The Window Man by Chris Cummings.

The Window Man

Their eyes locked across the room, the masks leaving only enough space for eyeballs and the slight sign of mouth. Between them were legs, arms and genitals entwined in perverse harmony. It smelled of cigarette smoke, of booze and of sex. The floor was full of people in all positions, some of them sprawled and wet, finished with their moment, others clasping at the skin of strangers while moaning and unleashing thrusts from their hips.

She put her finger to her mouth and licked, narrowing her eyes like a cat about to sleep. He nodded and smiled, his wide teeth grin filling the mouth hole of the strange mask he wore. He put his hand on the window, steamed and dripping with condensation beside him, and he bashed his fist against it. She opened her eyes, slightly startled by his abrasive move. He looked away from her and began to leave the room, and in a moment he was no longer there. Her heart beat fast in her chest, her bare breasts were perspiring and her chin was quivering. She slowly made her way to the exit door, stepping carefully between body parts and feeling hands grabbing and stroking her as she walked out of the room.

She reached the hallway, it was fairly quiet, with a few people standing fanning themselves down to cool off, some sitting and talking, and one man drying himself off with a chartreuse towel. She glanced around, her neck turning quickly in an attempt to locate the man who had banged on the window. She couldn’t see him. The hall was cold and she felt her nipples harden in the chill of the air. She put her forearms over her chest and pressed them to herself stiffly, trying to ward off the cold. She made her way to the changing room at the end of the hall, her naked body shivering as she passed an open window. The changing room was like a store room, ladders, brown boxes and cleaning materials lined the walls and piles of clothes sat in the middle in plastic bags, each with names scrawled on them messily. She found her bag and pulled out a black tee and a skirt, pulling them over her body in a hurry, her body becoming colder now she was out of the damp heat of the main room. She brushed her clothes to remove the wrinkles and pulled the mask from her face. Her hair was stuck to her forehead with sweat and her eyeliner had bled and began to smear across her cheeks. Suddenly, as she dried her forehead with some paper towel, she felt hands grasp her waist from behind. She made a deep and fast inhale, the touch frightening her for a moment. She felt breath on the back of her neck, warm and moist, and she was pulled back into the body of whoever held her.

It was dark when she woke. It was almost like she opened her eyes but still had them closed. The outlines of things began to emerge as she got used to the blackness of the room she was in, and she realised she was at home, in her bed. She reached to her side and flicked on the switch of her lamp. Her eyes twitched with the sudden brightness of the yellow bulb. She looked around and nothing seemed unfamiliar but she couldn’t remember getting back to her place. She remembered the store room, the hands on her waist and the breaths on her neck, but them she went blank. Suddenly, she realised something as she was gazing around her bedroom. There was no door. Her bedroom door was a blank area of wall, a picture of cats hanging where the doorframe used to stand. The windows were merely large framed pictures of windows. The realisation confused her beyond anything she’d ever felt before and the room began to feel smaller as the minutes ticked by. Her eyes widened and her throat dried, her stomach twisted with a sick feeling of nausea and she let out a gasp. Her gasp turned into a cough, and within a few seconds she was retching heavily, her eyes bulging and reddening in their sockets. She vomited on her chest and down the sides of her face, the jade phlegm sliding slimily onto the pink sheets of her bed. Her eyes narrowed and she fell unconscious.

The mask was shaped like a normal human face, but in the place of features and blemishes were splinters and paint chips, like the battered and old frame of a house window.

He held the needle in his hand for a moment as he watched her body become limp and fall to the floor, landing messily on top of the bags of clothes that sat heaped in the centre of the room. He looked down and smiled a wide grin, his eyes glistening in the dim light of the single bulb that hung on a wire from the ceiling.

It had been six hours since he had carried her unconscious body from the fuck club, ignored by those who he passed who probably assumed he was seducing the woman he carried from the club and out onto the cold night streets of the city. He put her in his car and drove her over an hour to his house. He watched her for another hour after that, the planning of the previous months all coming to a head, and he sighed, an emotional sigh, as he gazed at her. He had watched her from outside her home window for quite some time, and climbed through the same window when she wasn’t home in order to photograph her bedroom so he could create a haven for her, with him. His thoughts turned to memories of watching her undress and he began to masturbate beside her, his gloved hands becoming covered in cum within less than a minute. He threw his gloves into a heap beside his desk and dragged her into the room he had made for her, dropping her down from a ladder onto the bed and climbing back up through the ceiling of this strange replica bedroom, pulling the ladder with him as he left.

His desk stretched across a whole wall of his living room. It looked like something a scientist would use to discover cures or research important medical information. There was a wall of monitors above the desk, each of them designed in a way that made them look like windows, windows to bedrooms, like he was a passer by, able to gaze into the homes of the people on the monitors. Six bedrooms with one person in each stood before him, and he smiled a wide smile again. He put his hands behind his head and watched them, exhaling with a sound of relief.

The collection he had been trying to complete for years was now whole, six windows to six chosen lives. People he had taken the time to find, to research and to love. He licked his red bulbous lips and laughed under his breath, a laugh like an excited child about to go to the party of his life.

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Categories: Fiction

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