The Last Days of Flat L, Percy Road (short story)

Last Days CoverThere’s no point in questioning it anymore. Life has got weird, that’s all there is to it. I’m trapped in my flat. I blame Amazon. That damn website. You can buy anything on there. I bought a lock picking kit and I’ve been practising. Now I’m fucked.

What am I supposed to do, phone the estate agent and ask them to free me? What will I say? “I’ve broke into the flat just to see if I could and now I’ve fucked the lock. I can’t open it from the inside.” No. That won’t do. Time will fix things. Time always does. I should have practised sober. There’s always the window if things get desperate. I’m three floors up, in the loft, but I dropped my phone out of the window last week when I was smoking and that survived. If it comes to it I will jump. The phone doesn’t work now, sadly. Soon after the window incident I dropped it in the toilet and it had a fit and died. A lesson learned. I won’t try and escape through the toilet. God damn the world-wide abandonment of house phones! This could be sorted out with one call to my brother.

What would you do? I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m stuck here forever. I heard about a guy who got lost at sea for six months and he survived. I can survive here. If it comes to it I’ll eat the furniture. Maybe I’ll eat the Chinchilla. Luckily my hobby is writing. If my hobby was cycling I’d be screwed. I’d just have to sit here moping around, crying intermittently, and dreaming of the freedom of the bicycle. So this is it. Stuck forever with a cupboard full of dry pasta and a globe shaped bar full of liquor.

In a way it’s freeing. The idea of forced solitude can be daunting. But a writer is used to such things. It’s exciting for us. It gives us a chance to finally snub the procrastination that the outside world brings. If I was the sort of person that held any kind of respect for bills I would still have the internet. Then at least I could watch porn. And videos of goats screaming like men. Have you seen those videos? Goats and sheep. They are heaven and hell. Sheep are like living clouds and goats scream like the souls of tortured men are trapped within them.

Shit. I really am screwed. If it wasn’t for the fact I have a history of havoc I would bang on my front door and shout and wail until one of my neighbours hears me. But those bridges are smouldering at the bottom of a social canyon. If those bastards knew I was stuck in here they would evacuate the building and burn it to the ground. Finally they would be rid of that lunatic that lives in the attic, making their lives hell with his weird antics.

I should have never destroyed my TV. But the fucker had it coming. Have you watched the BBC recently? I rest my case. The Famous Grouse had convinced me that the 52 inches of high definition garbage that spews from the screen was destined for the grave. I had forgotten the fearsome looking gun I keep in my underwear draw was only a starter pistol. It only fires blanks. I stood just a foot away from the screen and blasted it three times but the fucker carried on unaffected by my onslaught. I chucked the gun into the bathroom and it smashed a corner off the sink. Yeah, the bathroom is in throwing distance of the lounge, that’s the kind of place I live in.

I lit a cigarette and paced around in front of my couch. Glaring at the incessant nonsense dancing around the screen trying to think how TVs are normally sent to the grave. How do you kill these things? What would Sarah Connor do? I picked up the TV and dragged it away from the stand. The wires held on momentarily but gave way to my frantic pull. But the fucker wasn’t going to die easily. It whipped up its plug and pulled my record player off its stand with it. It hit the ground and a bootleg Bob Dylan record came down with it and smashed to pieces.

So here I stand. Surrounded by smashed vinyl with only the TV to blame. Will it not stop until all art has been destroyed?

Now the TV is really going to get it. I decide to drown the fucker. I put the TV in the bath and piss on it. I turn on the taps and return to the couch. The wall where the TV used to be seems weirdly vacant. I stare at it. I top up my glass with whisky and roll a cigarette. Shit. How long have I been trapped here? An hour? And things have already gone to shit. There must be a better way.

I figure I better sleep on it. Tomorrow will bring a solution and hopefully sanity.

***

I wake up on the couch. I think I was crying in my sleep. My feet are wet. Nothing brings you to action like waking up with your feet in water. I’m three floors up and my shoes are floating across the lounge. Is this it? Has the world finally ended? I spring from the couch and look out of the window. The street below is dry. Just me then. The Gods have decided my time has come. Bring on the flood.

By the time I realise this isn’t God’s wrath but the revenge of a TV in a wet grave, it’s too late for preventative action. I run through the flat to the bathroom, the bottom of my dressing gown rippling through the lake as I go. I turn off the taps and pull out the plug. Then things really start going bad. The floor starts making a creaking sound. On the street outside the sound of many sirens can be heard screeching to a halt in front of the house. I edge backwards out of the bathroom just as the floor gives way and I watch the bath, full of TV and water, vanish into the flat below. The house shakes with the impact. Now someone is banging on my door.

“Are you alright in there? You need to get out of the house, the ceilings are falling in. What have you done?”

The water is rushing past my feet into the hole where the bath used to be. I quietly walk back into the lounge and considered my options. I open a bottle of whisky and drink a few swigs. Then there is a new sound. Metal on glass. I look over at the window. A ladder has been placed against it. I run over and pull the blind down. A few minutes later someone is knocking.

“Sir, you need to open the window.”

I keep quiet.

The window is smashed inwards and a man in a fireman’s helmet starts climbing in to my flat.

“What do you want from me?!” I shout, frantically searching for my gun.

“Sir, calm down. You need to come with me.”

I run to the bathroom remembering I chucked the gun in there and find it balancing on the edge of the hole. I pick it up. In the flat below an old woman is staring up at me giving me the finger. Bitch. I run back in the lounge and aim at the man. I fire.

“Christ! What the hell are you doing?” shouts the man, covering his head.

“Protecting myself!”

“I’m a fucking fireman! I’m trying to help you.”

I drop the gun and run for the front door. Maybe the lock has fixed itself? I hear his footsteps running up behind me and before I have time to escape I’m slammed into the door and wrestled to the ground.

***

The cells in the local police station smell like hamster cages. God damn my bad luck. None of this would have happened if it wasn’t for Amazon. I’ll be writing a letter of complaint.

The end.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. For reasons I cannot seem to fathom, this is hilariously brilliant….

  2. fatherjpb says:

    You’re a mad fucker. If you are not on drugs, reconsider.

    Good writing, Andy!!

  3. fatherjpb says:

    Who robbed the edit button?

    1. Oh my god! I have just discovered that I can edit other peoples comments but they can’t edit their own. How crazy is that? I corrected the spelling mistake 🙂

      But no, I am not on drugs. I worry what would happen to my already troubled mind.

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