One-one-two-three blazed, leaving the ceiling, wall, and top of the dresser aglow in a maroon haze. He tried not to look at it. He tried to ignore the buzzing of the electronic. He felt every high pitched release of the springs underneath him. The ends of his teeth stood taught to one another, his jaw letting air whistle through. He turned his head to the open door and peered into the silhouette of a window left by a streetlamp in the next room. His fingers pulled for a book from a shelf. A blue light blinked on and off around the door frame. The light from the computer in sleep mode. He closed his eyes wishing he was there.
He felt the correspondence piling up overnight. It would be a mountain in the morning that he could only hope to finish, by the time she came home again and wanted attention. It took to much to watch them, though. He would put in headphones, read a book or stroll in his living room. Messages coming in would be short and he would cut them off with a solution. Every sent email was a lifesaver.
Left to themselves, the idiots would pile on wise. Letters would go from brief to long and tortured. A note turned into a wall of text by morning and the looking for the actual problem was a puzzle in itself. He lived in the night. It was work by the time the sun came up. The image of the mail carrier burned in his mind. The letter had two stamps and five dollars eighty-six cents stamped on it. A noise complaint (with cure). Noise? Noise is what will be left if he got ahold of his neighbors. That is what they would get, if he had been made, yet. He felt the potential of his power if only he could get to work at night.
The old leather smell came back to his mind. The office off of sith street, in a sub-level dive. He could shoot pool and look at mooks in their stupid faces. That was the easiest. Then, it took two white vans parked at corners around the place to smoke him out. Now, it was one nondescript complaint that someone paid six dollars to send it the same day. Now, he was trapped between some count of cotton. He stared at the clock again. Eleven thirty-three. His mustache hairs pulled against themselves under the strain of his straight lip.
His voice echoed in his ears. “I’m barely over two hundred pounds. I practically make mouse footsteps. What uncontrolled noise could they hear? It’s footsteps. I’m allowed to walk in my own damn house, I don’t care what time it is!”
“I know but might as well play it safe. Until someone gives us an answer, we can’t know what the noise is. It’s just seven days.”
“I’m thirty-five, I didn’t sign up for this expensive apartment so I could give myself a curfew!”
His fist tightened.
From under the floor, a baby screamed and turned into a stead cry.
“Maybe people whose children breath by screaming, shouldn’t throw stones!” His words, echoing again.
Every creak and passing care danced around the room. Vroom. Stretch. Creeee. Mawing of the open night and cracking of stretching trees. He could hardly believe how noisy everything was.
An orange glow. Outlines of the window frame outlined on his and his wife’s outstretched feet. One and them a thousand bells sounded at once. Lit shards of pure ringing hiss bit his face. The tasted iron in his mouth and the orange light had turned into a bright white and all he said was the white-hot flame as it rained on his face. The fired consumed air before he could scream and swallowed hard for air but only felt pain fill his mouth and throat. His body leaned and shifted by his feet felt only daggers before all control left him and he feels to the floor among spreading flame. His last moments a chaotic, infinite, blur of quiet filling his spiteful ears.