He was dozing when the bang woke him up, his new roommate, slamming the door as he got in late. He wasn’t surprised, the new guy seemed to enjoy banging things closed. Ryan can hear him stomping up the stairs, then clomping across the floor. There’s silence for a few moments, then he can hear a low sound. Ryan listens for a second before realising it’s moaning. He must have brought someone home with him, good for him. Ryan occasionally brought people back, so who was he to judge? As far as he knew, it was the first time Larry had brought someone back. It was about time. Ryan had tried to sound him out, see if he liked anyone but Larry wasn’t the most forthcoming individuals. Usually answering monosyllabically. It was tough getting information out of him, though that could sometimes be a good thing. They usually worked late and they worked well together, but Ryan liked knowing things about who he worked with. It made him more relaxed.
Ryan had done most of the work, but he had hoped that once Larry got into the swing of things he’d be more enthusiastic, so far he mostly stood back and watched, giving a hand every now and then with something small. Probably nerves. The guy didn’t seem very confident at all, the few times Ryan had offered him larger things to do he refused, saying he’d probably screw it up or something. Still. It was a good sign he was going out and picking someone up, maybe he was getting more confident. It would be good for Larry, he didn’t have many friends outside of Ryan and the few people Ryan had introduced him too, even Ryan’s friends weren’t fans of him, saying Larry was weird. The floors weren’t very thick in the house, he could hear Larry moving about. Ryan lay in the darkness, trying to summon the energy to move. Finally standing, he stretched, then yawned and walked towards his bedroom. When converting the house he made sure the bedrooms would not be on top of each other, Ryan didn’t want noises coming through, of course, had he known he would get Larry as a roommate he wouldn’t have worried so much. He had met all the prospective tenants before Larry moved in, but Larry seemed to be the best choice at the time, polite if a little shy and timid. He was a better choice than the guy with all the tattoos, who glowered the entire time and barely said two words, or the chick that was just so-super-excited-to-be-here, that voice would have driven him insane in a few days.
He fell back onto the bed, stripping out of his clothes quickly and crawling under the covers. It had been a long, busy, day, he spent most of it working on the garden. He probably got a little colour too, the walls were high and the garden was large enough that he didn’t worry too much about digging without a shirt, he could be a little self conscious at times, though he knew he had no need to be. Still, it was heavy work and he’d gotten a lot done. Larry had again watched for a while, then he dug a little. Ryan sometimes wondered if Larry was gay, it might explain the lack of women he talked about, he tried to raise the subject once, find out who he was interested in, but Larry remained as aloof as ever. Not that Ryan cared either way, not really, it was more just idle curiosity. Larry had come from a very religious area, maybe that was why he was so unconfident, hiding such a thing for so long.
Ryan turned and shifted, trying to get comfortable, he though maybe he’d plant some flowers tomorrow, maybe start a vegetable garden. He’d have to do some research on that though. The pipes clanged and shuddered as a tap was turned on upstairs, the pipes gurgled, the sound was slightly soothing. As he was drifting off, Ryan remembered the hole in the ceiling. He had to fix that, he kept forgetting. Larry was the one that pointed it out to him, it was only small, it actually looked like someone had drilled down at one point, he wasn’t too concerned about it, not really, but he still wanted to get it covered up, something like that could get worse, especially if something heavy was put on it. He had wondered about it at the time, maybe it was done by the previous owner, probably a hole for wires, though it was a little too big for that.
He woke early, but stayed in bed a little longer to enjoy the warmth. When he finally got up, he threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. He wasn’t quite hungry, not yet, but decided it would be best to eat something now, he had a busy day ahead. He opened the door to the kitchen when he heard it, the steady drip-drip-drip onto the linoleum kitchen floor. Fuck. Another leak, just what he needed. He expected to find a large puddle of water on the floor, he’d need to grab the mop and bucket. He stepped into the kitchen prepared for the damage that was probably done during the night. Then he stopped. There was a large, red puddle on the kitchen floor. He looked up at the ceiling, it had come through that small hole. He moved forward, trying to figure out exactly what it was, there was a heavy, tangy smell in the air, but he didn’t quite believe it. He moved closer, feeling light headed. It was blood. It had to be, there was nothing else. He breathed slowly, trying to calm himself, trying to create excuses, figure out what else it could be, but he kept coming up blank. Those moans last night. Had it been someone Larry had killed? He tried to think, he’d only heard Larry’s footsteps, maybe it was someone in pain, someone almost unconscious. What the hell could he do? This was bad, this was really bad. He tried to think. He went back to his room, to the cleaner air, away from the blood, that would help. He needed to leave, that was the most important thing, he needed to leave right now. There was no sound from upstairs, Larry was probably still asleep. He grabbed a bag and threw some clothes into it, then grabbed some important things, the room looked like a mess, like someone had robbed the place. He looked around the ruins of his room quickly, scanning everything, no there was nothing else he needed. Quietly, he opened the front door and slipped out, he left the car in the garage, Larry would hear it. He would be suspicious. Ryan started off at a steady pace, trying to figure out what he next step was.
It was all over the papers, Larry was a serial killer. Fifteen victims had been found so far and they expected to find more. His landlord, Ryan, had gone missing and was suspected to be amongst the victims, Larry himself had refused to speak and, while in a cell, had killed himself, the papers didn’t say how.
Greg put down the paper and finished his coffee, smiling. It was a good thing he left when he had. Larry had taken it upon himself to do some extra work. Greg had though he might be caught and fled. He couldn’t be there when the police came, when they dug up the garden. There were too many there. Luckily he had only started using that as a burial site after Larry had moved in. He normally didn’t burn through so many so fast but he had been trying to teach Larry the tricks of the trade, he was a slow student, but obviously much faster than Greg had thought. Still. It was surprisingly easy to disappear. They saw his ransacked room and just assumed the worst. He knew Larry wasn’t ready to go out on his own, within a few hours of his leaving the police had arrested Larry. Greg was just thankful he hadn’t talked to anyone in a few days. His mother would be upset no doubt, but they were never that close. His father had died when he was a boy. His friends would be shocked and horrified, but no great loss there, he found it easy to make friends. He paid the bill then left, walking out of the coffee shop and into his new life, his new life as Greg.