Flash Fiction Friday: To Whom It May Concern

To Whom if May Concern,

Dear Sir or Madam, I am writing to you today to explain, as requested, the events the occurred on the afternoon of 13 July, 20– surrounding the loss of my assistant and the subsequent termination of the lease of apartment 413.

The work order we had been sent to fulfill had been outstanding for quite sometime, with calls from the tenant coming more frequently, the last several being marked as urgent. The washing machine had stopped working and there was standing water. Under normal circumstances, anything that is water related is taken care of immediately, as running water can cause structural damages and standing water is a health hazard. Unfortunately, there was nobody who was qualified to fulfill the work order as all of the maintenance men who had experience fixing a washing machine had quit or been fired recently. As there was nobody qualified to fulfill the work order, the work order went unfulfilled.

When the tenant sent a letter and a bill from an emergency trip to the hospital for allergic reactions directly related to the standing water in her washing machine, the apartment manager began interviewing people to fill the maintenance spots that were open, paying close attention to the people who were qualified or willing to become qualified to fix washing machines. The tenants husband came by and politely and firmly requested someone be sent to fix the standing water in the washing machine. That the man was approximately six feet, five inches tall and looked as though the played defense for the local football team was merely a fact that was noted in case he became violent. As the entire encounter was polite, bordering on genial, it should be noted here that we were, in fact, noting it at the time.

Realizing the urgency of the problem, one of my assistants and myself undertook to at least drain the water from the broken washing machine. In this instance, we judged that a shop-vac would be of use and I was to carry and dump said shop-vac after my assistant had filled it. The closest drain was the tenants bathtub and that was deemed an appropriate place to dump the shop-vac.

When we reached the apartment, the tenant greeted us and she did look as though she was suffering badly from some time of allergy. She directed us to the washing machine and stood back to observe us as we worked.

I positioned myself in the middle of the bathroom doorway and plugged the shop-vac in. My assistant opened the door to the closet the washing machine was stored in. The smell that was released when the washing machine was opened was the most horrid thing I had ever encountered in my life to that point. It was at that point that I noticed the line of air-fresheners stored on top of the toilet tank and was surprised at how well they’d worked to keep the stench at bay.

My assistant determined that the cause of the problem was an electrical short that had kept the controls from working. There was no solution short of replacing the whole washing machine that we could determine, but we also agreed that the water needed to be drained from the machine before it could be replaced. My assistant turned on the shop-vac and began to suck up with water. When the hose was clogged almost immediately, he pulled it out to see if it had been caught on anything that had been left in the machine, as we had been given to understand that she had been in the middle of washing a load of towels and had not been able to remove everything. Not finding a cause for the clog, my assistant turned the shop-vac back on and continued to remove the water. When the hose clogged again, my assistant leaned over the water to try and see if there was anything in the machine that he could remove.

It was at that point that the tentacles shot out of the machine and grabbed my assistant. Stunned with shock, it a moment for the tenant and I to react. My assistant was fighting the pull of the tentacles and they were bigger than anything that should have been able to fit in the washing machine. Nothing we did was able to force the tentacles to release their hold on my assistant and they pulled him into the machine, head first. Having pulled my assistant into the machine, the tentacles retracted and the washing machine stopped moving. It is my greatest hope that he drowned before the creature ate him.

Recovering slightly from the shock, the tenant said “Fuck this” and began packing a bag. She informed me that she would return with several large men to get the rest of her things but she would not be living in the unit any longer.

I locked the front door on my way back to the office to report what happened on our attempt to fulfill the work order and to let the manager know we would need to hire another maintenance person. Since this event, there have been two exterminators lost to the creature in the washing machine and another member of the maintenance staff.

It is my recommendation that someone with experience be contacted to discover the nature of the creature, the best way to get rid of it, and where to find a washing machine repairman willing to work for an apartment complex. I have attached a business card for a detective I have been referred to.

Yours truly,

Julio Martinez, Maintenance Manager, Twin Pines Apartments


Filed under flash fiction

2 responses to “Flash Fiction Friday: To Whom It May Concern

  1. Pingback: How I Replaced My Water Heater’s Thermocouple and Saved the Day

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