The Family Man: Episode 8

May 19, 2019 2 min read

The Family Man: Episode 8

I found Mr. Trill’s residence easily enough, as it was listed in a phone book I found in an empty library. My prey lived in an apartment building strangled by thick ivies, which no doubt were conducting the last of the building’s metropolitan juices through their hungry green tubers. The overall result was nothing less than a house half-eaten. A wide cracked balcony sat high within the concrete crown of the dwelling, and a massive tree waved its arms above it, creating a leafy rooftop. A single lantern dangled from one of the overhanging branches, whispering amber light at the pooling shadows. I knew the balcony coupled to the room of my prey—why else would it be there?

            I kept well out of sight, moving behind the town’s beautiful curtain of decay, allowing the germinating emptiness to erase all traces of my passage. The shadows had barely stirred when finally I stood within the foyer of the building. A warm breeze wandered the overlarge room, gently disturbing the billowing curtains that fell like filthy fabric waterfalls from the tops of the tall windows, splashing in ragged waves across the unclean floor. The spacious lobby held a singular note of choking desolation that played continuously, outlining the labors of nullity. I moved to the stairwell, drifting softly upward like a whispered prayer. There were persons, after a fashion, ambling through the dim hallways – living and moving for reasons that no one could ever care to know. The dust in the air was thick, and it played like clouds of lethargic gnats idling between the fading bars of light that projected across the floor from the soiled windows. I felt as if I were haunting the spaces of an ancient murder-house, merely the deathly echo of a forgotten hunter, eternally condemned to chase the dust of his victims through endless halls of stumbling shadows.

            I entered the room neighboring the apartment that connected to the balcony. It was like a water-damaged photograph recovered after a flood, colorless and faint. There was an old man inside, dried and crumbling beneath the bitter weight of too much time. I didn’t want to kill him, as he was perfectly pointless – no one would mourn him, and so no one would be forced to remember my work. However, I was feeling charitable. I chose to allow him to see what shape the pale flesh of his washed-out existence might have enclosed had only he been fashioned by the songs of fallen angels, or by the bright nightmares of children. I cleaned myself off in the tiny cove of a bathroom, and proceeded out the window onto the thick tendrils of ivy.

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