Accommodation drama

Submitted into Contest #148 in response to: Write a story involving a noise complaint. ... view prompt

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Drama Fiction Suspense

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

Bang, thump, clank, squeak. In that order. Stay in accommodation, they said. It's time to come out of your shell, they said. I grind my molars as intoxicated chuckles and bitter tobacco fumes snake through my window lining. The party-goers prowl in packs through coffee-stained university halls, sing drunken discord and slather vodka-stained fingerprints across windows. Their sticky purple cider stains cling to my shoes like velcro, leaving putrid puddles of vomit across carpets.

        Smooth country tunes of Dolly Parton from my Air pods aren't enough to blare out the overly loud conversation between Keira and Gerrid in our tiny kitchen space.

        'Where's my vodka?' Keira's plastic scouser accent is lemon juice on papercuts. Her exaggerated slang sticks out like a sore thumb with the overuse of words like 'scran' and 'bevvy', throwing her BO smelling Adidas jumpers on the couch alongside a greasy mophead boyfriend.

        'Who's drank it?' She reiterates to the slumped guy sitting near me.

        'Dunno,' says Gerrid, self-proclaimed Einstein, for discovering that a sports sock over a smoke detector means he can vape, and light blunts indoors. My blood boils at the sight of his overgrown frizzy curls, the main culprit of dirty tag knots festering like baby Mogwais clogging the hoover.

        'Aye, you binned my cigs again?' Keira points at me and then scavenges through the whole bin.

        'No.' I shrug at her. She knocks her knuckles into a cabinet.

        'Stop touching my things.' I flinch as her eyes rapidly twitch, knocking dirty cutlery around for cigarettes.

'Getting sick of her moaning too.' Ged comments. I side-eye him, standing tall.

 'Yeah, I wouldn't moan if you cleaned after yourself.' I immediately notice Keira's knuckles turning white under the kitchen light, strangling an empty tequila bottle.

'What did you say?'

'You think your our ma or something? Piss off,' Ged snorts, exhaling a cloud of cherry vape from his lips.

        'Well, act your age, and I won't say anything.' I say timidly. Keira presses her greasy nose inches in front of mine.

        'Yeah, well, I'm here for a good time, not a long-time dickhead. Touch my stuff again, see what happens,' She rummages through cabinets, prodding her pointy pink nails into someone else's cupcakes. These people are mosquito bites, annoying and reluctant to leave. I don't bother writing reminder notes for them to do chores anymore. A year's worth of sticky notes covers an entire wall, forming a makeshift rainbow of ignored reminders. The only responses gained are crudely drawn dicks and comments highlighted in nursery handwriting.

'Stop moaning, gimp XD.'

'Giz a sec stick note queen', I roll my eyes. 'Stick note queen', how can that be an insult? They'd get their stomachs pumped and bills going unpaid every fortnight without me sorting them out. Minding these idiots is a task worthy of a scholarship. A job role as unrewarding as KFC cashier. I stare at the shiny lament paper detailing campus security every day, longing to dial their number. I think what would happen if I left an anonymous complaint to campus security. But I can't. It's not that easy. Though my roommates have a short attention span, spending hours glued to loud volume reruns of Love Island and Top Gear, they're not entirely dense. It wouldn't be that hard to figure out the snitch since I am the 'stick note queen' pushing them to act like adults.

         A Snapchat notification click pulls me from my thoughts, highlighting another roommate's name.

'They touched my cakes?' Sherry asks. I usually tell her apart from the other nuisances here by the marker writing 'grass' and 'quiet kid' etched outside her door. Her constant complaint messages pile under the snap ghost icon, the secret snitch forwarding complaints to me.

'Was probably Keira,' I conclude, smelling the digested Gin and sick outside Keira's room.

'Report them! I'm sick of this,' she says.

'No, I've done enough.' I type, almost cracking my screen from her forward cheek.

'If you wanna deal with them all year, leave it then' her comment is a cold realisation, reminding me of the lightheaded sleep deprivation throwing me off balance twenty-four seven. Of course, I don't want to deal with these clowns all semester. I think of my overdue assignments, left in limbo in my closed laptop, sacrificing my degree to constantly brush and hoover constant messes.

'Fine, I'll do it,' I type, soon dialling the campus security number. I take a deep breath, convincing myself to do this. I express a paragraph-long summary of months of frustration, my body shaking and pressing send.

