December 17th, 2015: 12:08 AM
Andrea Smalls hated her job. No, scratch that. Andrea Smalls hated her life.
“You’re young,” she had told her 30 year-old self when she made the decision to become landlady of the University Apartments. “Living with a bunch of college students will be fun! You might even meet a cute young business major - someone with a future ahead of him.” She didn’t meet one. At least, not one whose death she didn’t pray for after breaking up a party of obnoxious teenagers in his apartment for the third night in a row (”Damn you to hell, Brad Parker”). She couldn’t imagine how she’d ever wanted anything to do with such liberal, disrespectful filth. They were nothing but a waste of space - an annoyance to God’s Earth, sent to test her. In fact, the more she thought about it, the more that she was certain that every problem in the last 25 years of her life, from the cold she had last week to her long, painful divorce, was in some way caused by the little shits that attended the college across the street.
Her current problem was no exception, she was sure. Casey Grey, one of the few proper adults in the complex, had come knocking on Andrea’s door at midnight to report unsettling noises coming from Roger, her neighbor to the right, who was supposed to be out of town at the moment. She was afraid that Roger had hurt himself in one of his little fits, but Andrea suspected - no, knew - otherwise. In the time it took her to fetch her coat and make her way across the long, grey rectangle of the apartment complex, Andrea had woken up a bit and realized that it was probably a break in or some kind of vandalism from one of one of the many degenerates she housed.
Damn kids, she thought to herself as she neared apartment 18. They don’t even have the decency to wait until breakfast to ruin my day.
The first thing Andrea noticed was that the apartment’s window had not been broken, and that the door was closed. So they must have had a key - but then what was the breaking sound? Were those little bastards breaking his belongings? She took a deep breath to calm herself before knocking, and was surprised to her breath on the air when she exhaled. She hadn’t realized how cold it was, what with her blood boiling so. She calmed herself with the reminder that, at the very least, these punks had the decency to break into the an apartment on the first floor.
Andrea knocked loudly three times, and shouted “Open up!”
She pounded her first on the door. “Respond right now or I’m going to call the police!”
Again, no response.
Andrea fumbled furiously for her keys, cursing under her breath. She thrust the key into the lock and turned it, then yanked on the knob only to find that it had already been unlocked, and she had just locked it. She cursed again, loudly this time, and unlocked the door. Pitch darkness greeted her. Andrea cursed herself for forgetting a flashlight. “Roger, are you home? Is somebody in here?”
“Hello?” Andrea called, stepping forward into the darkness. Three or four steps in, she stumbled over something, an exercise ball, judging from the weight and the shape of it. Roger was always a bit of a health nut. “Is everything all right in here?”
She felt along the wall for a light switch, and when she found it and flicked it on, she was presented with a fairly standard and orderly living room. There was a couch and a TV, a desk and a computer, and a small bookcase with some very old-looking volumes on its shelves. Nothing appeared to be broken. In fact, aside from a few dark stains on the floor, Roger’s living room was the picture of cleanliness. Confused and concerned, but not at all deterred, Andrea made her way towards Roger’s bedroom. As she neared it, she began to hear noise coming from within. It sounded like Roger’s voice. Casey had been right after all. Preparing to calm him down, Andrea opened the door to his bedroom slowly. She was horrified by what lay within.
Lying on Roger’s bed was the naked form of Jennifer Crawley, a girl of 19 and one of Andrea’s tenants. She was pale and wide-eyed with the fright of being discovered. And leaning over her was Roger himself, clad only in his boxers. The source of the disturbance was now clear, and Andrea averted her eyes quickly, wanting no part in whatever depravity took place in that room. Roger called after her as she made her way through the apartment, insisting that it wasn’t what it looked like. Embarrassment overpowered her disgust, and Andrea apologized repeatedly, saying that she was sorry to disturb him and that she didn’t see anything.
Just before the door, Andrea stopped dead in her tracks as she stepped in something on the floor. One of the many dark stains on the floor was actually a particularly fresh puddle, and as she realized what exactly it was a puddle of, Andrea suppressed the urge to vomit, and as she made her way out of the house she stumbled once more on what she had believed to be a medicine ball. She looked down at it and screamed.