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Apartments for Rent – Chapter 07 – Part II

Chapter 07 – Part II

½ Rat

I have to mention Ying Ru again; the second afternoon after our little chat, she took a huge suitcase from her closet and went down the elevator at the back of the house. She didn’t come back till nine in the evening. I saw her on the camera in the lift; she was wearing a set of blue sportswear and a pair of running shoes. But that was the strange part, because she clearly had a dress on when she left.

Not only had she changed her clothes, but the suitcase she brought back was exceptionally heavier as well. I could tell by the way she pulled at the handle.

 

Someone had to be inside that suitcase.

A corpse.

A corpse in pieces; it was the only way it would fit in a suitcase that size.

 

“You seriously have me beat. Anyone else would be taking bodies out right now, but you went outside to get a dead body instead. Are you planning to cook another meal for us?” Even though I couldn’t figure her out, I was beginning to appreciate her macabre style.

As I watched Ying Ru drag the suitcase into her room onscreen, I couldn't help but find the situation amusing. Her bathroom already had a black body bag and a dead body, but that didn’t stop her; she even went out of her way to get another.

 

Click.

Ying Ru opened the suitcase.

And I was stunned; in fact, I almost clapped.

 

Inside was a little girl with messy hair. She was wearing her elementary school uniform, with a blue pleated skirt. She was probably…

 

A fifth grade student in a public elementary school? I set the zoom to the max.

Her eyes were shut; she was clearly drugged.

Ying Ru on the other hand, had been weaned from her modus operandi. After tying the little girl to the chair, she taped the little girl’s mouth shut, and pulled out that horrid little wooden box from under the bed. This time, the object of her choice was the menacing glass bottle.

The one with the dead rat inside.

She sat down on the bed and stared at the little girl.

 

Smack!

Ying Ru's slap left five red finger marks on the little girl’s cheek. The impact was so hard she almost fell off the chair.

Soon blood began trickling down from the little girl’s nose, and she slowly opened her eyes.

Dazed.

 

“Innocent little girl, Sister Ying is going to carve a path at the end of your road!” I laughed uncontrollably.

The little girl’s chest vibrated convulsively, and her eyes were filled with such terror and helplessness…

Well, actually, I couldn’t see clearly at all on my tiny screen. And as to what kind of terror the poor little girl must have felt, I was merely projecting my own fears onto her. Even so, it was enough to make me shudder.

Ying Ru took the glass bottle and spun it in front of the little girl’s black pupils. These motions made the swollen dead rat bounce inside the strange liquid filled bottle, as if its claws and teeth were constantly reaching for her face, retracting, and repeating the process.

In a desperate attempt to escape from the terrifying nightmare; the little girl kicked vigorously against the ground, trying to move the chair backwards and away, almost toppling it in the process.

I really wanted to know how Ying Ru managed to kidnap that little girl and stuff her into the suitcase…

 

The little girl closed her eyes, simply not looking at the dead rat. But the way it made her body tremble was clear as day, and it was the most violent kind.

Seeing the little girl closing her eyes, Ying Ru seemed satisfied. Standing up, she reached for the sprayer on the desk she used for watering the plants and sprayed it at the little girl’s face.

Like a marionette whose strings were just cut, the violent oscillation of her body suddenly came to a halt.

 

Just the sight of it alone had left me scarred for ages.

“If I had gone into her room back then…” I murmured.

Other than that ordinary sprayer, what else did she have easy access to in her room that could be used as a murder weapon?

I couldn’t think myself fortunate for having escaped death, because my heart and body were tied to the screen.

 

In the bathroom, Ying Ru dumped the dead rat into the washbasin and took out the pair of big tailor scissors she had borrowed from me.

Snip.

The head of the little rat was severed from the rest of its body.

Scooping the head with a spoon, she walked out of the bathroom with it in hand.

 

“Urgh…” I noticed I was standing on my toes, and my arms were folded tightly in front.

 

Ripping off the tape on the little girl’s mouth, she forced the smudged rat head into her mouth. The way she did it looked like she made the little girl’s tongue press on the filth.

That would have been my choice as well.

Afterwards, she taped her mouth shut once again. Returning to the bathroom, she carefully stuffed the incomplete remains of the dead rat back into the glass bottle. I had no words for the peculiarity of what was happening right now. It was as if she couldn’t see the dead body or that huge black plastic bag lying on the ground. I subconsciously started to worry about the smell.

Next…

Packing up the suitcase, Ying Ru changed out of the sportswear and started reading a book on the bed.

The name of the book: A Hundred Reasons to Live.

I wanted to laugh, but couldn’t. Disgust and admiration, two entirely conflicted emotions clashed inside of me.

The two contradicted, yet thrived with each other.

 

I almost forgot when the little girl regained her consciousness.

But I could never forget her tormented expression as Ying Ru emotionlessly twirled the glass bottle in front of her eyes.

A headless rat.

And the constant soft sting under her tongue.

The little girl instantly realized what was going on. Never in my wildest imagination could I have known the face of a person that was capable of expressing such emotion.

It was a combination of extreme terror and a complete breakdown.

My chair broke, but the chaos of emotions did not cease to spread despite our immense age difference. Like a ferocious beast, it howled and crawled out of the screen.

Lunging towards me.

 

Half an hour later, Ying Ru took the sprayer and once again, decided to put a stop to the little girl’s nauseating nightmare.

She was taking out the body of the dead rat, cutting it in half, ripping off the tapes, spoon, mouth, taping shut, and bottle.

 

 

Once again, the little girl woke up.

 

The body of the dead rat without its upper half dangled in front of her like a spectre, haunting and twitching.

Through the glass bottle, Ying Ru’s crooked gaze studied her intensely.

The little girl watched with bulged cheeks. The kind of stuffed sensation that must have been in her mouth was simply unthinkable.

She couldn’t scream, but I could hear her sharp and ear-splitting cries from miles away.

She didn’t even cry, but tears had already fallen from my watery eyes. My entire body jerked and stiffened.

Her eyes grew wide, so wide, leaving the black and the white perfectly separated.

It was no longer a human’s emotions.

I was no longer human.

 

She touched the little girl’s chest. Seemingly satisfied, she opened the big suitcase she had prepared earlier and stuffed her body inside.

The suitcase was then placed in the corner of the room.

 

Later, when Ying Ru came to borrow a black plastic bag and big kitchen knife, I wasn’t scared and excited like I was before, nor was I panicking or stuttering.

I simply opened my drawer, and handed her a thick roll of plastic bags.

It was the numbed response after witnessing what was on the other side of the hellhole.

I was worried for a second that my heart had stopped beating, that I had lost my fear of Ying Ru, or perhaps that I had lost the ability to fear altogether.

Later that day, I finished my bland yet convenient food while watching Ying Ru chop up the young man in the bathroom using my kitchen knife and shove him into the plastic bag piece by piece.

 

Two plastic bags, one big and one small.

And a big suitcase sitting quietly in the corner of the room.

 

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->Return to Chapter 07 Part I

->Continue to Chapter 08 Part I