📅 Published on November 9, 2020


Written by Elias Witherow
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 10.00/10. From 4 votes.
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I cupped my face in my hands and exhaled slowly, sweat dripping from flushed skin. My hair hung from my scalp like golden seaweed, swaying gently in the sun. I felt sick. The sun filtered in through the blinds like baked color, a slather of yellow across my covered eyes.

I reached blindly to my right and pulled a cigarette from my pack. I kept my eyes closed as I lit it. No use watching me kill myself. I inhaled heavily, the thick smoke swarming my dry throat like a cloud of flies.

Christ, it was hot. I looked around my barren apartment and pulled deeply from the filter between my lips. Bed…chair…table…old tv…how pathetic. I lazily opened my eyes and rolled them to look at the piece of broken machinery jutting from my window. Fucking air conditioner.

I didn’t have the money to buy a new one and so I sat and smoked and felt sorry for myself. What a fucking existence this was. I checked my watch and saw it had only been seven minutes since the last time I looked. What did normal people do on their days off?

Through the ceiling I listened to the couple who lived above me. They were fighting, a male voice booming through the thin wood. I licked my lips, smoke rising from my tongue, and grit my teeth. He was always yelling at her. I had lived in this shit hole for two years and he was always fucking yelling at her.

I swatted at my neck, my hands coming away slick with sweat. My bare feet scraped against the hardwood floor and I stood, cigarette dangling from my lips. I went and leaned against the wall, the summer heat igniting the drifting smoke.

I wanted a glass of water but the kitchen seemed so far away. I squeezed my eyes shut against a sudden liquid burn and kept them like that for a while. When the sensation passed, I pulled my phone from my pocket and checked for notifications.


I shoved it back into my shorts and took another long drag. The asshole upstairs was still screaming at his girlfriend.

Outside, I heard a car honk, followed by a very pissed off exclamation. I went to the blinds, the light slitting across my naked chest. I peeked down toward the street and saw some guy in a suit screaming from his Mercedes at an old man crossing the street. I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but I could detect his tone just fine.

My first thought was that it was way too hot to be dressed in a suit. My second thought was that the guy was a dick. I released the blind and ashed my cig onto the hardwood. Fuck it, right?

Something upstairs thudded to the floor and I heard the girl cry out. I shook my head, sweat rolling down my spine. I made the journey over to my kitchen and drew a glass of water from the tap. I slurped it past my lips, the liquid unsatisfyingly warm.

I checked my watch.

Three minutes.

Jesus Christ.

I threw my spent cigarette into the sink and went over to the chair to retrieve another one. As I brought it to life, I could still hear the asshole in the suit screaming outside. What a way to spend my day off.

I checked my phone again. Nothing.

I told myself I should go out, go see a movie, something.

I looked at the greasy light wafting in through the blinds and grimaced. Too goddamn hot to go outside. I sucked in smoke, my mouth filling with unpleasant flavors. I wiped my tongue across my teeth, coating them with a thin layer of toxic saliva.

Another thud upstairs. More muffled yelling. Jesus fuck, how did anyone have the energy to be that angry? I slumped back down into my chair, propping a foot up on the window sill next to the broken AC. I cursed it silently, staring daggers at its stupid, dead display. I realized I was chewing on my filter and stopped, drawing in another mouthful of black cloud.

I placed a hand against my stomach, the bare skin damp and hot. I tried to remember when I had eaten last and found that I couldn’t. I rolled my head back, sighing. Cooking was such a pain in the ass. I wished I had a girlfriend to cook for me.

I wished I had a girlfriend, period.

Fuck, it was hot today.

Suddenly irritated, I stood up and began to pace across the room, tossing my half-smoked cig in the sink and lighting another. I didn’t know why I was pacing, but I felt like I needed to. I had an exhausted energy rolling around in my chest and I didn’t know how to release it. So I paced.

I scratched at the mop of wet hair on my head and my stomach growled. I ignored it. Whiny bastard. I pulled my fingers from tangles of clumping hair and checked my fingernails. I needed to cut them. I sucked on my cigarette instead, going back to the window. I looked out and saw the guy in the Mercedes was now out of his car and screaming into the old man’s face. What a lunatic.


