When I first arrived at this student flat, I thought I was living by myself for the first few days. That was until Peony came out of her room to warm up some potato smiley faces in the microwave. She is not the one I’m concerned about.
I remember how she turned to me and with a tired smile said: “Have you met the other girl?” I had not.
“She’s nice I guess, but I think she doesn’t like me. I told her I was interested in witchcraft a few years ago and now she thinks I’m the Antichrist.”
She waved my confused face off and went back to her room. It was only then that I realized that there was indeed another door right next to mine. It seemed like a normal door. It was the same beige colour as mine and just as worn down as you’d expect a student flat door to be.
I did not get to meet my other flatmate for the next two months. But I would hear her every night. Around three in the morning, I would awake to soft mumbling coming from the wall my bed was shoved against. A good half hour later the mumbling would turn into chanting and repetition of words.
It is safe to say that I lost a good amount of sleep during my time at this accommodation. I tried to ignore it at first, I even bought a set of earplugs, but it was no use. I could still hear her.
In fact, as I am writing this now from the comfort of my parents’ broom closet, I can still hear her.
I first met her the day of the UK’s General Election. She was looming over a cup of tea. I at first didn’t realise someone was sitting at the plastic kitchen table, but dark entities don’t like to be ignored.
She didn’t greet me but introduced herself by stating her rank. “I study law, what do you do?”
I told her I studied English, but she didn’t care for that piece of information.
“Do you go to church”, she asked, and I could feel her yellow eyes piercing my soul.
“No”, I said, because it was the truth and because her eyes seemed to want to hear that answer.
“Good”, she said. “I like you.” Strangely enough, I liked the dark matter that I was talking to as well. She was a lot nicer than my last flatmates.
Thought this was the last time I ever saw her in person or demonic shape. I only saw traces of her existence in my student flat.
There were dead mice in the kitchen cabinet that belonged to her. A shock at first, but this was student accommodation, what could I expect.
There were footprints on the ceiling that had not been there before. They trailed all the way from the bathroom to the kitchen to her room. I still heard her chant every night, and sometimes I would hear several voices chant Latin rhymes at the same time.
The neon light in my room even had the nerve to flicker just on-beat. Off-beat or randomly would have looked scarier. This flickering had just been plain annoying.
This is not the reason why I want to move out. Neither are the faucets and the shower that sometimes leaked blood not water.
No, this demon right next door did not know how to clean up after herself. I am only human after all. I cannot clean up after myself and a dark entity.
She always left the kitchen in a frightful state. No matter how many colourful cleaning plans I put up, she would not help clean. She never took out the garbage, never bothered to scrub the toilet, and never swept the floor. Even Peony managed to wipe down the microwave from time to time.
But her? Nothing.
So now, how do I tell my demonic flatmate that I want to move out without hurting her feelings? She’s a nice girl and I would like to stay friends, but I cannot continue to live on in this mess. Perhaps I should wait until the end of term. I don’t want to put a strain on our relationship.
Ann Doe is an internationally-published writer whose short stories have been published in various online magazines. She is currently studying English as a foreign language, History and Civics for her teacher training.