Studio Apartment of Horror!

D.A. Paskey

So your friend went missing.
Sigh... <i>Again</i>.
Can someone remind you why you're both still friends? You provide loyalty, someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on, even. And this so-called buddy, if you're being honest, is really starting to feel like some glorified plot device existing only to add drama to your life. A tried-and-true cliche beaten to death by some two-bit hack, in some lesser work of fiction, probably downloaded from the Internet.
Everyone gets busy. But since he hasn't returned any of your calls or texts for over a week, you got the landlord to loan you a key to your friend's unit.
"<i>Such a niiiice, trustworthy face</i>," the landlord said. "<i>You no worry about it. Just drop key into downstairs lobby mailbox when done, okay?"</i> Okaaay. You'll have to remember to tell your friend how tight security is around here. Hey, at least now maybe you can figure out what's going on.
<i>What's going on</i>? That immortal question. So immortal it was even immortalized in song, by some nineties band, you're pretty sure, but you can never remember their name. You should be shooting pool down at the karaoke bar on the corner right now, listening to some poor soul massacre that or any number of one-hit-wonders. Instead, you're <i>here</i>.
You've climbed the rickety stairs of the decrepit-if-affordable vintage three-floor walk-up, creaked down the dimly lit hallway casting a bug-light orange glow on decades-old wallpaper and here you are, standing at the front door of your missing friend's
<b>STUDIO APARTMENT OF HORROR!</b>
(I see what you did there. Very dramatic.)