Apartment Legend

"Psst, hey! Come here!" said Terrance.

Diego rolled over to his stomach and unfurled  his arms until he almost touched the spot of sunlight in the distance. The floor was blanketed with fur, but he could feel the warmth absorbed into the hair. "What do you want?" he said, when reaching Terrance's tank. 

"It's almost time," Terrance whispered as he dropped into his murky water basin. Tiny greenish water droplets now peppered the glass.

"That's an urban legend." Diego said, plopping down at the base of the tank, with his eyes drifting closed as soon as his bum touched the carpet.

"No, I'm serious. It happens every month!" exclaimed Terrance,  returning to his sand pit, before trying to scurry up the grid segment.

"I'm tired of your tall tales. You're just bored being cooped up in there all day," Diego said without opening his eyes.

"Nah, bro it's real. And it doesn't even matter if you don't believe me. It's happening no matter what," Terrance warned as he reached the latch of his tank.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Diego mumbled.


The sun drenched carpet spot now touched the wall, reaching just above the  crown molding. Allen was still camped at the base of the tank, as three pounds on the door raddled it on its frame. Silence then three more pounds.

This jolted Allen awake. With claws descended and core low to the ground, he backed up slowly never taking his eyes off the door. 

"Terrance, did you hear that?" Diego voiced in the faintest whisper. "Terr-" he began again as the door swung open, revealing a slate gray rectangular box at the threshold.

"Da faq?" Diego exhaled. "Dude, where are you?"

With a gentle glide, the box slide into the apartment, moving a quarter inch every second. The movement was peaceful and almost angelic, but it was accompanied by a laser-like screech that rattled the cat's skeleton.

Diego managed to flee underneath the nearest sofa. Yet he couldn't meet the clearance so it was perched upwards on the right. His eyes flung shut hoping it would help disguise himself. 

Now in the center of the room, the metal box was no longer that. Limbs began to unwind from its core. Ribbed hoses, previously protracted hinges and  over-sized lamps.

The screeches increased in pace and volume, before a visibility destroying light blanketed the room. For forty-five excruciatingly long seconds Diego prayed to La Virgin Guadalupe, hoping she would spare him pain in his forthcoming  death.

But the light dulled and the box stop screaming altogether. All its appendages were re-absorbed into the frame and it backed up and exited the apartment. 

Diego breathed deeply, trying to get his heart beat to return to its baseline. Minutes later, barley audible ticks on the wall broke his solemn stare. 

"Dude, that was crazy. I told you man," Terrance chuckled.

He already managed to re-enter his tank and Diego hadn't moved. 

"Drama queen," Terrance whispered under his breath and dropped in the crystal clear water tank.  Rolling onto this back, he drifted to sleep enjoying the gentle sway of his replenished lake. He awoke hours later, and found Diego rolled into a ball.

"You ok, man?" Terrance asked.

"Yeah," Diego said, rising headed to his water bowl. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"What do you mean? You just saw it with your own eyes!"

"Saw what, bro?" 

"I-" Terrance exhaled. "Forget it. Fuckin' cats."

Science Fiction Writer + Distance Runner + Urban Explorer + Podcast Junkie