I coughed, the smoke wrapping itself around my dry throat. My eyes bulged and I dropped the cigarette onto my bare foot. A sudden bite of pain ripped through me and I jumped back, swearing furiously. I tried to calm myself, but I was sweating too hard. I stooped down and snatched up the still smoking butt. I grit my teeth and slammed my eyes shut, trembling.

Screaming from outside.

Screaming from upstairs.

Screaming in my fucking head.

I could feel myself hyperventilating, my chest rising and falling with dramatic gusto. I wedged the cigarette between my lips and peeled my eyes open.

Curtains of smoke rolled lazily across the bland horizon of a meaningless existence. Trickles of sweat caressed my face and slid down my cheeks and neck. The sick yellow light filtering in through the window was like a poison, filling the room with unease and panic. I smoked my cigarette down the filter and tossed it aside.

I went to get another one and realized that I didn’t have anymore. I crumpled into the chair, eyes going wide, mouth feeling like it had been stuffed with sand. I dragged my teeth across my tongue, scraping sour residue from its surface. I spat miserably into the corner and then gagged.

A crash from upstairs. The girl screamed, her voice rising to hysterics.

I stood, body slathered in my own stench and fluids. My head began to ache, a dull poke in the back of my skull. I wanted another cigarette and yet, the thought repulsed me. The tips of my fingers shook as I decided what to do with them.


She wasn’t screaming anymore.

I dragged a soggy hand across my brow and walked to the door. I pulled it open and entered the hallway, breath coming out in panicked gasps. A drum had begun to beat in my head, each heartbeat another note.

I slunk to the end of the hall and padded up the old stairs. I left a trail of sweaty raindrops in my wake. I reached the top, the sounds of the fight growing louder. I balled my hands into fists, desperately sucking in wet air. The sun beat against my bare back as I plodded towards my neighbor’s door.

Hot tongues licked at my face from the foyer window as I reached my destination, one eye squeezed shut against the onslaught.

I raised a fist to the door and beat on it, the same rhythm as the nightmare in my head. I didn’t stop pounding until it opened.

A twisted sneer met my assault, a middle-aged man who towered a solid six inches over me. I noticed that his knuckles were bloody, his filthy teeth testament to the rot that was his existence. I had never actually seen him before, but his appearance confirmed my suspicions. He was a piece of shit.

“Quite beating on your girl,” I vomited, my half-lidded eyes weighed down by sweat.

“What’d you say to me?” He said, pulling the door open a little more. I saw a woman curled up on the kitchen floor behind him. She didn’t look good.

I leaned in towards his stench, “I said, stop beating on your girl, cunt.”

His eyes lit up with unexpected fury, his teeth slamming into a snarl, “You better watch how you talk to me, little man.”

I rolled my eyes, “Ah, fuck this.”

I crunched my knee into his balls as hard as I could, bringing forth a gasp of absolute agony. The big man fell to his knees, eyes bulging in shock, little sounds of desperation escaping his lips. He teetered over and mirrored the woman’s fetal position perfectly.

I brought my foot up and began to stomp on his head, each blow accented by a grunt of pain from the bastard.

“Fuck, I hate you,” I muttered, my heel annihilating his nose.

I didn’t stop until he was dead.

Gasping, completely out of breath, I pulled strands of clinging hair away from my face and wiped the fresh sheen of sweat from my face. Blood pooled in the hallway, the man’s face a mass of pulpy gore. Teeth littered the thresh hold of his apartment like tiny red candies.

I glanced at the woman inside and met her shocked gaze.

“You don’t have to cry anymore,” I said, only half-listening. She didn’t move, just stared with a look of complete horror at what I had done.

I turned and left, blinded momentarily by the scorching sun. I needed a cigarette in the worst kind of way. I walked down the stairs leaving bloody footprints. I almost slipped but somehow caught myself before I went down. I snorted.

I entered my apartment and plopped myself down in the all too familiar chair, still catching my breath from the incident upstairs. I searched myself briefly for some kind of feeling.

My phone buzzed in my pocket.

Heart leaping in my chest, I pulled it out.

Work wanted to know if I could come in early tomorrow.

I started to laugh and when the police eventually came for me, I was still howling.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 4 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Elias Witherow
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

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Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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2 years ago

im not supposed to find this attractive, but i JUST KNOW this man is hot.

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