03-07-2009 05:08 AM
Upon my graduation at the university I accepted a job as associate editor in a midsized city not far from where I grew up. My workplace was seated in the heart of downtown, but, given my meager pay, was forced to rent an apartment in the more ancient, dilapidated part of town, some several blocks away. It was a house apartment, with one on the first and second floors; I occupied the first. The house was long since called old, it was somewhat a miracle it still stood and was habitable, but the rent was very reasonable and everything seemed to be in good enough shape.
The landlady was very old with a quiet countenance with a glaring stare. She hunched forward as she walked, also taking minutely steps as she tried to show me around when I inquired about renting of the apartment. Upon seeing this I told her wait in the vestibule and that I would check the place out by myself. She glared at me but merely nodded, so I unlocked the door leading to the apartment and entered. The living room was what the door opened into: small and dingy, scratched and tarnished hardwood floors creaked at every step, a mold odor seemingly hovering throughout. I continued on through to the bleak dining area and went towards a small bedroom off to the right, which I would call my resting place. Stopping at the door, I looked it over in the semi-darkness-a small window emitted little light-then turned and went into the suffocating kitchen, through that and into the dank bathroom.
Finding myself satisfied (too grand a word); I returned to the aged, stooped landlady and consented to take it. Again she merely nodded, so I locked the place up and told her I would move in the morning. Then I returned to my hotel room and packed my belongings into a ragged duffel bag and tidied up the room and later fell into a dreamless sleep.
In the morning I went to find my new landlord, it being the first day of the weekend, my first day off. I found her in her house across the street from my new lodgings and left her doorstep five minutes later with the keys jingling in my right hand. Once inside I placed my bag near the front door and looked the apartment over once more. I took small notice of the general grayness of the place, as I walked through each room, opening the windows as I went along, to allow a fresh breeze to enter to get rid of the mustiness.
I then locked the place up and walked to the local furniture store, intent on buying at least a couch and chair and bed, maybe a nightstand too. My savings called only fore these items, me starting work only a week prior. I purchased these things, along with a wooden table and two matching chairs, with not much hassle and had given them a key so they could bring the furniture to my residence later on in the day. Having done this, and feeling in a genial mood, I went to find a restaurant or café for lunch, in the hopes of getting a fell for the neighborhood and perhaps make some friends.
I found and thereupon entered a shabby corner café, where I sat at a table overlooking a large bay window of which I could witness the hustle and bustle of the street outside. Soon after an elderly waitress came forward, so I ordered a meal and drink. While waiting for my meal to be served, I gazed out of the window, examining the area and its inhabitants. They were of the most varied types I had seen, though that's not saying much since I was raised in a rural town. There were business men and women with their expensive suits and dirty, shaggy men and women (beggars), and everyone in between.
After peering for a number of minutes, an old man appeared from a bend of the road, lying adjacent to where I sat, and continued to limp-with use of cane-toward the small, corner café. No one gave him a second glance and after some time entered into the café; it was busy at this time of day and very crowded. After looking the place over, the old man spotted an empty seat at my table and, upon reaching me, asked if he could be seated; I, of course, consented.
It was then, as he seated himself across from me, that I got a better look at him. He looked a wizened old man with many deep wrinkles etched across his face, a countenance of vast mental power. His clothes were time-worn and ragged yet what looked to be of notable origin. "Thank you," he quietly said when he made himself comfortable, and then proceeded to order a coffee.
We sat in silence for awhile when he suddenly broke it and asked, "So, young man, may I be so bold as to ask where you hail?" His voice and demeanor told of great and deep education and wisdom.
I, hence, told him where I came from and my reason for being there. He nodded as I spoke and slowly sipped on his hot coffee, eyes seemingly to bore into mine. At some length I finished; he said nothing, but continued to stare unerringly into my eyes. I broke the uncomfortable connection and stared out the window again, dawning in the silence once more.
"How long have you been in your new home?" He asked, after a minute or so of silence.
I replied that tonight would be my first. He looked away for a moment but again continued to peer through me in silence, all the while systematically sipping his coffee.
"I know some history of the house," said he, "and of your lord lady."
I waited for him to continue, but he did not, so I inquired of the subject myself, after more silence.
The many-wrinkled old man thought for a moment and then proceeded to tell me of a fantastically horrible story-nay, history-of my newly rented house apartment, beginning with the construction of the ancient house so many, many years ago.
03-08-2009 09:28 PM
This is what is known in the industry as an info dump. You are giving us a lot of boring info with very little action for too long a period of time. If you have some dialog, and show us some of this info, rather than just telling us about it, it will keep the reader interested!