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7 Lives (standard:horror, 3604 words)
Author: Mircea PricajanAdded: Mar 27 2003Views/Reads: 3185/2014Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A young aspiring author moves to a new home. Leads a boring life for the first years until he finds a cat waiting for him on the doorstep. After a while, he also finds a girl to marry. Years after, wife not home, he stumbels over an old newspaper. And he

Mircea Pricajan 


I'm hot. I'm sweating. I can feel a drop of sweat making its way from
the temple to the left corner of my mouth. I try not to breathe too 
much. Although it's difficult. My heart beats so fast and my lungs seem 
to scream so greedily for air, that breath regularization is now 
perhaps the most tormenting exercise. But I have to do it. I have to 
breathe more rarely. Not only because this way the temperature would 
get lower, but also because this would set me at ease. And ease is what 
I crave for. And ease is what seems to be the most difficult thing to 

My heart stopped. And so did the breathing. I think I heard something.
Maybe it's only my imagination. I hope so. Look, slow, but steady, the 
heart beatings start again, more and more frequent. Breathing I don't 
let go for now. Because it I can control. The heart, on the other hand, 
I can't. For a fraction of a second I think I heard a scratching at the 
door. That kind of sound a woman makes when caressing a smooth surface 
with her nails. A sound neither acute, nor muffled, a sound at the 
border of audibility -- frightening. 

I would wipe my forehead, but I can't move. One of my hands went numb
under my head and the other I don't even feel. It might be somewhere 
lower, keeping a grip on the blanket. No thread of air enters here, 
under the blanket. It's made of heavy, beaten by usage wadding linen -- 
I think I'm using it since I was fifteen -- and, if you'd want, you 
could happily use it as a rain tarpaulin. Neither rain nor air has any 
way of getting through it. And this is what worries me. What'll happen 
when there won't be enough oxygen' What am I going to do' I would have 
to set the blanket aside. To expose myself! No, never. Better die hear 
of asphyxia. No way setting the blanket aside. 

A drop of sweat has entered in my eye. Maybe I'll go blind. Maybe... 

...the one who recommended him the apartment knew something. It was
above all he was expecting for that price. If what he had told him was 
true, and if he had heard it well, it was extraordinary. 

‘It's mine!' he had shouted not even a minute after he had entered. 

It had three rooms, all spacious. The living room alone was as big as a
whole apartment the kind he already visited. The bathroom had faience 
on its walls and grit stones on its floor; the bathtub was big: he 
would surely sit comfortable in it, without his legs hanging outside. 
The kitchen was already furnished, air-conditioned and the cooker was 
connected to the city's gas system. The hall walls were draped in wood 
and there were mirrors everywhere you turned your head; the floor was 
covered with moquette or parquetry, the walls were just painted. A 

‘It's mine!' he had shouted once again, and again, and again, at precise
intervals, after he threw another glance around, after he touched the 
walls with the tips of his fingers, like to convince himself this 
wasn't a dream, and then breathed satisfied. ‘It's mine!' 

And his it was. 

He had moved in immediately. Right after the paperwork was over -- as
quickly as possible, because of the euphoric haste that wrapped him up 
-- he brought with a faculty friend's car the few clothes he had, the 
blanket, the CD collection, the music-station and other trifles he 
couldn't convince his heart to get rid of, and turned the new apartment 
into the place he had no intention to ever move out of. 

When this luck turned to him, he had just graduated faculty and his
imagination was still swarming with the host of plans natural for his 
age. He had the whole life in front of him. He was negotiating a 
cultural reporter position with a local newspaper; he was working on a 
translation from a fairly well known English author, and still had to 
write a quarter of what he planned to be his first novel. And this was 
only the beginning. He had other higher stakes. But he wanted to take 
it slow, well-balanced, step by step. There was no rush. The final goal 
was about becoming a university professor. If he eventually would do 

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