Some would call it a shed, others a workshop. This rickety wooden structure has many names and many uses. It is an extension of man. A place to hide those dusty, dark things you wish to hide from your family or neighbors. It’s a place of dreams and nightmares. It’s a place for spiders to live without fear of imminent extrication or the whack of a slipper.
From within a shed empires are planned, mass genocide is plotted. A shed is used for destruction equally as it is for creation. You’d often see men in jumpers or overalls carrying a pot of paint or a spanner or a chisel into their shed to fix something until it was broken. Occasionally something miraculous would come out of a shed, but not often. Nothing ever came out in a better state than when it went in: including the man whose shed it was.
This particular shed smells of rotting meat and pennies. I try and convince myself it’s the rats under the sodden floor. They died a few days ago. The floor, made of thin chipboard is sodden from the blood. It’s turned brown now. When I snuff out the candle I can’t see it anymore. Or her body. So I sit here in the darkness.
I filled every nook and cranny with foaming filler, and paint and newspaper. Everything is as tight as I can make it.
I breathe through a tiny tube attached to a small hole in the shed wall. I covered the hole with a flap of roofing felt so they wouldn’t notice it. It won’t be long before their random pawing will knock the felt away and they discover the tube. But until then I sit here in a lawn chair damp with my own urine because I’m too scared to get up. They are sensitive to noise. Although I do wonder if they can smell it, it makes my eyes water so I sit here with gaffer tape over my eyes. When they do discover me I don’t want to see.
I only know it’s nighttime when I hear them scuttling about in the alley behind the shed. Even in the daylight there are no birds or dogs or people. They’ve feasted on them already and it’s only been a couple of weeks.
I’m out of rations. It came on so quickly I had no time to prepare. A packet of biscuits and a block of cheddar were the only things I had in. That day was supposed to be grocery day, but they got to the driver before he could deliver. I tried to eat some sawdust to stop the hunger pains but that only made it worse. So I sit here starving, hoping my body has enough fat on it to keep me going until…. who am I kidding?
No one is coming. No one cares.
I gave up on the rescue just a few days later. I’ve lost count how long it’s been now. I feel like I’m in a dream where no time exists. I just sit here waiting. They’ll find me eventually, I prey it’s quick. I thought about suicide, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Maybe it’s a perverse need to be torn apart instead. I’ve not been a saint during my life; suicide would be too easy.
It’s night. I hear their snide shuffling. Usually one will growl and scratch about in the dirt and move on, but tonight is different. I can’t tell how many of them there are.
They’re on the roof. I can hear their claws scraping through the thin felt.
It won’t be long now.