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as reply to a bold move

George got up. A glass of
was needed. The group of young college students had finished
a bowl 15 minutes ago. Smoking
without fail gave George an insatiable thirst. First it was the dry mouth feeling.
cotton mouth
they called it. To combat cotton mouth he would start salivating deliberately.

This process would then shock him as to the feelings of his mouth. Is this really what his mouth felt like? How did he spend most of his time not being aware of it. Finally his tongue would remain gliding over his front top 
, wiping them repeatedly until he would finally decide, enough. it's time for a glass of water.

The kitchen was separate from the living room. This was much welcomed. In his previous place the kitchen, bedroom, and living room were all in the same place. A studio 
they called it. With 
prices the way they were, a broke college student like George had no hope besides a studio apartment if he were to live within walking distance of campus.

How lucky was he then that he had found this apartment. It was a two bedroom one with plenty of space in the living room. And even a dining room. On his walks over to the kitchen or the bathroom he would relish the feeling of separation. The darkness of the bathroom or the kitchen compared to the bright space that was the living room. A person needed separation of their spaces. It made their days feel more alive.

When George had first gotten the apartment he had promised himself not to share what he was paying. His friends would become jealous if they found out. Plus he was scared that one of them might find out who his landlord was and try to offer more money than George. So when George was asked how he could afford such a place he had made up a story about how his aunt owned it. Family Deal they called it.

That always squelched any further questioning. Nobody batted an eye when you said a distant aunt or uncle was lending you something nice. But this made George a bit curious. He went and researched his landlord. Interestingly he learned about this apartment as well. Apparently the previous tenant had suddenly disappeared a year ago. George had confronted the landlord about this, who initially tried to fight it but then after a bit more assertiveness from George the landlord admitted.

"Yeah so what? It's still a good deal ain't it?"

"No denying that."

"So we good?"

"Well what I'm trying to figure out. Just tell me. How many months did you try renting this place out before I took it?"

The landlord sighed over the phone. "I don't know. Five or six months. Give or take."

"And nobody would take it?"

"No. You think I wanted to rent it out at the price i'm giving you? Hell no, I ain't running a damn charity here."

That conversation had caused George to feel a little uneasy about the apartment. He had searched for other instances of people who had moved into a place after a strange circumstance. It's not like the tenant had been murdered here or anything. It wasn't so bad. Right? This is what he told himself as he continued to search for similar stories on 
that evening after getting off that call with the landlord. 

George couldn't find any horror stories. Plenty of people had moved into someplace following a suicide or other unfortunate event without suffering any paranormal, superstitious consequences. George was able to fall asleep that night.

This had been a few weeks ago. He had forgotten about it and was able to enjoy himself in the spacious, well lit apartment in this nice neighborhood. He had forgotten about it. Had. Meaning he was remembering it again. Now. In the dark, separated space that was the kitchen. Upon entering he had felt a different presence in the room. It wasn't until he heard the door close behind him that he saw the source of this other presence.

"Don't say anything. Or I'll cut off a finger."

Georgie didn't speak. He didn't breathe.

"Breathe, though," the figure said.

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