The Two Apartment Buildings

I was walking along the path at dusk, trying to reach the safety of my apartment before the sun set. After the sun sets, the people in the red apartment building come out and the people in the beige apartment building lock themselves away.

A lady was rushing from her car towards the apartment buildings. She was obviously rushing because she ran straight into me. She fell to the ground and her eyes were filled with fear. I assured her “I’m from the beige building.” With a sigh of relief she said “me too,” before hurrying up the stairs and slamming her door.

What kinds of people would live in a blood-coloured building anyway? I’d always been told to stay away from them, but no one ever told me why. Whatever they do, it must be pretty sick if no one even dares to mention their activities. Maybe they torture their pets? Perhaps they pull out each other’s fingernails? Maybe they eat human flesh?

One evening I risked looking out my window. There was movement on the driveway. It was a child playing in the cool air that comes after sunset. I recognised the child. It was a kid from the the beige building. My building. And the sun had already set! I had to do something. Quick!

I practically flew down the stairs, careful to tread lightly. I didn’t want anyone from the red building to hear me in case they had a taste for my pickled liver. I tip-toed towards the child – lest anyone should fancy pulling out my fingernails – and I tried to get the kid’s attention. Suddenly, I tripped.

I tripped over a person. A person sneaking around. A person from the red building. “Don’t eat my eyeballs!” I shrieked. “Don’t cut off my toes!” Shouted the sneaking person simultaneously. We both writhed on the ground, trying to get up so quickly that we kept falling over ourselves. “You’ll never take me alive!” I wailed. “You can’t kidnap me!” Cried my foe.

Suddenly it clicked. “You’re as afraid of me as I am of you,” I observed. “But you’re from the beige building. Of course I’m afraid of you.” he said. “But you guys are the ones that kidnap children and eat entrails.” I said. “No, that’s what you guys do” he replied.

It didn’t take long to dissolve the boundaries between the two buildings after that day. They had been told to fear us, and we had been told to fear them. We all learned to make up our own minds from then on.



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