Unregistered Tenants

This story was originally submitted to this writing prompt. Little did I know at the time that this short 400+ word story would be the kernel that lead to a five hour writing session where I churned out a 5000+ word sequel titled Code Inspection to this tiny dialogue only story. I hope you enjoy it and if you want more of this then I highly recommend checking out Code Inspection.

“Anthony, I need to talk to you about the unregistered tenants I’ve seen coming and leaving your apartment. You signed a lease for a studio apartment and we only allow up to one extra person living there on a regular basis, plus with the fire marshal I legally can’t allow you living with more than three people in that size of an apartment.”

“You can see them too?”


“The others. They live within the walls of my apartment, taking on the forms of inanimate objects or strange alien beings when they come home. They only look human when they leave.”

“Just what are you talking about?”

“I’ve told them that there’s no need to assume human forms when they venture into the outside. Only I can see them, but they’re a paranoid bunch and take on people’s forms just in case somebody else has the gift. I suppose their paranoia has been proven justified.”

“Anthony? Are you okay? I can consult a mental health care official you need it.”

“We have plans. Plans that you or anybody else if allowed to see. Big ones. Oh I wish I could let you see them, you’ve been an amazing landlord. Great rent in a fantastic part of town. A steal if really. My friends – no, not the ones from the the other realm, my tangible friends – are jealous.”

“Well I’m flattered to hear that. I like to think that we provide affordable housing and terrific customer service to our many tenants. We didn’t win the best leasing managers in the city five years in a row for nothing. But as you must know- Hey, let go of me!”

“I’m sorry, I really am. But my friends – the intangible ones from another realm – and I can’t let you interfere. We have big plans and we’re just so so close. As an entrepreneur yourself you must understand.”

“I said let go. No, don’t shut the door. Ahhh!”

“Big plans. Big plans indeed. Friends, can you show her to the ritual closet? I think she’ll make a great beta tester for our first incantation.”

“Please, I’ll do anything. I won’t tell a soul. What are those? Tentacles? Please! Pl-“

“Her voice a faint muffle now. I told ya’ll that sound proofing was necessary for a ritual space in the modern world. Apartments are too cramped with paper thin walls nowadays. We’ll check back in a few hours to see if dar’goth is satisfied with his first sacrifice. How about we watch some Netflix in the meantime? I hear Physical 100 is pretty good.”

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