I first notice the hole on a Monday. It was midnight on the dot when a black spot on the ceiling had caught my eye. Dragging my wooden desk chair to the center of my studio apartment, I stood upon the seat of the chair and looked up at the hole. It was barely an inch wide. Curios, I stuck my right index finger into it. When I drew my finger out, it appeared as it always did. “Hm.”
In the morning on that same Monday, it was at least five inches wider. I also noticed that my favorite hair brush, gold-gilded with white bristles, was missing. Frowning, I grabbed my desk chair again with duct tape and a sheet of paper, and taped the paper over the hole. “There.” That should take care of that. Where my hair brush went, I didn’t know, but if that hole had anything to do with it, well…here’s hoping it didn’t get any bigger.
Tuesday morning, the first thing that I noticed was that the paper over the hole was missing and that the hole had grown five more inches, making it a total of eleven inches wide. I also noticed that the potted plant I kept on the small round dining table was gone as well. Just great.
I reported to work at ten. While I was checking my email on my computer at my desk, someone slipped a hat on my head. The hat messed up the careful bun on the top of my head.
“So what do you think?” Oliver asked as he stood in front of my. He was smiling. Reaching up, I took the hat off my head.
“You do realize beer can holder hard hats aren’t something new, right?” I asked with a laugh as I handed it back to him.
“Yeah, but did you noticed it was painted pink? It’ll appeal to woman,” he said with a smile. I laughed even more.
“Funny,” I said before turning around and looking at my screen. But Oliver persisted.
“You know it doesn’t just hold beer—”
“I know. It can hold cans of coke or any other type of soda can. Do you see where I’m going with this? That it can hold soda cans and beer cans because they use the same type of can.” I turned around to face him again, rolling my eyes.
“Fine, smart ass. Here.” He handed me back the hat.
When I got home that evening, the hole had grown wider. It had only been eleven inches that morning and now it was at least two feet wide. I also noticed that my spinning globe was missing. Perplexed and a little perturbed, I dragged my desk chair right under the hole and stood on it. The inside of the hole was black as far as I could tell. There was no evidence of the floor above me, nothing. Just black. Tentatively, I raised my arm over my head and stuck my hand in. When I pulled it back out, my hand appeared normal. Sighing, I got off the chair, and dragged it back to my desk.
By Friday morning, the hole had gotten so large, it took up almost all of the ceiling leaving only the edges untouched. Many of my things had disappeared as well. One of the dining chairs, the large area rug that I had in my bedroom back home in my parents’ house, and my coffee table along with everything on it.
“Eleanor? You okay? You seem a little…”
“No, I’m not,” I replied, giving him an honest answer.
“Is it something I can maybe help you with?” He asked. Good old Oliver.
“Do you know anything about home repair?”
“Like what? Fixing toilets?”
“No, I mean there’s a hole in my ceiling and it keeps getting bigger.”
“Oh, well, my dad owns a hardware store back home so I know a thing or two.”
“Wanna come over to my apartment after work, then?” I asked.
Oliver looked up at the ceiling in disbelief. “Holy…”
“Yeah, I know.” I stared up at the ceiling as well, though there was more hole then ceiling up there now.
“How long has this been going on?”
“Since Monday. It kept getting bigger.”
“And you didn’t do anything about it?”
“Well, I taped paper over it, but the hole ate it up,” I replied.
“Oh.” Oliver began walking around the edge of my apartment, still looking up at the hole.
“What?” He asked as he looked over at me. I ran over to him and grabbed his hand. He was floating several inches off the ground, up towards the hole. I strained with effort trying to keep him tethered to the ground.
“It’s okay, Eleanor—” He began, gripping my hand with both of his as the lower half of his body rose up above his head.
I shook my head and gritted my teeth. “You’re going to disappear, too, if I let you go.”
“Then come with me.”
I looked at him in disbelief before looking at the hole above them. It was big and dark. It was scary.
“Come with me, Eleanor.” There was a certain calmness to his voice. Nodding a little, I let myself go.