Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Last Tenant

The last thing I wanted was to pay the high rent at a lodge.  I was lucky to find a house for rent on the very first day I arrived at the city.  The house was cheap.  And secure.  Just what I wanted.  It adjoined the owner's house and faced the backyard.

When I walked in the first time through the front gate, all I heard was loud noise from the owner's house.  I knocked on the door and waited.  There was no reply.  The TV must have been too loud.  I peered in through one of the windows and saw someone that looked like an old lady.  I smiled and waved at her, and she came over and opened the door.  There was someone else too, an old man.  He ran out of sight as soon as she opened the door.
"I noticed a tolet board on the gate." I said smiling.  That is what people did when they had a house to rent; they put a "tolet" board.
"WHAAT??" she said cupping her hand over her ear.
"TOLET BOARRRRD!" I said louder.  I didn't know if she was deaf or if it was the loud TV that made it impossible for her to hear me.
“Oh, okay!” she finally said.
Minutes later, she took me around to the house facing the backyard.  The backyard had no gate, but there was tall wall separating us from the neighbors.
Inside, the house was a mess.  There were things lying around.  Some bags, books.  Suddenly, I was worried that the previous tenant was still staying there and it would probably take some time before they  move out.  I told her I was looking for a place to move in quickly.  She said that I can move in anytime I wanted.  She said the previous tenant had left a long time ago.  I looked around.  There were just some clothes and books lying around.  For all I know it might be the owner's, but I didn't want to ask her anything more than I absolutely had to.  I was exhausted by all the shouting I had done.

I left telling her I would move in the next morning.  “Oh, okay!” she said and gave me a copy of the house's key.

I spent the night at Pinto's place.  Next morning, we caught a taxi and reached the house with my luggage.  I carried the box of framed photos and walked in.  Again, the noise of TV blared from the owner's house.  The door was closed and there was no sign of them.  As I walked past their door towards the back, I heard a growl.  At first I thought I was just imagining it.   Then I heard it again.  I turned around and realized that there was a fucking horse standing about 10 feet away from me, and it was baring its teeth and growling at me!  It took me a few seconds to realize that it was a dog the size of a fucking horse!

It took a step towards me like a wild animal about to kill its prey.  I shouted for the owner.  There was no response.  I can make out from the loud noise of the TV that it was running an ad for a fairness cream right then.  The dog barked and took another step towards me.  And that’s when I bolted.  I ran around to my door.  Realizing I needed the key, I dropped my box of framed photos which fell down with a loud crash and reached in to my pocket to grab my keys.  Reaching the door, I was actually relieved that it was not locked.  I got in and immediately shut the door behind me.  The dog continued to ferociously bark and scratch at the door.  I stood quiet wondering what the fuck to do.  I realized I hadn't even taken the owner's phone number, so I couldn't call for help.  After sometime, the dog stopped barking and scratching.  I slowly made my way to a window close-by and peaked out.  The dog was now pissing at the wall.  I sighed.  Then frustration hit me.  All I wanted at that moment was to somehow get the fuck out of there!

And that's when I heard Pinto walk in through the gate.

"Bro! Where you at??" he shouted.  The dog looked up towards the gate, growled, and ran out of my sight.  The next thing I heard was Pinto shout "WHAT THE FUCK!!!" followed by the crash of whatever he was holding hitting the ground, and the noise of his shoes frantically rubbing against the ground.  The barking continued, but got fainter and fainter.

I got out and hurried to the owner's door and banged on it.  Nothing.  I went to the window and looked inside.  There was no sign of them.  The only things moving were the colorful lights from the huge TV mounted on the wall.  I could hear the dog bark and Pinto shout somewhere outside in the street.  I ran to the gate and peaked out.

About 50 feet away, Pinto was standing on top of a white Indica while the dog kept barking and at times would try to jump on top of it.  Pinto, with one of his shoes in his hand, kept batting the dog away when it tried to do so.  The people inside the car were screaming and shouting at the dog.  I stood there frozen, taking it all in.  To my horror, the dog suddenly stopped barking and turned around and looked right at me.  It was almost as if it had telepathic abilities.  Like it knew it was being watched.  The next thing I knew the huge beast was running towards me with a growl.

I immediately latched the gate close, ran back to the owner's door, and started banging on it.  I was hoping that with the gate closed, the dog wont be able to get in, but then I saw its paws on top of the wall next to the gate.  It was somehow pulling itself up on the wall.  FUCKK!!  In a few seconds, it had climbed the wall and was standing a few feet away from me.  I once again ran towards the house, but this time, the dog was right behind me and I couldn't shut the door in time.  I kept running into the house with no idea what I was doing.  I knew I was going to run out of space to run pretty soon, but I kept like my life depended on it.  I reached the kitchen, and jumped on the counter.  It hit me that standing on the counter wont actually stop a dog that just jumped a freaking 6 feet wall.  That’s when I noticed a door in the corner.  Without thinking I jumped down from the counter and ran to it.  I twisted the handle and got in and shut it just in time to feel the dog smash itself against the door.
After a moment's whimper, the dog started barking again and scratching at the door with it unusually large paws.  I stood inside in the dark, trying to slow my breathing in an effort to calm myself.  The place stank.  I guessed I was in some kind of a tiny storeroom and the previous tenant probably left behind vegetables and such.  I waited and didn't move a muscle, and finally after a couple if minutes, the dog stopped barking.  After a few more minutes, I tried to gently open the door and to my horror found that the handle wasn't working.  It was completely limp as if it was connected to the lock mechanism.  I pushed and pulled on the door, but it wouldn't budge!  The doors seemed strong, as if made from really thick wood.  I realized I was locked up in here, and furthermore, hearing me try to open the door, the dog started barking again.

Frustrated, I took out my phone.  I should may be call Pinto, tell him I am stuck inside.  In the phone's screen light, something caught my eye.  Something on the surface of the door.  It was as if someone had scratched something on it.  I inspected it closer and made out the letters:  H-E-L-P!

What the fuck!!  That’s when I saw more writings on the wall.  All asking for help.  I took a step back and felt myself stepping on something.  Taken aback, I turned around and moved back to the door again.  The barking intensified.  The place stank.  I moved my phone's screen closer to whatever was on the ground.  At first, it looked like a pile of clothes.  Then as I moved the phone screen along, a skull with partially rotting muscle came into view.  At that moment, I realized the last tenant had never left the house.
 

***
 

 - Rejo
 

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