A/N: Written on December 4, 2012.
Lewis Edwards was convinced that someone else was living in his house. This was strange because he had lived by himself for over thirty years, and it had been at least twenty since anyone had bothered to visit. Yet here he was, convinced all the same.
The suspicion began a few weeks ago, when he misplaced his glasses. Naturally he looked in all the usual places like the coffee table, the bathroom counter, and his dresser. Unsuccessful and feeling frustrated, he pulled all the pillows and cushions off the couch in the hopes that perhaps the glasses had somehow gotten away from him while he was watching television. But of course they had not. Completely irritated now, he returned to his bedroom to check his bed. Much to his astonishment, he found his glasses sitting in plain view on his dresser.
"How the devil did you get up there?" he demanded of the glasses, as though they could answer him. He cleaned them on his shirttails and put them on, feeling a little uneasy.
These sorts of incidents continued. In addition to his possessions disappearing and reappearing, sometimes the things Lewis had put in one place would turn up in another. He had always kept jars of olives in the door of his refrigerator, but discovered one day that a jar had been moved to the inside top shelf. The remote control for the television moved from the coffee table to the couch. And the hand soap dispenser in the bathroom seemed to be on a different side of the faucet every time he washed his hands.
Lewis tried to ignore these sudden changes until the morning he ran out of teabags. He had been accustomed to having two cups of tea each day: one in the morning with breakfast and one in the evening after dinner. Because of this routine, he always kept a large supply of teabags in the cupboard. One morning he walked into the kitchen to prepare his breakfast tea and could not find a single teabag. He assumed they had just been misplaced until he saw the teacup with a used teabag in it sitting in his kitchen sink. Being a tidy sort of person who always washed his dishes before going to bed, Lewis was taken aback. He took the teabag out of the cup and walked to the trash can to throw it away. He gasped when he saw the missing teabags lying in a cold, brown heap in the bottom of the trash can. They had all been used.
"How-who-what-" He swallowed nervously, completely unsure what he should do next. He was now entirely convinced that he was not alone in his house.
Each day brought more evidence of this mysterious boarder. Lewis would make his bed in the morning only to return to his room at night and find the covers and pillows askew. The television volume was always blaringly loud when he first turned it on even though he kept the volume low when he watched. He had to almost constantly turn up the temperature on the thermostat because it was continually being lowered. Once he walked into his bathroom and found the tub full of water and a wet towel lying on the floor.
While each day brought more horrifying discoveries, each night brought less sleep. Lewis would lay awake in bed for hours, listening for a sign that would let him know he was about to be confronted by the boarder at last. Sometime in the early morning he would finally fall asleep, only to wake in a few short hours.
He had now abandoned all of his previous daily routine. He wore the same clothes for days at a time and rarely bathed. He hardly ate and no longer bothered to wash his dishes although they ended up getting washed anyway. He wandered despairingly from room to room, an umbrella in hand, hoping to stumble upon the boarder and force him to leave. When he grew too weary to search the house, Lewis would sit on the couch shouting at the boarder to show himself.
This is what Lewis Edwards' life had become—a constant battle against someone who did not exist.