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The Leaky Ceiling

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Author's note: This is an OC I wrote today after our ceiling started leaking during a rainstorm. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. --Indigoice

I had grown tired of living in the city. The bustling streets and nonstop activity, day and night, had grown old for me. Not to mention that I was quite a drive away from my family, so visiting them proved to be a chore.

I had begun looking online for another place to live. I had grown up in the country, so I was hoping to find a place somewhere suburban; close enough to the city as not be that far of a drive for my commute to work, but one that also had the familiarity of rural life that I loved so much as a child.

After a couple of pages of searching, I found the perfect house for rent. The rent was unusually low and I was surprised that no other prospective renters had taken the landlord up on the offer. It was suspicious, but lucrative. It was small and looked cozy, and best of all, it was a nearly equal distance from my hometown and the city. I decided to call the landlord up and set up an appointment. When I called, a friendly man answered the phone. He seemed eager to be renting the home, and we decided to meet the next day for a walk-through.

I met the man up at the house early the next morning. His truck was already parked in the driveway. He was a rather large man in many ways; he had a tall stocky build. Bushy eyebrows sat atop two brown eyes. He looked rather intimidating at first, but then he smiled at me and shook my hand, and pleasantly motioned me indoors. Inside, there was a rather spacious living room. It was adorned with tacky old flower wallpaper. I was surprised to see that the kitchen was also rather large, and had a newer looking stove and an old refrigerator. There was a small door that had an area for a washer and dryer, which were both already there. Down a hallway was a small bedroom, also adorned with the same wallpaper as the living room, and across the hall from that was a small bathroom and beside it, a linen closet.

Although the house was exactly what I had been looking for, something just didn't seem right about it all. I didn't know how to describe it. It was already stocked with appliances and still, the landlord was asking for a rather low amount of rent considering the amenities. When I questioned the man about this, he simply stated that he had quite a bit of money and other homes he was renting, so making sure that his homes were looked after by people he could trust was more profitable to him than charging a large amount of money.

The man's explanation was reasonable enough. I decided that this was the place that I wanted to live at, and with that, I began signing papers and within two weeks time, I was completely moved in.

After getting everything set up the way I wanted, I had a small party and invited my family and friends over to see my new place. It felt so much cozier than my old apartment, I was saving much more money and I was closer to my family. I quickly grew to love my new home.

Towards the end of the night, a small storm had begun outside. Thunder could be heard gently rumbling in the distance as a small drizzle had begun... The last of my friends decided to leave before the storm got too bad. I saw them to the door, thanked them for coming, and waved goodbye.

I stood in the doorway, mesmerized by flashes of lightning in the sky and the sound of trees swaying in the wind. Despite my wonder at the marvels of nature, I heard a small sound behind me.

Pat. Pat. Pat. Pat.

The sound repeated itself in a rhythmic pattern. Upon turning around, I realized the source of the sound. Tiny drops of water were slowly dripping from a faint, faded brownish orange spot I hadn't noticed in the ceiling of the living room before.

I could feel my face contort to a frown. I knew there was a reason the rent was so low. Nonetheless, I shrugged this off as a minor annoyance and went to the laundry room in the kitchen to get a bucket. When I walked in the kitchen, I heard a familiar sound.

Pat. Pat. Pat. Pat.

There was another leak in the kitchen as well. Tiny droplets splashed as they hit the linoleum floor of the kitchen. I sighed in frustration. I got a large bowl from the kitchen cabinet and placed it under the leaking spot in the ceiling, and took the bucket into the living room. By the time I had gotten back, there were now two spots in the living room.

Leaky ceiling

I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The landlord was in for an earful from me in the morning. I got another big bowl from my cupboard to collect the rainwater from the third leak. Fortunately the drops were slow and steady, so the leak wasn't bad. Nonetheless, I was infuriated that the landlord left out such a major detail.

I went to the bathroom and heard the same sound across the hall. I rushed in my bedroom to find a small wet mark on the carpet, and watched the drops slowly fall from the ceiling. I took the lining out of the small plastic waste bin in my room and placed it under the leak. Four leaks. This was ridiculous. The storm passed and the dripping slowed and eventually stopped. I went to bed with a scowl on my face.

The next morning, I called the landlord, and he apologized for forgetting to mention that "minor detail" while he was giving me the tour. He told me that he would knock off a whole month's rent for the inconvenience, and that when he got back from his vacation in Mexico in a month, that he would stop by and take care of the problem.

Still irritated, but much calmer, I accepted his offer and hung up the phone. I figured that I only had to deal with this minor inconvenience for a month, and only when it rained. Everything else was fine, so I decided to just put up with it until the leak could be fixed.

