Pseudopod 064: Connecting Door

By Richard E. Dansky

Read by George Hrab

They weren’t even trying to be quiet now. The idea of keeping it down had become a joke, a sort of high-decibel sotto voce. Ian felt red rage bubbling up within him, and hammered on the door with the flat of his hand. “Come on, you assholes, cut it out! I need to get some sleep here.” More pounding, hard enough to hurt now. “Would you please just keep it down, or so help me God, I’m coming in there and I’m going to kick your asses!”

There was no laughter now. No noise. No profanity. Just silence. Ian hit the door once more, mainly out of momentum. His hand made a weak, wet noise, a soft slapping sound. He drew it back, suddenly unsure of what to do next. Keep pounding? Go back to bed? Wait?

A sound came from the other side of the door then, a quiet, rasping noise accompanied by whispers and titters. It took Ian a moment to realize that it was the sound of the chain being pulled off the door on the other side of the wall. The noise from the street seemed to vanish. The door in front of him loomed larger, brighter, and more threatening. Suddenly, he was acutely aware of the weakness of his situation, of why a middle-aged man in his underwear should not threaten multiple obnoxious drunks in the middle of the night.

Check back on Thanksgiving for a tasty treat.

November 18th, 2007 3:58 pm

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November 18th, 2007 7:56 pm

Many, many years ago, I went to a movie and the dialog went something like this:
“Fuck! Look at that motherfucker! What the fuck is he doing! Stop the fucking car! Stop right there fucker before I shoot your fucking brains out!”
And on and on and on . . .
About twenty minutes into the movie, I left. It wasn’t that I was offended. I was just annoyed–annoyed that the writers were so lazy that they couldn’t create any interesting dialog to move the story forward.
That pretty much sums up my feelings toward this story.
This concept wasn’t bad, but the presentation represents pure laziness
If I were the editor, I would have sent the story back and told the author to create a three-dimensional character and have the dialog in the adjoining room actually mean something that might reflect the protagonist’s dilemma.
The story didn’t entertain me, nor did it offend me.
It fucking annoyed me.

November 21st, 2007 10:17 am

It was alright, nothing spectacular and it saved me from boredom while driving to the airport. After a while I started finding it amusing and saying fuck every other sentence myself.

November 29th, 2007 7:08 am

snurrk… heheh… FUUUCK.. shhh.. ahem, i think this was a good one.. human conciousness ive heard is not so much a singular linier thread as a number of competing urges and impulses from various ereas of the brain rumbling and murmmmuring to be heard… either one ‘gets’ this one and finds it of value in referance to the human condition or… yes is pointless since the ending didnt really go anywhere, still… hurrr.. fuuuuck…hehe.

December 2nd, 2007 1:04 pm

Not bad, but most of it was obvious. I knew there was nobody next door. I knew he would become one of them. The only thing that’s not worked out in the story is the desk clerk and the disconnected phone. It played no role in the story at all.

December 22nd, 2007 7:46 pm

This one did work for me, even though, as Spork said, the ending was telegraphed pretty well ahead.

I think the lack of content of the conversation, and the random involvement of the telephone and desk clerk actually added to the creepiness. There was something about the room, the building itself, that just did it…

Mari Mitchell
March 25th, 2008 5:39 pm

I loved the bit at the end of where he speaks of being trapped on the Irish Sea more than the story itself. I was fairly sure that is how it would end.