The Sound of Water

My wife and I were woken up at three in the morning by the sound of rushing water coming from the bathroom of our apartment.  We opened the door and found that the floor was flooded a few inches deep.  The water was flowing from a hole in the ceiling in the far corner of the room.  It appeared to be coming from the apartment above ours.  As we stood there in the doorway of the bathroom, several neighbors from the other apartments came in to see what was going on.  Apparently the sound of the flowing water had woken them up as well.  A few of them squeezed into the doorway beside us and surveyed the disaster with curiousity.  It was one of them that first noticed that there were streams of red in the water pouring from the ceiling and clouds of red spreading here and there in the water on the floor.  Someone else said that it looked like it might be blood.

That kind of caught everyone off guard.  We all looked at each other, not quite sure what to make of that statement.  Then one of the neighbors pushed through the crowd and we stood aside and let him through the doorway of the bathroom.  He crept in carefully.  His feet were bare and the water was cold.  He curled his toes and stepped lightly across the tile.  When he got over to the other side of the room, he braced himself against the wall and turned to look up at the hole in the ceiling where the water was coming through.  His eyes went wide and his mouth dropped open.  His head started shaking back and forth.  He looked down, biting his lip and thinking, and then he rushed out of the room, gesturing with his hands for us to part and clear a path for him.

We all followed him as he ran down the hall to the stairwell and pounded up the stairs to the floor above.  He slammed his shoulder against the door of the apartment directly above ours, cracking the wood until the lock gave way.  The door burst open and slammed violently against the wall as he stumbled into the dark apartment.  Inside, I could hear the running water, louder that it had been below.  We all made our way through the rooms, and we stopped cold at the doorway of the bathroom.

The faucets on the sink and the tub were all turned on full blast, and the sink and the tub were filled to overflowing.  The water ran over the sides of the porcelain and streamed across the floor to the far corner of the room where an old woman stood doubled over with her face pressed to the floor in a pool of blood diluted by the water flowing around her head.  One of her hands lay limp in the water, and there was a silver gun lying next to it.  The man who had rushed up there hooked the gun with his big toe and drew it away from the woman’s body.  Someone turned off the faucets and opened the drains on the tub and the sink, and we all stood there, trying to make some sense of what we were seeing.

It seemed that this woman had lived above us, harboring some grudge against my wife and I.  We had no idea who she was, but apparently she had taken some offense to us or something we had done to the point that it had consumed her entirely.  She had concocted this bizarre revenge.  She had made a hole in the floor and then turned on all of her faucets in order to flood our apartment from above.  Then she had placed her eye to the hole that she had made while putting the muzzle of the gun to her head.  She wanted to leave her body there to watch, beyond death, with the water and the blood flowing around her cold eye and a cackling rictus of rotting teeth hardening on her face once the rigor mortis had set in.

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6 thoughts on “The Sound of Water

  1. I see nobody else has commented here yet. Well, it wasn’t a fun read, and in that sense stood out as different from your others. What can I say? Gruesome in sensuous detail and in its perpetrator’s incomprehensible motivation. I look in vain for some uplifting or redemptive message; and deduce that its (narrator’s) loyalty lies solely to a kind of truthfulness which declares that you did have this nightmare. For which I can only offer commiserations, dear Bryan!

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    • Yes, pretty much. I started sort of whimpering in the dream when I saw the woman and I cried out and I woke myself up. The dream was very upsetting and I was rattled by it and I wrote this almost immediately after waking up. And I was even thinking something much along the lines of what you said. I was thinking about my usual motives in deciding to write about a particular dream, wanting to impart something pleasant to imagine, or at very least, something meaningful. Here it was just unburdening, like I just had to put this out there and inflict it on other people. Sorry for that.

      I think I’ve had a couple of pieces like that here. One called “Decomposition” comes to mind. (I don’t think I got ANY response on that one.)

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  2. Wow, what a hell of a dream. Nightmare? Either way.
    This is essentially the perfect premise for a short horror story. It’s so good, I’d totally steal it if I was into that sort of thing. Damn morals.

    Liked by 1 person

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