The Rot, flashfiction.
Clarissa Morison, aged 78, looked up at the ceiling of her small apartment. The black spot she had observed the previous day had expanded. The rot had somehow doubled in size overnight. And that smell. She used to pick up road kill on the side of the road, just a job like any other, if you are a man. But she was the woman: the road kill-lady. Kids used to point at her when she came home still wearing the dirty overalls. She liked her new apartment now; no pointing kids. Whatever the rot was, it smelled just like a half-eaten goose she once scooped from the asphalt.
Her landlord came by an hour after she had called him. Mister Fincher, no first name disclosed, never did house calls. But after about 20 from Clarissa and a threat to report him to the authorities, he swung by. Fincher once had been a schoolteacher. He looked at Clarissa’s apartment with great disapproval. He limped from one room to the other. Every step he made was accompanied by a loud tap of his cane. He gave Clarissa a look only a father and a teacher can manage, like she was about to be slapped on the wrist for a wrong answer. Fincher used to like physical abuse. He still did but he had no strength for it. He worked in one of the less prestigious schools. The school had many faults. One of which was a leaky roof. They only came to realize this when a pile of old books had turned soggy. The rot that had spread to the ceiling above Mr. Fincher’s pointy nose reminded him of that particular incident.
Fincher always kept the Master Key in a chain around his neck. Like a talisman enchanted to protect him from any non-payers or nuisances.
“Shouldn’t you knock?” Clarissa asked as Fincher put the key in the lock of the apartment above hers.
Fincher let out a quick laugh. “This is my home,” he said in the kind of english only old people can manage, “this is my property.”
He unlocked the door and pushed it open with his cane. The door slowly creaked open revealing the grotesqueness inside.
The biggest animal Clarissa Morison had ever wheeled away from an accident was a deer. The beast had exploded on impact and spread guts and other insides across the highway. It seemed as if Colin France, her upper neighbour, had been hit by a hummer. Blood and guts were thrown across the entire room, on the walls, the ceiling.
Fincher, at loss for words, tapped over the carpet. The sound of his cane was muted by the blood soaked into the fibre. He approached the head of former Mr. Colin and pushed it with his cane. His eyes opened.