The next couple of days were bright and sunny and went off without a hitch. However, when Thursday rolled around, the clouds in the sky were large and dark. I prepared for the oncoming leaking by going to the local dollar store and purchasing four buckets. I strategically placed each bucket under each part of the ceiling where there had been leaks last time.

Finally, the rain came, and with it the leaks. I was sitting on the couch in the living room, watching my favorite TV show after a long day of work, when I noticed something strange. Water dropped into the kitchen bucket, as well as one of the living room buckets, but the other remained completely dry.

I was perplexed but also relieved that one of the spots wasn't leaking anymore. I didn't think much of it until I had to go the bathroom. As I went down the darkened hallway, I heard a familiar sound on the bathroom floor.

Pat. Pat. Pat. Pat.

I walked in and turned on the light to see drops of water hitting the tiled floor. Frustrated, I ran to the living room to grab the dry bucket and placed it under this new leak. I did my business, and returned to the couch. It was then that it hit me: One leak had sealed itself, and another had begun. I didn't think much about this at the time, and simply chalked the matter up to coincidence. The night wore on, and the dry spot in the living room never leaked once. The storm was fading, and I decided to get some sleep. I was surprised how the sound of the drops falling in the bucket in such a melodic way helped put me to sleep quicker.

I awoke the next day ready and prepared for my long day at work. I was happy it was the weekend though. I emptied the buckets from the night before and headed outside. It was a dismal gray day, and I knew to expect rain.

After a boring day at the office, I headed home in the now pouring rain. Thunder boomed in the sky and lightning flashed violently. This was a really bad storm, and I was worried about the leaks.

When I got home, I immediately noticed that both the leaks in the living room were dripping, quicker than they were before due to the intensity of the storm. I ran to the kitchen to get a bowl to put under the second leak in the living room that I thought was sealed. The kitchen leak was also dripping furiously.

After placing the bowl on the wet carpet to catch the remainder of the rain, I decided to check on the bathroom and bedroom leaks. I heard dripping in the hallway coming from the bathroom. I turned on the light to reveal a bucket about half full of water.

I then turned around and walked in my silent bedroom. I turned on the light to reveal a bucket that was bone dry.

I sat on the edge of my bed staring into the dry bucket collecting my thoughts. The first time it rained, the bathroom didn't leak. Then the living room, and now my bedroom. There were five leaks, but during any rainstorm, only four of them leaked.

Thunder boomed and the sound shook me. I was very anxious, but I decided that I was going to investigate. I was tired of waiting on the landlord. Maybe this problem was one I could solve. I grabbed a flashlight off my dresser and walked into the hall. I looked up to see an attic door with a draw string.

There had to be a logical explanation for this, there just had to be. But still, like some sort of sixth sense, I knew something was wrong. I lifted my shaking hand in the air and placed it on the drawstring. I pulled down, and with a loud creaking noise, it slowly lowered, revealing a folding ladder.

I shined my light into the murky darkness of the attic. Immediately my nostrils were filled with a foul musty damp smell. There was something else strange about this smell. The only way I can describe it would be like smelling meat and fish that had been in a cooler full of ice for a long time. It wasn't a rotten smell, but it smelled unclean, wet and unpleasant. Thank goodness it wasn't very strong.

I undid the ladder, and cautiously climbed up, shining my flashlight as I went. I slowly poked my head through the hole and into complete darkness. The attic was completely empty from what I could tell.

I pulled my flashlight up and shined it around the room. At first, my suspicions were confirmed, but then I shined the flashlight in the area above my bedroom... and saw what was stopping the leak.

There, at the end of my flashlights beam was the naked corpse of a man. His face was pointed straight up and his mouth was open, lined with dark yellow teeth. Drops of water from the leak in the roof were collecting in a small pool in his mouth. His skin was a grayish blue all of over, and there were dark purple splotches all over his body. The light reflected off his cloudy, lifeless gray eyes. His hair was long, filthy and matted, the grease from it shining in my flashlight's beam.

I gasped in utter horror at the sight. I tried to breathe but words wouldn't escape my lips. I didn't know what to do, but everything told me to get out of there. I quickly shot down the ladder and closed the attic door above me. I didn't know how that body got up there, or if the landlord had put it there, or what was going on. There were so many questions, but this wasn't the place to contemplate them. I threw my shoes on, grabbed my keys and got into my car.

My first instinct was to go to the police. I knew something was wrong about that offer from the very start. The landlord had probably stashed the body of the previous renter up there, and planned to do the same thing with me.

That was when I stopped myself and pulled over to the side of the road. It was then that I had the most horrifying realization I've ever had in my life. There were five leaks in that house, and each time it rained, only four of them leaked. And the stopped leak had changed each time it was raining.

It had been moving.



Written by Indigoice
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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