We're back with another Horror Story for our competition that begins tomorrow, Thursday the 15th at 2pm. Polls stay open for twenty-four hours.
I have lived with my lovely roommate C for more than four years now, in two different spots on Capitol Hill, and we have a slew of rental horror stories. I'm convinced, though, that our previous place was cursed. Roommate #1 was like living with an RA who wanted to have constant "roommate meetings" about the policies for overnight guests, labeling of pantry goods and the presence of pubic hair in the bathroom. She threw a huge fit about the size of the flat screen TV that C brought along with her and kindly offered to set up in the living room, to replace the TV that was leaving with the outgoing roommie. And then things somehow got even worse.
A subletter that temporarily replaced Roommate #1 not only managed to go through mysteriously large amounts of toilet paper at a rapid pace, she left behind (warning: avert your eyes if you're squeamish) bloody sheets on the bed she'd been borrowing for the summer. When Roommate #1 eventually moved out permanently, we took to Craigslist to find Roommate #2. He disappeared after a few months, deciding he wanted to live with his girlfriend, and left us with another subletter that we'd never met and didn't get a chance to interview. He ended up being one of those guys who smells like gym socks and spends day after day in his room, hoarding dishes and tissues. What did we do to deserve this mess?! When his sublease ended and we forced him out, we found a perfectly pleasant 20-something to be Roommate #3. And yet, somehow, things got worse again.
That summer, we noticed an odd smell in the house. Our investigations didn't turn up anything that could explain the smell, but after about two weeks it was getting pretty unbearable. A houseguest staying on the couch in the living room actually had to find another place to crash. Then the flies came. Hoards of flies, congregating in the living room windows at the front of the house and in the second floor bedroom of Roommate #3. We hesitantly joked that maybe there was a dead body stashed somewhere but decided that the "someone dies and nobody finds the body for weeks" storyline only happens on Law & Order. Except, apparently, it doesn't only happen on TV. It happened next door.
I came home one August afternoon to find a a couple of cop cars outside our house, investigating the house next door. The officers told me that a friend of the older man living there had dropped by and gotten worried when nobody answered the door. He been dead for two weeks, with his dogs locked inside the house with him -- pretty much the actual nightmare of single people living in the city. And after they'd taken him away, it took his elderly sister a few more weeks to have the house properly cleaned. Turns out, "hazardous material clean-up" is an expensive chore. After about 10 days, though, we stopped feeling bad and just started pestering her to have the situation resolved. All the while, the flies continued to infiltrate our living room and Roommate #3's bedroom. Eventually, by mid-September, the house next door was thoroughly cleaned and the flies disappeared. The three of us moved to another rental rowhouse a few blocks away the next spring. No dead bodies, no creepy roommates and no drama at the new house -- but flies still give me the heebie jeebies.