I clawed my way out of the darkness with fingers outstretched in hopes to end my suffering. When my searching digits brushed cold metal, I sighed in relief and hit the switch for my alarm before sinking back into the covers with a groan.

Oh god...

It was Monday...

I hate Monday…

I lay there for a few more minutes before some semblance of strength returned to my limbs and I forced myself to slither out of bed, partially onto the floor, and went about my morning ritual. I shuffled into the bathroom to splash water on my face, slide my glasses over my nose, brush my teeth, and walked out into the kitchen to get breakfast started. I fumbled with the coffeemaker, somehow made scrambled eggs without burning them or myself while waiting for the sweet nectar of god to brew and poured myself a glass of orange juice. I wonder if people would think I'm a psychopath for drinking orange juice soon after I brushed my teeth? I mean, I have a system for it. I wait for the coffee to brew and then drink it to wash away the toothpaste, then drink the orange juice is a chaser. Maybe I'd be judged for drinking them at the same time? I don't know. Sugar and caffeine help me deal with life (and Mondays) so…better than drugs, I guess? I peered at my glass of juice and gave the coffeepot a look. Maybe I should look that up? What happens if you mix caffeine and sugar-oh, right…soda, I am so stupid! I set my glass down to rub the bridge of my nose, marveling at how badly I needed to wake up.

Everything in the kitchen chose that minute to start floating.

Panic shot through me like a rush of orange coffee soda (ew) and I made a noise that sounded like, "NNngNu!" and moved to keep everything stationary. I grabbed my glass of orangey goodness before it levitated too far off the counter with one hand, threw an elbow over Mr. Coffee to keep him pinned, and reached out to grab the griddle by the handle with my other hand as it rose off the stove. Can't stop the eggs, though. There they go…just floating right up off the pan.

Ugghhhh, again? Seriously? Why is this happening? Why in the kitchen? Why is it always on Monday? I got enough shit to deal with as is! It was cool at first, but when things reach the ceiling they stop floating, and cleaning a mess after gravity randomly decides to take a break in my kitchen sucks! That is why everything stays in the cabinets for now on! No glass just sitting out in kitchen, no sir, not again!

Fortunately, gravity returned after a few seconds and I managed to catch my scrambled eggs in the pan.


Except for that piece.

I looked down at it.

The sad cluster of yellow and burnt black stared back at me.


Well…at least gravity is back! I'll just clean that up and sip my 100% natural orange juice at 100% normal gravity, thank you very much!

Then, my dryer started up on its own and I groaned. Something is definitely wrong because this is the tenth time it's done that this week! I gotta kick the base of it until it stops, and I'm just tempted to unplug the damn thing at this point. It's an older model, and I get that things break, but this thing has been running up my electric bill and even after countless complaints to my landlord, no new dryer in sight.

One sore foot later, I threw my eggs onto a plate, sat down at my kitchen table, nursed my mug and glass of coffee and orange juice respectively, and groggily forked egg into my face. They could have used some salt…and some pepper…and some ketchup…which I don't have, shit. Welp, looks like I'm going shopping later.

After breakfast, I dumped my dishes in the sink and glanced over at my microwave's clock just as it turned to 8:10. Sure enough, the small TV in the living room flickered on and a grainy, soundless, and black-and-white clip began to play. It showed a man with a bushy mustache wearing a nice suit sitting in a chair in a blank room. He stares off into space with a blank expression, all the while standing up and sitting back down over and over again for a full minute before the TV shuts off on its own. This happens every morning even though I don't have cable and that TV is not plugged in.

It also reminded me to get the mail for some reason.

January had not been too cold so far, but it was still chilly out so I threw on a jacket and footwear and headed for the door. If I'm going to be judged for anything today, it's going to be for the flip-flops I just slipped on. I am lazy and my feet don't get cold for some reason, so…yeah. Besides, no one in this place really has a right to judge me anyway! Some of the outfits I've seen around here have scarred me for life!

Just before I left my apartment, I glanced back inside to see a figure standing in the middle of my foyer.

She was dressed in all black; jeans, boots, and a hoodie with the hood up to cover her face...only, she didn't have one. A smooth, featureless surface, like a mannequin's head, stared back at me. Her skin was pure white, smooth but powdery in texture, especially her fingers, and her black clothing was coated in white dust.

We stared at each other for another long moment before it hit me, and I snapped my fingers in remembrance.

"Right, pack of gummy worms! I won't forget again, promise. I'm gonna head to the store anyway. You want anything else, Chalk?" I asked.

Chalk shook her head.

"Are you sure?"

Another quick head shake.

"Okay." I drawled as I began to close the door but paused and added, "Oh, if the washing machine turns on again just unplug it. I need to bug the landlady again about getting a new one. Maybe there's something wrong with the start button, or something?"

Chalk just shrugged.

"Yeah, I don't know either." I shrugged back, closed the door behind me, and locked it.

I made my way downstairs and hit the bottom landing with the slapping of my flip flops echoing in the empty space. Mail came every Monday and I expected the usual mix of bills, ads, newspapers, possibly another snake…gotta love Mondays. Outside, the sky was cloudy, and the ground was wet from last night's rain. I was going to get to get into my car, drive to the mailbox, and then drive to the store, but a tree had fallen across the middle of the highway and was blocking the way into town. I stopped and stared at the chunks of waterlogged wood littering the asphalt around the old trunk with a mounting feeling of annoyance. Seriously? Just...seriously? Okay, that's fine! Totally fine!

