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The Lights

By HeartOfGold15 All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Other

Short Story

The lights were on, as always.

To Peter's knowledge, no one lived in that apartment anymore. The last resident had moved out around three years ago. He knew, because he'd helped the man leave.

No one new had come in. It was a small town. People coming and going never went unnoticed, as town gossip spreads quickly. Joane and David had divorced, the Robinsons were expecting a fifth child, those types of things. Petty little things.

Peter supposed it didn't matter. It was none of his business, after all. Perhaps another person really had moved in undetected.

It still clouded his thoughts, like all odd things did. The man had lived with OCD all his life; his own apartment was spotlessly clean, his office was organized, and he never, ever left the lights on. His whole life was like a Staples commercial. He was an efficient citizen.

What a blatant waste of power, Peter thought. The itch had begun, worse than ever before. Oh, how he wanted, no, needed to shut that damn light off. And yet he composed questions: Who paid the electricity bill for that apartment? Did anyone live there? Why was no one talking about this damn light?

It seemed a crime, that this light turned itself on everyday at 8 sharp, with the same precision that the man would use to organize his room. They glowed from across the street, challenging him, insulting him, worrying him. He needed to shut them off.

Peter left his apartment in a large overcoat and made sure to lock the door - he always locked the door - then crossed the street. A stairway lead up to his destination, and quickly looking around to make sure no one else saw, he walked up. Finally. He just needed to get inside somehow and shut the lights off.

It was a favor he was doing for the world, not a crime. That's what he told himself. It wasn't breaking and entering if no one lived there. He would be saving some person a large amount of money. He'd be doing himself a favor, too. Maybe he could smash the lights, so they would never turn on again.

Yet in all oddness there was a key in the door already. Peter almost didn't notice it at first until the street lights came on, and the gold metal lit up, glinting in the almost-darkness. So he would not have to break and enter, it seemed. He sighed in relief, but his heart still sped. Maybe he was wrong. What if someone really does live here?

Peter collected himself, taking a shaky breath in. He grabbed the key and twisted it. The handle soon gave way.

Finally he would see who was turning these lights on.



It was 7:59 pm on a Saturday night. A man sat in his perfectly organized home. He gazed out the window with tired eyes for a minute, staring specifically at an apartment across the street.

The lights turned on, as always.

Peter found that he didn't care anymore.


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May May: Honestly, this is a very interesting story.I enjoyed every chapter, hats off to the writer!

vane 3071: This book taught me so much and I even began to think, no wait know, it's important that people of all ages learn more about it. I may only be 14 but all we've always been told is that there the "special kids" that they have "issues", basically that they weren't normal. If we were to associate wi...

Kayresia A. Bass: Loved it. Author did some insane research to bring this story to life. A little short for my taste, but an awesome story nonetheless. A few missing periods, and a few missing ending quotation marks, but not enough to take away from the story.Keep going. Add more detail to your future stories and ...

Ginger: I like the idea behind this; the idea and story itself are great, However, I'm finding typos periodically and some of the sentences could be worded a bit more clearly. You might want to 'show' a little more than you 'tell,'

Deleted User: An unusual story, well worth reading. Good conversations, excellent prose, and keeps my interest, maybe because I was there, back in the day. You won't be able to pt this book down.

Ilanea Zavala: I loved it and well I really hope you continue writing more to the story.

Deleted User: I love your use of writer's craft and how you use figurative language to enhance your writing. It great how you didn't have any spelling or grammar issues.

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