What’s the worst that can happen to you when househunting?
Chika had seen three different houses that day. She’d let the house agent drag her around town, and now, as the sun was about to go down, she’d had enough and just wanted her bed.
But the agent said no. Something about the landlord only seeing people at night, so she should just get it over with.
This should’ve been her first sign, but she was a fool, a desperate fool who needed to leave her mother’s house before they killed each other.
They started their journey to this house that seemed to be at the end of a forest, in the middle of nowhere — that should’ve been the second sign.
The third sign should’ve been when they got to the house.
If she knew was honest, all she wanted was to ask the agent to take her home so she could kiss her mother’s feet. Her mother was still her mother. Surely, if Chika begged enough, she’d stop disturbing her every waking moment with ridiculous requests for marriage and grandchildren. Instead, Chika stepped out of the car and kept walking until she entered the house.
It was to be a shared apartment, so all she was shown of the three-bedroom were the room she’d be in, the en-suite kitchen and living room. The agent was quick, and they were done in minutes. Now, she could leave — as soon as the agent returned with the landlord.
Chika’s eyes roamed around the long hallway they’d left her in, stealing glances at the cracked wall with tiny holes that gave the wall a multitude of faces, and dusty surfaces, until her eyes landed on it — a painting of the house she was in, only this time surrounded by creatures whose eyes she could swear stared into her soul. For the life of her, she couldn’t stop looking. So she walked towards it.
She just wanted to feel the painting under her fingers.
Chika stood in front of it, and as she raised her hand to touch it, she heard a door swing open. She turned to look, but no one was there.
She turned back to the painting, and something had changed. The creatures still looked at her, but they weren’t in that position the last time. She raised her hand to it and touched the painting. It felt scaly, wet, and somehow, alive.
Yeah, Chika couldn’t do this anymore. She had to get the fuck out of here. She turned around, went through the hallway and to the front door. She didn’t care if her agent and the landlord were done with their chat. She was done with it.
Chika tried to open the door, but it wouldn’t budge.
That was when she heard a loud roar that shook the house’s foundation. She looked out the window, and for the life of her, she didn’t understand what she was seeing. But she knew one thing, she should’ve stayed in her mother’s house.