The Quiet Apartment Complex

Dinah Hughes got home around 10:30 pm. When she entered her apartment she found her roommate Lee, walking around the living room with a flashlight.

She scoffed, "I can't believe the power's still out...this is ridiculous."

"You're telling me. At first, they said it would be 3:30, then they said 6:30. I called at 8 and they said unknown, then at 9 they said 9:30," Lee scoffed. She could see his eyes roll despite being submerged in darkness.

"Have you called since then? What did they say?" Dinah asked as she cautiously made her way into the apartment. She was doing her best not to step on anything, despite knowing that their living room floor was clean of any clutter.

"Unknown. At this point, you probably should have just stayed at your Mom's for the night," Lee said as they made their way to the kitchen.

Dinah unpacked the food she'd cooked at her Mom's, opened the fridge, and haphazardly threw them in, shutting the door before she could feel its chill.

"Ugh. No thank you. Her new boyfriend is staying there for the night. I'd rather deal with the darkness than that."

Lee laughed. "Sound's about right. At least it's not too hot, right? Kind of crazy that the power went out today of all days. I guess we can consider ourselves lucky in that respect."

"Yeah. Are you just going to take the flashlight in for when you shower?" Dinah questioned.

"Pretty much. I figured I'd just let it sit on the toilet and go from there. Do you want to shower first?"

Dinah shook her head, "Naw, you go first. I'll hold off for a bit."


Showered in darkness, their apartment complex was hauntingly eerie. Not hearing televisions, or the air conditioners gave her a foreign sense of unease. She casually browsed her phone, but digested nothing, her mind paying too much attention to the silent world around her. She could hear the elderly couple next door, bickering about how they were missing the news. She could hear the single mother downstairs, talking to her two kids, doing her best to calm their rising anxiety. She heard every car that drove by on the main street, and each conversation between the crickets.

Dinah could hear Lee's clothes as they hit the tiles in the bathroom, the shower door as it slid shut on the rusted rail, the turn of the faucet, and the spray of the water as it sprang to life. She never realized how loud of a shower-taker he was until now. They'd been roommates for two years and she never paid attention to it, never saw a reason to. He took fast showers, five minutes and no more, which she found ludicrous. What was he really cleaning in that five minutes? Lee had argued that it was normal for guys to take quick maybe it was something she'd never understand.

She sat in the quiet living room, hearing the water as it rained down into the tub. She could hear everything in there, from him rubbing the water on his face, to him clearing his nose into the drain, and finally the squeegee as it cleaned the water off the shower door when he was done. She heard the bathroom door open, and from the corner of her eye, she could see the flashlight as it cut through the hall towards his bedroom.

"There's a girl in the bathroom,"

"Shut up!" She snapped through mild frustration. "Seriously? Why would you say something like that, that's not funny Lee!"

He said nothing, the only thing she heard was the sound of his bedroom door as it closed into its frame and the lock of the doorknob that followed.


Dinah placed the flashlight on the toilet as Lee had suggested, the light creating a cone that lit a mere portion of the bathroom. It provided just enough light for her to navigate into the shower and turn it on with confidence, and that's all that really mattered. The warm water hit her body, suppressing the chill she'd experienced when she'd removed all her clothing. The sound of the water hitting the porcelain tub sounded like rippling thunder to her ears. She couldn't see her feet in the tub or the water as it rushed towards the drain. She couldn't hear the world around her, only the fury of the shower as it cleansed her of the day's dirt and grime. She stood directly under the beam water, feeling it wash through her hair, down her forehead, and over her face. She rubbed the water from her eyes, her vision going to her right and that's when she saw the woman standing in the bathroom.

The light barely reached her, she could only see her silhouette, but she was there, Dinah was sure of it. The woman stood at average height and through her silhouette, she could see her arms hanging limply at her sides, she could see her hair as it waved back and forth around her head. The woman was staring at her through the cone of light, Dinah could feel her eyes on her. She let out a wheeze, one she couldn't hear over the thunderous water. It raised, faster and faster from the pit of her stomach, and just as the scream touched the tip of her tongue, the woman lunged forward through the cone of light.

The last thing Dinah saw was the gaunt expression of a woman who didn't belong in their apartment. The last thing she heard was the shattering of the shower door. Everyone in the apartment complex heard her harrowing scream, just as the power kicked back on.

The body of Dinah Hughes was never found.

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