some noises in the staircase, or the door to the patio was open? He took off his clothes, went back to his bed, pulled the blanket over his head and soon fell asleep.

The next morning, he woke up with a headache. He felt really awful. He was thinking about the night before and the dream he had had. But then, was it a dream or was it true? The fear was still working on his mind.


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