Drip-Drop by Troy McCombs

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SUMMARY: During the middle of the night an annoying dripping sound prevents a man from falling asleep; when he searches for the source, he finds a sight horrible beyond compare.

My head hit the pillow at the stroke of midnight for the second night in a row. I shut my eyes, then sunk and wiggled my body to conform to the living room couch. I was sleeping downstairs again tonight. The air upstairs was unusually cold, damn near freezing; the air here was cool and comforting.
Massive drops of rain pelted the pane-glass as I lay there, trying to sleep. But slumber wasn't coming easily; my restless mind wouldn't stop dwelling on my jerk boss, Leo Parker—the man for whom I'd worked tirelessly after eight long years—the man who'd told me time and time again that I was his Number One Salesman—the man who'd promised to give me a substantial raise next month—whom had fired me on the spot not three days ago. ‘Oh, I'm sorry, there was a pay-cut. I'm gonna have to let you go'— all twisted lies, for I've learned from one somewhat reliable source that he'd replaced me for his lazy-ass teenage bum nephew who needed a job because he was getting into too much trouble. Lucky for him, I guess. But now I was a jobless, penniless, bitter ex-employee.
I tossed and turned aggressively, striving to remove Leo's fat-bastard face from my inner- vision. I sighed, then twisted some more. Finally I found a cozy spot right on my side, slumped between the cushion and the couch wall, and soon fought with overactive mind to forget about the worry of now being unemployed. Then . . .
Drip-Drop . . .
Drip-Drop . . .
Drip-Drop . . .
The sound was faint and lost, but I paid no attention to it. I entirely disregarded it and threw some covers over my exposed legs.
Drip-Drop . . .
Drip-Drop . . .
Louder this time. I lifted my head from the
pillow, listening, thinking it was the constant pulsing in my ear. The noise suddenly ceased. I changed position from my side to my back and shut my eyes once more.
Drip-Drop . . .
Drip-Drop . . .
Drip-Drop . . .
Sighing, I reopened my eyes and extended my ear to the sound . . .
Drip-Drop . . .
Drip-Drop . . .
Like my neighbors noise-polluting Harley, it quickly grew on my nerves, replacing my comfort with uneasiness, impatience.
Drip-Drop . . .
Drip-Drop . . .
The room suddenly grew colder. A draft was blowing in from somewhere I could not pinpoint. I pulled more covers over myself, but somehow they didn't keep me very warm. For one brief second I felt the strangest feeling of deja-vu, like maybe I was stuck in some sort of loop. Something about tonight seemed familiar—too familiar, and not necessarily pleasant; maybe even surreal. Or it could be that I was just overly tired.
Drip-Drop . . .
Drip-Drop . . .
I sighed, threw the quilt off my body, and stood, determined to end that annoying sound.
I stomped into the hallway and stopped. As I did, the sound stopped dead in its tracks, as if it knew I was coming.
Then . . .
Drip-Drop . . .
Drip . . . Drop
Though I could not put an origin from whe-nce it came, I rushed into the kitchen and flicked the light switch.

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