's 2014 Horror Write-off:

" The Inconsiderate Spirit "

Submitted by mngamojemo

When Johnny left his old home town and moved to the city, he had it planned well. He combed through the classified ads for weeks looking for a place to stay where a roommate could offset the cost. He thought he found the perfect guy: from their first meeting, Nathan seemed well-organized and level-headed, but still like he had enough in common with Johnny that they just might become real friends. The apartment was clean and spacious with posters on the wall for some of Johnny's favorite bands, and Nathan even said Johnny could help himself to his food at any time.

It didn't take long after he had signed a two-year lease and moved in for Johnny to notice that Nathan was not all that he seemed. He kept his own food in his room, which would have been fine, but he ate all of Johnny's in the rudest ways. He would swig the milk right out of the carton, pull out a brick of cheese and just take a bite right out of it, and get himself full servings of Johnny's expensive soups only to eat a few bites and leave the rest of the bowl out to spoil. He never did the dishes, and within the first few months, had set the idea in his mind that it wasn't really just for Johnny to expect him to pay his own half of the bills, particularly on time.

Johnny was quiet and patient, but it just got to be too much for him. He went into Nathan's room one night and slit his throat. Then, since he was good and considerate no matter how other people acted towards him, he cleaned the mess up entirely. He chopped the body up in the bathtub so as to make as little of a mess as possible, and spent hours scrubbing up every drop of blood. To make up for the money he would be losing he sold off all of Nathan's possessions to pay the bills, and he discarded the body parts in various dumpsters throughout the city.

At first, everything seemed great. There was no more noise late at night, no more passive-agressive arguments, and only one person's worth of dishes to worry about. However, things went downhill again. There was stomping and banging late at night and creaking of the floorboards. The refrigerator door would swing open on its own to waste who knew how much electricity, and all the taps began to drip. The bathtub was inexplicably filthy and could never really get clean.

Johnny tried to tell himself it was all just his imagination, not a big deal. He called in plumbers for the taps but they couldn't find anything amiss. He started to sleep with earplugs, and put a lock on the refrigerator door. The next morning he woke to find the lock had been ripped off and his milk was just sitting out on the counter. A bite was conspicuously missing from his cheese. He unintentionally shuddered as a chill ran down his spine. The cupboard flew open. To his horror, right there in with all the clean dishes was a half-eaten bowl of soup.

He tried again to convince himself that it wasn't real. None of this could be happening. He went into the bathroom to wash his face, but his bare feet were shocked to find water splashed all over the floor. There was an awful, thick stench in the room, and the toilet proved to be blocked up. He struggled to fix it, in a cold sweat, hands shaking. It just gurgled and began to overflow.

He went to call a priest in to exorcise the evil spirit. When he got to the phone it was off the hook, dangling from the cord. He placed it to his ear. A calm and robotic female voice recited the time down to the second. How long had she been speaking? How long had the time been told? How long had the line been open, running up charges? What if somebody had wanted to call him? THEY COULDN'T HAVE GOTTEN THROUGH! The thought hit him like a splash of cold soup.

Johnny drew in a shaking breath, struggling to regain himself, as he flipped through the Yellow Pages and found the section labelled "Priests". When he felt like the rising edge of hysteria was finally at bay, he dialed the phone. It rang and rang. Could it be that the Church didn't even have an answering machine set up?

On to the next number, then. As he dialed, he heard faucets turning on all over the apartment, and music started to blast from Nathan's room. Johnny's favorite band, but distorted and slow, as though coming from a tape recorder with a dying battery. A priest answered and Johnny explained his story shakily, choking back sobs and having to yell over the musical travesty, only to be told that the Church no longer did exorcisms.

"Fuck", he muttered as he hung up the phone again. He flipped backwards in the Yellow Pages until he came to the category marked "Psychics". The first one he called, a Madame Smirnova, agreed to come to the apartment and investigate...for $200 an hour. Reluctantly he accepted, and gave her his address.

She came to the door some 15 minutes later, and he invited her inside. She drifted through the rooms slowly, her long, colorful skirts slightly fluttering, making cryptic, whispered comments to herself.

After a long time, awkward minutes seeming to stretch and decompress, she came to face him in the living room. Her expression was drawn and tight-lipped.

"My boy", she said with great weight and an unplacable accent, "what have you gotten yourself into? You have a most restless and inconsiderate spirit in this place. I am afraid it is beyond my power to lay. This thing will be with you...for eternity."

As Johnny screamed, falling to his knees in primal terror, he heard her voice continue to speak, as though it came from a great distance away.

"You will still owe me $200", she said.