Death of a Nameless (3/5)

You’re found on the couch in front of the TV, still sitting on the remote. The game show host greets the Investigator who has kicked your front door open. He tells the Investigator that the contestant has lost the chance to win the brand spanking new car, so — the plug is pulled, and the screen shuts off.

Judging by the sludge on the floor that was once your skin, guts, and muscles, the Investigator estimates that you’ve been dead for over a month or so. What’s left of you is a shadow of your former self — the few tendrils of hair, your painted fingernails, and your yellowed bones and teeth.

Your apartment isn’t an apartment. It’s a maze of looming towers of books and newspapers, and turrets of ornaments and emptied food cans. With gloved hands, the Investigator rifles through your things on the dining table — passed due bills, brochures and pamphlets, crumpled tissues, crushed pills, and cigarette butts and ashes.

He determines you were a recluse, a turtle that hid in its shell whenever someone passed by.

You have one postcard from a friend.

Hawaii is great! Going snorkeling! — dated 2004.

And that’s the first and only sign of a connection to someone from the world outside.

In the bedroom, you had cockatiels and lovebirds in cages. Dozens of birds. All are starved and featherless. In the kitchen, the trash can is overflowed. The plates and silverware fill the sink to the brim.

The only surviving friends you have are the flies circling above your head, forming a swirling black halo; and the roaches and ants that crowd around a bowl of rotten fruit.

The Investigator scrambles to a window, though it refuses to budge. He punches it open and as a breeze of fresh air sweeps in, he gasps to breathe it in. His entire body shivers.

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