Saturday, March 24, 2012

Report of Incident on Eleventh Floor

There's the story of a man by the name of Jeremy Silk. Aged forty-one, no wife, no children, Jeremy lived on the eleventh floor of an apartment building which had recently been renovated due to a particularly flammable insulation material discovered in its walls.

One summer, just as the nights became too humid to to sleep through without the help of an air-conditioning unit, neighbors began complaining of music which had started coming from Jeremy's apartment every night at roughly twelve-thirty. When first asked about the music, Jeremy was witnessed as behaving erratic, explaining that lately he needed the distraction in order to help him fall sleep. His neighbors were gracious in their understanding, and kindly requested that he turn the volume down or use headphones, as the quality of their own sleep shouldn't have to suffer. He generally agreed with this, though was evasive when asked what steps he would take.

That night, at roughly twelve forty-five, neighbors were disappointed to hear the same, loud music coming through their walls and ceilings. Four of said neighbors convened at Jeremy's door, knocked, and asked him to turn the music off, as most of them had work in the morning. Jeremy, who according to reports looked “excessively disheveled”, nodded once and shut the door. The music was heard to shut off soon thereafter, and the neighbors, satisfied, dispersed.

The next morning, Jeremy failed to show up at his job as warehouse manager for a local food distributor. Management placed several calls to the two phone numbers they had on file for Jeremy, but received no call back. On the second day when once again he failed to appear, they placed a call to Jeremy's emergency contact, his estranged father currently living on Lake Michigan. They found the man to be distant and uninterested but managed to ascertain that he hadn't spoken to Jeremy.

On the third day, being concerned for Jeremy's well-being, management sent an employee to the apartment building to speak with his landlord. Several neighbors heard their conversation and joined in, agreeing that none of them had seen Jeremy since the night they'd gone to see him.

When Jeremy failed to answer either his phone or his door, one of the neighbors placed a call to the police in order to report possible foul-play. Before the authorities could arrive several of them noticed a faint odor which seemed to be coming from Jeremy's apartment, prompting the landlord to use his keys to open the locked door.

Reports of what they discovered inside varies from witness to witness, though all include the deceased body of one Jeremy Silk, aged forty-one, still lying in his bed since three nights prior. Wads of paper were noticed as being stuffed inside his ear canals. The official coroner's report states that the paper was inserted with such force that it it damaged Jeremy's tympanic membranes, forcing them into the adjoining cavities.

Police entered into evidence several personal effects of Jeremy Silk, including the small stereo he kept by his bedside responsible for the music which had bothered his neighbors, as well as his private journal which he had written in more or less daily. In the journal, detectives discovered several entries in which Jeremy complains of a noise coming from the walls in his bedroom, particularly the west wall, opposite the window. In initial entries Jeremy describes the noise as low and indiscernible, only slightly bothersome to his sleep, but in subsequent mentions the noise is described as increasing in volume and attaining the tone and timbre of a human voice. Then, in the last week, as growing in clarity and level of agitation.

When comparing the date of the entries to transcripts from witness interviews, as well as invoices and receipts submitted by the apartment building's landlord, a correlation has been noted between the onset of the noise heard by Jeremy in the wall of his bedroom and the renovations which had been performed in the building. In fact, when compared in greater detail, the first entry comes just one day after work had been completed on the eleventh floor, the same as Jeremy's apartment.

All files have since been sealed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In the Recesses

When I was maybe eight years old- that would be what, third grade? that sounds right- some kids were playing with a kickball out on the grass when it got away from them and landed at my feet. I wanted to impress them with how far I could kick it back at them, so I picked that fucker up, dropped it on my foot and kicked it as hard as I could.

The problem was I kicked it at a terrible angle, so instead of soaring forward in a beautiful arch indicative of your typical alpha male's kick, it hooked up over my head and landed on the roof of the school behind me. To anyone but me it looked like I'd done it intentionally. I was so embarrassed by how bad a kick it was that when they asked me why I'd done it, I just froze up and smiled strangely at them. It was almost better for my ego for them to think I was an asshole with amazing skills rather than a nice kid with the best intentions who can't kick a god-damned red ball properly. I was in elementary school, for christ's sake. I had a reputation to maintain.

I wonder sometimes if any of those kids, now adults, still remember that incident the way I do, or if it was only seared into my memory by the pure heat of my embarrassment. Maybe there's a guy my age somewhere right now, and he's typing, "When I was eight years old- that's what, third grade?- I was with my friends playing kickball on the grass, just totally minding our business, when the ball got away from us and landed at this kid's feet. So what does he do? He picks it up, making like he's about to kick it back to us, but then this little shit curves his foot and kicks it up over his head and onto the school's roof. To be honest I'm not sure how he even did it. It was one of the most impressive kicks I'd ever seen, or have since then, but fuck that kid. He was a heartless bully picking on us like that. We didn't do anything to deserve it. If I ever run into that prick on the street I'll kick HIS balls and throw HIM on the roof. I bet you he doesn't even remember doing it."