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Friday, November 11, 2011

The Chute

It was about eight in the evening when I decided to take the cardboard Amazon box to the garbage chute on the tenth floor. The chute is dark and dirty and stank of the seasonal mixture of garbage of a highrise apartment building. In summer, the ghost of rapidly rotten fruits and food rushes out of the pit and hits you in the face. But it is autumn now, so the stink is vague, hollow, with a slight chill of some unknown substance slowly disintegrating into some other unknown substance.

The wall into which the chute opens is hidden behind a door in a small, windowless alcove. A thoughtful design to thoroughly block the stink from creeping up the giant garbage receptacle in the basement. Tonight, however, the little alcove was lit by a dim light bulb on the verge of going out any moment, making the small enclosed space seem especially isolated.

I gripped the handle on the chute cover and pulled it open. With my head slightly turned sideways to avoid being hit by the stink, I thrust the cardboard box into the gaping black hole. Suddenly, with a damp breeze, a soft, shapeless, semi-transparent blob arose slowly out of the darkness and floated, like a jellyfish in deep sea, toward me, toward the light.

I gave out a scream and slammed the cover shut, and rushed back into the hallway, running until I reached the door to my own apartment.

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