Fred… Fred… FRED!!!
Fred wakes in a start. “What the effing hell?” He listens for the annoying sounds of Jack singing Chicago in the shower again, but there was no screeching. Brows furrowing, Fred cautiously gets off the bed, tiptoeing across his flat and wincing when he steps on a creaky floorboard. Nervously, Fred looks around. Complete silence. “What the hell woke me up, then?” Fred mutters.
Fred whips around, his body tensed, nostrils flared, and a low growl starting from deep in his throat. Yoohoo! Freddie-boy! Come out and play! The voice calls out faintly from the hall. “Well he asked for it,” Fred snarls, and strides out the door. Looking around, Fred doesn’t see a thing. Freddie! I thought you were tough! Turns out you’re nothing but a pup. Tsk! The voice echoed down the hall. Fred looked around nervously. What if the neighbours come out to see what was causing such a loud racket? Suddenly, a flower put flew towards his head. Fred ducked, but that didn’t stop the broom that literally swept him off his feet.
Snarls ripping from his chest, Fred lowered himself into a crouch. “So you’re a motherfucking telepath,” he growled. I wouldn’t sound so sure about yourself, Freddie-boy. Why don’t you come over here and play? The voice was closer now, calling out teasingly/ Fred looked around. There was still no one around, no one peeking out of their windows out of curiosity. “What the hell are you playing at…?” he muttered between gritted teeth. Not coming? Surely the DAREDEVIL isn’t scared of a little voice… God, that voice was getting on Fred’s nerves. It sounded like it’s just around the corner. On the lookout for more flying objects, Fred makes his way down the hall, and quickly turns the corner, lips pulled back into a snarl. As he registers what he sees, Fred relaxes and leans against the wall, a smirk plastering itself on his face.
It was just a little boy, no more than 12 years old, floating in midair. “You know it’s not good for you to just be floating around. What if somebody sees you?” Fred scolds. The boy smiles wider, “Nobody will see me unless I want them to.” The boy grins cheekily, immediately tap-dancing on Fred’s nerves again. “Oh you arrogant little bastard…” Fred grumbles.
The boy grins wickedly and another flower pot comes flying at Fred. He manages to catch it, mere milliseconds before it would have hit his head. “Hey!! Watch it!” Fred yells angrily. The boy shushes him mockingly, “Hush little daredevil, otherwise people might come out to investigate.”
As if on cue, an old Asian man, looking around 80 years of age, comes hobbling out of his suite. Fred stares in shock, not sure whether to dash back into his apartment, or stand like a statue and hope the old man doesn’t notice. Before Fred can even decide, the man pulls down his saggy yellowing underwear and decides to relieve himself in the tulips that Inida had so lovingly planted.
Fred stares, wide-eyed, as the old man shakes himself dry, and then finally opens his eyes. “What? This isn’t the toilet…” The old man seems confused, looking around, and then spots Fred, who is too engrossed in the destruction of Inida’s flowers to notice until the old man calls out to him. “Hey sonny boy! Wouldja mind helping me pull my trousers up? I can’t bend down that far.” Fred’s dazed look quickly turns from amusement unto disgust. Too afraid to speak to the old man, Fred simply nods and inches closer to the man. Using two fingers, Fred pulls the damp piece of cloth slowly up the old man’s bottom, and shudders as the old man smiles a toothy grin as thanks. ‘I might have to burn these fingers off after this…’ Fred thinks to himself.
As the old man trots back into his apartment, Fred whips around, half expecting another flower pot to come flying at his head. But there’s no one there… “What…?” Fred mutters obscene swear words under his breath as he thinks, ‘That was all a dream… All a dream… All a-‘. Fred notices the wet tips of his fingers where he had to drag the old man’s wet underwear up for him. Suppressing a gag reflex, Fred runs back into his apartment bathroom, slamming the door, and scrubs his fingers until he’s sure that the top three layers of contaminated skin are swirling down the drain.
“The next time I see someone I don’t know, I’m running,” Fred furiously thinks to himself. Feeling sorry for himself, and even worse for the tulips, Fred sighs and turns on the treadmill. There’s no way he can sleep after all that anyways. He might as well run a few more miles.