I did it. I really did it. 'Thanks for letting us know. We'll send Mark around later.' They responded eight hours ago. Though bright morning rays peers through my curtains, warming my skin, my hands still tremble over the covers. The sharp words of the security man's frustrated tone from last night linger in my thoughts. His low shouts in the early hours pounded like war drums, igniting a fiery conflict until silence. No glasses were smashing, no obnoxious drunken cackles and badly sung karaoke, just quiet. I relish the chirping melodies of songbirds outside my window. Enjoying the natural sounds of nature for a chance which soothe my eardrums. Is this it? Is it finally over? Not even the marshmallow softness of my pillow engulfing my scalp can prepare me for what's coming. A sudden crash from outside my door jolts me awake. A pounding thud echoes outside the door alongside a familiar high-pitched shout.

        'I know what you did, you rats. Open!' Keira shouts, what sounds like the tip of her trainer bashing my door. I leap over to the door, pressing my back into it.

        'Open the door, yeah, grass,' a harsh slam nearly knocks the metal hinges off my door as my doorknob rattles. The jingling soon stops as what sounds like a door unlocks. A familiar shriek from Sherry pushes me to open the lock.

        'I'll kill you bastards.' She chokes Sherry out, slamming her into the wall.

        'Get off. She can't breathe!' I say as Sherry's face streams with hot tears, her cheeks turning blue. Ged pushes me back, flinging me back as Keira's bloodshot eyes make my stomach sink.

        'I've been fined!' she lets go of Sherry, shoving her palms into my chest. Letting adrenaline take over, I sprint into the kitchen – shielding myself behind the table.

        'She didn't do anything!' Sherry tries to interject, only for Ged's arm to block her.

        'No one in the building phoned,' she kicks over some chairs, throwing a half-empty milk bottle at me.

        'We're fined!' she lunges at me, pressing her sharp nails around my neck. I can't do anything except squint my eyes shut, allowing a ball of emotions to sprout in my throat. My mind is a stewed brew of cortisol and flight adrenaline.

        'If I can't pay my dealer—' her fingers squeeze tighter into my throat. Ged pulls Sherry, whose face is red and moist like a balling toddler, over to us.

        'You're paying our dealers, yeah?' The sound of a metallic swish from his hand cancels out all thoughts. Self-defence jujitsu possesses my arm, having a mind of its own. Before I know it, the base of my palm creates a horrible cracking sound from Ged's nose, sending him flying back. Blood streams down his chin, staining his grey Northface top as Keira grips my collar. Before she can do anything, Sherry pours clear liquid from a half-empty bottle over her head, some of it landing in my eyes. Bits of the liquid sting my eyes as the acidic smell of Vodka burns my nostrils. Sherry's blurred hand yanks me down the hall as Ged slams us onto the floor. Sunlight twinkles the small switchblade in his hand coming down at us until the hall entrance swings open.

        'Drop it!' A familiar low voice shouts at the end of the hall. A bearded security guard in a blue shirt rushes us alongside other accommodation students entering our hall. I immediately pull my phone out of my pocket, fumbling to get the camera app up. Ged's face widens at the bleep recording sound, quickly shoving the army knife into his joggers.

        'It's multi-tool, legal—' his pleas are cut off by the guard, flexing his fingers, gesturing for the knife. He escorts the scally into the kitchen as groups of students swarm the space, placing their hands over my and Sherry's shoulders as the bearded man holds Keira back-scratching at his arm. Her eyes are even redder than before, veins bulging in her scalp at us.

        'You owe me!' the guard and male students hold her back as sirens wail outside the building. I grip Sherry's hand, rubbing the dried tears from her lashes, not bothering to pack my room or get any food. University dorms are the best experience in a young person's life. What an absolute joke. As Sherry and I link each other's necks, we share a frowning exchange, saying without words that this is the last time we'll ever stay in student housing again.

The end.

June 03, 2022 22:43

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2 comments

Arwen Bender
21:47 Jun 12, 2022

Amazing plot and great character development. At the beginning, you described things a bit too much. I had to re-read some sentences to imagine it in my head because it was a bit wordy. I would just tone the adjectives down just a tad. Great job! :)

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Allen Learst
01:37 Jun 07, 2022

I like your story a lot. The ending is a bit quick and some of the similes are over the top, like "My mind is a stewed brew of cortisol and flight adrenaline." There are lots more at the beginning and your story might be better served if you toned some of them done. But it's a great story. Happy writing.

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