“No entry!”

Informed of the double incident at their building, the residents cautiously passed the particular hall, locking their doors once they were inside or when they left. No one wished to talk to inquisitive freelance reporters who scoured for other angles that could sensationalize the incidents for the consumption of their tabloid readers.

Apartment 23-D had its door shut, the yellow police tape warned anyone not break into the crime scene.

However, only humans was barred from entrance. Other entities, spirits and the unseen, could pass through unhampered.

Inside, it was pitch dark. The curtains on all the windows, locked by the authorities, were drawn, not permitting sunlight to pass through. Even power and water utilities personnel were told to cut off the apartments supply: a dead zone it had to be.

A presence came back once in a while, a persistent visitor of the once happy place, where a pleasant relationship with a man of great promise was severed by his untimely demise.

If the objects inside the apartment could talk, they could piece together into a whole the events that transpired before the tragedy occurred.

The presence, too, never forgot, reminiscing.

– o –

Muses did not possess gender: they’re neither a she nor a he. They’re pure inspiration.

Emil called out to her one day: he preferred to think of his muse as a female. He even gave her a name: Hope.

Like all her proteges, the human term muses distinguished their chosen talents, she had high hopes in him. Young and ambitious, he was full of verve and love for the written word. With her help, he was destined to be a great writer of his time.

“Help me Hope write the most romantic story I could think of. I know I could not compete with the popularity of a Romeo and Juliet but I will be content with something I could be proud be of.”

Yes, I believe in you,” she told him subliminally. “Think of it and I will inspire you to the best of my abilities.

“I believe in you Hope! Muses could do the impossible. Give it to me!”

With hard work, you will succeed. Write!”

“I need some heady music,” he said loudly, fetching the portable player from the bathroom where he often visualize his stories. “Ah, here’s one that you will like. I hope you can hear this, too, Hope!”

– 0 –

Hope’s flashback was cut short.

“No other love.”

Little did the police knew that the words were inscribed crudely, probably with a pointed metal, on the left side of the door. No one cared either if they did discover it.

Hope witnessed it when Emil did it one sleepless night. It was the title of his romantic story, an unfinished premise that he failed to continue because he was sidetracked to a more lucrative activity Hope did not approve of.

I am here, Emil. Have you forgotten about me? I still believe in you.

He changed for the worse. Gone was his drive to write. His internet activity forced him to abandon all his creative ideas. For him, it was a useless dream, a dream he could not realize.

“I don’t need you, Hope!” he screamed one day. “Go inspire someone worthy! I am wasted!”

You are not! You can still do it!” Hope whispered to his ears, activating all her influential powers to reverse his depressed decision. “Fight!

“Hope, I am sorry,” he sobbed, alone in his misery.

(to be continued)



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