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Radiator's Miscommunication

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Lucas recently moved into a new apartment in the slums of New York City. The building, as you can imagine, looked dreadful. A normal person from the outside would wonder how anyone could live in this building. It smelled like carcasses, and the painting looked like it was done seventy years ago and was never touched again. The strangest thing about this building was that, despite the fact that the rent was low, very few people, beside the very desperate, even approached the place.

Lucas went inside the building and finally met the superintendent; that was when he introduced him into his "wonderful" home. One look at the mess of a man before him and he instantly realized how the building ended up in such a state. He smelled, he had bags under his eyes, and he emitted a disconcerting aura. The radiators were old and visibly rusty, and both had dried red stains. Lucas shrugged, quickly started taking out his clothes from the boxes, and officially declared it his home.

It was December. Snow covered the streets and cars. It was the first time the ugliness was masked with nothingness. That was when the radiator kicked in and helped Lucas through the cold. The next day both the radiators were on. He tried turning one off but the knobs were stuck. He decided to ignore it and went to sleep.

The radiators were getting louder and louder as Lucas tossed and turned to find a comfortable spot on the mattress. The sounds of the radiators were relentless and the unbearable heat made Lucas's skin slippery. His pillow absorbed the majority of sweat he produced. He felt trapped in a microwave. Lucas finally awoke at 1:00 am to the uproar. It had started popping and Lucas couldn't sleep. He was feeling drowsy until he heard an eerie and unpleasant noise coming from the radiators. Along with the metallic sounds he thought he heard the word, "Leave." He could feel his heart beating through his chest as he blocked everything out to hear those radiators again. Again through the cackling noises he had heard the word, "Leave." It sounded like a menacing, malfunctioning robot trying to speak along the stops and chirps of the radiator's loud sounds. He confirmed his suspicion as the atmosphere turned life-threatening.

He felt as if the radiators had synchronized metallic sounds to make a clear word. Lucas hid under the covers and attempted helplessly to ignore it. He was so sure that they had spoken that he didn't dare take the covers off and look directly to the devil's instruments. The uproar of noises kept getting louder, the room was boiling and Lucas was sweating like a frog under the covers. He was wheezing, feeling like he was trapped in a metal coffin, heated by a roaring flame below. It was like getting cooked alive. Lucas wanted so badly to stick his head out of the covers and breathe, but he was too scared to expose his body. He stayed in this veritable hell until morning when the radiators were turned off and he felt safe enough to emerge.

Infuriated, lost and frightened he got out of bed and hurried downstairs to knock on the super's room. After two minutes of waiting and shaking, the super opened the door, looking Lucas up and down, noticing his sweaty shirt. Excitement filled his eyes. Lucas tried to look stern but quickly failed, afraid of the super.

"You have to fix the radiators. They're way too hot and loud. I was almost fucking killed!"

The super stood quiet for a few seconds and let out a deep sigh. "All right, I'll inspect it."

He closed the door and Lucas returned to his home, but would not dare go in the bedroom, feeling like an intruder upon another's property. Finally the super knocked and Lucas quickly got up from his couch and opened the door, where the super was visually bored and bothered. Slowly he walked towards the bedroom while Lucas followed him. The super walked towards the left radiator and squatted, pleased at what he saw. He started caressing the radiator. Lucas was freaked out by this but didn't say a word.

The super smiled and said, "Don't worry, this won't cause you any problems after tonight. I'll fix it." He didn't do anything to it and left, closing the door behind him.

Lucas was enraged. The super obviously didn't do anything to it, but what was he to do? He had no contact with his family, he had no friends, and the other option was to live on the streets, where he would die due to the extreme cold.

Again night fell, and he slept in his living room, the furthest place from the bedroom. He made sure to close the bedroom door and slept on his couch without sheets or a pillow, showing his deep fear of the bedroom once again.

12:00 am. The radiators were on again. Lucas's stomach sank. It was back and he knew it. He could hear the muffled sounds of the rusting metal behind the hot door. The radiators sounded in concert once more to form an agonized scream.

"Why?" They demanded.

Lucas covered his ears as the bedroom door ferociously opened. His home became hell again. He had no sheets, yet he still found it hard to breathe. He felt as if his skin was boiling and melting onto the couch, and that his skin was becoming dry. His heart was beating faster every second, and he was so hot he merely forgot that it was snowing outside. He breathed harder and harder through his mouth. Under those circumstances, he wouldn't dare open his eyes. He was too afraid. He waited there like a beat-up puppy, and these images made him happy. He awaited his fate as the metal noise got louder and the house got hotter.

For the last seconds of his life he decided to open his eyes. His heart stopped as he saw what was in front of him - the dark, impatient face of the Devil staring at his trembling body. He slowly snapped out of it as the Devil's face morphed to what was really there - the super, smiling with a fork and knife, staring at him dead in the eye with hunger.

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