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student afterlife by Simon Gibson
SUMMARY: thanks to john for hating his house and living in a grim bit of bath:)
Hugh settled down for the night, it was only 10.30 and, having had a quiet night the night before, he had decided to have a brief run of getting to sleep a respectable side of midnight.
He had only just moved from a neighbouring city to the small town of Knock. There was little that would usually attract anyone to move from the city, no bright lights and no 24 hour stores, yet the place was just what Hugh had been looking for, as the city had not been kind to him, losing his job was just the tip of the iceberg, and so he fancied a change of scenery.
The house was broken up into separate rooms, and another three people lived in the house with him, he had not met any of them, but was sure that soon enough he would do. Strangely, the house was quiet, almost too quiet, and Hugh left his bed and went over to the door, listening for any activity in the house, and heard nothing.
He went out onto the landing, and still heard nothing, but could see that there was a light on at the end of the hall in one of the rooms, and so he went over towards the door.
He reached the door and knocked hard, hoping that he had not been too forceful in his knocking.
There was no answer, so he tried again, and still there as no answer. He put his head towards the door and tried in vain to hear something. Hugh decided that there was nobody in and so went back to bed. As turned around he noticed that the light had gone out.
The experience left Hugh feeling cold, and he quickly jumped into bed and wrapped himself tightly in the duvet, fearing that that some of us may have felt as children, that unknown invisible monster of our minds which is right behind you when you turn out the light. This fear tugged at him, and his heart skipped a beat with the frenzy of terror he was filling his thoughts with over that second of fright.
Looking up at the ceiling he saw the shadows of the street projected before him, the eerie silence continued to bug him, as he had always been used to the noise of the city singing him to sleep. Whereas the absolute peace and tranquillity of a small rural town was just too much, a kind of hurricane of silence, something that just put him ill at ease. He jumped out of his skin as a car did approach the house, the silence having been broken to a level that scared him silly, and he laughed as he composed himself to finally sleep.
Eventually sleep came, but at 2:25, so did the housemates.
The elephant-like stampede up the stairs brought Hugh back to reality with a thud, and as these thuds got closer and closer he wondered if they would even notice that he was there. He could make put two voices at first, both male, and one female voice, although he was not certain, it sounded like they were all in their twenties, and so a similar age to him.
Tempting, as it was to see who the people were, he believed that whilst he was interested in meeting them, they may be slightly too merry to be faced with a total stranger in their house, and so he left them to it.