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The room (standard:horror, 794 words)
Author: jopoguerreroAdded: Feb 06 2009Views/Reads: 1654/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)

The room was worse than bare. 

It had nothing but breathing dust and cobwebs. And its walls were even
more desperate than the space they enclosed – dirty white paint peeling 
off, water-stained corners caving-in. 

But Celso had to take it. 

He was barer than the room itself. He had nothing but dusty pocket and
cobwebbed life. His dream to become a published short story writer was 
peeling off and caving-in. 

The room was the only chance Celso could afford. 

The rent was almost free. It was the farthest room in the building's
sixth floor, a dark and chilly dead end. Nobody or nothing would dare 
or care to pour some interest in it. Thus, it was a perfect place to 
burn all his time writing pieces that could piece together his 
shattered existence. 

But the room's austerity was actually the miracle. 

Celso's first sleep in the room was a nightmare. Not because of the
eerie sighs of the ceiling or the curious groans of the walls or the 
ghostly creeks of the door, but because of the absence of a bed in the 
room – he slept on the cold and coarse floor. 

But the pain and humiliation of sleeping on the floor gave him his first
masterpiece. As his first night in the bed-less room deepened, a story 
idea was conceived in his mind. 

A dark wooden bed! A ghost bed! A killer bed! It was originally owned by
a homosexual who was sodomized to death on the same bed – the mattress 
was soaked with his spit, vomit and blood. It was believed that his 
damned spirit possessed the bed because all the succeeding owners 
mysteriously died the same gruesome death. 

Celso sat up and scribbled the story like crazy. 

Just after the dawn broke, he went to the nearest computer shop to make
copies of his material. Then he went to the office of the magazine 
publisher he has been pestering for over a year now. 

The publisher grimaced as Celso handed him his latest work. The
magazine's stamp for rejections has already been cracked by the 
multiple submissions of Celso – worthless amateurish pieces that hog 
the trash can. 

But the publisher gave Celso one last shot. One last shot then he will
never allow him to darken his office again. He read Celso's work 

Suddenly, the publisher's eyes stirred. His brows shot. His lips
quivered. He burbled. Then he shouted, “This is damn great! At last, 
you made it, Celso! And not just a passable work, this is a 
masterpiece! I'll pay you big money for this. And if you have other 
works this good, you'll be a rich man in a wink!” 

With his first earnings, plus some food and wine courtesy of the
publisher, Celso went home feeling heaven. He couldn't believe that 
success came to him overnight, overnight in the poor, dead room – a 
true blessing in true disguise. 

Celso lost no time. He knew that the room was offering more ideas
through its nakedness. 

In a few days, he was able to write more masterpieces. The room's lack
of table inspired him to write about a banquet that whoever touches it 
will be the next meal. Its lack of chair roused his imagination about 
the stolen chair of Satan. Its lack of cabinets pushed him to pen the 
story of a cabinet maker who uses human skin and bones for his craft. 
And the absence of decent paint in the room gave the material for his 
story regarding a wall that feeds on human blood. 

All of these were joyfully accepted by the publisher, in exchange of
juicy paychecks and a promise of a regular literary column. Bliss 
filled Celso while more throbbing story ideas raced in his mind. 

On his sixth night in the room, Celso penned his sixth story. It was his
favorite. Actually, upon finishing it, he opened a bottle of wine to 
celebrate its completion. He sang praises to the room, to his stories, 
to himself. He danced and laughed and cried. One bottle was not enough, 
thus came the second, the third and so on. 

Celso was dead drunk when fire started to consume his room. 

The fire started at the first floor of the building. It was so sudden
and huge that all of the sixty-six residents were burnt to death, 
including Celso. 

When the fire investigators inspected the razed structure, they were
amazed by what they found in Celso's room – six leaves of writing paper 
in perfect condition despite the fire. The charred ceiling, walls and 
door grouped above the papers, as if trying to protect them. 

The papers held the last masterpiece of Celso. It was the story about
his room – a poor, dead room that saved his life. 


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