Double Helix – Short Story Parts V & VI

Today is a double-header. If you’d like to read Part I or Part II or Part III or Part IV just click on them.

Part V
“Ah, Paul,” says the landlord when he opens his door, “haven’t seen you for a while. How’s things?”
“Yeah, you know,” I say.
The landlord and I look at each other. I have no clue what our relationship is meant to be.
“Erm, I seem to have mislaid the key to my apartment,” I say.
The landlord rolls his eyes. He looks like that hunchback guy from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, only his hair is gray.
“Wait a minute,” he says and heads back into his apartment.
I stand outside his door. The dim hallway smells like boiled vegetables. A murmur of voices undulates, punctuated by screams and gunshots from televisions. Some guy to my left coughs up his lungs.
“Here we go,” the landlord says when he returns.
“Thanks,” I say and take the keychain he offers.
I turn and walk away.
“Paul,” the landlord calls.
I stop.
“Paul, you okay?” he asks.
“Yeah, fine,” I say. “Why?”
“You seem edgy.”
“I guess I need some sleep. Haven’t been getting much lately.”
“Uh-huh.”
“Later,” I say and walk away.

Part VI
I sweat. Am out of breath. There is no logic to this place. I have walked up and down stairs and corridors for twenty minutes. I cannot find Paul’s apartment. People hang out all over the place. They greet me. I have no idea who they are. I greet back. They ask me where I am going. I tell them I am exercising. They laugh.
I turn another corner and walk down another grim corridor. The cracked numbers on doors are all wrong. I panic. I feel trapped in a maze. Claustrophobic. I need out. Where is the stairwell?
It was back there. There.
As I skip down the flights of stairs it feels like the building collapses around me. I try move faster but slip, then roll down stairs. I get up, eventually outrun the steps and burst into the open world. Hands on my knees, I retch. The phone in my pocket rings.
“Hello,” I say then wipe the vomit from my mouth with my sleeve.
“Yo, Jerry. How we doing?”
“Lyle.”
“You in yet?”
“No, man. I can’t find his apartment.”
“What you mean?”
“This place is a maze. I can’t find his apartment.”
“You stupid or something?”
“Piss off.”
“Stay where you are. I’ll send Moses.”
“How do you know where…” but he is already off.

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20 thoughts on “Double Helix – Short Story Parts V & VI

  1. Pingback: Double Helix Part XII | Scribbla

  2. Pingback: Double Helix – Short Story Part XI | Scribbla

  3. Pingback: Double Helix – Short Story Part X | Scribbla

  4. Pingback: Double Helix – Short Story Part IX | Scribbla

  5. Pingback: Double Helix – Short Story Parts VII & VIII | Scribbla

    1. scribbla Post author

      The two episodes were requested, and I managed to find the time to write them. I hope to continue in that way. Thanks for your feedback.

      Reply
    1. scribbla Post author

      Thank you for that bit of feedback. It means a lot to me. And thanks for making time to read. I appreciate it so very much.

      Reply
    1. scribbla Post author

      Oops. Perhaps not as clear as I should have been. Paul is his twin. Because they twins, they would be mistaken from sight.
      Thanks for making that point. And for reading.

      Reply
  6. Indigo Spider

    I suspect the apartment is another Trojan horse, so to speak, knowing Scribbla and his twists 🙂 Love the tension, building nicely, really makes me yearn for more and more!

    Reply
  7. Dave "Noobcake" Farmer

    Ooh the story is getting tense now! I want to see what’s inside his brothers apartment and judging from the rather gross apartment block and the people living there I have a feeling it won’t be pretty! Loved the smell of boiled vegetables and the tv noises, very atmospheric!

    Reply

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