There was only one thing that stuck out to me as being wrong about my new apartment room. There were a few bad tiles at the end of the hall which rustled and squeaked every time I stepped on them. Being that I was the new superintendent I figured I'd just repair them myself instead of getting an outside contractor to do it.
I examined the tiles first just to see what I was getting into and I found out they were completely unsecured from the floor. As soon as I removed the very first tile I noticed a little door of some kind underneath. I continued to remove the rest of the tiles with little trouble and that's when I noticed the indented latch on the door. A layer of caked on dust was stuck on it and I was dumbstruck by the whole finding.
I decided to open it and take a look inside. It was too dark to see most of it but I could make out most of the details. The room was completely empty except for another door on the side and the ladder that went straight down into the room.
You might think I was so curious that I went down the ladder to take a look, but there was no way in hell I was going down there unless I had a very good reason to. At that moment I only wanted to get the floor secured and the door completely covered up.
After I found it that day I called the apartment owner and asked him if he knew about the underground room. He sounded as surprised as I was and he claimed he had no idea it even existed.
The rest of the day was rather uneventful until that night. That night marked the first time I started having those weird dreams of my neighboring tenants. Every single one of these dreams consisted of my tenants in the apartment building, going about their daily lives. There was absolutely nothing else in my dreams besides that and I could recall even the most mundane details of each one. Some of those dreams were particularly disturbing in that they revealed more than I should've known or wanted to see. In one dream I saw the couple in room 102 arguing in their bedroom about whether they should "keep the baby" and in another I saw the man in 107, leaning towards the knife drawer as he cried his heart out. Half of his arms were covered in cuts and some of those were bleeding pretty badly.
The next few nights became the same routine and I was having trouble stomaching it. Yet I didn't want to think too much of it. I figured it was probably just a weird coincidence or some bad brain chemistry.
Then I had another dream of a tenant which involved me. In the dream, I was sitting at the kitchen table and I heard somebody knocking on my door. I got up to see who it was through my peephole and I noticed a man in a catholic uniform. He was standing still, staring at the peephole and he continued knocking.
I didn't recognize him as any of my tenants so I was hesitant about answering the door. So I just stood there for a few moments and stared through the peephole. Then I thought about what I was doing, or rather what I wasn't doing and I realized how stupid it would be for me to not answer the door. I unlocked the door and swung it open but I woke up right before I saw the man.
I thought about that dream throughout the day and I couldn't help but wonder about the past events. I had not even the slightest idea as to the purpose of the underground rooms underneath my own nor the cause of the recent dreams I had been having.
Later that night I was sitting in the kitchen eating dinner when I heard somebody knocking on my front door. I got up to see who it was and it felt like a ton of bricks fell over me. I could hardly stand and the blood rushed through me.
The man standing at my door, whom I could see through the peephole, was the same man as I had seen in my prior dream. It was the man in the catholic clothing and I felt just like I did before but ten times worse. Yet again I stood there staring out the peephole and I mentally refused to open the door for a few moments. Then there was no waiting any longer, as I knew I was the superintendent and if anybody had an inquiry I needed to heed their call. So I opened the door and asked the man what he needed.
"May I come in?" he asked. "We need to talk."
I ushered him into my kitchen and we sat on opposite sides of each other. There was a moment of silence and then he continued.
"You haven't met me yet but I live in room 109, at the end of the hall. I came here because I know what you've seen in the past few days and I'd like to offer you a job of sorts."
I just stared at him blankly and I wasn't entirely sure what he was referring to. A tinge of fear struck through me though as I recalled the dreams and the underground rooms. I could only imagine where this was going.
"What are you talking about?" I asked.
He had a slight smile now and he hadn't moved an inch from when he sat down. His eyes never strayed from my mine and it was like he was staring through my soul. He leaned in closely towards me and the table before he continued.
"I know about the rooms underneath your apartment. I also know about those dreams regarding the various tenants and I can describe one of them to prove it to you."
My stomach dropped and my mouth was ajar. I stared at him with wide eyes just as he stared at me with that slight smile. I started shaking and I felt the urge to try to run. Something compelled me to stay where I was at though. So I just sat there and listened.