Instead of getting into my car, I turned and walked down to the end of the complex where the mailbox sat on its lonely island of concrete. When I opened up my slot, 107B, I found that it was surprisingly empty. Oh, wait, there's something the back. I reached in and pulled out a little crumpled up piece of paper. It was a small note with the words THE END IS NEAR scribbled on it in dark red ink.

I crumpled it up and tossed into the back of my mailbox. Stupid junk mail.

"Morning neighbor!"

Oh crap.

I turned with what hoped looked like a smile instead of a pained grimace to greet the tall, bearded man walking up to me, "Hey mister Wilbur!"

For starters, Mr. Wilbur isn't even my neighbor. He lives in the furthest building at the end of the complex on the second floor. Secondly, every time I want to get my mail, this guy seems to magically appear and strike up a conversation like clockwork. Thirdly, he's one of the more, shall we say stranger, people that live here. I know I have no room to talk, but at least I don't go boasting about the weird crap that goes on in my place.

Case in point, mister Wilbur walked up to his mail slot and opened it up before saying, "Sorry if there was a lot of noise last night. My wife and I were having a cockfight."

Slowly I turned and stared at him.

"What." Was all I could say.

"You know, a cock fight! You run around and throw pieces of chicken at each other! Huh, guess kids these days don't know how to have fun anymore. Let me give you some advice, Otto. Get a girl that's like my wife! Some women bring flowers, but mine…brings chicken!"

And then he walked off.

I stared after him without another word and slowly shook my head. I swear, the people in this place are the weirdest, most bizarre human beings on the face of the earth. I swear there's an entire circus troop living in the apartment below me.

Sighing as I closed my mailbox, I turned to glare at the tree blocking the road. Damn it, I'd been hoping to get some shopping done today and Chalk gets irritable if she doesn't get her candy. She better not draw all over the walls again! I mean, I could always take the trail into town, but I don't like to use it because a) I don't like the woods, and b) I have a perfectly functional Nissan. Also I was wearing flip flops. Meh, I'll just promise to get her an extra bag. Personally, I have no idea why she even has me buy them. She doesn't even have a mouth and I don't think I've actually seen her eat anything! Maybe she plays with them or gives them to Fred? Maybe she gives them to the local kids? Maybe she's diabetic, I don't know!

Speaking of health problems…

"Fred?" I called out when I stepped into my apartment and swept the area for the little shit. I know his games by now. The second I leave my apartment he gets up to something that usually ends in catastrophe for all parties involved be it me or one of my actual neighbors. I took a step forward and nearly tripped over something lying in the middle of my foyer. That something turned out to be my only pair of sneakers with the shoelaces tied together.

"Fred!" I growled and looked around. Sure enough, there he was, standing a foot away from me on the floor, his black ceramic eyes mocking me.

On the notepad glued to his arm read the words Wear some actual shoes

I scowled and stomped over to the smug bastard and snatched him up, "Go fuck yourself!" I told the gnome.

Then, I ripped away the first note to reveal his response.

No you

I glared at him.

"Getting real tired of your shit, Fred." I told him and ripped away the note.


Fred is pretty much the most basic depiction of a gnome; about a foot tall, a red cone-shaped hat, a bushy, white mustache and a beard that reaches his belt, black boots, and a blue coat. The only thing that sets Fred apart from the norm, is that tucked in his right armpit is a very thick pencil that can be removed and put back with ease, and glued in the crook of his left arm is a notepad that never seems to run out of notes. Attached to his body. He's also an asshole that constantly leaves his notes lying all over the place, raids the fridge to the point where I'm considering a lock, is the biggest smartass I have ever known, and truly defined what the word mischievous meant. I've never had a cat, but I'd imagined Fred would be like owning one because he's knocking things, demanding constant attention, and being an overall pain in the ass. If anyone aside from myself were to walk into my apartment (god knows why anyone would do that), I'd fear for their wellbeing and the safety of their wallets solely because of Fred.

I tossed him onto the carpet and walked away.

"Who's laughing now?" I called over my shoulder as I walked into the kitchen.

I froze.

My frying pan and plate were lying on the floor in a wet puddle, very much outside of the sink. Surrounding it were the broken shards of my mug and glass I'd thrown in the sink before I left the house. I forgot to clean the dishes and put them away before I left. Goddamn antigravity bullshit! Slowly, I turned to stare at the coffeemaker which was remarkably in the same place I'd left it. The only thing out of place was the sticky note taped to the front.

Saved the coffee. Couldn't save the rest. Clean up on isle 5

Slowly, I turned and saw Fred, resting on the kitchen table and staring at me with his stupid face that's forever stuck in a happy smile. Next to him rested a steaming mug of coffee that hadn't been there before.

On his notepad read another message.

Green slime is coming out of one of the outlets btw

I took a deep, deep breath, in through my nose and out through my mouth, and closed my eyes.

I hate Mondays…...

…...wait, green WHAT?!