The black floor | Sunday Observer

The black floor

The door slammed shut and the sound of the wind ceased. The sound of the rain was suddenly drowned by a loud, high-pitched scream. The lights flickered above them. Lightning flashed. Another scream, followed by a screeching of tyres. All but one of the lights flickered off, as did their last sense of security. Sophie stared at Joshua with her green eyes.

“What is happening?”

The storm stopped. Then, there was a knock on the door.

“Who is it?” asked Sophie.

“I’ll get it.” Joshua walked to the door. When he swung open the door, a little old man dressed in rags greeted them. He was holding a rather large box.

“Friend, hello! I with no home and like to stay at your home?”

His English was poor. Joshua walked back over to the dining table and discussed whether they would let him in or not. She had to say no as he was a stranger. But when she looked into his blue-green eyes, her ‘no’ almost instantly turned into a ‘yes.’

“Yes, Joshua, let him in.”

A very cold chill went down Joshua’s spine. The man hopped in, excited, strangely excited. Joshua led him to his room.

“Goodbye!” the man said, and slammed the door in Joshua’s face.

Joshua walked slowly back to the dining area. ‘What was the cause for the man’s peculiar behaviour?’ he thought. ‘He must have been happy, as he has a place to stay the night, but why did he so suddenly and impatiently slam the door?’ Joshua told his wife about his thoughts.

“I’ll go check on him,” said Joshua.

And as he went, he stared down at his arms, and saw his skin had gone very red.

“Hello?” Joshua said as he knocked on the door.

No answer.

“Hello?!” Joshua opened the door.

No one was there, but the box that the man had brought in was open on his bed. No one was in the room. He looked up. The air conditioner vent was open. He started walking cautiously out of the room. When he went back to the dining room, Sophie wasn’t there.

Sophie walked slowly into the lounge room. She had been hearing screams. Screams of pain. Agony. She thought she was hallucinating. She looked at the white walls, the white ceiling and the black floor.

Nothing unusual.

Then she noticed her skin, it was red. It was painful. Something was biting her from within. Something invisible. She started shivering. The smell in the air was very peculiar. She noticed the air conditioning vent was hanging loose and a cold chill coming through it. Sophie looked down and saw that her fingernails were bleeding. They fell off. Like an infection, her skin started to peel. As soon as the peeling skin touched the ground, it was consumed.

When she tried to scream for help, only raspy sounds came out. Her throat felt like it was on fire. Her throat was burning. Her eye felt like it had been stabbed. Without warning, it completely disconnected from her face and rolled away. Looking down with her one remaining eye, she saw how it was going to end.

The floor. It was crawling into her skin. Or what was left of it. Joshua searched frantically for his wife, and as he did, he had heard an ear-piercing scream. He found her in the lounge room, lying on the floor. Joshua ran to Sophie. His dying wife fell into his arms. She opened her mouth and tried to speak, but her lips only formed one word before she fell limp in his arms. “Run.” Joshua tried to get up.

He felt as though his legs were being consumed. He looked up, and standing in the hallway was the homeless man. Joshua looked down and saw that his legs were gone. It was excruciating. Unbearable. He tried to ask the man for some help, but his throat wouldn’t let him. His arms had deteriorated.

The homeless man had a smirk on his face as he took out his box. As he opened it, the black floor retracted and revealed the timber underneath. It moved back into the man’s box.

Dying, Joshua realised what had happened. But it was too late. The bugs had killed him.