☰ The Room That Doesn't Exist

[A Have Tools, Will Travel... Story]

So, about an hour or so of fishing in silence, after he'd recounted the Ms. Burgess horror, I finally got Sam to tell me why he retired early. 

You see, Sam is only 51. He's strong as an ox, he's smart, he's still damn good at being a handyman. He loved the job like I do, but we all have our breaking points.

Sam decided to call it quits when he and Paddy came across, and I quote, "a room that didn't exist".

They were roofing a lady named Mrs. Ellis's house when Paddy fell off the roof. Sam heard a crash like Paddy had fallen through something but, he said that Paddy completely disappeared before he ever hit the ground.

As soon as Paddy fell, Sam jumped up from shingling and went to the corner of the house and when he looked to the ground where Paddy should've been, there was nothing.

Sam was stumped. 

He got down from the roof and started looking for Paddy. He called his name a few times until he finally heard something. He heard Paddy trying to say something. After following Paddy’s voice for a few minutes, Sam found himself right under the spot where Paddy fell.

“I’m up here. In a room.” was what Paddy kept saying, but all Sam could see was the side of the house and the empty area beside it. 

Paddy described the room as being a regular looking room, but he said it had no windows or doors. His only light source was from the hole where he had fallen through the roof that shouldn’t have existed. Sam told him to hold on, that he was going to get the ladder and push it over the side of the roof, over the “invisible room” until Paddy could see it through the hole he’d made when he fell. Paddy said okay, but told Sam to hurry, because he was scared. Paddy said he didn’t know what was going on or how something like this could’ve happened.

Sam tried to keep Paddy talking, so that he would know where to point the ladder. After 30 minutes of trying like hell to get the ladder positioned over top of the invisible room so Paddy could climb out, he finally yelled that he could see it. Sam said he had never been so scared, yet so relieved when he saw his friend crawl up that ladder out of thin air. I can’t imagine watching something like that, I think I would have called for help, but Sam, he’s braver than me.

When Paddy was safely out of the room, they collected the ladder and quit the job early. They knew that they would have to go back and finish it the next day, but they were both so terrified at what they’d seen, Sam suggested they take the rest of the day off so Paddy could spend it with his family. Sam said he’d never seen Paddy so happy; so easy with a smile. Paddy was just glad to be alive. 

Sam retired about a week after that. Sam’s been gone for almost a year now and we keep in touch. Paddy works for a different company now, but I think he mainly does small repairs these days. 

Absolutely no roofing jobs whatsoever.


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My novel, Trigram, is in the works, but in the meantime, I'll probably be working on short stories such as the ones on Wicked Shorts. (Wink)

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