Dante and his two friends inhabit a house entrusted Dante by a beneficent couple who took him in as a son and whose objective is to travel the world. In a matter of months, the couple pop into the headlines being sought for killing their biological son.
At this news Dante is no longer comfortable remaining in residence. He is sure the couple will target him next and is ready to flee.
But as is always the case, his friends have other ideas...
Breakthrough in grey room. At night I lie in my cold, damp, room and listen to the incessant demonic rumble of this fortress I call home. The name my mother gave me is Dante, keeper of the flame. Outside, the symphony of nature's misery tunes up for its ghostly recital. It is at these times, with the winds howling and clattering at the windows, the shadows on the walls dancing in ugly tendrils through the gruesome, twisted trees, the floorboards creaking as if in transit, that the ecosystem around me comes alive.
Through the walls, I can hear the stertorous Fred and Harvey alternating between rattling snores and shouted obscenities, the second no doubt aimed at the menacing wraiths of a haunted dreamland. Their confused lexicon is jumbled and phonetically complex, sounding in one respect like jangled speech racing backwards through time; in another, like incantations derived from the heart of hell.
Suddenly, the voices take on a conspiratorial tone, an oscillation between information divulgence and stern injunctions to silence in their regard. Are they talking to each other? I put my ear to the wall. As I attempt to decipher their respective monologues, or mysterious dialogue, I wonder what secrets my slumbers, if sufficiently provoked, would produce from my own prodigious cavernous mouth. Perhaps long held secrets of dallying youth? Secrets whose telling would be best withheld against the savagely mocking life-mates about me? To this end I can only surmise the result would be near tragic on a personal level; as a form of crowd entertainment as gripping as the pillory.
The snoring and assorted rumbling from the other rooms come to a gradual halt. The wind ceases its wailing. It was then I hear it; clearly, chillingly, unmistakably: the scratching, gnawing, clawing sounds of something inside the walls; a nocturnal creature of some type, an insidious or nefarious entity seeking entry or escape. I could only hope the latter was its pained objective.
On this evening, Chloe had again decided to spend her time elsewhere, citing something akin to emotional suffering as the cause of her sudden and irrevocable exit. In my opinion, even though she would never deign to ask, it was simple moodiness. Although if investigated at the doctoral level, I wholeheartedly believe it would be discovered that she has somehow contracted a virulent strain of ailment known as—for lack of a more professional term—Permanent Menstrual Syndrome. Again, my consultation would go unsolicited. At the very least, her temperamental roller-coaster behaviors coupled with her conspicuous lack of sexual availability would seem attesting to that fact. Or she could very well be on a roll of new guys new perspectives.
Though reflecting back to our first encounter where she almost literally knocked me down and jumped my bones; a rapacious animalism about her I have had few glances of since—perhaps she had devolved? More likely she was increasingly losing her attraction to me.
The daylight doesn’t come streaming through the sun-worn blinds fast enough. Good morning sunshine!
I get out of bed and walk to the big second-floor windows overlooking the garden below. In the next garden, separated from the one beneath me by a high wooden fence, a man and a woman are stretched out on the flagstones, making love. The fence slashes them in half diagonally. The woman lies on top of the man, her dark-red skirt bunched about her hips. I can’t see the color of her hair. In my house there is the snoring and rumbling and gas passing of roommate housing, alongside dude with absent girlfriend. Next garden over, couples get busy getting busy ASAP come morning. Six o’clock? And the flagstones can’t be wonderfully comfortable. Ardent lovers must these lovers be.