THE END

A woman lives in an apartment, alone. She hears a miao outside her door, so she investigates and comes face to face with a cat sitting in the building hallway. She opens the door of the apartment from across hers, believing the cat must be theirs. The cat won't budge. Leaving the door open, the woman retreats to her apartment.

She sits on the floor and peers through the keyhole at the opened door adjacent to hers, to see if the cat eventually goes in. She sips her coffee while she waits, examining the room in the meantime.

She can partially see a bed and the corner of a piece of furniture. It's as if the person was using the living room as a bedroom. Upon further examination, she realises they both share the same bed cover. Curious now, she tries to focus her attention to other areas of the room but is stopped abruptly when the figure of someone rushes by and just as quickly vanishes out of sight. Horrified, the woman clasps her hand over her mouth.

Had she opened the door to someone's apartment while the owner was inside? What had she done!

The woman quickly peeks through the keyhole again, but this time sees no one. She ponders whether she should go and apologise, or simply close the door.

While caught in a spiral of thoughts, weird rumbling noises starts resonating though the walls. She falls in a state of confusion when she realises the noises are simultaneously coming from her bedroom and the room from across the hall.

She glances in the direction of her own bedroom and sees the door wide open. How? She clearly remembers closing it this morning. Or did she…?

The roaring persists for a few more seconds before going silent.

Must be the pipes.

The piping was old in this rundown building, so why was she so surprised at the noises now?

The woman takes another sip of coffee, which is cold by now, and peers through the keyhole once more. She jumps at the sight of the cat sitting still, staring blankly into her eyes. In her peripheral vision, over and beyond the animal, she catches sight of a shadow moving against the wall. It was twisting around as if it was dancing against a light.

Miao

Choking in fear, her lungs expelled all oxygen left.

The sound was so close, it was coming from right beside her. Jerking her head sideways, she saw the same cat sitting near the entrance of her own bedroom.

Jumping to her feet in a matter of seconds, she stumbles backward, ramming her back against the wall.

Her heart was pounding erratically in her chest.

The cat sat, staring, unblinking, immobile.

Gathering all the courage she has left; the woman hesitantly steps forward. When she gets close, the animal scurries inside the room. Approaching the entrance, she leans passed the doorframe to look inside.

Her heart stops.

The hair on her arms spikes up like little nails.

Beyond her bed and furniture, on the adjacent wall where she believed a window used to be, there was now a door. Beyond the doorway, was the same hallway she had just been staring at through the keyhole.

The bed, the cover, the furniture. Everything was identical.

Her small brass lamp on the dresser was lit, casting a soft glow against the opposite wall. Overwhelmed with raw fear, the woman manages to propel herself away from the doorway and run to the front door.

Miao

She violently swings the door open and charges outside. Her legs suddenly collide with a soft material, sending her falling flat down onto it. Raising herself up, she realises it's her bed. Glancing around, she finds herself back in her bedroom. Looking back at the door she had just ran through, was the hallway.

What was happening?

Miao

The walls started trembling, then the furniture and finally the bed. It was quivering with such force, she had to grip on the edges.

The brass lamp is now flickering.

A figure rushes by and then disappears.

The woman rolls off the bed and lands on the floor. Before she can stand, something sweeps her up. She is suddenly levitating, a foot above ground. Her arms are flailing in the air, wrestling against the unseen force. While twirling like a spinning top, she briefly catches a glimpse of her own shadow on the wall.

It looks like she's dancing.

Before processing another thought, everything dissolves into black.

The torment inside the apartment stops.

Everything comes to a still.

Silence

The cat walks across the room, passing the bed and through the door leading to the hallway.

Behind him, the door softly closes.

He sits.

Miao

A woman lives in an apartment, alone. She hears a miao outside her door and decides to investigate. A cat sits in the building hallway.

THE END