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My Acquaintance

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My grandfather was a soldier in WWII, stationed just outside of London. The main barracks he reported to were inside a large building that was once a mental hospital long before. Some time around 1944, he discovered a tattered binder hidden in a tight crevice between two cupboards. Inside were various pictures, medical reports, and illegible documents. However, one item included was a journal, presumably written at least 20 years before by a patient when the hospital was still in operation. He brought this journal back home, and stored it in the attic until just recently. Below is what was written.

Tick Tock Tick Tock... said my acquaintance hanging on the wall. I pondered these words, and took a sip of my evening tea.

“Why yes, I read about the court case; it’s absolute rubbish if you ask me. That man is clearly guilty.”

Tick Tock Tick Tock I responded, “but what would you suggest I do about it?” Tick Tock Tick Tock...”Interesting... But what if I am spotted?” Tick Tock Tick Tock “You’re right... only a madman would stop a noble deed such as this. Very well... just a moment.” I stood up and retreated down the narrow hall to my study.

I stepped into the darkened room, and held a lantern above my head. Along the walls hung the entire array of my gentleman's’ appliances, which reflected the light of the flame in glittery beauty. Some were a tad sharp and others rather heavy and blunt, but their appeal struck my heart with no discrimination. My acquaintance had once suggested several of my tools outlived their usefulness, but I simply responded,

“What is an artist with only a few colors of paint?” My acquaintance understood. As I scanned the room, memories and emotions began to overwhelm me; I was a very seasoned man in my vocation, yet each time I entered this room was like my first. I pondered,

“For a creature as evil as I will face tonight, which instrument shall perform the job best?” I glanced over an assortment of swords, hatchets, rusted metals, chains, locks, hammers, and other glorious mechanisms.

Just then, I heard a voice. Though rather faint, my acquaintance called from the lounge. Tick Tock Tick Tock I grew rather upset, but reluctantly agreed to what he had suggested.

“Yes, I suppose I could let you deal with the beast this time,” I paused, “But I insist I am the one to retrieve it.” My acquaintance agreed. I grabbed a rope hung aside the cutlery, and returned to the lounge.

“I shall return before dawn,” I said to my acquaintance. “I suppose you will wait here as usual?” Tick Tock Tick Tock I wasn't surprised by his answer. “As I imagined.” I put on my brown coat & hat, and exited into the quiet streets.

I had been walking for how long now? A few seconds? A minute? An hour? Given what I do for a living, It’s a bit odd how easily I lose track of time. Regardless, I continued my stroll through the foggy streets in search of my destination.

“Oh dear, I’m afraid I may have forgotten the address,” I thought to myself. A bit perplexed, I stopped in my tracks, and scanned the darkened streets and buildings around me. “Perhaps my acquaintance followed to check my progress,” I hoped. Off to the distance across a bridge, stood a glorious palace-looking building with a large tower. To my delight, my acquaintance was positioned right at the top. Tick Tock Tick Tock “Ah, it’s good to see you my friend. It’s quite a relief you are here.” Tick Tock Tick Tock “Flat 307, you say? Splendid. I will see you back at the estate soon.”

With the help of my acquaintance, I found my destination. Just as all of the other homes lined along the street, the building was shrouded in complete darkness, and the air was still.

“I suppose it’d be rather rude to enter through the front door at this hour,” I thought to myself. “The fire escape shall be much more appropriate.” As quietly as I could, I scaled the fire escape to the highest floor. My acquaintance had always said he helped many liars and cheaters progress to the top, though he didn’t always mean to do so. As I arrived to the peak, I tactfully opened the window without making the slightest noise, and crept into the open door way. Silently, I moved down the shadowy hall to a door at the end which read, “307.” I grasped the door knob and to my pleasure, it was unlocked. “wonderful,” I whispered under my breath. As stealthily as I could, I entered the dim flat.

I could hear the sounds of the beast just a room away. My blood began to rush; just as it always does before I carry out my job. I entered the bedroom of the beast, and stood over its bed and stared. For a few seconds? Minutes? Hours? I hadn't known. “It truly is a nasty fiend,” I thought to myself.

“My acquaintance will be quite pleased once I return.” With a swift movement, I jumped on to the evil creature and fixed my grip around its neck like a vice.

It threw a tantrum, swinging its limbs back and forth. “I need to be ever so careful,” I thought to myself, “my acquaintance would be rather upset if I ended this creature's life before he intended.” After a short struggle, its limbs calmed and it grew silent. Just I had done many times before, I hogtied the beast using the rope in the most elegant of ways, and carried it back to the estate through the dark alleyways.

Tick Tock Tick Tock “Why thank you, I take pride in my work...shall I put him with the others?” Tick Tock Tick Tock “As you say...” I carried the beast to the threshold of the heavy metal door next to the study, and carried the creature down a long flight of stairs into a room of concrete and iron. Ten massive metal cages lined around, each displaying any number of rodents, bones, and tired looking creatures. The other beasts noticed I entered, and began to whine.

“Please, let me out! I haven’t eaten in days!” a tired voice of a sickly figure moaned.

“You’re a sick monster!” cried another, as he struggled to find room to breathe in his metal collar. I acknowledged a few other cries, but their pleas for help were far too weak to understand. I addressed them, “Please lower your voices friends. We have a new guest! I expect you to be most polite!” I carried the beast to the last empty cage, untied him, and fastened his neck to a collar chained to the wall.

I locked the heavy iron cage and pulled up a chair just outside the bars and waited patiently for him to wake up. Minutes? Hours? A day? I didn't know. Suddenly, he started to regain consciousness, and felt the heavy lock around his neck. His body reanimated rapidly.

“What the hell is going on here!? Where am I!?” I watched silently. He roared and thrashed around in the cell. “I’ll kill you! You’re a dead man!” he bellowed. I waited an unknown amount of time for his tantrum to settle, and then I spoke up. “I’m terribly sorry for the inconvenience.

As much as I’d enjoy correcting you myself, my acquaintance has taken a personal interest in you.” He thrashed around again until he grew tired. Exhausted, he finally settled and asked hopelessly, “How long will I be here?” I stood up and walked back the way I had come. As I got to the heavy metal door atop the stairs, I turned and responded to him,

“That is a question you must ask my acquaintance!” He looked puzzled. “But I warn you, he has never gone back on his word!”

The cries for help grew silent as I closed the heavy metal door.

Tick Tock Tick Tock



Credited to PopsMackerel 

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