"You remember that cutter in room 107 don't you? He was crying and clutching that knife of his."
The final realization struck me like a ton of bricks. It was true that he was aware of what had been going on but I didn't know how he knew. I was worried about his potential involvement and what he might try to do in the future.
"So you know of everything, how?"
He leaned in closer.
"You're one of us now. You're one with the walls. That's why you can see the other tenants in your dreams and that's why you're going to do this job for us."
I was shaking profusely and sweat beads were forming all over my skin.
"What Job?" I asked.
"You're going to mark somebody for us using a special vial. Then we'll take care of that somebody and in return we'll give you eternal power over the entire apartment."
I gulped down some air and shook my head wildly from side to side. Sweat covered my clothes and that desire of escape came back tenfold. Only this time I was getting the feeling he was far more of a threat than I realized before. So I stayed in that chair but he got up from his. He returned to the front door and he was just about to open it when he said something else.
"In the mean time we'll prepare the vial and you can just wait until the moment is ready. Don't try to run though, or else we'll drown your fucking screams and bury you at the bottom of the walls."
He opened the door then and walked out. I was left there as a shambling mess, shaking in my own sweat, and tears falling down my cheeks. I kept mumbling, "No, this can't be real. This can't be real."
I stayed there in that room for the rest of the day and I didn't open the door for anybody. I didn't answer any calls and I didn't even call the police. How could I? How would they understand what he told me and what could they even do?
I fell asleep later that night and I had another dream about that man from 107. He was audibly crying but this time he was lying under the covers in his bedroom. I noticed a pill bottle not too far from his side and several pills had been spilled out all over the blanket. His cries were getting quieter and his facial expressions were becoming more lax. Eventually his cries went silent and his eyes were closed as he lied perfectly still in the bed.
Then something else woke me up. It sounded like somebody was calling my name from the living room and I jolted out of my bed. I stumbled towards the light switch and I went out into the hall. That's when I saw the man from 109 at the end in the living room. His head and upper body were somehow suspended from the ceiling and he was upside down. His eyes were looking directly at me and he continued to call my name.
I walked into the living and looked up at the ceiling where the man was hanging from. His whole body beneath the waist was infused with it. It wasn't even clear when his skin ended and the ceiling continued. It was like he was one with it.
He had his arm up and he was holing a small glass vial of red liquid. It wasn't marked and I had no idea of the contents.
"I know you saw him try to kill himself with those sleeping pills but he's still alive. He won't be for very long though and we need him alive as he's the most emotionally venerable person we have available to us. Take this vial and use it to subdue him. He doesn't have to consume the liquid. You only need to pour it over him. After that we'll take care of him."
I did the unthinkable then but I was afraid of the consequences. I took the vial and got prepared to sneak into 107. It was in the early morning hours and everyone was asleep. It was the perfect time to pull something like this off but I could only hope that I didn't wake somebody up before then. So I had to carefully and slowly make my way into room 107. Once inside everything was so simple. I just walked to the man's bedroom just as carefully as I did before and he was still in the same position as he was in my dream. Even the sleeping pills were still on the bed.
I walked over to his side and I held the vial in my hand as he stared down at him. When I was ready I did just as instructed and poured the vial on the man. The entirety of the contents poured over his head and remained as still as before.
Then I heard the sound of stretching and when I turned I could see those things forming in the ceiling. The first being the man from 107, as he hung upside down with his waist attached to the ceiling and the rest of them just looked like human faces with their skin infused with the surface. All of their eyes were looking at me and the man from 109 began speaking to me.
"You've prepared the offering to the labyrinth and now we'll finish it."
I didn't turn back around or stay to see what would happen. I just ran back to my room and hoped to god nobody would ever know. I had to hope that I would never have to face damnation for what I had done.
I returned to my own bed but I didn't fall asleep again. I stayed in that bed for what must have been an hour, or perhaps two. That's when the screams started and it only took me a few moments before realizing they came from those secret rooms underneath my floor.